I'm exploring FORGIVENESS---as an ideal, as a practice, as a virtue, as an ability and as a solution...
Approximately every seven years or so, I become imbroiled in some sort of irrational, unnecessary and unfortunate clash of personalities---with someone who holds an intimate and important place in my life---leading to a breakdown of communication, a loss of confidence, the threat of a lawsuit, an ignominious "divorce" (marriage or partnership) and/or a lingering sense of failure. These clashes affect my dreams, my solitude, my business, my future, my financial security, my very well-being.
Perhaps there is another way of being in this World!
I might very well be exaggerating--to make a point---but let me get to the point I intend to make and then we can judge. Perhaps all these lamentable situations are the result of some sort of a forgiveness error. I say "perhaps" because I write, live and think with an ever-present "element of doubt." Hiding or languishing behind the word "perhaps" (and sometimes the word "maybe") is perhaps the best way for me to muse on truths that may be beyond my ken. Maybe not!
It took me a long time to contemplate forgiving the person who (practically) swindled my family out of their home. It took a long time to befriend (even marginally) the people who constructed a one-sided real estate contract (in their favor) that ultimately caused me to lose my Canyon Road Gallery. I still can't quite forgive former Gallery partners who took advantage of my distaste for (read: ignorance of) contracts, accounting, budgets and other good business practices to force me to confront that distaste (and that ignorance) in a critical, bankruptcy-impending moment.
It's comforting to have a place to place blame when the pain of one's own mistakes is too weighty, too thorny to acknowledge! Perhaps (?) that's my point. And it's a point for me to consider in the middle of this contemplation on forgiveness.
Accuser/Victim, forgive thyself!!!
...As she lay in her coffin, all powdered and combed and unfamiliarly regal-looking, I forgave my Mother. Finally. Belatedly. I put my small (and treasured) ruby ring on her finger and I asked her to forgive me.
I think she did.
I know that all the debilitating pain and the decades-old angry stuff floated away...up, up through the sparkle-y, plastic ceiling of the Funeral Home somewhere in South Jersey.
But...Did I forgive myself for being the primary architect, contractor and project manager of the formidable wall between us, the wall that would not, could not be breached?
?Quien sabe? What did that wall "wall out" of my Life?
Time out for a quiz!
Which comes first??
1) Asking for forgiveness and then being forgiven?
2) Being forgiven and then forgiving?
3) Forgiving yourself and then forgiving the other/others?
4) Wanting to be forgiven?
5) Being ready to forgive?
6) Understanding the Power of the act of Forgiveness?
7) None of the above/All of the above?
8) Something else? (What?)
Forgive me if, perhaps, this slightly disjointed, highly personal, Dear Diary-style rambling is not quite what you wanted to read when you visited this Blog...I acknowledge that (perhaps) I've included too much exposition in this entry...exposition that was originally intended to lead to a musing on the importance of Forgiveness in our world and the utter lack of authentic forgiveness in our world. We hold grudges. We point fingers. We assign blame. We resist looking at our own responsibility. We compromise our integrity to hide our complicitness (is that a word?). We do all that (some of it, some of us, sometimes) in our homes, in our workplaces, in our communities, in our countries... We do that in our one and only world. We blame. We ignore. We refuse. We impede. We deny. We exclude. We defend...When, all along, the blaming, ignoring, refusing, impeding, denying, excluding...prevent the grace and the beauty and the opportunity for peace that come with...
I forgive you, them, her, him, us, myself...
At least, I want to...and, perhaps, that is a pretty good start!