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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
- Gandhi

I have found it necessary to think about forgiveness, specifically forgiveness that will probably never be accompanied by an apology. I think the fact that I don't expect an apology from said person makes me even more resistant to forgiving them. However, wisdom tells me that it doesn't matter.

No amount of bitterness that I harbor will affect another person, it only affects me. I've always been able to forgive a person as long as I never wanted to be around them again or we were blood relatives. But it's time for a bigger lesson.

I realized what that lesson was last night while listening to a Yom Kippur sermon by Rabbi Sharon Brous (my favorite rabbi) in which she warned against being a person who loved all humanity but doesn't know how to love another human being.

In many ways, I feel as though the latter part of that statement is the test I am going through. I am used to dismissing people from my life who have hurt me without ever feeling a tinge of leftover bitterness for humanity in general. But now the test is to move forward from being hurt by someone you otherwise expected to have in your life for a while.

Maya Angelou says that the ego holds, but love liberates. Perhaps the true liberation I need is to learn to love, forgive, and accept the nastiness brought up by two egos clinging to their positions. I thought I knew everything about egos when I read Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, but hearing those words from Maya Angelou moved mountains in my consciousness.

It seems contradictory that a softening of the heart will strengthen and liberate, but I will give it a try.

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