To Have & To Hold: Does Everyone Deserve A Second Chance?

Originally Posted on From Rae With Love

I’m the kind of girl who tends to see people as they can and could be.  I see their potential.  Their good qualities.  I see the hurt.  I’m looking often to understand people and why they do the things they do.  I also am a nurturer.  Somewhat of a rescuer and as my good friend Rodd Klever and two other friends have told me recently that…..

I’m soft.

*insert laughter here.  No seriously.  It’s ok to laugh.

And you know what?  They’re right.

I am soft.  I can be hard core when it’s time.  I can be out right mean even.  But for the most part, I’m the princess of second chances.

Or at least I was.

Maybe I still am.  I think people deserve second chances in SOME …read it again SOME situations.  I can’t claim and holler all of this business about forgiveness and not include the option of redemption.

But I want to talk about second chances, forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption and what it means.

If someone offends me, betrays me, lies to me or breaks my trust, it is critical for me to forgive myself.  Mostly because I need to face the fact I made certain choices that led me to have this person in my life. This in itself is a whole ‘nother blog post or series. Point is I need to forgive them.  It’s necessary.  The quicker it can happen the better.

But should I reconcile with them?  Are they supposed to remain in my life?  I don’t have a definitive answer on this.

Over the years, I’ve seen a few things in my time.  The most recent relationship implosion, which you can read about here, made some of the other offenses that have occurred over the years look like poppycock.  Yes, I said poppycock.

Seriously, it’s like Jill’s song “Rolling Hills”:

Intuition’s something sweet (well)
Let you know what you know, let you find before you seek (well)
Spirit of discernment, pray for it everyday (well)
Let you know who should go and who you should let stay (well)

I just sort of know.  In my corner of the world, that means that’s the Holy Spirit and discernment.  For others it could be called something else.  I know from where my help cometh though.

Brass tax:

Forgive all

Reconcile with most if you can

Redeem few

I think that’s pretty much my new rule.  My mother is the Queen of “Letting Go,” as she likes to say. She passed it down to me.  So I can let go.  I can let go of people and situations.  I have no issue with it.  Often, I hang on to people longer because of this tendency.  I don’t want to let go of a relationship (friend, potential life mate) if I can make it work.

The problem most of the time is those last six words in the previous sentence…if I can make it work.  If I am the only one trying to make it work, then the relationship is always at a disadvantage.  If I’m the only person setting up meetings and get togethers and scheduling time alone or asking to see someone else, then ummm, it’s a no go.

I’m not doing it anymore.  I’m not in that business.

Mostly because I’m soft and soft people have to protect themselves so they can still have the capacity to love and be open.  I’m not trying to be stretched out all the damn time and can’t do what I’m supposed to do or love who I need to love because some jackass bruised my heart.  Then what good am I?  Time is more precious these days.  I have less of it than I did ten years ago.  And unless God is going to tack on some time to my life (He’s held time over before for folks…) then I need to recognize what’s going on around me and make it do what it do.

I also tend to look at motive and why someone has done something.  I want to know.  And really, some shit is just wrong.  When a person knows it, they still do it, and they can look me in my face and attempt to justify it, then we have stale mate and I can’t redeem that either.

These days, second chances are alive and well – they are just fewer.  The main ingredient I need to see is someone who has worked on themselves and made an effort to make changes.  If we are still at a stale mate and there’s no change and the person wants another chance, then I have to leave the situation where it is.

Guess what?  It’s ok.  Everyone involved will be ok.

By the way, I am not immune to this policy.  If I were to offend someone and wanted another chance, depending on the offense I would not be mad if they chose not to deal with me.  I may be hurt and I may attempt to reconcile a few times when that person is important to me and I love them, but sometimes, things can’t be fixed.

Again, forgiveness is always on the table.  Always. Always.

I will also say this, there are a few people I have had to let go in my time…and it hurt me to my core.  I wanted to have them in my life.  I loved and adored them.  They all that and then some.  Mind you, there have been lovers and friends.  This isn’t all about romantic relationships.  To this day, I still think about these folks.  I pray for them and wonder how they are.  Sometimes I want to talk with them.  Then I remember the depth of what happened and it makes me re-think that.  The only thing I can do is wish them well. So don’t think I don’t have regrets about having to do it.  I do, but I am much more willing to live with the regret of it all than being hurt or the threat of being hurt.

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