on forgiveness: intro

In the past week I have had several conversations about forgiveness. Also I have had the opportunity to forgive some people, who I will not name at present.

Forgiveness is probably the most important life skill we can learn. It is even more important than tying your shoes and balancing a check book because you can get shoes without laces and you can hire (or, like me, marry) someone to balance your checkbook for you. But forgiveness you will have to do all on your own.

This is true because you happen to share a planet with people who are experts at hurting you or, at the very least, annoying you. You might even share a house with these people. In fact, I guarantee that you do, even if you live alone, because we are sometimes our very own worst enemies, doing human and foolish and angry things that make life worse than it was before.

You can choose not to forgive — that is an option — but your life will be awful. In fact, if you think your life is awful, forgiveness is probably where you should check in first. It’s quite possible you’ve got some nicely stuffed soul closets to deal with.

I know because that has been true for me. What is true for me may not be true for everyone, but probably it is true for at least three or four other people and you might be one of those people.

So in the weeks to come I am going to tell you everything that I know about forgiveness. It is not everything, it isn’t even very much, and I wouldn’t entirely recommend you believe all of it because I am a novice forgiver and am still honing the art. Luckily I have the rest of my life to practice and get better.


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