I understand that forgiveness is a gift we can give ourselves.
When we forgive we feel happier and lighter.
I have come to understand human failings, including my own and as it pertains to forgiveness, long life, how we are all imperfect.
I have come to understand that circumstance, trauma, sadness and loneliness can make otherwise good people, behave poorly.
But I still need to believe in some black and white and substance. I still need to find some things unforgivable.
For me, those things are chronic infidelity and turning your back on your children.
Sometimes we think we are forgiven because time has filled people’s brains with other things.
Sometimes we think we are forgiven because imbeciles with no values- and the world is full of them- have forgiven us. Adore us. Find us important.
Sometimes we get so good at telling ourselves our own version that we have no real knowledge of what happened and what we did.
Perhaps people will not judge others harshly because they think they want to allow themselves a future “out”. If I say- Its okay then you will say that to me one day. I get to hang in the grey area with you where no one judges and no one has to try hard to be better.
All of this comes up for me again when a politician thinks we have short attention spans and values that fade with memory. Eliot Spitzer, like so many, is just another man who did not have the guts to be better than. He is just a man who thought the rules of life did not apply to him and while he may run again for public office, maybe marry again and have new children that appear to give a clean slate, nothing he ever does and no passage of time and no amount of public approval will allow him to run from what he did. When asked if the public should forgive, he says “I looked deep in my soul” (?)
We are the sum of our parts and our deeds.
We are what we do. We are the adjectives we earn and feed. Loyal, dedicated, honest, good, truthful, dependable, and why does nobody ever talk about kind enough not to humiliate someone we love.
And we are the adjectives we cannot un earn. Untruthful, disloyal, unkind, corrupt, hurtful.
We can choose not to forgive. And we can choose to be better than.