They say the pen is mightier than the sword.
Sidebar: does anyone read "sword" and hear it as "S Words" from the SNL Jeopardy skit? No? Just me then?
Anyway, I have wielded a mighty pen over the last two years in the form of blogging. I have been able to air and share my pain, my joy, my success, my failures. Most of what I have written has been part of my healing process, of that there is no doubt. Communication is one of my top strengths and it is great for me to put my thoughts down into words. However, some was purposely useless and hurtful.
For those of you that used to read my private blog, you know that I quit writing there last summer when challenged by my therapist to quit "nursing and rehearsing" the breakup of my marriage.
This blog is not about my divorce--it is about my story, about my year of living healthfully. However, divorce is part of that story and there is no changing that. It has shaped and changed me like no other event in my life, mostly for the better.
However, an event transpired last week that I have been debating about how to write about, not sure I even wanted to write about it. Partly out of respect for the privacy of the other person but partly because I wasn't sure if it was real or not.
Last week, my ex and I had a great conversation (that he initiated) around apologies and forgiveness. Our communication since that day has been much more productive and polite. Something changed that night. I felt a huge burden slide off my shoulders. Just the door opening to the idea of an apology was a gigantic event in my world. I never thought I would get one.
Since September, I've been working on forgiving my ex on my own. It has been tough. I have struggled. I've inched forward and slid backwards. But I made a little progress. However, the talk last week pitched me forward many steps.
Is it all better? No. Is it perfect? No. Did I hear everything I needed to hear? No. But it was a start.
And it opened the door to a coparenting relationship that is much more in line with my character than the bitter and hate filled one we had. We won't be best buddies and hang out with each other. But we will be kind and friendly where the kids are involved. Can't ask for much more than that! We can stop seeing an attack in every text and getting defensive at every turn. In fact, tonight we sat and chatted about business for a while and it was quite enjoyable. It's good for the kids to see us having a normal conversation.
When I saw my therapist today, I said that we didn't need to talk about my ex and the divorce anymore. I just feel done with it. It is still part of my story and always will be, but I don't need to talk about the past anymore.
Which leads me to...forgiveness. Never in my life have I had to forgive such a gigantic thing. I can't say I'm fully there but I am so much closer than before. I will forgive not because I want to, but because I am commanded to by Jesus, who I am striving to follow in all areas of my life. If I am going to accept the forgiveness offered by Jesus, I must give forgiveness to others. Pretty simple yet so hard!
Since I have accepted the apologies I've gotten (and given some of my own), I am no longer allowed to bring it up, talk about it or dwell on it. I'm taking this to mean I'm no longer allowed to do those things in a deconstructive or useless way. There is no way I will never talk about my divorce again. It was a major life event and I can't just ignore it. But I don't need to bring up offenses that caused pain and hurt. By accepting this apology, I am saying that the door is closed on reliving the past. I can focus on the future.
The pain of the past has been my constant companion over these last two years. In a way, it feels strange to let it go. But I think that is the only healthy thing to do, no?
P. S. If you catch me nursing and rehearsing, call me on it! Keep me accountable!