Hanging out with old people makes you think and it changes the way you think. My sister and I talk about it all the time. She told me today that she feels like she can be more generous with someone who has been a hard person to get along with after dealing with our parents this year. I get that!
I started thinking about it. How hurt we can be by someone that we really want to have a good relationship with and it just feels so hopeless. Would we say we're all right with having a bad relationship with someone especially when we know we're going to have to deal with them year after year, maybe day after day, maybe hour after hour. Years of patterned behavior and conditioned responses. We aren't really trying to build a relationship anymore, we are just trying not to get hurt anymore. Don't we long for relationships full of love and respect, admiration, and joy?
I thought...people don't deserve forgiveness! But I think people deserve to have good relationships, they deserve it so much that they have to forgive in order to get past the bitterness they've been holding onto. I know I deserve that. I deserve to spend my time enjoying the relationships I'm involved in.
I can't control the other half of the relationship, but I sure can control my half. I may get hurt and it may not ever improve in the way I would like, but I know for a fact that if I don't do my part, forgive, and show grace and loving kindness, it will certainly NOT get better and I'll be unhappy with my own self. There is no miracle where I hold out for someone else to miraculously change into the person I want them to be and then I can be nice. It hasn't ever worked that way for me.
Hopefully I can take my own advice and put it into practice. I'm pretty sure the people I have to deal with on a semi-regular basis will give me lots of opportunities to do just that.