The Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness.

It can be the most difficult thing to give another person, but it can be the most liberating. Forgiveness can bring about an inner peace for the one forgiving.

When I asked Kimberly of Rubber Chicken Madness to guest write for me, I let her choose any Thursday in the upcoming two months, but explained that today would have to be on the topic of relationships. She decided to write today, choosing to share an open letter to her ex husband.

What I hope for Kimberly is that the act of writing and sharing makes today a little brighter for her. I am confident she will feel a weight lifted and increasingly happier with each passing day. Sometimes one has to dig deep inside to find the ability to forgive, but it is a rewarding experience.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ~Lewis B. Smedes

Read Kimberly’s letter and congratulate her on this big step towards freedom and inner peace. Then go visit her blog, follow her on Twitter, stalk her on Google+, and like her on Facebook. I do (yes, even the stalking part!) and you should too.

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An Open Letter of Forgiveness to my Former Husband

Dear Former Husband ~

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge over the past twenty years. While I’d like to think that by being angry with you and keeping you at arms length, I can keep you from affecting my day-to-day world. What I’m actually discovering is that holding on to my anger in regards to you holds me back from my best life.

I keep thinking that time and distance will reduce the bitterness. It does not.

I have grieved because I didn’t have a fully-supportive, collaborative marriage, in which we raised the two children we have and maybe added one more.

I resent the fact that I’ve raised our kids without your help. And, quite honestly, I deeply resent the fact that now that most of the hard work is done, you’re ready to be a part of their lives again. Somehow you come out looking like a rock star, when you’ve done very little of their character building.

But all this grief and resentment isn’t good for me. And it certainly isn’t good for our children.

So, it’s time to let go of all of that anger and all the animosity. It’s time to find a way to forgive. It’s time for me to acknowledge my own part in our failed marriage.

We were doomed from the start. Would we have married if I hadn’t pushed the issue? I don’t think so. I was so focused on the perfect wedding that I failed to see the train wreck of a marriage just ahead.

We had issues early on in our marriage with the serious issues not dealt with before our walk down the aisle.

But we had made a commitment. We tried to honor it. In the end, it was not possible to hold on another minute.

Did we love each other?

Yes, in some ways we did, but did we have a firm foundation of common bricks on which to build a life together?

Sadly, no.

But from our union came two of the best, most amazing kids. So, although WE didn’t work as a partnership, our genetics collaborated fabulously. And for that, I’m forever grateful.

While it needs to be clear that I will not ever want to try to put our marriage back together, I am tired of being so angry. I am tired of carrying the animosity.

I want to release the anger. I want to be able to interact in a genuinely civil manner for the well-being of our children.

I want to be at peace.

So, with my heart full of gratitude for the life we did have, which gave me the best parts of myself in our children, I thank you for giving me the best that you had at the time.

I forgive you for not being able to be what I wanted you to be.

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