Gary Larson Depicted IT So Well...

Gary Larson Depicted IT So Well...

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Wednesday, June 13, 2057

FORGIVENESS . . . is an option.

You'll Note How Much of This
is Devoted to Forgiveness, 
Because I Need So Much.
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. . . there are mistakes...that in themselves reveal yawning flaws in your character and make you wish that time in its haste would stand still, turn and give you that one critical moment back, things that cannot be erased...cleansed of their base matter, that can only be learned from knowledge gathered does not erase the mistake, for in its essence it is something done that cannot be undone. Hopefully...some sour, bitter slice of wisdom...can be drawn on to minimize the chances that one may stray so far from the light again. (Gil Schwartz)
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Forgive Everybody Everything! Now. Don't Wait. Not everyone has the time.
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... The tension of opposites.
We learn from what hurts us...as much as what Loves us, you know? (Tuesdays with Morrie)
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Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only good for wallowing in. (Katherine Mansfield, short story writer)
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If time does heal --
then to have the results of time (the healing), one must only look forward (fast forward their perspective) to the appropriate time at which they can accept healing!
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I am not the enemy.
I am not the person you knew.
I do not need to feel superior to you by making you/me believe you/me are wrong/less worthy.
I know you have to come to your conclusions about me from a whole new set of criteria/ circumstances/ experiences.
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AFTER SUCH AN INFRACTION, the criteria for acceptance into the inner circle has been raised to near perfection. I seriously doubt I will attain perfection while the inner circle exists. Though much more centered than before, I remain a flawed work in progress. If any within the circle are awaiting my arrival at perfection* -- their wait is in vain. My acceptance within can only occur when the criteria is equal to the others within the circle. (*I tried perfection and that's what got me into trouble. I believed I could overcome my condition of HUMAN.)
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I had been stuck for years in a place that refused to change. Everything seemed hard, solid, and unmovable. Making the most difficult and painful decision of my life, I left for seventeen years -- and started an avalanche of change that forced me down a dark and anguished patch of sadness and growth. Every time I thought I had reached the bottom, 

                       After reading more, click the upper left back arrow.         
another trap door would open below me. I had spent years jettisoning useless baggage until I felt raw, empty-handed, emotionally exhausted and for once, real.
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...at last I find myself free of the past.
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The Past Is In Darkness. To revisit the past is to visit darkness.
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I'd like: "My current life to be declared a dress rehearsal with some script changes permitted before opening night." (David B. Campbell)
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"Whenever tragic loss occurs, you either resist or you yield. Some people become bitter or deeply resentful; others become compassionate, wise, and Loving. Yielding means inner acceptance of what is. You are open to Life....
IF THE SHUTTERS ARE CLOSED, THE SUNLIGHT CANNOT COME IN." (Eckhart Tolle)
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FROM THE BOOK: "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini
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(About a daughter whose father abandoned her -
with horrific results.
The following is a letter he wrote to her shortly before his death.)
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May 13, 1987
I pray this letter finds you in good health. As you know, I came to Kabul a month ago to speak with you. But you would not see me. I was disappointed but could not blame you. In your place, I might have done the same. I lost the privilege of your good graces a long time ago and for that I only have myself to blame. But if you are reading this letter, then you have read the letter that I left at your door. You have read it and come to see Mullah Faizullah, as I had asked that you do. I am grateful that you did, Mariam jo. I am grateful for this chance to say a few words to you.

Where do I begin?

Your father has known so much sorrow since we last spoke, Mariam jo. Your stepmother Afsoon was killed the first day of the 1979 uprising. A stray bullet killed your sister Niloufar that same day. I can still see her, my little Niloufar, doing headstands to impress guests. Your brother Farhad joined the jihad in 1980. The Soviets killed him in 1982, just outside of Helmand. I never got to see his body. I don't know if you have children of your own, Mariam jo, but if you do I pray that God look after them and spare you the grief that I have known. I still dream of them. I still dream of my dead children.

I have dreams of you too, Mariam jo. I miss you. I miss the sound of your voice, your laughter. I miss reading to you, and all those times we fished together. Do you remember all those times we fished together? You were a good daughter, Mariam jo, and I cannot ever think of you without feeling shame and regret. Regret...When it comes to you, Mariam jo, I have oceans of it. I regret that I did not see you the day you came to Herat. I regret that I did not open the door and take you in. I regret that I did not make you a daughter to me, that I let you live in that place for all those years. And for what? Fear of losing face? Of staining my so-called good name? How little those things matter now after all the loss, all the terrible things I have seen in this cursed war. Perhaps this is just punishment for those who have been heartless, to understand only when nothing can be undone. Now all I can say that you were a good daughter, Mariam jo, and that I never deserved you. Now all I can do is ask for your forgiveness. So forgive me, Mariam jo, Forgive me. Forgive me. Forgive me.

I am not the wealthy you once knew. The communists confiscated so much of my land, and all of my stores as well. But it is petty to complain, for God -- for reasons that I do not understand -- has still blessed me with far more than most people. Since my return to Kabul, I have managed to sell what little remained of my land. I have enclosed for you your share of the inheritance. You can see that it is far from a fortune, but it is something. It is something. (You will also notice that I have taken the liberty of exchanging the money into dollars. I think it is for the best. God alone knows the fate of our own beleaguered currency.)

I hope you do not think that I am trying to buy your forgiveness. I hope you will credit me with knowing that your forgiveness is not for sale. It never was. I am merely giving you, if belatedly, what was rightfully yours all along. I was not a dutiful father to you in life. Perhaps in death I can be.

Ah, death. I won't burden you with details, but death is within sight for me now. Weak heart, the doctors say. It is a fitting manner of death, I think for a weak man.

Mariam jo,

I dare, I dare to allow myself the hope that, after you read this, you will be more charitable to me than I ever was to you. That you might find it in your heart to come and see your father. That you will knock on my door one more time and give me the chance to open it this time, to welcome you, to take you into my arms, my daughter, as I should have all those years ago. It is a hope as weak as my heart. This I know. But I will be waiting. I will be listening for your knock. I will be hoping.

May God grant you a long an prosperous life, my daughter. May God give you many healthy and beautiful children. May you find the happiness peace, and acceptance that I did not give you. Be well. I leave you in the loving hands of God.

Your undeserving father,
Jalil
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(Sadly, Mariam jo never saw this letter before she died. Her friend Laila was the one who eventually opened it and read it -- too late.)
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And so Laila has resigned herself to moving on. For her own sake.... And for Mariam, who still visits Laila in her dreams, who is never more than a breath or two below her consciousness. Laila has moved on. Because in the end she knows that's all she can do. That and hope.
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From Khaled Hosseini's book "The Kite Runner":
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I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.
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Forgiveness is for the one who feels victimized; much more so than for the inflicter.
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The victim, by not forgiving, continues to live the infliction again and again AND therefore, secures their ongoing victim status.
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I definitely have lived in this state most of my life – the victim of all those who would not accept me as I really am. I don’t want to live the rest of my life as that victim – so I must forgive my inflicters . . . and myself.
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I know that in my victim state – I also became the inflicter when I abandoned all those who I interpreted or misinterpreted their motives, actions and thoughts or feared possible scenarios.
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Until recently, I was confused as to why it is often so difficult for Christians to forgive; though they are the ones who 'should' understand forgiveness the best.


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I found this Anonymous writing very helpful in my process to learn forgiveness:


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You must forgive those who hurt you, even if whatever they did to you is unforgivable in your mind. You will forgive them not because they deserve to be forgiven, but because you don’t want to suffer and hurt yourself every time you remember what they did to you. It doesn’t matter what others did to you, you are going to forgive them because you don’t want to feel sick all the time.


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You have all these reasons, all these justifications why you cannot forgive. But this is not the truth. The truth is that you cannot forgive because you learned not to forgive, because you practiced not to forgive, because you mastered not to forgive.
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First, make a list of everyone you believe you need to ask for forgiveness. Then ask them for forgiveness. Even is there is not enough time to call everyone, ask for their forgiveness in your prayers and through your dreams. Second, make a list of all the people who hurt you, all the people you need to forgive. Start with your family, your loved ones, your friends, and God.


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Now, you are going to forgive others by knowing that whatever anyone did to you had nothing to do with you. Everyone dreams his own dream. The words and actions that hurt you are merely a reaction to the demons in that person’s own mind. Nothing anyone does is because of you. Once you have this awareness, and you do not take it personally, compassion and understanding will lead you to forgiveness.


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Start working on forgiveness; start practicing forgiveness. It will be difficult at first, but then it just becomes a habit. At a certain point, you find that you must forgive yourself for all those wounds and all that poison you created for yourself in your own dream. When you forgive yourself, self-acceptance begins and self-love grows.


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That is the supreme forgiveness – when you finally forgive yourself.


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It's times like these that the opportunity for a Christian example is seen by the unknowing. What is the example seen?
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We let go eventually by necessity of everything for our own benefit -- whether through time or death. If it is in-deed for our well-being, to feel better, we can move up our letting go. The choice is based on when we want to feel better.
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