Last Sunday at church before communion, the pastor told the congregation that we needed to forgive everyone and everything before we took communion. I said no. I took communion anyway but I was mad. I was mad because I always thought that in that time before taking communion is when we asked God for forgiveness. So basically, I should have never taken communion ever.
Tons of horrible things have happened to me throughout my life. Sometimes I put those things on a spectrum. In that spectrum, I have forgiven some people. For instance, I forgive my ex for trying to kill me but I am not trying to have a relationship with him or make excuses for him. I don’t and never have. The sexual abuse that I endured as a child, I cannot forgive. To me, forgiveness is kind of like giving someone a pass. I cannot forgive those people and I do not have compassion for them. I do not make excuses for them. I do not have them in my life.
The thing that people don’t seem to understand about forgiveness is that it is a personal choice. So for outsiders to tell me that I need to forgive everyone is just ludicrous. Until you have experienced the trauma that I have, I don’t think you can just put a blanket over my life and say that I have to forgive others. A lot of people say that forgiveness is not for the other person, that it is for yourself but I have issues with that. I believe that I can have peace within even though I have people that I choose not to have in my life ever.
So, now that I know that this is the church’s stance on communion, I just won’t participate anymore. This leads me to think that faith and religion is very personal. I would like to think that only God can judge my issues with forgiveness. I hate when people act like, if we don’t forgive every person in the world, that God will not forgive us. I don’t forgive Hitler or slave owners. I don’t forgive murderers and I don’t forgive sexual abusers. I think it is so sad when outsiders try and regulate the lives and thoughts of those who have been victims of abuse. Abuse and the effects of abuse do not go away over the course of a person’s life, the person still has to live and function while navigating through those ordeals.
Here’s a great idea, why don’t we give victims and survivors a break. If you have never had anything horrible done to you in this life, you are very fortunate, lucky, and privileged. Try to have some semblance of empathy or sympathy for those who haven’t had it as great as you.