Humans are imperfect. That’s the one thing I know for sure. We are all in constant need of forgiveness and extensions of grace.
In my lifetime I have loved folk who did me wrong. People tend to mistreat and disappoint people when they have unhealed mistreatment and disappointment. I understand that hurt people hurt people. And then, some folks are just assholes. The way my forgiveness is set up, I can easily forgive. I can accept whatever took place and acknowledge that it was outcome based on who we both were in that moment in time. Yet, my forgiveness does not automatically extend my fellowship with you. It depends on the circumstance. It doesn’t depend so much on the level of disappointment, but your level of mistreatment.
Disappointment is my reaction. It is rooted in how I am left feeling based on an experience that didn’t go as I thought it would based on the intentions expressed. It is often in the complaints that my friends and family hear after some stupid shit has happened, be it personal or professional. Mistreatment is the action that set all of the fuckery into motion, whether intentional or not. But that is where the post forgiveness fellowship factors in. If whatever disappointment you brought on was intentional or not… was it the result of some healing you still need to do, some unknowns in your life you have yet to figure out, or were you simply trying to hurt me because you are hurt and wanted someone to share in your misery? The latter is a pill I cannot swallow. Meanwhile your friends and family usually don’t care… they are all “WHO WANT WHAT?!?!?”
I have been that friend, ready to knuck at the first sign of the buck, but in reality, that usually doesn’t help my friend. Instead, I put them in a position where they may feel the need to defend someone from my wrath. But the disappointment doesn’t belong to me, and while I don’t have to like anyone who disappoints my friend, the truth is that my friend likely disappoints others, maybe even this person I’m ready to charge at like a raging bull. I can still support my friend and calm my crazy.
I mean be honest, how many times have you written off all men or women in your life in one minute and in the next…
We all owe it to others to give them the space to make the choices they feel are best for them. Especially where other people are concerned. We don’t have to like it. But they shouldn’t necessarily have to face disappointment and hurt feelings alone, for fear that if they share with you, they will be forced into a position. I can love you and still give you space to make your own decisions. We have ALL forgiven and accepted someone back into our life. Our reasons are our own. We should give others the same level of consideration.
The truth is this, how and to whom I extend grace is a function of will, both their and my determination to fix whatever ails us. In my world, some people deserve a second, hell maybe a third chance, and others, well, they don’t. If you set out to hurt me with your words and actions, you can kick rocks… boulders, mountains. But as a proponent of healing, if your foolishness stemmed from some unhealed place that you can acknowledge, I am much more likely to extend you not only my forgiveness but my continued fellowship.
Yet, it is incumbent in me to understand that when I share that disappointment, friends and family are hearing only one side of a two sided story, that will aid them in forming impressions about someone. Those impressions will form the basis for how they counsel you during your moments of uncertainty with an individual… be it a significant other, a friend, a co-worker, whomever. So when you decide to forgive and fellowship, they will already have made up their minds about what you should do. It’s a catch-22.
But my take… only the two people involved know the true nature of their experience. The rest of us are onlookers, seeing what they expose to us. The individuals in that relationship, need to protect its sanctity by creating boundaries between what happens between them and what they share with others. The outside parties, should be friends and confidantes but with the vested knowledge that when we do share pieces and parts of our relationship, we do it not for ultimate approval but to gain some understanding, support, and generally just as a safe space for discussion.
I mean really, how many times did Will & Grace break up as best buddies before they were all…