Often we are told to ‘forgive’, to release ourselves from begrudging clutches. Sometimes we feel like we can’t, sometimes we feel like we have, and sometimes we just don’t want to let go. When you have truly forgiven, when something similar may happen again, you are ok with it. You don’t think or speak ill of the aforementioned with a twisted intestine or venom in your voice.
Now and then I thought I had forgiven because I have told myself that I had. But when the internal knots tightened over just thinking about or being in the presence of the something or someone, I knew that I hadn’t gone through the entire process of forgiveness. I had said that I had, by sending some second-rate well-wishes, or shutting the un-forgiveness closed in the ‘crap ends up in here’ drawer.
That drawer gets so full that it cannot shut because a tarnished old fork that had once lay shining on the dinner table, has wedged itself between the slide and jimmy, mangling its prongs.
“F*&^ing… won’t… shut. Fullahcrap. Peessashhhit!”
The rattle of the drawer taunts, jibing with clinking laughter. You shuffle a couple of things around ‘til the fork slips back in amongst the junk, again.
When you are consumed by not letting go, it impacts oneself more than the ‘thing’ that the wrath-laced thoughts are directed toward. It can make us hard, bitter, victimised, angry, upset, and negative. The fork serves no purpose, other than to keep the drawer sticking out at angle that you always knock your hip on as you walk passed. There is no chance to push it in nicely and keep it flush.
“Ouch! Why do I always hit my hip! Look at all of my bruises from the blaaardy drawer!”
There are so many books to read about how to fix your drawer and inspirational quotes written in fancy type on facebook walls that tell us that having your drawer jutting out will not serve you any good purpose whatsoever.
‘Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behaviour. Forgiveness prevents their behaviour from destroying your heart.’
“But I still can’t shut that fricken drawer.”
‘Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea, until he has to forgive.’ C.S. Lewis
“That’s about right. Everyone’s telling me to take some crap out of the drawer, but they all have a Crap Drawer, too.”
‘Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.’ Buddha
“Maybe I should just sit down and clear out the drawer…”
Where do you start, when you want to clear out the Crap Drawer? I mean, there’s trinkets and bobby pins and paper clips and pens that work and pens that don’t work and matches and broken rubber bands and old shopping receipts with faded vouchers and a piece of once-cooked pasta and a mouldy old m that was an m&m and thread and a to do list and a phone number with no name and an old bill, have I paid?, and pieces of a teacup that was pretty on the shelf and ouch! That old tarnished fork…
“How did this get into such a state? Always, it’s always my mess…..”
To start with it seems like an unfathomable task, a daunting pile of ‘too much’. As you put one thing in the rubbish, there’s another and then another, until you have gotten rid of the old and kept a small bunch of keepsakes. You wonder what to do with the fork; it is sentimental, but it always keeps the drawer open.
You do, however, have to be willing to devote time to cleaning out entire the drawer. Taking out a couple of items here and there will inevitably have more stuff plonked on top, ready for the fork to angle into the shadowed ridge.
It takes time, but if you want to do it, you will get there. And if you are committed, the drawer will stay clean. Sometimes bits of dust corral around the thumb tacks and the bright green blob of keyboard cleaner, but if you are astute you’ll make sure that the drawer has space for opportunities and positive thinking.
I emptied my ‘drawer’ because I realised that that fork that wound me up for digging its tines into and catching the slide, did not help serve a mouthful of happiness from the plate of being true to myself.
Forgiveness is something I continue to learn, but I am getting better at it. I realise that it’s a process where you keep changing the negatives to a positive until it becomes the norm, where you write your thoughts down and burn them so that the ashes dissipate into the air, where you get to the point where it is what it is and you just let it go… and where I also forgive myself for times that I ruminated over effing up, in my critical mind.
I feel so much lighter now, that I’ve tossed away that old, tarnished fork. The drawer gently glides out and in. There are still small indentations in the wood grain, where it had been pronged, but they are smoothing over with the aid of some sandpaper. The dust evaporates into the fresh air… a spoon sparkles brightly, from its place in the drawer. I pick it up; my reflection smiling back from the curve of the bowl. This is the utensil that I now use.