Forgiveness Challenge: Day 17
Day 17: Renewing or Releasing the Relationship.
We’ve reached the final step of the Fourfold Path: The decision to renew or release the relationship with the person we’ve chosen to forgive. When considering whether to renew or release, it’s important to consider that whatever we choose, our relationship with the person who harmed us will live on, no matter if we never see or speak to them again, no matter if we don’t know who harmed us, no matter if that person is dead. This person has become a part of our life experience, and that fact is unchangeable. As the Tutus say, a relationship has been created by the very act of harm that stands between you and the person who harmed you.
Our exercise today was to consider what we need from the person who harmed us to decide whether to renew or release the relationship. An apology? An explanation? Never to see them again? As I explored my feelings around this step, I committed to attempting to renew the relationship. I’m going to write a letter and share some of what I’ve learned during this Challenge. I will ask for recognition that I was hurt by this person’s behavior. An apology would be nice but it’s not a deal-breaker for me. I am more interested in the changes in this person’s behavior toward me, if any, in the long-term. That will demonstrate accountability of the harm done, as well as this person’s commitment to our mutual healing.