The Selfishness of Forgiving

Today is one of those days I feel a little bit inexplicably sad. A jumble of thoughts put into words. More questions than answers but such is life.

I wonder sometimes why writing is so calming. It’s just some words on a screen, or some ink on a page. It’s only a thought, an idea, a string of words put in some kind of order which society has agreed makes sense. When I feel a little down or listless somehow writing helps to bring me back down to earth.

Perhaps there’s something important about the act of trying to articulate the jumble of emotions and thoughts which fill my mind each day – a quiet reassurance that I am still me and no one else. Maybe there’s value in the finality of words which are written, in the choice to describe myself as happy or sad, rather than continuing to attempt to make sense of the feelings inside.

There’s a strange kind of relief in simply deciding to acknowledge the inexplicable as something or other concrete. Your life becomes a little bit more your own when you choose to write your story as you see it, regardless of whether that might be right or wrong in anyone else’s eyes. At least once you’ve started writing you can keep your story going somewhere even if it’s not the best ending; surely that’s better than spending forever searching for the perfect opening sentence and not writing anything at all.

Besides, is there any real value in a ‘precise’ account of intangible emotions we experience each and every day? How important is it to understand the person I was in the past when the me of today has so many more things to worry about? Similarly, how important is it to seek explanations of the disappointments we have experienced and of the actions of others in order to forgive them? If we can hardly make sense of our own emotions and actions, why is it that we should expect those around us to express themselves with perfect clarity? Why do we need a detailed description complete with embellished apologies in order to write forgiveness into our hearts?

More and more I’ve come to realise that forgiveness really isn’t about the other person at all. We all pretentiously assume that our decision to either forgive a person or not has some unspoken influence on that persons right to happiness or even karmic retribution. In reality though forgiveness is not at all about the other person. It’s simply a decision to finish a chapter in our own books or even just accepting that paragraph might always remain half-written so that we might be free to write more exciting things. Rather than something that needs to be measured, earned and only bestowed out of generosity, it is just something we can do to free ourselves of disappointments and pointless wishing that the past could somehow be different. A forgiving heart is not a generous or kind one, it is simply one which knows how to continue loving.

Still, how do you forgive someone who doesn’t believe they are worth forgiving?


One comment

  1. Sometimes its best to just leave evryrhing behind and forget even for a split moment.
    Sometimes it hard to forgive, some still learning how to forgive so relax alittle have a chocolate.

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