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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Words That Can Haunt Me, Part 7: Forgiveness

Which is easier for you - to forgive others or to forgive yourself?

Compared to many people who have shared their stories with me, either personally or via a memoir, my experience to date has been largely free of the type of trauma and/or dysfunction that would call on me to forgive others in order to fully heal. For that, I'm grateful.

At the same time, forgiving others, even when a trespass has not necessarily been traumatic, does not come easy to me. When I still regularly attended religious services, any homily about forgiveness would linger with me for weeks.

But forgiving myself puts this word into the haunting realm. I veer from the paradox of how to forgive myself for being unforgiving of others to ridiculously mundane matters re self-forgiveness. For example, the genesis of this post occurred on a day when I kept postponing some reading. On that day, in order to rally above a dip in mood, I wrote in my journal - "Forgive yourself for not wanting to read today". It worked for a few moments but the absurdity did not escape me.


  1. "The cut worm forgives the plow."
    --William Blake (from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Proverbs of Hell)

    1. Mr. Anonymous; This quote is quite pithy. When I receive these kind of things I'm intrigued by someone who has much to offer and chooses to maintain anonymity.