Tuesday, March 15, 2011


17.                  Forgive someone… and then move on.

I have found this one really difficult to work on, but Lent seemed like the time.  I wrote a longer piece for my Apple yesterday and it can be found here:  http://www.wisdomem.com/  But I wanted to just include on the blog the letter I wrote to a person I need to forgive.  Hope it is helpful to someone.  I know writing it has been helpful to me.

Dear _______,
I hope this letter reaches you to find you well and that things in your life are positive. It has been a long time since we’ve talked to one another, but I wanted to reach out to you. I have some things I have been hanging on to for a long time, and I have reached a place in my path where it is important to express a few things. I hope you will be able to listen and hear part of my story.
Due to some circumstances in life, you were put in my path during a time when many big decisions were pressing on me. Some of this was exciting, and some of it very stressful. I sought out your assistance as a person of faith and influence, and it was appropriate that I should have done so. But instead of support or encouragement, rather than even constructive criticism – you sowed difficulty, distrust, and sorrow for me.
I have come to realize that you were probably never aware of how much damage you did to me during this time. I sincerely doubt you lost even one night of sleep, but I did. I sat awake many nights, anxiety and despair filling my head. You had the power to affect my life, and you did so; but you did not do so with kindness. At one point, I even told you I felt threatened by your words and actions. Your response was to say, “Hmm.” Do you remember that? Another time you told me you could find nothing positive to say about me.
Not only did you not help me on my path, I feel it is important to share now that you also road blocked my path. You put effort into causing me harm. For a long time, I felt powerless. I wanted someone or something to step in and realize the things you were doing that were deeply affecting my life. For a long time, and I would say far too long, I allowed that resentment to fester in me. I withdrew from my community, as an act of self-protection. I tried to fly under the radar. I tried to undo your punches. And in doing so, I gave you even more power. Even after you left my life physically, I have felt the impact of your rush through my life mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I am ashamed and embarrassed that I have spent so much energy unpacking those traumas.
I am reaching out now because I have spent my time grieving and need to let your power over me go. I know now that you were a frightened person, trying to hold on to your own world at the risk of damaging others. Before I offer you my forgiveness, I hope to offer you my apologies. I am so sorry. I am sorry that you were so uncomfortable in your own skin that your only answer was to act out in ways that were unhealthy. I wish I had been in a different place at that time, as maybe I could have seen things differently or been able to help you. Or, maybe I would have sought to find more light, instead of being sucked into your darkness. I truly am sorry. You are just a human being, and you make mistakes like everyone else.
I also want to offer my forgiveness – both to you, and to myself. First, I offer true forgiveness to you – hard earned on my end. I intend to let go of the pain you inflicted, because I truly believe you have no idea that you did it. I gave you that ability blessed with my permission. Therefore, I also forgive myself. I tried to find other solutions, but they did not come to fruition, and I felt stuck and suffocated, and I didn’t act at my best. I forgive myself for not finding more strength, and for not having clearer vision or perspective. I forgive myself for letting you lead the way I saw myself.
I’m growing, and I’m changing. It has taken a few years, but I have finally reached a point where I can’t grow any more without releasing you. So, whether you knew all along, or never had any idea – it was important to say out loud that I am letting you go now. I release you and I truly can wish you the best now. I have more perspective now, and I’ll keep praying for more. When I think of you now, I’ll pray for you too. I hope we can both find our way on to a better way. I wish you light.

I also saw this timely interview today with Rob Bell - loved it.  Though the timing was perfect. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Brandi, what a powerful and important letter, an example we can all use in our lives. Thank you.