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 The first of which was in one, vicious fell swoop (to that one I’ve struggled to forgive and the other person has withdrawn from me anyway) and the with the second there’s been the constant let downs followed by apologies, followed by let downs, followed by apologies…and around and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?