Ask For Forgiveness/ Forgive Someone.

Friends. 2019

There are times we hurt others. Whether purposefully or inadvertently, it makes little difference. We have still damaged another through our own actions, and so we seek to make that right. It hurts us to know we have hurt another; we ask forgiveness and seek restoration in the hope to receive grace from those we have wronged.

We hope for the best outcome. We hope for what we perceive as fair.

Sometimes though, we don’t receive forgiveness, no matter how sorry we are. No matter how much we try and make it right. And it’s hard to accept, it’s hard to let go of the injustice we feel at not being granted the forgiveness we had so hoped for.

But this is what we need to remember.

Their forgiveness isn’t your responsibility.

Your responsibility is this: To admit your mistakes. To own your actions. To seek forgiveness. To make right the things you can. To let go of the things you can’t. To learn, to grow, to recognize behaviors in you that have hurt others and change them. To mindfully choose to be a better person, and take necessary action required for that to happen.

But their forgiveness isn’t your responsibility.We don’t get to control the way others think of us or what they choose to believe about us. We can stand before them with our heart in our hands and ask them to see it – to see us ­– for who we are and not for what we’ve done. But we can’t make someone forgive us who is determined to only believe the worst of us. Who is determined to hold tight to their judgment, their bitterness, their animosity.

This is a hard lesson for people like us to learn.People like us, who believe in forgiveness. Who give second chances. Who understand the human condition, the way we fail and fall. Who choose to believe people are good, and that until we have walked a mile in their shoes, we will never fully understand the choices they have made. Nor the mistakes they have made, and why they have made them.

We are people who believe mercy triumphs over judgment, and we choose to love others with grace and with second chances, understanding the frailty of our own humanity. And it can be hard to accept there are people who don’t live like this, who don’t love like this.

But what matters is these people aren’t our judges, nor are they our jury. We don’t belong in their courtroom.

What they choose to believe about us is their choice, and who we are isn’t dictated by who they try and make us believe we are. When we have taken responsibility for our actions, when we have owned our wrongs and sought to make them right, when we have asked forgiveness and reached for reconciliation, then we have done all we need to do. We are no longer bound by their lack of forgiveness but can walk away knowing we are worthy of our own grace, even when they are unwilling to extend theirs.

What others choose to believe of us is not the truth. It is only their opinion. Only their judgment. Only the evidence of their unenlightened heart.

Their forgiveness isn’t your responsibility.We don’t always get the outcome we hope for. But when we have done all we can do, it’s no longer our burden to carry. Just because someone isn’t willing to forgive us, doesn’t make us unforgivable. Unshackled from the chains of their lack of forgiveness, we can now run free under skies of grace and redemption.

When we leave that all behind and all has been forgiven, you may gain that person back in your life.

When you are a child, you are told that heroes wear capes, possess superpowers, climb on walls, and are the ultimate protection. As you get older, you slowly come to the harsh realization that such characters will be absent when they’re needed. Entering adulthood we are taught to trust nobody but ourselves, a prescription written to cure the remaining accessibility to our hearts.

Yet, heroes surround us. They are the ones you call at 3am, when you feel broken, alone, and defeated. They are those who make sure you eat when you have failed to have a bite in days. The ones that stay up talking with you until the sun rises and the moon sets, while embracing the pieces you love the least.

When you are in their presence, you don’t feel a need to hide any aspect of who you are. They love the way your front tooth sticks out, and could care less about the size of bank account, or the model of your car. When work sucks, your significant other left you, you know you could always count on them to save you.

They urge you to do your best, even when they can see the gauntness of your thread. They understand every hidden cause of your joy, laughter, and make sure you your shattered pieces don’t get left untouched. They could be the ones you come home to, some you may have not seen in years, but every time you have an interaction your insecurities suddenly disappear.

Friendships are more than hanging out at bars, hosting friends-giving, and winning every beer pong tournament together. It’s knowing the ugliest parts of someone, and still choosing to welcome completely. Its understanding and respecting each other’s past, and making a unstated promise to being a part of each other’s better future. It is more than defending them from others, it sometimes entails saving them from themselves.

They are the family we never had, but the family that we now hold forever. The vow which will never be defined by signatures on paper. There are 7.5 billion people in the world and somehow your paths crossed with the right amount of precision so you could choose each other. Connections like this don’t just happen, if you think about how many steps in the right direction it took for it to transpire.

Friendships are intentional, by something that far exceeds a cry for explanation. They’re the completing pieces to your puzzle, they are proof that miracles are true; they are your real first loves. Friends are the soul mates created just for you. There is really no true way of fighting it, that this is true love working at its finest.

-Serina Krawczyk