Friday, November 27, 2009

365-28: Forgiveness

I've been thinking about forgiveness a lot lately, as part of gratitude actually. I'm not sure I can articulate the connection but it does feel like there is one for me. I read a quote from Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair that really struck me last night:
"You have a man you love?" asked Rochester suddenly.

"Yes; but there is much bad air between us. He accused my brother of a crime that I thought unfair to lay upon the shoulders of a dead man; my brother never had a chance to defend himself and the evidence was not strong. I find it hard to forgive."

"What is there to forgive?" demanded Rochester. "Ignore forgive and concentrate on living. Life for you is short; far too short to allow small jealousies to infringe on the happiness which can be yours only for the briefest of times."
I am an intensely loyal person, and I'm coming to understand that one thing I hold on to is pain. Not that I really spend much of my day-to-day life in pain anymore, but rather long after everyone else has left the room, I may still be sitting there saying " HURT me."

Today, I am trying to be thankful for the journey I've experienced, as it brought me here, to where I am today and today was a really good day. I had wonderful contact with good friends, I had a fantastic meal with my family (made almost entirely from scratch by husband, by the way, who rocks), I had a lot of energy and go a lot of cleaning and organizing done, and my back was much better. So, like I said, I'm actually really really happy these days, the absolute happiest I've ever been. But thoughts of people I've lost, both dead and alive, to come to me more often than I wish.

This quote seemed really radical to me. Like what if the forgiveness isn't this whole process, what if it's simply letting go. Letting go Not love exactly, but thanks? Obviously, I need to chew on this some more.

In Traveling Mercies by Annie Lamott, at one point she's with a friend who is dying of cancer, and worrying about whether a dress makes her hips look big, and her friend says something along the lines of "You really don't have that kind of time."

It occurs to me that I really don't have that kind of time either. Not for worrying about whether my hips are too big, or whether the people who have hurt me in the past know it, and care. I'm quite sure they don't, actually, and really, what would it change? I'm happy, here and now. I'm pretty lucky, there's very few people from my past that I wouldn't welcome a hello from, and the others, well, I wish them all the best. Time to let go and move on. There's not enough time to be with the people I love here and now, why continue to worry about small jealousies or forgiveness.

This brings to mind a quote I put up on Facebook the other day, which I've also been reaching for lately.
Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
Viktor Frankl
And now I have to go lie down because I ate too much pumpkin pie. :)

1 comment:

Juli Hincks said...

Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated this post!