First, a question: What do I do when I encounter someone who appears to or has stated that their intentions to take care of only themselves?
I will admit that I have more than my share of those people in my life. Some I love, the rest…well…don’t last. For those I love, I wrestle with the idea of forgiveness because I often wonder, what’s to forgive? I knew, I know and continue to understand that it will not change. Am I hopeful that it will? Sure. Do I believe it will? No, but anyone is capable of anything so it’s not as far-fetched of an idea as some would have me believe. I am a consummate believer that things aren’t as bad as they seem, a way of living definitely not meant for most and a lifestyle that many find to be naive or silly. It’s not.
So, how should I deal with these selfish individuals? Why should I offer forgiveness when things have never changed. What is there to forgive or even more so, what isn’t there to forgive? Well, let’s start at the center of the issue. Myself. There are plenty of times throughout our lives, on a daily basis really, that I find I must forgive Me. Love, caring, affection and all of the wondrous acts of kindness get their fuel from the part of myself that also stores humility and peace. Without one, the others cannot survive. How can I expect others to be generous with their Me when I cannot, it’s just not right. To begin with myself, I must forfeit my desire for recognition knowing that less than half the time I will not get it for it is not my honest intention. It does not mean that I do not appreciate or even crave it at times, I’m human, but living with the expectation of recognition at all times is not realistic. When I think about it, it’s usually one of the last cards in the deck.
I must find peace within before I can find outer peace.
Now that I’ve found inner peace I can begin to process the how’s and why’s of said person. Who are they to me? Who are they to Me? The ones who do not last are relatively self explanatory, but if you’re not sure who that is then they are always the person who attempts to keep distance because they do no want complication in their life. If there’s anything that I’ve learned it’s that complications will always be there and if you plan on being social, then getting to know others is the least of my worries. In actuality, getting to know someone better will only aid in avoiding complications in the future. Pay attention to the little things, they are the things that tell the story. For you, it may feel necessary to forgive a person but look closer at the definition of Forgive from Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:
1: a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgivean insult>
2: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon<forgive one’s enemies>
To give up resentment of. With that I ask, do I resent this person? One argument is that I do not resent the person, only the action. The truth is that if you only resented the action then you wouldn’t be upset with the person. Am I saying that you resent the person? Yes, but don’t take misconstrue resentment with hatred or strong disliking…they aren’t the same. I resent the act but I continue to love the person and I do so because in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing more than a lesson wrapped in ugly paper. On a larger scale, you forgive the fact that all life ends but never do you hold it against anyone, well maybe except your doctor (I kid). In no way am I advertising ignorance or disillusion, only that when looking at the situation maybe we should consider how medial this is bound to become.
I would like to clarify, in case it wasn’t deduced, that if the actions from another are damaging in a large way then these rules do not apply. I am a firm believer that if the offense is deemed serious enough, then screw em’, regardless of history. If it’s where I am the offender for whatever reason, then using the same logic path, I am completely understanding for one very simple reason – I am being treated as I have treated others.
I am no better or worse than anyone when sitting at the same table. I am no smarter for knowledge is universal and I’m certain others know more about other things than I. I must not hold others accountable when I have the ability to make the appropriate changes. I hardly ever need to forgive, most mistakes are like passing gas in public, very embarrassing and if I could, I’d scoot away before anyone notices. I have always been happier knowing that I never required forgiveness, it means I was hard enough on myself. If I do pass gas in public, it will be hilarious if it’s in a quiet place. My apologies for deviating.
When it comes to someone being selfish, forgiveness is hardly necessary. Either I’ve known that it was an inevitability or it caught me by surprise and after some time I realize that the upsetting part was the latter. There are times that no matter what, I cannot bring it upon myself to let go of an individual based on their selfishness but it is my choice and am ultimately happy with my decision because I did not quit. I am not you, you know that, but as I’ve said before in my posts, know that you are not alone in the troubles faced. They are daily and many, yet what ultimately allows for us to come together is relation. It’s called a relationship because it’s relation that takes you all over a map that always has a new location to discover. Explore.