Tomorrow night starts Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, when we ask for forgiveness.
It’s a particularly reflective day in that we are supposed to look over the past year and hope that we are “sealed in the book of life” for another year.
This concept of forgiveness is a tough one for me. I wish it weren’t so, but it is. Especially as of late. I am trying hard to separate feelings from facts and reactions from responses, particularly when it comes to those who I feel have wronged me or ones I love in some way.
Divorce may be the ultimate playground for toying with forgiveness. I really do say “I’m sorry” when I have done something wrong and try to fess up to my fallacies, of which there are many. There is no way to say “I am sorry” when you are in the middle of a divorce- at least not mine. It’s hard to apologize when it feels as if every turn you are on the receiving end of a whole pile of ugliness.
That being said, you’ll never hear me say that I was the perfect husband. Far from it and as hard as I tried, it wasn’t enough and there are certainly things I could and should have done better – communicating while trying to save a marriage being at the top of the list.
I’m not ready to apologize anymore than I did during the marriage. I may never be. The hurt is too deep and the burn too strong still. Maybe one day. However, I am not willing to step close to the shoreline of resentment and sink into a sea of bitterness, either.
My sole focus has been on focusing on my kids. Thankfully, they are doing amazing. They are not without their struggles, as I suspect most of us are, but are truly resilient. As I write this, they are throwing a ball around in my bedroom razzing each other and continuing to solidify a bond that no one but the two of them will ever really be able to understand.
Tomorrow, I take my first step at focusing on myself a little bit in a new direction. I am going to try and start to forgive myself and shed myself of the guilt, shame, anger and fear that can stir the soul and cloud the inner engine that propels us forward.
Every day, at some point, I realize that it could be the last and for all the turmoil and pain, there are more examples of incredible gratitude – my kids, my friends, the warmth of the sun on my face during a baseball game, the piano and for me, comedy. I have to forgive myself lest I lose possession of all one by one.
What do you need to forgive yourself for?
Until next time,
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