There’s a thought that says ‘he doesn’t DESERVE forgiveness—look at what he did to you!’ And taking his current actions into consideration only tends to solidify that notion: ‘if he’s not sorry and continues to do destructive things, what’s forgiving him going to do?’
But…maybe the act of forgiveness isn’t so much for his sake as it is for mine. I’m sure he doesn’t care whether I forgive him or not, but the longer I cling onto the thought that ‘I have been wronged and therefore I will make him pay’ the less satisfaction I get out of it. Rather, the negativity seems to manifest itself in a physical sense: weakness, tightening in the chest and throat, and a distinct yet conflicted desire to hurt him.
Hurting HIM won’t help anything, though. If nothing else it’ll just prove that I’m a revenge-grubbing ex that he would thank his lucky stars for dumping. At this point all I do is carefully ignore him—acknowledging his existence coming and going is about the extent of our interaction—and don’t go one way or the other as far as ‘forgive’ or ‘not’ go.
This morning I had an opportunity to follow him out and apologize for snubbing him for the past month. But then I started shaking and my throat tightened, and while my mind screamed to go and apologize even though I may not think he deserved it, I stayed frozen behind my desk, caught in indecision. Then I heard his car start and the booming of his stereo as he pulled out of the parking lot, and it was too late.
As I think about it, lounging in indecision is a choice within itself. The longer I waffle between ‘forgive or not’ I choose ‘not’ by default. The road of inaction is an act within itself, and the only reward that comes from not doing something is regret.
Perhaps there’s a reason that hurting others is like smashing a mirror with your hands—you may have broken what you didn’t want to see, but wind up injuring yourself in the process.
I supposed that ultimately it’s not my call to say whether someone deserves forgiveness or not—none of us deserve it, ultimately, and it’s only by the grace of God that we do receive anything. I haven’t done it yet, but I think that writing this little observance has given me a reason to apologize and get this load off my back.