Facing Faults and Fears Part 3 ~ The Grudge?

Unforgiveness or Moving On?

There are times when I struggle with the word forgiveness.  Not so much as whether I have the ability to forgive someone in terms of pardoning a sin.  Lord knows we all have them and each of us take our turns needing grace from someone.  What I question is the true definition of forgiveness and whether restoration has to be a part of the process for forgiveness to be legit or complete.   As I get older, I question my old way of thinking and tend to think not.

As an example there was a friend of mine who I have been cool with for almost 20 years.  We’ve shared many stories of joy and pain and have been there for one another throughout both good and difficult times.  Well I going through something last year and I shared it with this person.  My car had some major engine damage and I was scrambling to come up with the several thousand dollars to have it fixed.  I needed the car for transportation for working both my 9-5 as well as my officiating jobs that I already had lined up.

Speaking with him about the situation, he said, “I am so sorry to hear about your car.”  I said that I appreciated it and just to let it be known I am taking donations.  He thought I was joking but I clarified my desperation. 

Mind you… I have NEVER asked this person for a dime.  Neither had I ever asked my mother since I left her home at the age of 14.  But I did this time.  This person asked me what my car payment was (monthly).  I gave the amount and he said they would help me out with one month’s payment.  “Great, !”  I said as I voiced my appreciation. 

He gave me a date and I said Ok.  The date passed and I didn’t hear anything.  I called and didn’t get an answer.  After a week I received a call from this person saying he was out of town and didn’t have a chance to go to the bank but that the money was forthcoming within a day.  I said that was fine.

After another week I called again, not for the money just to see if he were OK.  Still didn’t get an answer.

The next time I called the person answered the phone… perhaps by mistake and I could him him talking to someone else.

I hung up the phone.

Later I sent an email to the person letting him know that I was really hurt.  Not because of the money because anyone has the right to do with their money as they please even if they say they are going to do one thing and later change their mind.  But to not say anything and avoid me?  I thought we were way better than that.  I put it behind me and left it alone.

Well after 8 or 9 months, I get a text from this person saying, “Hey.”  I looked at it, remembered the number (because I had previously deleted it out of my phone) and thought to myself, “Hey what?”  My initial thought was that we didn’t have anything to talk about.  I didn’t see any explanations or apologies for the times I was calling and didn’t get an answer.  I just erased it and kept on stepping. 

Now here are the questions I have to ask myself when I try to identify the forgiveness thing.  

Question: Am I upset at this person?  Am I holding this against him?

Answer:  I honestly don’t believe I am.  I managed to get my car fixed and I have moved on.  I regretted that the friendship couldn’t handle the topic of money and though the subject never came up between us before, the only reason I asked was because I  felt we were ‘cool like that.’  That was a sign of deep humility and respect for me to even think of asking this person because I don’t just ask anybody for anything.

Question:  What is my reluctance from speaking to this person stemming from?

Answer:  I believe it’s stems from the fact that I thought we were cool.  And regardless of money, even if the person were a millionaire, I would not have felt he was obligated to give me anything.  But the fact that he promised something and avoided me as if I were a pesky beggar made me question the entire friendship.  My thinking is, “Where would we pick up from here?  If we ain’t soul after almost 20 years, I can’t see it materializing now.” 

When it comes to my inner circle, I am fiercely loyal.  And when that loyalty is not returned as opposed to rolling over like I did back in the day for the sake of being what I believed was Christian about it, I’ve had a change of heart.  Now when folks cross me a certain way, I just tend to be done with them.   Not cause I’m mad, but because I just don’t have time to pretend that a close friendships is anything but superficial if that is all it really is.  Everyone has superficial people in their lives.  And with these folks we don’t expect much.  But a friend is supposed to be a friend.

I had some beef with another friend of mine for a minute.  And because we were boys for real, we eventually had our say man to man and hashed the stuff out.  I consider him an even better friend now.  We got through a big storm where feelings were hurt on both sides.  We learned that our loyalty was strong even when we didn’t think it was.  I say that to say this is not about X’ing people out of my life just because I feel like it.  As I said I value my inner circle.

So what do you think?  Am I being too cold in this situation?  Am I holding a grudge?  Should I have responded to this person and perhaps he would have apologized?  (From what I know of this person, I don’t think he would have said anything about it.  I think he just wanted to pretend like it was all good though I could be wrong)  This is my dillema.  The old way of thinking for me would be the quickly accept this person back into my good graces.  The older, wiser me (in my opinion) says, F it!  No hard feelings on my part, but like Mint Condition, “We’ve Nothing Left To Say.”

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Facing Faults and Fears Part 1

Is there a doctor in the house?

Ok,

So here is the deal.  I am doing some self examining and decided to bring some of my blogging buddies along for the ride.  People like to talk about their virtues but not often their vices.  As humans, normally we tend to gravitate towards the things we like about ourselves.  Most of the times people say they want to maximize their strengths and learn to manage weaknesses.  What that means in many cases is that we try not to think about our weaknesses, ignore our weaknesses, hope the weakness, the fault or the fear goes away.

Well I want to try to confront some of mine.  And if anyone would like to make suggestions as to how to get past them or to improve my standing or outlook towards them, then this will be worth it.  Sometimes getting a fresh perspective can be a good thing.  One never knows…  

Some of my faults may seem humorous as I list them over the next several days.  I try not to take myself too seriously.  However, this is a serious thing for me so please be respectful even if you add a brand of humor.  You get to be the doctor.  Thanks. 

 

Part 1: Carelessness

I live my life by an electronic calendar.  (an Excel one to be exact)  Without it I am lost.  I schedule everything from when to pay bills, to game assignments, along with anything else I am not supposed to forget throughout the month.  I know better than to rely on my memory for anything.  I just have too many things on the plate to think that I will be able to retain it all.  It seems that the calendar really helps me a lot.  With it I feel organized and on top of my game.  But it’s one thing that my calendar cannot help me with.  Carelessness.

Let me tell you, I lose and forget where I put things like nobodies business.  Sometimes I think that I am clever and put things up somewhere in an unusual place because that way I figure that I will know where to find it.  But no.  It seems that at those times I forget the unusual place where I put the thing and thereby hide it from myself.  Sometimes I put things somewhere and don’t remember putting them there at all even after I’ve found them in that particular place.

Its gotten to the point now that sometimes when I do it, I just chalk it up in frustration because it seemed as if my mind just failed me.  Recently I visited my mother on the West Coast and she let me hold some photos of her on a cruise she took.  Because I didn’t want to bend them, I packed them between the screen and keyboard of my laptop.  Every time I would open my computer I would take the photos out and and afterwards put them back in.  My goal was to make copies and get them back to her. 

Well one morning I thought to myself, “Hmm, I was just at the coffee shop last week and I don’t remember putting the photos back in the computer.  Could I have left them at the coffee shop?”  I looked in the back seat of the car first and didnt’ see them among the other junk I had thrown back there.  Then I calmly drove to the coffee house that morning and asked the attendant if someone had turned in photos.  The woman said she worked every day since the Friday I had visited and that no one had turned anything in.  I asked if she was sure or if she could ask someone else.  She assured me that they had no photos, and that perhaps someone had thrown them away. 

Oh man!  How in the heck am I gonna tell my momma I lost her pictures?  She trusted me with these along with some videos and music I took back to St. Louis, and certainly the pictures could never be replaced.    I looked in the car again.  Nothing.  I went on my way disappointed again that I could not make a correlation in my brain for the last time I had seen the pictures.  I decided to wait to tell my mom.  No rush in disappointing her right?  She would forgive me, but I would still feel like an immature little kid who had to have his gloves pinned to the bottom of his coat sleeve so I can come back home with two of them instead of one.

I also lost my daughter’s report card.  I was the only parent who could make parent teacher day this time.  And I promised her mother that I would make her a copy and get it to her.  Ha!  Couldn’t find that either though it was in my carry around bag that has all of my important things in it.  Well no big deal, I can have the school print another one right?

A few days later, I’m looking to get some things out of my back seat.  I have a small satchel that carry my referee shoes, whistle and 5 Hour Energy shots.  I grabbed the bag and BAM… there they were – my mother’s cruise pictures.  Now I know darn well I looked that back seat over really well… or did I?  You see that’s my point!  Later on I eventually found the report card back there too.  The thing is, I can’t remember putting either of them in the back seat.  I do understand my logic however.  I put the pictures in the back seat because I didn’t want to take the chance on losing them in the coffee shop.  I just couldn’t remember doing it.  My bag turned upside down in the back seat after I threw it there so I can put the groceries I bought in the car.  I do remember that happening and that is when the report card must have fallen out.  So I got lucky.  Either that or God put those pictures back for me and saved me from humiliation.

What gets me the most is that I am ALWAYS cognisant of putting things in their proper places so that I don’t lose things.  And yet I still manage to do it.

Any suggestions?  This is a real sore area for me!