The last ten months I’ve been working on building the I Forgive You business. The aim is to be financially viable in order to continue to offer the app for free.
Building the business to a sustainable place would allow more talks in prisons, at youth centres and generally spread the word in our communities about consequences, personal responsibility and forgiveness. It would allow me to help many people that are in emotional pain.
The road to financial independence hasn’t been easy. And there have been set backs.
Last week started out really well. I had some ideas about how to take the business to the next level, to offer our community tools to assist our journey towards forgiveness. These ideas culminated in a meeting with ‘people in the know’ to see if what I wanted to do was possible.
The news was great. Not only are they possibilities, they are viable open up areas I hadn’t even thought about before.
I arrived home. My head was bursting with new ideas. My heart was singing with joy and I was super excited to take the next step.
Then I opened my mail.
And there it was. A letter from the Department Of Public Prosecutions. With the title, “Notice of Intention to Appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal by Jason Mark Grogan.” My heart sank.
Then I became angry and frustrated. And rightly so.
I was cranky that the person who took my father’s life, was found guilty by twelve peers of murder, was also receiving three meals a day, education and his basic needs met. Now, he was accessing more free legal defence to appeal the sentence and conviction. This is a man in his forties that prior to assaulting and ultimately murdering my father had 168 criminal charges. How much more does this guy want to take from others? I was cranky.
I was cranky that no one was taking care of my needs, no one was paying bills for me, providing me with three meals a day, free legal advice or education. I was cranky that as I’m working to help others via my traumatic experience it’s been tough. I was cranky that my life had been disrupted, again by him taking more.
Then, what really put me over the edge was the realisation that I was not just cranky. I was resentful.
Kapow! It was a blow. I was demonstrating behaviours that got the criminal with whom I’m cranky, in gaol. Resentment and anger – two factors of his ultimate conviction.
I was doing what I’m aiming not to do. I was drinking the poison and expecting the other person to hurt.
Argh! Resentment, the fuel in a long road trip to misery.
LOOKING BOTH WAYS
I took a breath. Then took my own advice. I wrote down my raw feelings. And found several more subjects of resentment. Great. How deep did this go?
I started to question my methods. If negative emotions could sneak up and blurt out without warning what good was I really doing? Am I just faking it? What was going on?
Again, more honest answers. More notes. Then reality like a cool wind at my back. I am not that person. I’m fun. I’m helpful. I’m working towards a better community. I do not want to be resentful. I do not want to display the traits of a criminal.
So I took action. I used my own app. I expressed my anger. I discussed it. I owned it and controlled it. Holding onto righteous resentment doesn’t make me feel better, change the situation, nor help me help others. Getting it out and sending it away, does.
My friends know I’m not into reinventing the wheel. I hope my lessons can make the journey smoother for others. I wonder how many people that read this will relate to feeling resentment like mine. I wonder how many more of us want to live in the freedom beyond the resentment that lingers after heartbreak, divorce, betrayal, hurt, regret, rejection and death.
Thanks for listening. I’d like to listen to you. Please write to me with your journey.
Most of us could use a little more self care.