There is a quote from the movie Titanic “Waiting for an absolution that would never come.” Granted, I do watch many movies (no cable, just Netflix) but this quote has stuck with me since I first saw the movie. Absolution means a freeing of blame, guilt. It is also part of numerous church doctrines:
Throughout my life there have been many events that I have sought forgiveness for. Some where my fault, others were based on the situation where my heart broke for others. There have been times where things were either said or done that have hurt me deeply. For many years I sought and wished a person would apologize. It hurt me that the person would not apologize. My mind would argue with itself wondering how they did not feel guilty for the actions that have caused me pain.
As time has progressed, my thinking has changed. I can only control how I react to a situation, not how others react. It doesn’t matter if the person would apologize to me. What matters is that I can accept what happened, forgive them, and subsequently move on with my life. Holding onto the feelings of being “owed” something were only making me more upset. It was time to let them go, and be accepting of that fact.
That is where the hard part comes in. Waiting is difficult. Waiting to be okay with how a situation turned out can be difficult. Forgiving someone who might not deserve just makes waiting harder.
Basically, I have realized it is easier to let it be, then try to change. To be accepting of how things turn out. Every situation is different. Each individual might feel something different. However, knowing that I was eventually able to forgive, despite how long I waited to be a place to do that, has helped. My reactions are ultimately my own. I am able to control how I react. I cannot control others, but that is fine.
How about you? Do you let others influence how you react to a situation? If not, have you found it easier to forgive, let be, and move forward?