What is forgiveness?……….. Is it just something we say?……………… I forgive you?





What does it feel like to forgive? I know what it feels like to be hungry, tired, awake, excited, constipated, afraid, alone, ashamed, bashful, shy, embarrassed, aroused, challenged, under-whelmed, disappointed, happy, jealous, rejected, angry………….and hurt.



What does it feel like to forgive…?



Recently, I have had to wrestle with that idea, and that question.




They say that anger is a secondary emotion. Meaning, you always feel some other emotion first. We only feel anger because we feel hurt first. You step on my foot…I feel hurt…so I protect that wound by getting angry.


You break my heart, and I get angry too.


But, I don’t want to be angry.

Because, then I won’t be happy.

Because, I know I can’t feel both emotions at the same time.

But what do you do when all conventional wisdom tells you—you should be angry. When all those whom you trust tell you that you should be angry.


But that’s just it. It all revolves around trust. We have all given our trust to someone………….and got hurt.

So now what to do?


I think of those mothers and fathers that visit the convict in prison who hurt or murdered their child. I think about those who have been attacked, perhaps close to killed, who later are able to meet their would be assailants. And, when they meet those who for no reason deserve their forgiveness…they forgive the perpetrator anyway.


Interesting word…perpetrator.


Almost like Perve and Traitor. But, that is kind of what a perpetrator is, a pervert and a traitor. A pervert is a person who takes something wholesome and good and alters it to feed their own desires for self-satisfaction. This, despite the fact they know it to be wrong. And a traitor, because they failed to love, care for, and extend the golden rule to the victim.


We have all been both.

We have all been the victim and the perpetrator.


We all know what it is to be naïve; trusting that the other portion, thing or person would live up to the same agreement to care. We all know what it is to be willing to break the trust of another. We do it knowing it will benefit only us, and crush the other. None of us is blameless. As much as we know how it feels to have our hearts crushed by those we care for, admire, and love. We also know what it is to be downright thoughtless, ruthless, and hateful of those gifts, children, lovers, parents, friends, and soul mates with which we hold a bond. We have been perverts and traitors too.




But……………………………………..we have also been loved.






At one point…at some time in the past…at some moment…we have all been loved by…








And it felt good.



And it gave us reason to trust again. And that felt good too.


Soooooooo…that is what forgiveness feels like…it feels like love…and trust. Those being the two things we lost when we were hurt. We lost our love, and we lost our trust. We are both victim and perpetrator. Is it so different though…if we were both the victim and the perpetrator at the same time?


This happens when we let ourselves down, when we loose our trust in ourselves, when we did something selfish, cruel, demeaning, or self-destructive to ourselves, that is when we fulfill both roles at the same time. That is when we are both victim and perpetrator. When we break our own heart by not being the persons we thought we were? When we believe the lie?


That lie being:


“That pleasing the self is more important than the welfare of others, or even our own welfare.”


If there ever was a Garden of Eden, that was the original lie.


The lie was that there is something better than reciprocal love and trust.


And we have all believed that that was true. So we did it, but we hurt someone, we hurt ourselves. But…WE ARE ALL ONE. If I hurt you, I hurt myself. And I want the best for you…you are me. I love you. I love me. I am neither good nor bad, I am me, and we are one.


And, I am sorry.


I am sorry I hurt you. I am sorry I hurt me. I’m sorry that I didn’t love you better, I am sorry that I didn’t love myself better. I didn’t love us. I lost trust in us because I have been a victim of me, and of you. And we hurt, and we cried.


So, now what do we do? We feel…………………………..forgiveness.


We feel love.


We feel loved.


We feel trust.


We feel nearly whole.


Not all of us feel loved; some of us still believe the lie. We sometimes forget ourselves. But, now we know, now we change, and now we have changed. We know now that love is the only answer. It always has been, it always will be. We need only to forgive, to feel it again. And, we are made whole.


And so…




I forgive us all, I forgive me, and I forgive us.


And later, when I get self or externally critical of us, I will forgive us. And love. Let’s try to love each other.


It will be so much more fun.


I love us.

Of course that reminds me of one of my favorite rhymes:

“Roses are red, violets are blue, I am schizophrenic, and so am I.”