Relationships cannot be healthy without both parties embracing some loss of self. This always involves acute pain. And, we’re over tuned to our own loss of independence; our partners, not so much. This is why we’re so horrible at keeping score in our close relationships. I feel every slight like I’ve been cut to the bone and can’t understand why my loved ones make such a big deal out of a whole bunch of nothing – at least that’s the way I see it. How ’bout you?
Relationships, if they are to thrive and stand the test of time will need to be led by someone who has developed a forgiving heart. The problem worsens, however. “Forgiveness,” as C.S. Lewis said, “is a good idea until there is someone to forgive.” In other words, to lead with forgiveness requires the leader to absorb another loss. All forgiveness involves the forgiver bearing the suffering instead of seeking justice. This is why revenge and getting even feel so much better than letting your lover off the hook. Real forgiveness puts the forgiver on the hook which hurts like hell – at least for awhile.
Peace is possible. The problem is it’s found on the “other side” of this kinda acute pain. Peace is possible when someone leads with forgiveness, STOPS keeping score, ignores their own justice thread, and bears anothers burden because they want to. Peace isn’t found by seeking comfort and contentment. Peace comes when you and I go through hell. The calm is found on the other side.
This is also why, I believe, Jesus took our place on the cross and why it must of hurt like hell knowing He did nothing to deserve such a heavy burden. And, this is why we can be assured that when we attempt to do likewise, He won’t allow us to go it alone and He won’t load us up with more than we can take. And, this is why there is peace on the other side.
Letting your lover off the hook cannot be done on your own for long. Letting ’em off the hook, however, can give you more than getting even. Letting your teammate, brother, sister, friend, boss, father, daughter, or any other, cannot be done for long when you’re relying on your own strength to absorb the loss. Letting ’em off the hook can set you free. So, friend, I suggest you ask for some help.
God knows, forgiveness can be Freakin’ magic. God, help me embrace this. God, help me…