I just finished the book, Good on Paper, by Rachel Cantor.
The protagonist, Shira learns about forgiveness through a series of poems and writings by both Dante and a fictional poet, Romei.
Here was my favorite line in the book: Nice if the offender can account for herself- confess, be contrite, make reparations, change. Nice if we can put ourselves into the offenders shoes, as if she were a character in fiction: recognize her humanity, identify with her, emphatically imagine our way to forgiveness. But ultimately, forgiveness begins not in the intentions of the offender, but the heart of the offended.
Forgiveness has been on my mind- I’ve cut the last tie to my past with the sale of the house, but during the sale another betrayal was revealed. And I was left again to wonder if I could ever forgive the person who caused so much pain and who evokes an equal amount of anger.
Cantor’s character learns that some people’s offenses are unforgivable, others will not be confessed- we can’t always wait for penance.
I’ve tried to forget the past- The agreement and the support is over, and so is the emotional manipulation that came with each check.
Forgiveness is a funny thing. You can wake up someday and a past offense no longer stings. You realize it no longer hurts, the anger has disappeared. Your heart is lighter.
But some offenses are unforgivable- in this case it’s the offense coupled with a total lack of remorse.
One day my heart may soften enough to forgive the trespass against me. I won’t waste my precious energy waiting for reparation.