I always thought that forgiveness had to include a revolving door. That if you really let someone off the hook you not only "forgive" them but you also allow them back into your life with open arms and and a heart that says "welcome back". I thought forgiveness was a grand sacrifice where you put yourself last. It means you allow them to walk across the floors of your heart with dirty feet and instead of asking them to clean up their behavior... you just follow behind them with a rag and scrub your own floors... cleaning up the messes they leave behind. Forgiveness is grace. Grace extends and covers all things. Right?
I don't believe this anymore.
I attended a therapeutic retreat last September... it was on that trip that I realized sometimes true forgiveness means showing them you don't hold them accountable for wrecking your heart... because if they'd been in their right mind they would never had participated in such horrible destruction...you wish them well... BUT...then you lock the door. There is no longer a welcome home sign hanging on it.
Sometimes an open door policy can destroy you when the other person doesn't respect you or your heart. When their own emotional space is toxic... when they refuse to love themselves... when their self esteem has bottomed out... when they refuse to give a true apology or admission of pain they've caused... when they have zero self awareness...
They don't automatically get a second chance. Or a third. Or a fourth.
They don't get front row seats... they traded those for the cheap seats as Brene' Brown would say... I take that a step further and say... They don't deserve to even be in my arena.
Yep. Sometimes you even take the "closed door" a step further.
When someone is spiraling out of control and they change. When you don't know the person standing in front of you anymore.... when they clearly don't see the damage they've caused.... Those people are not only toxic, their presence in your life is what I consider UNSAFE.
As the keeper of my own heart... the person that operates the door to it.... I have the right to decide who stays and who goes.
I not only get to lock the door. I also have the right to burn down and bury the space in my life they used to occupy. I don't need the drama. I don't need the pain. I need to reserve that space for the people who REALLY love me.
So I did.
Then I wrote this song.
It may sound hostile and unforgiving. That will be what many think when they hear it... but I finally learned it's okay to take care of my heart sometimes... I have to protect it with intensity. It runs my entire life. Everything I do flows from the heart and soul of who I am.... I can't let someone wreak havoc there. I have to keep it whole and in tact.
Forgiveness doesn't mean you allow yourself to be walked on and tormented.
You have the power to walk away, and kill off the root of anything entangling you and bringing you pain.
You don't have to stay in it. You can go. It's okay.
It's okay to choose YOU.