Father once again spoke of forgiveness at Mass this morning. His theme for 2011 and mine seem to be one in the same. He spoke of incidences where to most of us forgiveness would not be possible...and yet somewhere deep inside these individuals....forgiveness was found. Amazing. Well I have been asking for the grace to deep down inside forgive. Holding grudges is just too much work and makes me feel icky! As I said in another blog piece....I hold only a few grudges, but they are definitely there and they take a toll. I have been talking to God extra fervently hoping He would give me the tools I need to simply let go and move on. Apparently even with His busy schedule...He listened.
I talked of a friend whom I felt turned on me and not only me but my children. It really did hurt me, but I am not sure if it hurt me more because of the acts themselves.....or because "I" had put her on a pedestal and like anyone put on a pedestal.....she fell off(i.e.....humans don't belong on pedestals!) At any rate, my "grudge" has probably hurt me far more than it hurt her....as I have let it effect people I chose to be around and events that I refused to attend....simply because I didn't want to run into her. I have been thinking about all of this for awhile and it has really been gnawing at me. To top it off....I knew there were things going on in her life at the time these events occurred and I should have handled it all better myself. I was not kind to her and my words were very harsh and in hind sight.....very unnecessary. My Christianity in this situation was all but gone. In fact....one little grudge has really caused a lot of unnecessary hard feelings, lost friendships, lost social relationships, and it has not set a very good example for my kids.
I knew when this year started that I wanted to forgive this situation. I wanted to not look at her and feel angry. I wanted to see her once again as the person I knew she was....not the person I had let my mind turn her into. So I began (as I said)....talking to the Man Upstairs. I first had an inkling He was listening when Father's sermons more and more started centering around forgiveness. There were times when I was pretty sure his sermon had been written for and directed entirely at me (apparently I feel that everything is all about me....even at church).
Well yesterday was proof that prayers are not in vain and even the worst grudge can be turned into forgiveness. You may remember that in the midst of preparing to clean my closet that I suddenly had to run to Dollar General to purchase some organizing tools. Well the truth is......I had just gotten home from running errands and going to the store and never once in all that time did it ever occur to me to go ahead and pick up stuff to work on the closet with. Suddenly though....as I was standing in my room, the urge to go to DG was over powering. You laugh...but I don't usually go to DG. I told Zachary I was going and he said..."didn't we just get back from the store?" It made no sense to me either....but off I went.
As I walked in the store....there was everything I needed. It was as if it was just sitting there waiting for me. I grabbed it and as I started to turn the corner....there she was. We walked smack dab into each other. Both of us looked embarrassed and then as if taken out of our control.....we both started apologizing at the same time. All I could think was how stupid and petty I had been and how much I wanted my friend back. She asked my forgiveness and I realized at that moment I had forgiven her a long time ago. What I had been holding onto was my anger at her NOT being perfect and the situation that I had blown out of proportion. I don't think I have ever been more ashamed in my life. After hugs, some tears and a vow to start fresh......I was at peace for the first time in a long time. I had no doubt that this was an intervention for two stubborn women who both wanted the same thing....but neither knew how to achieve it. This was most definitely a God thing.
So apparently I am still not off the hook. Father's sermon was once again about forgiveness and I and God both know that there is still unfinished family business. I doubt this will end with hugs and tears, but maybe at some point if I continue to work on it (me) there will be some kind of peace come from all of it. I just know after yesterday.....I will NOT give up trying.
Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been close with for the longest.
Berty has been there with and for me through every relationship, heartbreak, marriage, birth, death, joy and sorrow. We have supported each other and fought with each other and somehow....still remained friends. She is the one who has never been afraid to tell me how it really is....as opposed to how I wanted it to be. Of all people in the world...she knows how difficult I can be, how stubborn, opinionated and down right bitchy I can be....and still she sticks around. I must have some redeeming quality or she would have been long gone by now.
Bottom line is.....I am very blessed to have made such a wonderful friend as Berty....and to still be able to call her friend after all these years is truly an honor. I think I will end this with a poem I wrote about her.....some thirty years ago!
I once had a friend
always be found...