I have recently discovered that I am both good and bad at letting go. It is easy to forgive a vulnerable, genuine, sincere apology, which is good, because in my book it is a rare and wonderful thing to offer such an apology. It comes from a place of raw honesty that few brave.
What is harder to let go, even once forgiven, is the sting. I’m not sure why this is. Is it part of a broken heart? Is it part of an true heart? Is it the price one pays for empathy? Does the ability to feel others’ hurt along with their happy require a certain sensitivity that leaves one’s one heart vulnerable? I don’t know.
Recently I was thinking of my mother-in-law (forgive me if I already wrote about this). Someone was interviewing her for a video that we watched together at the family reunion last summer. She mentioned wondering if perhaps she was too sensitive to the teasing that seemed to run in the family. And it struck me to wonder why we consider sensitivity a negative attribute. If our own feelings are tender. If we are cognizant of the power of words to wound as well as to heal. Can that not help us be conscious of tempering our own words with care not to wound another? Is that not something to strive for?
In any case, letting go.
I sometimes find myself recalling in complete surprise something that was so awful and hurtful and pain-full that I have completely put out of my mind and when it does glance up to the surface I find it is a brief, harmless thought, without any remembrance of the searing sting that once accompanied it.
And yet there are other moments for which the heartbreak still lingers. Deeply. Profoundly.
What is the difference?
Is it a sincere apology in a world devoid of personal responsibility and #sorrynotsorry?
Is it godsend?
I do not know.
But I will keep asking to be able to more fully forgive. To let go of the hurt buried deep.
To pray for the atonement to heal and soften wounded hearts.
[Day 200 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]