I was recently humbled with another gracious nomination for the Liebster Award.
In it I made a hard proposition to the people whom I nominated –
“Right here, right now, say something to the person who has hurt you the most, beginning with, “I promise to…”
The purpose of my post today is to take that challenge myself and answer the same question. I’d then like to send my answer to each of the people I nominated.
I think the person whom I would most likely respond to is my (soon-to-be) ex-wife. For the purposes of this post, and future posts, I’ll call her “E” (for “E”x-wife). Now understand I have a whole (paper) journal dedicated to this subject – a vehicle that allows me to express, process, and move forward.
While this is still a sore subject for me because she hasn’t signed the papers, I think my answer to this prompt would be something along the lines of this…
“I promise to…
♦ …forgive you for the emotional trauma you’ve caused me.” This process is going to take a while. It’s been 2 years since I left for the second time, and after an unsuccessful reconciliation.
This is most certainly the hardest part of my travels down this road. It’s also the most significant – this is required as my starting point. A part of extending this forgiveness is that I also need to ask for forgiveness.
I’ve caused tremendous hurt towards her with my words and actions. Things I can’t take back. Things that she will probably remember for the rest of her life.
I said things out of retribution for my hurt.
Out of disgust and malice…a very deep red malice. Not just out of anger, but out of a deep, sickening, black hatred.
I’ve had a hard time letting these feelings go and have been at odds with my faith because my Lord wants me to live a life in accordance with His will.
The things I’ve done have not been in alignment with His will.
He extends forgiveness to me on a daily basis. I need to get to a point where I can do the same towards others. With the Holy Spirit’s help, I will.
♦ …let go of my anger towards you.” Over time, I’ve been able to do this. Sometimes it flares up at unexpected times and sometimes there are triggers. It has taken a lot of time and separation from the situation to be able to work on letting go of the intense anger I had. It’s similar to taking the boiling pot off the burner.
Not turning down the heat, removing it from the heat.
My personality is anger-based so this has been a double challenge.
I was so angry when I ended things a second time that I wrote the most cruel and heart-piercing things I could think of on our pictures. I threw our wedding album and honeymoon scrapbook in the dumpster and sent her a picture in a text saying, “Trash gets picked up on Wednesday.” I ripped pictures in half and I Sharpied her face out of all of them.
About a week later I gathered everything related to her and crammed them into a metal pail.
I poured lighter fluid on them.
And burned them.
This was the picture I sent her.
About a week after that I was served with an emergency protective order because of the angry texts I was sending to her. I got the point and it actually helped put a halt to my anger, and allowed me to work on letting things go.
I’ll wrap up this section with the following quote…
♦ …extend grace.” Life happens and things go awry. Are those moments intense and emotional in the moment? Absolutely. Do they matter in the grand scheme of things? Sometimes. I’ve learned that a war is comprised of a series of battles. Some of those battles you lose in order to win the war – the really big objective you want to achieve. Grace is that undeserved understanding and mercy, understanding, and sympathy that will allow me to traverse the obstacles I face.
During these times of tension I will try my best to extend grace, because it was extended to me.
Of course this is not ALL I have to work on, but it is a solid beginning.
Baby steps, young Padawan…
Thank you all for taking your time to read this post. My call to action is that you take the same challenge and also use it as a blog post. If you do, would you also link it back to surviving the specter so I can read and comment?