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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Forgive and Forget

That old axiom has haunted me for years. Most of the time forgiving isn't all that hard. I mean, really, what is unforgiveable is the incredibly terrible stuff and fortunately to me, that's pretty rare. Of the thousands of people I've known, only 4 or 5 are unforgiveable.

But forgetting? That's a very different deal. Minor nonsense is always forgettable. The sheer number of stupid mistakes would make it impossible to remember all that. There are understandable deeds, too. So throw away the minor infractions- money unrepaid, slights, asinine fights, careless losses, the things we all do while trying to get to the grave- and there's the middle ground offenses (middle ground to me that is. We all have different scales) that get an "I dunno if I can get past that" response. Things like caustic lies and gossip, being kicked when down, planned and purposeful hurts. When put in context, much of those can be understood... no one is innocent, as they used to say. People do wrong things when their lives suck. But that stuff's harder to forget.

Then there are the Unforgiveables. People who are so unrelentingly nasty, so cold-hearted, so irredeemably happy in their evilness that there's nothing to do but boot them away. It's self-defense to get them out of your life, really. And yet I'll still feel guilty for doing it. Must be a masochist or a martyr- or both- lurking inside me.

Then there have also been people who were no good to anyone else, even dangers to society, who were good to me. This confused me, because I'm a pack animal and seek to keep everyone okay around me. If somebody is a great friend to me but antisocial to the world it just doesn't compute. Those relationships are the moral dilemmas I hate most. I don't ever want to leave someone alone who's been my proven friend. No matter what. But you can't ever change somebody else and if they can't fit comfortably into your life, they'll go, one way or another.

In any event, I'm cursed with a very retentive memory. And I keep journals for the day when my memory fails. I may never read them, there's a lot I'd like to forget. But I find that pain + time does often = humor. Once things are funny it's much easier to let go. I guess that's the way to get through it, just let time heal all wounds and wound all heels. Everything fades eventually.

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