The Act of Forgiveness
I woke up this morning contemplating the idea of forgiveness and how one might get close to it, even if what has manifested seems outrageously unforgivable. Even if you are to forgive not for one deed but for a lifetimes' worth of them. Even if you are perfectly aware that those deeds will never be acknowledged and an apology will never be uttered. Can you still forgive, I wonder.
Having had a few years of therapy under my belt, I have experienced first hand the alleviative properties of such an action. Even if the action begins on an intellectual level, as in just saying the words, even to oneself, a motion is set up towards the release of the negative energy one carries through resentment. Forgiveness, it seems, just like all such virtuous sounding actions, is a selfish act. It is never done for the other, but for oneself. I think it is called an act for that exact reason. It begins as such. It is a conscious choice to fight the noises in your head, to say I choose hope over anger, I choose love over hate, I choose truth over lies. To fight the malicious ingredients of resentment - bitterness, rage, anxiety, and to say stop. You no longer have a grip over me. I will forgive and I might even forget, but not for you, for me.
To forgive is to say I accept you for who you are, with all your flaws and shortcomings. To say I understand what it is that made you who you are, I understand that you were unable to fight the noises in your own head and that I wish you well, I wish you the release you are searching for and I wish you strength in the battle with your own demons. You are understood but not welcome.
In this modern world, where there are no dragons to be slain and no swords to sharpen, no dames to be rescued and no warriors to be defeated, I find myself wondering, who are the true heroes of our time?
As witnesses to the dismantling of all of our former beliefs, religion, government, family. Where our gods have been replaced by reality show plebs, our governments led by caricatures, broken families, broken homes, who are to be named the guardians of our future? Is it the former middle-class families struggling to upkeep the myth of their previous lives, wrestling to pay their bills and keep their homes? Is it the pensioners whose life savings have been stolen from them, their promised golden years spent summoning all of the energy they can generate to continue existing? Is it the hipster generation, adorning our cities with fancy eateries and all bio please pseudo stop pretending you're not a capitalist, you consumer hypocrite? Is it the unbroken by the mundane daily tasks of adulthood, out of their schools and onto our streets, youth, begging us all for a wake-up call, so they can have a future?
In this upside-down world where nothing of what we knew makes sense anymore, what I'd like to know is who are the real heroes of our time.
Courage is the defining attribute of a hero, and although we are all in some way or other heroic within the context of this crazy epoch we are living, I believe that the most heroic of them all are those that still dare to find hope within the context of this chaos. Those who can bounce back from their previous identities and create a new one. Those who inside of all the whining and complaining and oh it's his fault or her fault or their fault can admit that it is my fault. That can take accountability and adapt. That can stand steady in the storm and say, come on let's get to work. Let's rebuild. Those are the ones that will lead us.
So whether you admit it or not you have a choice. You can sit back and point fingers all you want or you can put on your big girl panties or big boy shorts and get to work. Decide.