Recently, I’ve been hearing and thinking a lot about forgiveness. When someone has hurt us, one of the most difficult things we have to face in resolving the situation is the act of forgiveness. It doesn’t involve casting any stones or putting yourself on a pedestal – you’re not better than the person you’re working to forgive. But it’s an important step in getting through your own pain and recognizing that you’re not a victim- and it is part of a lengthy process. I’m not past the pain or at peace with it – but I’m working on it. Hence the Prologue, the Part I, the precursor to the main event.
One of the reasons that forgiveness can be so challenging is that we feel we are condoning the actions of the person who caused our suffering, but that’s not true. And it’s most important to recognize when forgiveness is a two-way street. In order to forgive, we simply need to get to a place where we are ready to stop identifying ourselves with pain. Only then will we be free of the past.
Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, and means we are ready to let go of our sadness. One day, hopefully soon, I’ll get to that point. In the meantime, the best I can do is to attempt grace in dealing with my challenges, embrace my failings, and love my imperfections. One day there will be someone who cherishes those as well.
A huge part of forgiveness is understanding that all those plans and dreams we have are not over. I can still one day get married at my favorite Easthampton winery (I keep this picture of it on my fridge, so I can see it everyday). I can still travel to Copenhagen, revisit Napa regularly, and be taught to play golf and tennis with the best of them. It’s a different path than I had planned, but the same journey. It’s been said that nobody can go back and start a new beginning… but anyone can start today and make a new ending.