I haven't been working very hard on my anchors, because it's easy to throw things out there into cyberspace and then forget about them. Plus, I've had quite a lot going on with really important, pressing things that I'll share once there is more to tell. But I did get to spend some time this week thinking about forgiveness and getting there. And jeepers. It is TOUGH.
Forgiveness is such an abstract term. Almost ethereal, really. I think it's hard for most of us to wrap our heads around it. And it doesn't get any easier when someone's "steps for forgiveness" include such non-actionable nonsense as "Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with the person that hurt you, or condoning of their action." What the heck kind of step is that? I'll answer for you. It isn't one. And I'm having a hard time forgiving THAT. =)
I have picked up a few thoughts on forgiveness that seem very simple, very concrete. In the comments on an advice column I read daily, someone wrote, "Forgiveness is about giving up the desire to punish." Someone else on that same comments section wrote, "Forgiveness is acceptance that the past couldn't have been any different." And someone else on there quoted Jorge Luis Borges (whose poem "La dicha" is one of the most gorgeous pieces I've ever encountered, but that's apropos of nothing): "I am not talking about forgiveness or revenge. I am talking about forgetting, which is the best forgiveness and the ultimate revenge." Okay, now we're talking.
But I am struggling nonetheless, because I am thinking about forgiving a person for a situation that is very near to me. And you know what? I DON'T WANT TO LET IT GO. I don't! I really don't know how I can manage to set aside what this person has done to me without them acknowledging that it was a terrible, unprofessional, ridiculous offense, especially since I'm still in contact with this person DAILY. I had the same problem with a former boss. It took years to forgive, and all I got there was eventual ambivalence about her existence. I'd like to forgive in theory, but I can't get over that initial hump of wanting to actually forgive in practice. I can give up the desire to punish, and I can accept that it happened and can't be different. I can even try to forget, which, wow, Jorge, I LOVE that, but I just don't know if I can FORGIVE.
I found a couple links that are helpful for getting there, I THINK. I'm going to post them here, because otherwise, they'll get lost in the ether with the mushy concept of forgiveness. But I would really love if any of you wiser Sparklers could shed some of your wisdom on me. I admittedly feel a little stuck.