I sat at the table and I wanted to…a lot of things. I wanted to continue to cry. I wanted to get up and walk out the door. I wanted to numb out and drown my sorrows in a cup of coffee mixed with rum.

I felt my mind roll all these possibilities around in my head like dice. What would it be when all was said and done? What exactly would I do?

Would I continuing crying? Would I get up and walk out the door? Would I drown my sorrow in my coffee mixed with rum?

I stared at the grain of wood that made up the table. As I ran my fingers nervously crossed it, it felt smooth. It felt effortless. I wanted my next step to feel the same but I felt stubborn and rough, and I could feel the splinter, pointy and ragged, bury deep within me.

I was angry and hurt and I didn’t know how to make it stop.

“I forgive you. I choose to forgive you.”

They were just words at first and I knew it and they left a taste in my mouth that said I was fake.

My attemp felt awkward as I sat at my friends table and it felt forced and I did not feel free but I said those words again, this time not out loud but within me.

“I forgive you. I choose to forgive you.”

I knew if I waited till I felt like it, I would be waiting a very long time. Maybe forever. No one was expecting me to or even hinted or eluded that it would be a positive step but I knew.

I knew if I didn’t I would continue crying while thinking about walking out the door and numbing myself out with a cup of coffee mixed with rum.

As I sat and stared them all in the face, everyone was hurting and I wanted to hope that things could be different. Better. Their eyes told me they hoped for the same. We all wanted this to go any other way than my continued crying led us all to believe and my soul wanted nothing more than to get relief. To be made well again, whole, even if only temporarily by speaking magic words.

“I forgive you. I choose to forgive you.”

And I softened just a bit. I softened enough to stare him in the face. I softened enough to hug everyone goodbye and thank them for their time. I softened enough to get into the Jeep and be hungry for lunch.

I realized it wasn’t so much saying magic words or doing what I knew was probably noble or right as it was me wanting to crawl out of a heartache that had been holding me captive before despair swallowed me whole. I was trapped inside my own heart trying hard to stay angry and hurt and I had every justiufucation for it but all I really wanted was to live and love and laugh.

To be happy again.

To care and to hope and to dream.

I could not do anything of those things hanging onto bitterness and anger. Choosing to not forgive was suffocating me and I needed to breathe.

For me.

Did I use forgiveness as a fix? Was I tired of hurting and wanted to stop the pain? I don’t know. I just know there is no short cut. Magic words won’t satisfy the hearts longing to love and be free but a open heart can. I just know the power of a hearts that open….

And I know it takes way more effort to hurt, to be hurt then to forgive. As I ran my finger across their table, I remembered my heart IS smooth, that I am. I am not rough around the edges and all jaggy, leaving splinters in my wake.

Forgiving was just as much about remembering WHO I am as it was about anything or anyone else.

It was a very good place to begin again.