Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Coffee and forgiveness...

     My brother and I met for coffee today as we periodically do.  It’s just the two of us during these times. We meet to talk about many things; at times we talk about nothing. It is the time we reconnect, both as siblings and as friends.   We discuss situations in our lives, thoughtfully, and laugh at them as well. During these meetings I often discover things about my brother that I had not known previously.  It amazes me that we’ve been siblings for 48 years, and still I uncover things that I did not know about him. 
      Today we touched on the topic of forgiveness.  Later that day my mind kept returning to this theme; this theme of forgiveness.  It became clear to me that in the end we sometimes feel compelled to forgive others who have wronged us.  Maybe this is due to our age or maybe it is because we somehow know it is that time to let go. This is not necessarily to benefit the other person who, knowingly or unknowingly, made them the person to forgive.  We do so because if we don’t forgive, it will eat us up inside.  It may happen now or it may happen later, but ultimately we must forgive. 
     My brother said that for him the process of forgiving must be tied to a physical act.  He said he will walk around the lake where he lives, a mile around it, 16 times.  One mile for each year he feels he has lost due to the person who has wronged him.  It seems that for him, the actual act of forgiving is tied to a visceral feeling. 
     I suppose, for me, forgiveness is the cleaning out, emotionally, of the pain and resentment towards the person I feel has wronged me. So it’s not about the goodness in me.  It’s about the need to let go of that long held bitterness and anger. It is the time I must loosen my grip and let it go.