A gift we give ourselves (Forgiveness Part 2)

A gift we give ourselves (Forgiveness Part 2) September 6, 2018

Recently, I posted a blog about forgiveness. A few people were mad about it. “Forgiveness puts the blame on the victim!” was the main concern. I hear that. I’ve seen that. That also wasn’t what I said.

This morning, I received word that an old friend had passed away.

We had a tumultuous past. Honestly, there was a time when he was a real dick. Then again, at that same time, I was mean and quite a dick, myself. It took years, but we finally opened up about that time in our lives and forgave one another. I wrote about it on my other blog.

He took me to the prom. We got in trouble all the time from talking backstage in drama. I lost access to the car when I drove in loops around the school parking lot while he and another friend rode on the hood. He broke my heart, which prompted me to seek my first Tarot reading (which later launched a huge part of not only my career, but formed my spirituality). If you’ve been in my “Tarot for One” class, he was the “example” I used when doing a reading about a past relationship experience. I don’t know if I’ll now need to find a new example.

We hated each other for years. But one day, I sought his forgiveness and he asked for mine, too. 

I remember wondering if the conversation was stupid. We were living 3,000 miles apart, in very separate lives. We may have had a lot in common at one time, but did we have anything in common anymore aside from our past? Why were we rehashing a strange time over Facebook messenger?

Something told me, Say it, now. You won’t get another chance.

I thought perhaps it would just be too much rehashing, or the opportunity would never be appropriate. I couldn’t imagine saying over dinner with our respective spouses, “So, would you consider what that lady did to us as abuse or creepy-creepness?” It needed to be addressed and examined. And it needed healing.

I got it. I hope he did, too. 

Two nights ago, the Spirits told me he was gone by sending me a dream about the adult who ultimately broke our friendship, through her own manipulation and abuse. I screamed at her and told her everything I’d been holding onto for twenty years. Next task: Forgive her? It’ll take a while….

That might have been the night he left this realm.

The voice was right. I wouldn’t get another chance.

It’s none of my business whether someone else forgives those who have hurt them. I’m not here to tell people what to do. I just know that my pain right now would be much worse if I hadn’t forgiven him. After our conversation, I sent him an old script he’d written, which had been amongst my high school memorabilia, along with some old photos of both of us being total dorks. He wrote me a note to thank me. He was battling cancer at the time and never said a word. Now his two babies, whom he will not get to see grow up, have a little glimpse of their daddy.

Forgiveness is not always about assigning blame to the victim. It’s true–Sometimes, it’s a gift we give ourselves.

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  • K Randall

    ““Forgiveness puts the blame on the victim!” was the main concern.” I can’t fathom how forgiveness is victim-blaming. I know that’s not what your article is about, but I can’t find the comments in which this assertion was made. If you forgive someone, its because they wronged you. In what way are they the victim?

  • K Randall

    Okay I’ve gone and done some self-education on this idea. But I would qualify the concern. The act of forgiveness itself is not victim-blaming, but urging a victim to forgive, rather than letting them come to forgiveness (or not) on their own terms, is problematic. Since you are writing about your own choice to forgive, I don’t see why anyone would accuse you of victim-blaming. Its almost like the message has been simplified to the formula: “forgiveness” = bad. How unfortunate!