Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Forgiveness

by Kami Cornwall

When I first began to write, it was at the suggestion of a long-time friend of mine, Wendy. She knew I had a tumultuous life and suggested that when my children are old enough, they should know how those things impacted me and what I had been through. One of the hardest things for me to do was write about certain events honestly without creating a "pity party." I don't have any desire for my readers to feel sorry for me because I certainly don't feel sorry for myself. So I went about changing what I wrote almost to the point of erasing certain events entirely.

Writer's Conference (Northwest Retreat) was helpful for me last year in that I received some great insight. I decided to go back and write honestly, and request that if my family members ever read it (my mother in particular) that they brace themselves for some bad feelings. I want them to understand that I'm over it. I'm okay. I have been okay for a long time and I think it's because I have learned one thing early on about forgiveness.

One of Oprah's "Aha" moments came from a guest she had, whose definition of forgiveness is this: "Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different."

When I was a child and someone said they were sorry, I would forgive them by saying, "That's okay," and we were good. Here is what I know: Sometimes it's not okay. Sometimes it will never be okay. But in order to let go of the anger, rage, hurt that you feel inside, you have to be able to move past an event - to give up the hope that it could change or be any different -so that your past does not hold you hostage.

I know this is deeper than I normally am in the blog-o-sphere but I have found myself attempting to write on this subject a few times and then chickening out. It seems like something that needs to be said or thought of more often, so I will leave you with my deep thoughts on forgiveness.

4 comments:

  1. I appreciate how you, or the person on Oprah, worded the forgiveness. I came to the conclusion a few years ago that you just leave the past alone and move forward. But that is much better and adds a dimension. I think this helps whether you are forgiving yourself, others or dealing with others forgiving or not forgiving you.

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  2. Thanks Kami. You gave me pause for thought. Good lessons to be learned here.

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  3. Hi Kami! I wanted to return the favor and visit you, and I'm so glad I did. I absolutely agree. Some things are never okay, and pretending like they didn't happen isn't usually helpful.

    I am writing my autobiography also, and in doing so, there are so many layers of questions I ask myself about how to proceed. I've wondered too, how I would write about the exact same events of my childhood, for example, if I was in my 20's. What kinds of healing has taken place since then that would allow me to write differently now? I might write with a greater vulnerability than before, because I've found that place within myself that says, "I am going to be okay no matter what."

    I think healing and forgiveness does come in layers, don't you? And with a lot of childhood pain, there is an eventual grieving of that which so desired, and perhaps even deserved to have but never really did.

    Thanks for sharing a little pocket of your soul here.

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  4. Love this, Kami. Thanks so much. I am going to come back to it often, I think, since I've been working on forgiveness for a couple of years.

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