Year Beginnings: Forgiveness

I’ve been avoiding retrospection on the year just ended, but it’s tough not to encounter others doing it, and it’s tough not to have any kind of answer at all to the kinds of clichés that pass for small talk this time of year. I looked back at my 2006 in review livejournal post–much more trite than I would be satisfied with this year–and realized I just would not be able to fill one in this year. I was struck by my complete inability to answer questions like the best thing I did all year, the most significant moments/dates or, really, anything about my actions at all. This is all very difficult to describe, but above all else, I’m very conscious of the extent to which I’ve been unstuck in both time and space over the past several months.

Then I came across this entry by profbwoman, in which she categorically forgives, and finally, I’ve found the way I want to think about this. This is as good a day as any to call a clean slate day. I don’t think I genuinely possess the kind of grace that she demonstrates in that post, but I can say it, and I can try to live it. Forgiveness means a lot of things to me–it does not mean forgetting, but it does mean forward-looking. I’ve done a lot of asking forgiveness, I need a lot more grace than I’ve yet been ready to request, and I’ve certainly tried to forgive others accordingly, using the Lord’s Prayer both as model and as words, over and over trying to say “as we forgive those who have sinned against us” enough times that I can believe it.

So I’ll say it again and try to mean it more, and think about next rather than past. I’ll say it with specific people and actions in mind, and I’ll try to think I can eventually really believe that what’s been done to me or those I care about is just the past, and that I can be restored to the state I was in before it happened, whole and healed.

My forgiveness means nothing to any of the people I’m trying to forgive. Thankfully, I have nothing to do with whether anyone else receives grace–if I did, it would be a very ungracious world indeed. But my forgiveness means absolutely everything to me. Because it means I am willing to create a clean slate for myself, I am willing to move forward and see something different.

Be something different.

Begin again.

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