This is something that I typed today:
“If you did something that hurt someone, and you apologized but they won't forgive you, have cut off communication with you and don't want anything to do with you anymore, would you give them more time to forgive you? Or would you just say "Ok, you won't forgive me now or ever, so we are done"? I am giving this person priority because she is family, but if she doesn't love me anymore and doesn't want me in her life anymore, I have to figure out how to respond to that. Because I don't know what else to do. I have really been struggling with this for a while. It bothers me. I know I need to figure this out so that I can focus my energy on more positive things.”
I showed it to two people, seeking advice on what I should do. Both people suggested I give her more time.
To be honest, I was ready to walk away. But that didn’t feel like the right thing to do. A part of me felt that that would be a mistake.
And, you know, I probably wouldn’t have been able to walk away from her, anyway. To write her out of my life as I have with other people. Because I love her and she means a lot to me. Even if she no longer loves me anymore, I still love her. We have a history and I cherish those memories.
And this is why I sought advice on what to do now. Because the truth is, after four months of no answer, I didn’t know what to do now. How to respond to something like this.
I am grateful to the people in my life who have forgiven me for some thing or another. As I have forgiven them for some thing or another. I value my relationship with them too much to NOT forgive and throw away everything that we have been through and shared.
But I understand that not everybody forgives. And I also understand that you really can’t put an expiration date on forgiveness. You can’t say “You must forgive me by April 25, 2016 or else we are finished.” No. Just like with the grieving period, you CANNOT put an expiration date on forgiveness.
I have learned that we must give people time to forgive. We must allow someone the chance to have to have their own time to work through their feelings, do some soul-searching, and figure out the best route for them to take.
I have said before that I am willing to forgive people and give them another chance. This can only go so far, yes, but I see now that I must also allow a person TIME for forgiveness. That is all that they need. Just time.
So I will just go about my business. I’ll keep my distance, as that is what the person wants right now, but if she ever comes back into my life saying she will forgive me and want to communicate again, then I will grant as much. I will allow her back in my life, rather than keeping her out of it. I know now that I must give her some time to forgive and just hope that one day we will fix this rift between us and just talk to each other again. I have extended my peace offering and asked for her forgiveness. The ball is in her court now.