Ever have something that seems to control your mind and no matter how much you try to let go of it, it is always there taunting you?
I think this is particularly true if you have been deeply hurt and are trying to get past it and forgive. Every new prick opens the deepness of the wound and it feels as if you are starting all over again.
You try not to look, or listen to things that will upset you and start the ball rolling again. You try to ignore things or avoid things, but it is as if Satan knows your struggles and uses it all the more to tempt you in your weakness.
It can be exhausting, especially if it is not a onetime thing, but something that comes up over and over again that you are unable to ignore or distance yourself from.
You may wonder how people can be so blind to a hurt you have expressed. It is particularly hard if it is someone you really love. Do they not understand? Even worse do they not care? It can be very painful to admit that yes, maybe they really do not care and as much as you do not want to believe that all roads seem to point to that truth.
Choosing to continue to forgive in spite of that can be exhausting, especially when new things are coming up all the time.
It can seem as if an alien has taken over your mind, obsessing with the “whys” of it all and leaving us in no peace. There is that one part of you that just does not want to accept the reality of what is, so no matter how much you try, your brain keeps going over things and trying to figure them out when in reality the answer may have been in front of you the entire time and you just did not want to believe it.
Or how about when you make a promise not to engage in conversation with others even if something is bothering you and yet your find yourself talking about it, once again trying to figure it all out!
It seems no matter how much prayer, etc, you just cannot turn it off, and so you pray to be deaf, dumb and blind to the situation so you can move on. You truly want to forgive. Yet, the one person you cannot get away from is yourself, so in spite o f the fact that you may distance yourself etc, all the turmoil can continue because the pace needs to come from within.
St John of the Cross wrote about a necessary condition to be fulfilled in our journey towards union with God. :When thy mind dwells upon anything, thou art ceasing to cast thyself upon the All. For, in order to pass from the all to the All, thou hast to deny thyself wholly in all.(God alone Suffices pg. 128)
A tall order. One humanly impossible without discipline and grace. That is why we are blessed in our faith to have the beautiful sacrament of reconciliation.
I have learned not to be too hard on myself in these times. God knows and understands our hurts and sees the truth even when we don’t. I remind myself that what is important is that I keep trying to keep my eyes on Him and I keep deciding to forgive even when new hurts come that reopen the original deep wound I may have experienced.
In the end it is not about me and the other, both of whom are human and flawed. It is about me and God. A God who has shown me tremendous mercy and desires me to show that same mercy to others. A God who chooses to forgive me again and again when I sin. A God who loved and forgave from the cross.
May our prayer be “Lord, that I may see.” See Your ways, see Your grace, see Your mercy, love and forgiveness, so that others may see those things in me.