Forgiveness and cohousing and intentional communities

As I wrote the last post I realized I need to discuss forgiveness more.  I already mentioned that I felt I would never be forgiven but what about me forgiving them?  Immediately as my actions panned out as an error, I forgave the other parties. They were worried of the consequences and in fear. When everything was officially over, I thought they would feel relieved but when I asked, I was perceived, by some, as wanting revenge. My forgiveness face needs some work.

I look back at each individual.  I can forgive people for being conflict averse and afraid to speak up. The stakes were high – if you make a mistake, you become shunned.  Yet, the lack of push back created an atmosphere of letting problematic behavior continue.  I could work on forgiving and talking through to each person (if they would talk to me) and try living there again. But the other half of forgiving is trust.  I don’t trust them to speak up next time.  I see that I would be the only one problem solving for the issue that is still there.

Forgiveness is such an important part of community living. I could try if I really did want to move back. A lot of me wants to at least have some sort of relationship so I can work with them to rent out and eventually sell my house and not have all this tension. Moving back would take even more work on both sides. Ultimately, I have lost trust so I would have a hard time. In a way it was aa gift. We had a big issue and big reactions and I was shown early on that this community is not the place for me.

If I moved into another intentional community, I would make forgiveness a big part of the experience. I would pick my battles.  Let things slide.  I would also do what most places market that they do when there is conflict – use it as a means to become closer.  If only humans weren’t so damn complicated.

Forgiveness isn’t easy and should never be used to excuse abusive behavior. I think it has been pushed for so many years to keep people in their proper place. I have a friend who says Jesus made a mistake. Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father, for they know what not they do.” My friend claims they did know it was wrong. He doesn’t like to excuse bad behavior.  I chuckle that he dares question Jesus!

The most important person to forgive is yourself. I forgive myself for trying. I forgive myself for using the tools that I knew to problem solve. To try to make the community a better place but causing more waves instead. I forgive myself for wanting a loving, caring community to spend the rest of my life. I forgive myself for moving my children and up heaving our lives (once to move there and again to move out).  That’s the one that is hardest for me but I recently heard Massy Arias say that if you either succeed in your endeavors or learn from the misstep.  I learned a lot and I need to keep forgiving myself and not close off my heart to trying for connection with others, it just might not happen in cohousing for me.

Hamilton cries when his wife forgives him

About CJ

I was a Spanish teacher for 5 years in the Public School system in 3 different states. I homeschooled and taught at a democratic free school. I heard about cohousing in 2010 and wanted to move in right away. I met a group building one in 2018 and got to move in the summer of 2019. It only took a year to want out.
This entry was posted in bad behavior and bullies of any age, learning and growing, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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