Oh there are no words for how much I love Sex and the City. I watch it and I feel like I'm home again. Like I'm visiting my best girlfriends. The seasons just got better as they went along and as these characters developed, in my opinion. It became a little less crass and a lot more beautiful. I have many favorite episodes, but this is one of my favorite scenes of all-time. She is trying to get Mr. Big out of her system and has started a new life with a new man that none of her friends really love and don't see what the attraction is. I don't think she really knew what it was either. He wasn't Big and he wasn't horrible, so she could live with it and make do. Yep, done that. When things evolved and she saw that he really wasn't all that great, and that he was selfish and could be rude and always down-played her feelings and her life, she finally says enough and leaves. Yep, done that too. She ends it with one of my all-time favorite monologues of hers and each time I watch it, I feel like I'm the one doing the speaking. Life imitates art, and vice-versa. (The part I love begins at 1:44).
Forgiveness. What a word. What a concept. It's funny, because it's something that comes so easily to me (often times, way TOO easily), and yet it's also something that's elusive and that I can't wrap my mind around sometimes. It's a place I just can't bring myself to. Usually, I'm very quick to forgive. I don't see myself as a doormat, but I see myself as a person who is willing to stretch her boundaries a little bit in order to accommodate the humanness of the people in my life. The boundaries don't break, but I will allow them to stretch at times. If someone says they're sorry? It's all good. Forgive and forget. With that being said, there are a few people in my life that I don't even know how to approach the subject of forgiveness.
Oh, I know all the proper lingo... forgiveness is for you, not them... not forgiving is like ingesting poison and hoping the other person will die... yada yada yada. Yeah, I know, I get it. But getting that to sink down from your brain into your inner man is the problem. When you experienced someone traumatizing your life and home for years on end and would watch them put on the "church face" when in public, acting like the great, easy-going guy, knowing what they were really like behind closed doors. Hearing your kids beg you to leave him, and wanting to, but not knowing quite how to do it. He's promised to hurt you or your family if you ever left. He has control of the money. How do you leave? Where do you go that he won't find you? Then after years and years of planning your escape, going to college and enduring beatings because of it... he beat me when he heard I signed up for classes, my homework and books would come up "missing" all the time, things would go wrong with the car conveniently on days I needed to be at school or in clinicals so that I wouldn't be able to go, he literally got in the face of any study partner I had and threatened to hurt them so that they would be afraid to come back or study with me... I finally graduated and started working and earning enough money of my own so that I would be able to leave, only to find out that he had been raping my daughter for the past two years....
How do you forgive that?
That's the eternal question, isn't it? Even more so, how do I forgive myself? I allowed him into our lives. I was the one who couldn't find a way to leave early enough to prevent all the damage. I've actually come a long way towards forgiving myself. God finally got it through to my heart that I have to look at motive. Did I ever intend for my children to be hurt? Of course not. Did I ever think that even though he hurt me, that he would hurt my children? Of course not. I stayed because I didn't know how to get my kids out of there safely. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. I never acted out of negligence or because I didn't care what was going on or about their safety. Quite the contrary, I was trying my best to protect them in the best way I knew how.
Him? Yeah, I'm still stuck on how to forgive him. Even though on one hand I know this isn't the case, I feel like forgiving him is letting him off the hook. I've been praying for quite a while about it. I'm willing to forgive in order to free myself, I just have to know how, and that's God's job. None of the other things about forgiveness have ever worked to get me to the place where I'm able to, so I started praying for God to send a new way. Something I haven't heard before that will be able to sink in and speak to my heart. So He sent me this... while watching the Oprah show a few weeks ago, she said:
"Forgiveness is giving up the hope
that the past could have been any different."
That stuck with me. It began to sink in in a way that nothing else ever had. The past is exactly as it needed to be. It's exactly what brought me to where I am now. Even if something could have been done differently, it wasn't, and it can't be changed. I have to release it and stop struggling to untangle all of the knots and just accept that it is what it is. It's not my job to punish or debt collect, it's God's. That evil man has a lot of karma to work out and that will happen whether I'm investing bad energy into hating him or not. I have to just let it go and give up the hope that the past could have been any different.