Day 51: A moment of forgiveness #100daychallenge

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Forgiveness has never come easily to me. I've always attributed that to my constantly living in the past, a product of my introspective nature that's led me into the dark one time too many. 

I carried resentment through my teens and college years and didn't realize until just recently how much it was getting in the way of my happiness. I'd become hardened, skeptical and overly protective of myself and my heart. Resentment is like having a cloud follow you around wherever you go, or a string pulling you back just when you've got a shot at something good. I could never shake it. 

My parents always taught me never to trust people too much. As a kid, I thought that was crazy talk. I believed everyone was worth knowing and trusting. Then I was burned and seemed to jump from one end of the spectrum to the other. Years later, I think I'm finally beginning to find a middle ground. 

Some of my closest friends at this stage of my life are incredibly forgiving. I don't always agree with their choices or understand how quickly they can move on, but I'm trying to learn from them. I'm learning about second chances and mistakes, about regrets and the value of genuine apologies. I'm learning that sometimes giving up on people may be good for you, but carrying bitterness against them will destroy you.

Last week, over brunch with a friend, I reminisced about memories past with someone I used to know so well, cared for so deeply and who had once hurt me. During that conversation, I felt this all-too-familiar cloud of resentment creeping up over my left shoulder. I shook it off.

There was this lightness in my chest when I said out loud that I hope he's doing well, as if I'd just unpacked decades of rotting baggage. It wasn't until then that I realized I'd finally forgiven him. Or how liberating the act of forgiveness can be.

The #100daychallenge writing series is my way of holding my right brain accountable for all the brain fog in hopes that I'll learn to creatively organize my thoughts and learn something(s) new about myself in the process. The challenge includes prompts from the San Francisco Writers' Grotto's642 Things to Write About. You can also follow my #100daychallenge here.

Unapologetically yours,