I’ve always been one to advocate for forgiveness. I was raised to believe that if someone apologizes to you, the right thing to do is to forgive them. Always. Always forgive them. Naturally I’m a pretty loyal person, maybe it’s the stubborn Capricorn in me, the fact that I only have a few close friends or if it’s something more. Grudges seem petty and juvenile. For the most part when I have a reason to be angry with someone I take the time necessary to move on and then try to forget about whatever was done in the past. Everyone makes mistakes, even Miley knows that. Not to mention the energy it takes to stay angry at someone for a prolonged period of time, I don’t have it. I feel uncomfortable if there is hostility between me and pretty much anyone. I’m a people pleaser and anyone having a reason to hate me (other than just disliking my personality) makes me loose sleep. Ongoing confrontation doesn’t sit well.
Yet, at some point even if you continue to forgive…is there a line that should be drawn? Is there a certain level of respect you need to have for yourself that should propel you to shut someone out of your life who continues to make the same choices to hurt you again and again and again. In relationships at a certain point we advise breakups. In friendships when things get so bad we call for distance. But what is the perpetrator isn’t a boyfriend or a best friend, what if it’s a member of your family? What if it’s your Mom?
Since my most recent breakup I’ve been working on myself like it’s my full time freaking job, extracting toxicity from my life. I’ve been desperately attempting to fix myself, to get my life together and to ultimately gain enough respect for myself that I no longer allow others to walk into my world and blow through it like hurricane leaving a mess of pieces for me to pick up. Historically my relationship with my Mother has been “rocky” at best. I don’t blame her for the mistakes she made in the past but I can hold her accountable for the choices she makes now and when the intent behind those decisions looks freakishly similar wouldn’t it go against my better judgement to ignore those red flags?
How many times are you supposed to let someone dramatically storm out of your life before you don’t want them to come back in? You know what Taylor says “People like you always want back the love they gave away, and people like me want to believe them when they say they’ve changed”. While I’ve believed her, forgiven her and excused her selfish actions for my entire life I don’t think it makes me mean or selfish or judgmental for questioning if I want to anymore. Of course the love and acceptance of my Mother was all I’ve ever wanted but am I willing to sacrifice the respect and mutual love I think I deserve for it? I don’t think I am anymore.
What’s a girl to do? It’s not to say I don’t love my mother. I’m human. I’m forgiving. I love her, and a large part of me(most of me)want her love. I want her to be happy. I want her to live a fulfilled life. However, there have been too many times she has had to choose between her children and drugs, her children and abusive boyfriends, her children and alcoholism…and I think by process of elimination we can determine the choices she made. That being said there have been times when she didn’t have to choose. Those incidents are almost more important because she wasn’t forced to pick one or the other, there was no “either or”. You can have a fiance and a daughter. You can have a daughter and a son. You can have both. She didn’t have to choose but she did.
The same mistakes over and over again aren’t mistakes, they’re decisions.
How do you view forgiveness? I’m always interested as everyone I know thinks so differently about the subject.