Oct 5, 2006

To err is human, to forgive is divine.

We've all heard it. That phrase. That ringing endorsement, from on high, of the ability to absolve and release, to accept and move on.
Looking up "forgive" in the dictionary, you get some interesting synonyms. The one I found the most alarming was "condone"
Is to forgive really to condone? I've never thought so. I've also considered forgivness acceptance of an error AS AN ERROR, and with consideration towards personal growth and regret,the ability to let than human error sit in the past, as one moves on.
Because we humans? We fuck up. WE FUCK UP.
Oh how we fuck up. It's only natural. It almost seems like we were put here to stumble about and into things until we learn the lay of the land enough to navigate the harsh terrain like ballerinas with balloons in their tights.
We fuck up, we learn something, and we move on. And as we become more savvy and understand the subtle nuances of people, and the importance of love, acceptance and honesty, we also discover new ways to fuck up, and new ways not to.
And it wouldn't be fair to let every mistake go. To grant forgiveness like a golden ticket to the glorious ride of spiritual amnesia. But in the same vein, forgiveness exist to allow us to acknowledge our mistakes and to grow from them, without constant fear of rejection of reprisal.
It's all part of growth. So when someone does something that appears to offend me, I try not to react with aching surprise and betrayal. At least the first few times. yes. there they are, slamming into a wall at top speed. maybe they should have seen the wall or anticipated a wall would be there when there were three other walls holding up a room. maybe they shouldn't have been going so fast in the first place. but either way as they rub their arm and back off slowly and feel the burn every bit as much as the wall, sometimes you just gotta laugh that collision off. maybe they were distracted by something much more heady when they flew into that concrete. maybe that wall really came out of nowhere.
and in the end, you just don't know. so you ask questions and you grant some slack. "why you doin that shit to my wall, man? whats your problem" and they say "I'm sorry sorry sorry, I didn't even see that wall but now I know it's there and this big old bump on my head will remind me to look for walls in building from here on out" and you say "it's cool, it was only a wall,I can paint over that scratch. And you do. You do. you do. you do. You paint over that scratch or you frame the mark to remind you that forgiveness is as much a part of friendship as fun and folly. That compassion makes good bedfellows with trust and expectation.
I'm not saying it's always easy. Some mistakes are tantamount, some errors reflect personality traits that are pretty much deal breakers. The phrase "unconditional love" is a misnomer. Do you really need to love someone when they've become a complete dick? Indeed, some mistakes exist to bring light to inherent incompatabilities, and in the end we just don't need to like everyone.
But in the end, most of us, somewhere, are gonna love someone. Hopefully more than a few someones. And those relationships will change and evolve and grow. If you are lucky. And with growth comes growing pains.
And with the right amount of awareness, or contrite regret, most things can be chalked up to human error and another step in the evolving path.

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