Asking Forgiveness Thirty Years Later

Photo by bykst from Pixabay
Photo by bykst from Pixabay

I had felt justified. When she had paid me $25 to participate in the choreographer’s showcase I was organizing, she knew her deposit would be non-refundable. So when she came back a couple of weeks later to say she wouldn’t be able to participate after all and had requested her money back, I refused. It was non-refundable! I remember she had sighed, irritated, and then walked away.

We were both young artists struggling to support ourselves in New York City, and I wanted that money to help cover costs for the production. But had she needed the money more? While keeping her deposit, some part of me questioned: did I do the right thing?

It was two years later that I heard Halla had killed herself, this young dancer from Hawaii who had come to the big city to try her luck in the dance world, just like I had. The news came as a shock and a blow to me and I couldn’t get out of my head the moment of meanness I had shown her. Of course I hadn’t known what she was going through in her life, but still I regretted what I had done.

It’s a wonder how these things come around and revisit us. Recently while reading a book about the Ho’Oponopono forgiveness practice as taught by Dr. Hew Lin who is from Hawaii, I thought of Halla, whom I had known so briefly thirty years before. Picking up my computer I searched her name and found information about her mother, a dance researcher who had started an organization exploring various native and contemporary dance arts. That’s where I discovered the dance scholarship she had set up in 1987 in memory of her daughter.

Reading about this broke a chunk of ice in my chest and I began to cry. Had my small un-generosity been one of many little disappointments or difficulties that had over time added up to a burden she could no longer carry? Of course, I didn’t think keeping her money had caused her suicide. Still I grieved to think that where a small act of mercy or kindness could have been balm to a struggling soul, I had acted for my own interests and looked the other way.

Sobbing I asked for Halla’s forgiveness all these years later. Then, when the tears finished, I marveled. Had my spirit been holding onto this for thirty years, only now able to cleanse itself of this regretful act? How many small slights had I shown people over the years, conscious or unconscious? Why did this one in particular emerge for clearing? Did I have to ask forgiveness for all the little errors I had made through the years? What an exhausting thought!

Or perhaps by cleansing this one regretful incident,  I was somehow clearing other emotional debris from my psyche at the same time. Who knows?

Sitting with the mystery of it all, I did end up donating $100 to the memorial fund, asking that the money be dedicated to Halla. It felt like a small way to say, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were suffering so much. I wish I had been generous and given you your deposit back. I wish you well.” Then I just decided to chant the simpler version given to us by Dr. Hew Lin: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”

"This is very profound. We do create the world we live in with our actions ..."

Autumn, 2017 Message from the 12 ..."
"I feel the forces of Loves surrounding us and am using the violet fire to ..."

The August Lunar and Solar Eclipses ..."
"I can identify with your journey. Only you can define yourself."

When You Find Yourself in a ..."
"Interesting. Jews who have accepted Jesus are the outcasts of the Jewish community. The State ..."

When You Find Yourself in a ..."

Browse Our Archives



What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment