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On Forgiveness

Posted on:July 17, 2023 at 08:00 PM

I like people. Certain people. Beautiful, intelligent, funny, sharp, caring, soft, strong, happy, competent, brave, innovative, imaginative, talented, knowledgeable, responsible, laid back, grounded, tactful, honest, generous, attentive, empathic, righteous, judicious, sincere, magnanimous, and loyal. I’d like to be all these things, and more. The best way to do that is to surround myself with people like that. Who help me be the best version of myself.

Good people, reasonable people, civil people, should be able to disagree without disdain, to have words without hate. But while I try to be good, I’m not always reasonable, and to hold another to a higher standard than myself would not be fair. Sometimes, we let our emotions get the best of us, and do things that cannot be undone, or say things that cannot be unsaid.

Such wounds fade over time, and hurt less. But to actually heal them, they need treatment. The wounds of the body need medicine, the wounds of the heart need recognition. Yes, what was done was hurtful, yes what was said was unfair. No, you did not deserve that. Yes, I am sorry.

If not healed, these wounds can stunt one’s growth, mentally and emotionally. One must be able to move past that mountain, and not die on that hill. Forgiveness is the only way forward. One must forgive oneself to lessen the burden of harsh judgment, internalized to the point of inception. You did your best at the time. If you could have done better, you would have. This was not intentional. And you must forgive them. They did the same. All this must happen in your mind and your heart before anyone says anything. If you wait for the other person, you may be waiting forever.

We have to move past this. We have to be able to live our lives free of this period holding us back. If something needs to be said, say it. If something needs to be resolved, work it out. A few hours of difficult, awkward conversation is a good bargain for a clean slate and a lighter heart for the rest of your life.

You do not control them. They owe you nothing. No one does. You do not owe anyone anything either. But you do owe yourself, to do the right thing, to live a free life, to make things better where they can, to accept that which must be. If this action helps another, then all the better for it. But forgiveness is ultimately for yourself, so you can be more than the past, so you can be free to go where you want, do what you wish, without reluctance or reservation or regret. So you can be happy. Doesn’t that sound good?