To all I have had the grace to encounter in my life,
I think, since I have written letters to those I have had to forgive, it is also true that I have much to be sorry and repentent for. I try to work things out as they happen, because we never know if we will have tomorrow, and life is much happier that way, not carrying around heavy burdens.
But just in case I have moved on in life without knowing where I have hurt any of you, I ask for your forgiveness. It grieves me when I know I have hurt someone, but I know I am very capable of hurting because I can be a little ‘too honest’ at times, and not so patient with flawed situations. I have been guilty of gossip (that’s a tough one to beat), and one of my biggest weaknesses, as well as strengths, is my love for justice. This can be good, but it can also inspire me to act or speak without thinking when perhaps justice isn’t mine to dish out 😉
I invite you to write to me personally (shalimammaatgmaildotcom) if something is bothering you about me and you feel we need to reconcile. I desire freedom for everyone, but many times, we go through life without even realizing we have hurt anyone. Sometimes, we believe we are doing the right thing for whatever reason, and we leave a bleeding heart behind. If I have done this, I ask for your forgiveness, from the bottom of my heart. If I have hurt you and you do not want to, or are not ready to reconcile, I place the ball in your court. I apologize, I release you, I forgive you, and it has now become your choice as to what you do with your pain, knowing that I welcome you with open arms. I myself am free, because I cannot make your choices for you, and you are free to hold grudges and let cancer eat away at your heart, or you are free to work out your pain on your own and leave our relationship unreconciled while we are on this earth.
The letters I have written as well as my blog postings are not meant to cause any bleeding hearts. They are my way of revealing the truth to real live people, without exposing anyone’s identity or getting them into trouble (out of charity), mainly because I had been denied by those people any other way of reconciliation or releasing my anguish to them. If we have worked things out, I wouldn’t even be able to remember enough to write any letter, because I don’t hold grudges, especially if something is reconciled… Why carry around needless burdens? When we hold grudges, we are only drinking our own poison. And we are slaves entering into a downward spiral that spreads to other relationships and steals our joy. I myself love the freedom that comes from no grudges, no unforgiveness, no tying of my happiness to the bad choices of others.
I have had quite a few opportunities to work out beautiful reconciliation and healing with others in my life… in fact, I was surprised to realize how many people I have already forgiven or who have forgiven me, and how many beautiful close relationships I have, especially the ones forged in willful healing and the desire to work through our difficulties. I seek reconcilication rather strongly if I know something is amiss in a relationship, and I have only really come across this ‘denial of reconciliation’ within certain ‘movements’ or cult-like entities where people put aside their rationality (or heart) in order to show loyalty to an institution above any person (except maybe the leader/founder, etc.), or in relationships with people who are very broken, unheatlhy, and insecure individuals who don’t love themselves as they should. I have also seen where these problems can exist within families because the feelings are so deeply rooted and sometimes feuds go back for generations. What we need to realize is that we can break that cycle, NOW, and forgive, even family members whose offenses seem to be in our very blood cells. We can be free, NOW, today. Because our blood cells are our own, and we can chose to release the poison of hurt and pain and unforgiveness, even if it came from a dear loved one. We can set them free, and in turn, set ourselves free.
Denying someone the ability to reconcile, I believe, is an act of cruelty and an attempt to enslave those involved by holding them captive, or using shunning them as a form of revenge. When people act this way toward you, the only real solution is to wipe the dust from your feet, and realize that the problem is THEIRS, not yours, once you have forgiven them. In the end, people like this only hurt themselves. You move on a stronger, more healthy and holy person through your forgiveness, and for sticking with the truth rather than giving into someone else’s skewed version of reality or desire to control you or make you misreable or to dish out revenge. God knows all things, and He sees every detail of what happened to you. The only way through this and to be free is forgiveness… although forgiveness is a difficult process, and because we are real people, we do need to be heard and loved… These letters I have written were my way of healing, to be heard, to be validated in my suffering (even if just to myself), and to work through forgiveness. And it has really worked! I invite you to do the same, in charity, as a way to release (another word for forgive) the event or the person who caused you pain, even if they are unaware of it, and even if they do not wish to reconcile with you.
For anyone else that I have not written letters to, but who crop up in my dreams or memories now and again, I forgive you… that goes for childhood bullies, especially the ones when I was in eigth grade (that’s a brutal year anyway ;)); particular loved ones whom we care for deeply and with whom we desire a healthy relationship; anyone in the past who has ever hurt me or deceived me or caused me pain, even those I am consciously unaware of… I forgive you.
For anyone that I have hurt, willingly, unwillingly, consciously, or unconsciously, I ask for your forgiveness.
With all my heart, I am sorry.
In freedom and joy,