Last month I wrote a poem about the arrival of fall, but needless to say, I was fooled and fall is playing coy with west Texas, all of West Texas. because it is still warm enough to wear shorts. I’m actually grateful for the warm temperatures because there was a problem with the switch in the turn signal and based on all my mechanical knowledge I knew it wasn’t working, So It was time to go to the auto shop.
I started walking and some unresolved anger joined me and started talking and talking. He reminded me of past wounds and abuse. He is the type of companion who is needy, blames me for everything, and eats all of the trail mix. Despite all of the hurt he causes, there is something likeable about him so he hangs around.
The pleasure of his company becomes twisted love and the damning treasure is clutched in a cold hand while short nonsensical phrases are muttered to no one in particular and the beloved possession is held tightly to the chest just to know that it is still there.
I read in an article that if a person can forgive all of the people who have wronged them by the time they are thirty, they are a healthy and well-adjusted person. Since it coincided with my turning thirty obsession, I added it to my ‘under thirty’ to-do list. Anne Lamott says not forgiving another person it is like “drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die”. I don’t think forgiveness looks as easy as people make it look on TV.
As hard as it is to forgive someone not forgiving them is even worse. The words ‘I forgive you’ are not a magical incantation that makes all right with the world, they are a slow act of releasing a pressure valve. After you say them the back of your neck feels cooler. Your chest and stomach, once endlessly winding, start to relax. Your breathing is deep and normal then you repeat the words ‘I forgive you’.
The truth is we are forgiven far more than we realize in spite of our slips of temper and tongue by people who said I need to move forward but I don’t want to leave you behind so I forgive you and they do it again and again.