Last August I was shocked when a family member committed a gross breach of boundaries and further stunned when very few members of my family believed me or responded to my complaint. However it’s not surprising. It’s habitual – a lifelong pattern that somehow he’s gotten away with for, well, all his life. People don’t like to confront him and it’s no wonder. I’ve dubbed him, “Edward Scissor-tongue”. It’s another of his weapons and he wields it well. He won’t change. So I grind my teeth and try not to run scenarios and conversations in my mind.
Two months before that occurred, as if in premonition, I was watching a Jack Kornfield presentation on forgiveness and when it came to the practical application part, following his instructions, I closed my eyes and immediately my head swirled, either like a severe hangover or a toilet flushing, and I felt like I was going to vomit. I ran to the bathroom and sat on the floor with the cool porcelain of the bathtub on my cheek, waiting for the nausea to pass. It didn’t, but determined to, Damn It!, pass this course on forgiveness, I went back to the screen. My stomach continue to heave while I nibbled on a cracker. I finally succumbed and went to bed.
A couple weeks ago a friend of mine posted the following:
Sometimes the first step towards forgiveness is realizing the person is bat-shit-crazy.
I laughed, thinking of my deviant family member.
This week, trying to juggle too many things, single-parenting, full-time teaching, finances, getting us out of the house for school and work, life in general, I lost my cool, broke a wooden spoon on the cutting board, threw it in the wood stove, and yelled at my son who was crying and saying, “I’ve never seen you this bad.”
That afternoon, we got in the car and he promptly said, “I wish I was 50 years old then I could marry you.”
Could forgiveness really be that simple?