In this post A meditation on assholery, I wrote:
I think that the ability to forgive is a virtue, and to be forgiven is a great gift. When I listen to the song “It’s quiet uptown” from the soundtrack of “Hamilton,” and the chorus sings: “Forgiveness! Can you imagine? Forgiveness!” I reliably burst into tears. I can imagine forgiveness. I’ve experienced it because I have forgiven myself. I’ve learned to forgive others. I’ve done it [forgiven others] selfishly—to justify forgiving myself. How can I not forgive them when I’ve done worse? But I’ve also done it because—well, I don’t know. I’ve done it.
Something I learned a couple of months ago from Mira (she sent me a recording of one of her mentors doing a practice that I later learned was called Hoʻoponopono.
“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”
I spent about an hour writing down some frustrating feelings and then replying with: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” Not formulaic, like that, but as though I meant it. Because I do. Did. Whatever.
Like: I love where I live, but there’s a part of me that would really like to be in the city. That part of me fucking hates living here.
If I moved to make that part of me happy, that would REALLY create a lot of misery, not least because it would result in a divorce or at least separation from my best friend and wife. (Both the same person, you jerk.)
So the best I could do was say: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”
Forgiveness affects me so profoundly.
I know I’ve done some dickish things—cutting myself off from my parents and brother and sister for starters, but as humans go, I don’t think I’m that horrible. Still: “Forgiveness! Can you imagine? Forgiveness.” is a reliable way to bring on tears. And relief.
I’ve written a lot about forgiveness, and some of it’s worth rereading. (Hey! I’m talking to you, Future Me )
In addition to that post and my Meditation on assholery I wrote about The paradoxes of gratitude and forgiveness: they help the giver even more than the receiver. And Frustration and forgiveness.
And also these:
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