Wednesday, April 22, 2009


"There are some things we don't have to forgive," she said.

My heart paused and gasped.
My heart lifted. I felt as if
granted a reprieve from
a sisyphean task that I
never could complete.

It was a writer's workshop
cum therapy group. Grief
and healing and psalms.
And with one sentence,
she forgave me for the
forgiveness that I

"Oh." I said.
"Like Hitler," I said.
"We're not expected
to forgive Hitler."
"Exactly," she said.
Not that the crimes of
ex-hubby #2 compare to
the Holocaust.
But the point
was clear. I'm in
the clear. I can
beating myself up.
I'll leave that job
to the sadist.
He'll enjoy it.


Anonymous said...

I remember the moment I realised it wasn't imperative that I forgave my father for leaving, that I could work at it over time. In my case it was important that eventually I reached a point that I wasn't holding onto anger and pain, but that it wasn't crucial to have some epiphany of forgiveness where I felt cleansed and healed. Because I haven't had that and I too was beating myself up over it. It really is cathartic to realise it isn't it!!

xxx lots of love, milla

Louise said...

"There are some things we don't have to forgive."

Yes, that's a key.


Paul said...

OG, there are some things we either cannot or don't have to forgive, such as Hitler, the holocaust or indeed Polpot.
In such cases we must not forgive or forget, but we must put behind us, for our souls/spirits health.
Love and warm hugs,

mamacrow said...

leave forgivness up to the devine energy - it can doing anything (((HUGS)))

cutesy pah said...

I learned of this eye-opening concept around the same time I learned that you don't owe anyone an explanation.

Two simple, yet powerful concepts, both of which are Zen-like, understanding here and gone in the blink of an eye.

I'm glad you're learning it too.

Daddy's cutesy pah

oatmeal girl said...

My computer is back in its rightful, supposedly safer place on the desk. It's awfully hard to type, though, when Marko insist on jumping up and walking all over it. Not to mention sticking his face in front of the screen while he extends a paw down towards the keyboard...

Thanks so much to all of you who commented on this post. Your words were very supportive and affirming.

milla - yes. You just helped me sort out the parts. I don't have to forgive him, but I do have to let go of the anger and pain, because the only one they hurt is myself. I see the difference now.

I've got my own little therapy group here!

Louise - thank you. you sound as if you are speaking from experience. It's amazing - and sad - how much we all have been hurt.

Paul - yes. We must put them behind us. Even my parents have finally bought products from Germany! But boy, did I feel defiant when I bought my old VW Rabbit.

mamacrow - hmm... the divine energy... I suppose. But we all have some of the divine energy in us, and in Judaism the focus is on how we treat each other. At Yom Kippur we are supposed to forgive others and - sincerely - ask for forgiveness ourselves. And so every year I've had this struggle, trying to forgive him. And now I can stop that, and just concentrate on letting go of the hatred which is eating me up.

And when will I let go of my tears for the philosopher?

cutesy pah - Oh! Right... you mean like this afternoon if anyone had asked about the red tooth marks on my neck? :-)

mamacrow said...

'But we all have some of the divine energy in us,'

yes indeed!

'And when will I let go of my tears for the philosopher?'

when you do. sorry to sound zen :(
just, it really does work that way... maddening, but it is what it is I guess...

oatmeal girl said...

mamacrow - I guess there's nothing wrong with Zen... which is bring flip, because honestly I know very little about it.

Your answer, however, sounds right. I guess the tears will stop when it is time. Ah well...