And how do you measure forgiveness?

March 10, 2008 at 11:39 pm (Reflections)

“The depth of love is measured with the ruler of forgiveness” is what I randomly read today in one of them books of inspirational thoughts. There is certain amount of truth in it, when you come to think of it. In theory, at least. Love’s forgiving of all and every fault and mistake. Some dare call it ‘blind,’ but I’d rather stay away from such untruthful extremes, for love is all but blind. Yet, they say it is forgiving, maybe partly because of that feeling of ‘I-don’t-hate-you-no-matter-what-happens’ that’s left after all’s been said and done. Or, is it?

The truth is, it’s easy to say the words, but what does it truly mean to forgive somebody? It’s not hate, it’s never been hate, but the pain remains. The pain has been there all along, and you do things, you go your way, and so does the other person, and from the start you hurt, but in the beginning it’s that sweet pain, that tingly feeling in your stomach that makes you melt in heavenly pleasure by the thought of a certain being. At the end it’s the same sort of pain, a little bitter, though, in stead of sweet, but it’s the same – in magnitude, just proportional to what you once called “love.” It’s just a shade. Hate, and love, and pain, and all the nuances inbetween – it’s the same damn feeling that burns you inside out.

Then how do you measure forgiveness? If nothing changes, ever, the feeling there, constantly, the same in essence, sometimes even in appearance, what happens when you truly forgive someone? Forgive for what? Whatever we experience is our own doing anyway; who do we need ask for forgiveness then but ourselves?…

“Dear Me, forgive me for daring to love and hurting so much from it…”
“You’re forgiven”
“Thank you, dear Me, but you know, I keep hurting, will you forgive me for that?”
“Of course, since you ask so politely. Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily invoke change of the situation.”
“But what of the emotional state – is that not supposed to change a tiny bit at least?”

And then there’s silence. I know I forgave myself for hurting now, but will I for the future? Or every single moment of existence requires the question repeated anew, until a goddamn speck of change in emotion clouds the clear cold ocean of pain? Of love?

Alas, change in emotion comes only when you forget. Remember Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Erase your memories, emotions with them, and it’s all gone. Nothing to remember, nothing to forgive. Does forgiveness come when you forget? It seems to be one way. The only way.

And what if you are cursed with the gift to never forget the smallest gesture, or word, or date, or place, or fragrance; what if closing your eyes takes you places, back in past times, in futures, in ‘nows’ and ‘thens’ that never happened; what if the smell of rain-wet pine cones and the thunderous rambling of a waterfall make you involuntarily call a name long gone from your life, gone from that place, a name that has forgotten yours? How do you measure forgiveness then, when you CANNOT forget?…

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