The last twelve hours or so have kind of sucked. I found out that a couple of people I supervise will be starting new jobs soon, two of the guys in my D&D group are moving away, and I received a reply to an apology that was… let’s say, “less than gracious.”
I wrote a pretty bad poem by this title around four years ago, when Abbey was ending her friendship with me. Amongst all the different failed relationships I had, I wanted to know why they had ended so poorly, what the final straw was, and how to make things better or, at the least, not make the same mistakes again in the future.
A few months, or maybe a year, later I read the poem again, then wrote another poem in reply mocking it. The original was sappy, and Granting Closure was what I needed; a kick in the rump telling me to get over it and move on.
Ever since Margaret got back in touch with me (around a year ago or more now, I think), however, I’ve been craving that closure once again. I don’t need to know what failed now, though. I have a pretty good idea that it was me: I failed.
The blame isn’t all on my side of the table; I’ve learned to not blame myself for everything under the sun. But I still feel, or felt rather, the need to apologize. To try and make amends. At the least, to let them know that I’m sorry for my part in the negativity and failure of the friendship.
So I’ve been contacting these people, apologizing and tying up loose ends. As of last week, I sent the final missive, and there are no ends left to tie.
There are probably two others I could contact, but am not, either because communication has been tried in the past and failed, or because it doesn’t seem worthwhile. When trust has been so badly damaged, an apology becomes worthless; how do you know they mean it, and aren’t just trying to manipulate you yet again? I have nothing left to apologize for in those instances, and their words could never mean anything to me. I’ve elected rather to let it lie in the past, where it belongs, and move on towards a brighter future.
There is an important part of me that has found peace through this process, and what’s more, I’ve discovered the wonder that is forgiveness. Its healing power is truly remarkable, and I never understood it before this last year.
Being forgiven by God is one thing, and difficult to grasp and understand. Being forgiven by Margaret, or Katie, or Jennifer, or all the others is another entirely, and helps me understand my Lord all the better. Jesus has forgiven me for far greater things than these few forgave me, yet how wonderful their forgiveness is.
The question has been posed many times elsewhere, “What would our lives look like if we were to act truly forgiven?” I suspect it would be happier, and far more free. It is something I need to work on, accepting and understanding God’s forgiveness. On a mental level, I have, but now that I have felt mortal forgiveness, I can recognize that a part of me is struggling to accept God’s forgiveness.
It will be the last great closure I will ever need to seek.
A few weeks ago, I was thinking about an old failed relationship and all my self-recriminations. I have a tendency to blame myself when things go sour, and try to figure out what I can do to improve myself so the mistakes of my past are not repeated.
For the first time in regards to this relationship and my consideration of it, however, it occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t my fault. Maybe the girl wasn’t perfect after all, and maybe it wasn’t all my fault. Maybe it just is what it is.
It takes two to tango, as the cliché goes, and it’s never all one person’s fault. Examine your history and learn from it, but you’ve got to learn to let go and move on too. Don’t dwell on your failures.
Take them in, embrace them, examine and learn from them. Learn to say, “This is failure, this is pain, this is hurt, and now I know it. Now I can let it go, and move on.” If you never release your failure to let it rest in the past, you’ll continue to fail and be a failure.
Don’t take it all on yourself. Sometimes, things just happen, and for what comfort it gives you, know that our Lord is sovereign. He can turn anything to the good, and he wants the best for you. When things suck, just work on returning your focus to Jesus, and soldier on. Before you know it, things will be better again, and you’ll look back on the months and/or years of pain and realize how relatively short that period was.
Maybe it was you, and maybe it was me. Chances are, it was both, and we’re both sorry. Let’s leave it at that and move on with our lives.