forgiving is remembering

We are what we come from but not only that. Forging ahead we bridge the divide between who were—the parts that fit and the pieces that don’t—and who we are becoming. Not who we are, mind you, for we are always the becoming, not a static arrival. 

Think back to your father and mother, your family (if you know or remember them); to your earliest memories, your childhood and adolescent and teenage years, your young adult ones to wherever you are now. Think back to what they gave you, or laid upon you, whether freedom or bondage, good or ill. Whatever it was, it made you, shaped you into someone, or at least tried. Whatever it was, there’s still something left of it, no matter how different you are now, no matter how much of your true self you’ve found. There’s always a little blood still dripping—or gushing—from a wound or two, or many. Some of us are mostly intact, with all of our limbs and internal organs. Some of us barely have a body left. Some of us were loved and knew peace, or conditional love and false peace, or contention, or abuse, or all out violence. Whatever it was, it’s your story. We may be saved, made new, but we are never entirely free from our blood. Ancestry is not everything, does not necessarily define or inhibit our becoming, but we will always be part of the web into which we’ve been weaved by birth. 

Forgiveness may or may not lessen the pain; either way it does not abolish the lineage; least of all does it mean we forget. Forgiveness has power in the remembering—or, in spite of the remembering.

If we can forgive those who have wounded us—whether much or little—we forgive only when we allow ourselves to remember what hurt, and most of all, the ones who hurt us.

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