Brand New Me

The past couple days have been FULL of good news.  Ask anyone who saw me yesterday, I was bouncing off the walls at all the positive things that have been happening in my life.  As usual, life is a rollercoaster, but it’s been an adrenaline pumping thrill ride this week.  I was put to the test of how much I’ve grown over the past several months, and I passed, with flying colors!  I saw very clearly my own personal growth.  It was awesome!

So, why did I wake up this morning feeling so down?  I think the emotional high of the past couple days left me a little bit drained.  Additionally, even though I rose to the occasion in the battle of some of my old demons, it was still a battle.  To say I was emotionally exhausted this morning would be an understatement.  It was one of those days where I wanted to set my theme song on repeat, Brand New Me by Alicia Keys, to remind myself that I’m not the same person that I was a year ago.  Lindsey quirk #3-Yes, I have a theme song.  Actually, if I’m being honest, I have several.

Somehow, despite my depleted emotional state, my physical energy was oddly very much intact.  I ran twice today.  I needed to.  Even though I knew I would be running 5 miles with the social run tonight at FLEET FEET, I knew that I needed to get my hills in.  I went to Babler and tried, for four miles, to find some answers and to clear the fog that had settled on my brain.

As I was running, I determined that despite my obvious growth, I was somewhat pissed that it had even been tested.  And then as I thought about it more, I was pissed at the person who had tested it.  And even more I was pissed that I had allowed myself to be put in a position that required so much growth over so many years.  I’m still sorting through some of that.  (On a side note, boxing is really good for anger management.  For legal reasons, it’s a much better idea to punch a bag than a person.)

I got an email from my friend Emily this morning, and it’s funny because I had actually just been thinking about her when my phone buzzed with the notification of her message.  I was specifically thinking of the last time Emily and I got to run together last winter.  We did about 7 miles on the lakefront on a beautiful, brisk Chicago morning when the coolest thing happened.  We were running along, just south of Navy Pier and all of a sudden Emily stopped and pointed to something on the ground.  The word ‘FORGIVE’ had been spray painted on the sidewalk.  Emily said these were painted all over town, but she’d never actually seen one.  I don’t know if she’s seen any since, but I don’t get to run in Chicago all that often anymore, so it’s the only one I’ve seen.

I love the picture I took of it. I love how the shadows crossed through the word making it kind of abstract.  Because, let’s be real, the concept of forgiveness is kind of abstract.

Forgiveness is a tough one.  People hurt us.  People make us angry.  Webster defines the word Forgive as 1: to give up resentment of or claim to requital for; and 2: to cease to feel resentment against.  Resentment can be nasty.  It leads to bitterness and it eats away at your heart if you allow it to.  I have always said, I will not be a stereotype, I do not want to be bitter.  I just won’t allow it.

However, forgiveness is a process. It takes time.  Sometimes it takes a lot of time.  It’s not just something where you can say, Ok, I forgive you, it’s over, and then move on and never think about it again. Sure, it’d be great if that was actually possible, but we’re human and we just don’t have the capability to do that.   And here’s the worst part, sometimes you don’t even get the apology that you may be entitled to.  So, what do you do with that?

Well, all I really can do is listen to my heart and just keep trying. I can be the brand new me that I know I am. I believe that I always want to forgive completely, but it takes time to work through that and I won’t say that I have forgiven before I’m ready to.  Coerced forgiveness or a forced apology, isn’t real, so who does that help anyway?

Some things are relatively easy to forgive, like someone accidentally spilling beer on you (I’m really glad we can laugh about that, Marxkors!) or your children breaking the screen door (Ok, so I was pretty mad about that one, and all three kids went to their rooms until they decided to tell the truth about it. But, once they did, I got over it.  And, by the way, it’s still not fixed.)

I’ve heard Britta say many times, “Nothing is unforgiveable”.  It’s true some things might be a lot harder to work through than others, especially when someone really hurts our heart.  It’s difficult, it’s challenging, but it’s not impossible.

The other thing about forgiving that can be really tough is when someone knows our heart is hurt and they keep poking the bruise anyway. That’s what happened to me yesterday, my bruise got poked.  And today I was dealing with the after effects of that.  I needed to face that.  So I did.  I thought about it. I was sad about it for a while. Then I ran some hills.  And then, I let it go. There is freedom in forgiveness. If only it could always be that simple.

Emily and RRG, right after we found 'FORGIVE'.

Emily and RRG, right after we found ‘FORGIVE’.


One thought on “Brand New Me

  1. Emily

    Love this post Lindsey, not just because I am mentioned ;), but because I can sense your freedom through your writing. Love you!


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