"Forgiveness is God's invention for coming to terms with a world in which, despite their best intentions, people are unfair to each other and hurt each other deeply.”-Lewis B. Smedes
Six Fridays ago I had an encounter with a colleague that equivocated to verbal rape complete with a finger in my face for emphasis; it shook me to my very core, every cell of my being. If the disparage wasn’t bad enough, she carried out this act in front of my team and my principal. I can finally outwardly admit my humility and embarrassment, as well as the deep jolt it has had on my ‘person.’ The accusations ignited the formation of a thick cocoon to protect ‘me’ against additional damage as I developed a distrust of myself and a suspicion in the integrity of others regarding their opinion of me…could I trust what they were saying to me or their belief in me? I withdrew from those I trust and life as I knew it: I stopped exercising, caring about my work, interacting with others and I discontinued writing. I became a distant observer in life; even on my sacred beach vacation I was hesitant to allow myself to feel the true joy and peace within the moments.
My natural personality is to believe in the goodness of others, therefore this deprecation resulted in skepticism of people mainly those whom I call friends within my work circle. Like it or not, I care about what people think of me and desire their respect mostly in the realm of my occupation. I’ve always thought of myself as an exceptional teacher but that was wiped away with ‘words’ so it was agonizing to begin a new year on wobbly ground. I felt vulnerable and fragile.
While I can’t declare healing by any means, nor publicly vow forgiveness I know that will be necessary to move forward within my world. I also know forgiveness doesn’t equal forgetting and there will no doubt be cautiousness in my escape once the cocoon has been shed. I’ve instigated the process by writing and sharing both my thoughts and feelings with words so they can be dispensed into the wind. But I’m not omnipotent to affirm ending results, just that I will move forward armed with a protective sheath. I resolve to hover with wounded wings and welcome eventual flight without faltering.