A Gentle Push Toward Forgiveness

Today I choose to forgive all those who have hurt me, not for their sake but for mine. -Rokelle Lerner

I have been reflective about the concept of Forgiveness…

Shortly after my father passed away, toward the end of 2003, I dated a guy that was verbally abusive. I dated this guy for about 6 months until I finally couldn’t take it anymore. As I looked back on the relationship, I’m not even sure why I was in a relationship with this guy. I wasn’t really attracted to him, he had a superior attitude, very critical, overbearing, and then of course there was the verbal abuse. At the time, it just seemed like the thing to do. Everyone else was getting hooked up or entering into new relationships, and I didn’t want to be the odd woman out. I wanted what everyone else looked like they were getting. And he was the only guy that was paying me any attention at the time. Also, after grieving the loss of my father, I really craved a connection with a man.

We argued a lot. He called me names, including the “b” word and called me stupid on more than one occasion. But I think the thing that stuck with me the most was a statement he made to me one night when he calmly said,

I am a saint to be with you. You are lucky to have me. No one else would want to put up with you. No other man would want to deal with you.

I eventually strummed up enough self love to realize I did not want to be in a relationship with him anymore and I broke things off after 6 months of abuse. Of course I got a verbal lashing for that, but inherently, I’m not sure if I knew that the awful things he said to me were lies. Consequently, severe psychological damage had been done.

The idea that no man would ever want to “deal with me” often rang into my head many years later.

Through my emotional work, I have begun to erase the negative messages this man spoke into my life. It’s not easy. And I never thought about forgiveness…until recently.

I often wondered what happened to the guy. He had reached out to me about 7 years ago by sending me an e-mail telling me that he was married and how great life was for him now, and what was I up to? I didn’t respond. The mention of his name still made me (and my family) cringe. I also couldn’t bear the thought that this jerk had found love and I still had not.

But recently there was a night I couldn’t sleep and I got this divine prompting to Google him. It was a test to my strength, I thought. I can handle whatever I found, if he was somewhere living the life with his wife and 3 kids, making lots of money, etc., I could handle it. That was his path. I have my own path. I can deal with whatever I find…

Turns out he wasn’t living the life at all. Turns out, he died nearly 5 years ago.

Now I don’t wish death on anyone, but there was something cleansing for me knowing that this man who had held so much power over my emotional life was no longer living. It was even more interesting how I had let someone have such power over me who was not even alive!

I’m sure you were probably wondering why I referred to my Google search as a “divine prompting.” I think it goes with a prayer I recently prayed to God to remove any “blockages” that will stand in my way of receiving the love I deserve. I needed to know that this person who had emotionally blocked me from receiving love…specifically receiving love from myself through his negative words was no longer a factor…literally and figuratively. And now that I knew this, I could forgive him…and let those lies he told me go.

God gave me a gentle nudge toward forgiveness, not to benefit the guy (because he’s dead). But the benefit is all mine.


10 thoughts on “A Gentle Push Toward Forgiveness

  1. What a wonderful reflection on forgiveness! I can feel the Creator nudging me to forgive the last person who hurt me deeply– for my own sake. That’s probably why I was led to read your blog this morning. Thank you!

  2. Such a good post, Michele. I’m glad that you are no longer burdened by thoughts of this man and his heavy untruths. I hope I will be able to let the hurt in my life go, too. Keep smiling, ~ Lily

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