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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4 Comments

  1. Ermand said,

    Why it hurts? You know for that particular short moment in the past memories it was real. Now it’s gone, he/she has gone. But did they take that best moment with themselves? I don’t think so. Because that moment has already gone. Did you try keeping it there and not looking for it now – in a different time – being at the same place, but without the other part of the miracle? Would have it been as powerful and enchanting as it had been? I don’t think so. It would have been different, it is different now. So isn’t it just different without him/her and nothing more? Where does the pain come from then? Why? What to forget? What to forgive? Isn’t ‘forge’ in the heart of both forgiveness and forgetting? An, if not, can it be? Can you move along, after all and continue to Love? Without any interruption or crack in your Love, no matter if the subject of your Love will be something/somebody else? “Love is all around”, you know.

  2. allyvrk said,

    But this is precisely true – it’s not as powerful and enchanting as it was, it’s not _now_, it’s _then_. It’s past, it’s gone, and when you close your eyes, you’re back there, then, but the absence of these other factors, this other person is what hurts you. Because they are not _here_, _now_.

    It is different. But the “powerfulness” of the past stabs you, from within. Forget the pain, forgive the pain — pain is all that’s worth asking forgiveness anyway. What else? Has anyone asked you to forgive them for making them laugh, or for making them happy?

    Of course you move on (though, rarely along :)), of course you keep on Loving, because in the end – that’s all that’s left, my Friend! Love! It is in fact Love, not Hope, nor faith, nor belief, nor religion, nor conviction that dies last. When there’s nothing you’re sure of in your life anymore, when you can’t even trust yourself, or your senses – then you know that the only reason you’re still alive is because you Love. You Love, not something or somebody anymore, you love because this feeling keeps you alive. Despite your understanding how selfish, irrational, impractical or destructing it may be. Hell, your world is destroyed, why care about the others.
    You simply Love, is all…

  3. Ermand said,

    Yes, they are not here now, so are we not capable to feel something new at the same place? Do past memories always emerge in us? Are we not able to stand pure as it is our first time? Can we train our minds, our hearts, our conviction?

  4. allyvrk said,

    I could not know if _we_ can. I only speak for myself, always. And I most definitely wish to believe in the possibility of feeling new things, every time, under new circumstances, but not in the same place, my Friend. Be not mistaken, though, what does purity have to do with living things anew and reliving past memories? If a feeling is true, it is pure; it shall not be clouded by the past. Yet, it never will erase the past. Therefore I’ve learned not to judge the past, nor the pain it brings when touched, for it is thanks to it who I Am now.

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