Forgiveness and Letting Go


Recently, I read a blog post by Kerri Sackville about people who surprise her, in both good ways and bad.  This got me thinking about when people suprise me, or more accurately let me down.

I’ve always thought of myself of someone who doesn’t give a second chance.  You have my trust from the beginning but if you let me down, we’re done.  I always thought this made a strong, smart woman.  But in fact, it’s both arrogant and immature.  It puts my high expectations on other people and quite frankly, it makes me sound like an arsehole.  I let people down all the time, unintentionally and without malice.  If they draw my attention to it, or when I realise what I’ve done I take time to make amends.  Or take stock of the reasons why I thought it was okay to do this.  I would hope that the people closest to me would give me another chance.  And I realised that this is something I do actually do.  I give people another chance.

In this past year I’ve had a few people who have let me down.  More than once.  And I’ve taken the apologies, the reactions of surprise when I’ve mentioned I was hurt by the actions of someone else and I’ve thought that life is too short to hold grudges.  But how many times do you go back for more?

Recently I found out that I was left off the guest list of a gathering which I had taken for granted I’d be invited to.  I found out via social media.  I was really hurt.  I thought about why I’d been left out and if I am completely honest with myself, we haven’t been close friends for a while now and even though this person will always be welcome in my home, I’ve decided it’s time to let the friendship go.  Does this mean I don’t forgive her or that I do?  My letting go is not a “so there” declaration but I’ve noticed that my past few interactions with this friend have left me feeling sad and rejected and I think for all concerned, letting go is the smartest thing to do.

I feel like I am fairly forgiving.  As well as the above there have been a couple of other instances where I’ve been let down.  The first of which was in one, vicious fell swoop (to that one I’ve struggled to forgive and the other person has withdrawn from me anyway) and the with the second there’s been the constant let downs followed by apologies, followed by let downs, followed by apologies…and around and around it goes.

With all of these things I’ve encountered in the past year or so, I’ve been prepared to keep the person in my life.  I’ve decided that it’s better to move on, let go, embrace and enjoy the best of that person and to maybe be a bit more giving myself.  Unfortunately, the enjoyment has gone out of all of the contact with these friends and I’ve come to the decision to let them drift out of my life.

So the question is, when is it forgiveness, and is there a limit on how many times you forgive?  At what point do you go from being a person who can let go to being a doormat?


So You Think You Can Dance?


Tonight I tried Zumba for the first time.  I was not very good.  The answer to the question “so you think you can dance” was a resounding no.  But I don’t care one bit.  In an effort to reconnect with my 14 year old daughter, who has been going through a “mum sucks” phase, I signed us both up for the local Zumba class.  She is quite the mover when it comes to dancing.. me, not so much.  But I’ve always fancied myself a hot blooded Latin type (even though I’m not Latin) and I thought this would be just the thing.

Our first little hurdle was turning up at the wrong church hall.  There was a big sign saying “SHHH! YOGA IN SESSION” but no hint of thumping music.  I saw a woman emerge from the building in exercise type gear and I asked her.  She said “oh, the Active Expecting class is just on the left”.  My 11 year old piped up “that’s a pregnancy class, you have to be pregnant to go there” and the woman pretended she hadn’t taken in my post holiday belly and made the assumption I was about 6 months along.  I doubt she missed the slightly crestfallen look on my face.  On the bright side, I guess some people think I’m still young enough to be having babies.  Was a bit of a mood killer though.

Anyway, we realised our error, jumped in the car and headed to the other church hall, where things were in full swing.  My daughter, full of teenage angst was worried about the number of “skinny girls” who might be in attendance, adding to her feelings of inadequacy.  For the one millionth time I assured her she looked just fine and when we entered the class there were about 12 women of all shapes and sizes.  Hurrah!  All of them were dressed in regular exercise gear, except the instructor of course, and the instructor’s mum who welcomed us in and then jumped right back into routine in her rather funky “zumba” pants.

I had expected an innate talent to spring forth as I gyrated and stomped however, it seems that even working out my left from my right was going to be a challenge.  But it didn’t matter.  Apart from the instructor there was only one woman who had the routines down pat.  Otherwise the women there varied in the ages, sizes and ability.  Perfect.

My daughter took to it as quickly as I knew she would and we laughed and danced and jumped together.  There were some very funny moments involving some hip wiggling, shoulder shimmying and what can only be described as pelvic thrusting.  But we embraced it all with enthusiasm and it was well worth it.

A couple of times when I wasn’t furiously concentrating on our young and athletic  instructor I caught sight of myself in the mirror and I almost let myself succumb to the negativity I felt when I could see fully the result of turning to food for comfort.  But then I shook it off.  It’s awful the ways we put ourselves down and I wanted to be a role model for my daughter.  So I didn’t comment on the daggy t-shirt I wore or how many times I got the steps wrong or how enormous I felt.  I simply laughed with her, shared her water bottle and vowed to the instructor that yes, we would definitely be back next week!