Thursday, August 8, 2013

2 Elul: Forgiveness

 "Imitate G-d by being compassionate and forgiving" - Rabbi Nachman of Breslev

You shall not hate your brother in your heart. - Leviticus (Chapter 19)

I was bullied in elementary and high school.  I was shy and awkward (probably still awkward) and those were the kinds of traits that invited bullying.  One girl who bullied me in elementary school had gone to a different high school.  After a couple of years, we crossed paths.  She apologized to me.  She said she didn't treat me right and was sorry about that.  I forgave her instantly.  


I was dating someone when I started university and the relationship ended badly.  In fact, it was disastrous.  I was planning on breaking up with him one weekend, only he ended up handing me a note declaring his undying love for me.  

When I looked up after ready his touching note, he waited for me to say something like "me too".  Only I couldn't say me too.    

I knew I hurt him, but relationships end and I figured he would move on and find his real true love.  We met up again about five years later and dated briefly.  I realized very quickly that we both had changed and I think I sensed he hadn't really forgiven me.  Maybe it was because I hadn't officially apologized for breaking up with him.

We were having a heated discussion on animal rights.  He told me he met hookers who had more morals than I did.  (...I didn't ask...).  Needless to say, I didn't forgive that comment for a long time.  I guess it's easy to be forgiving when since I never saw him again.  


My first Rosh Hashanah as a Baal Teshuvah I sent a mass email out to friends asking their forgiveness.  I felt a bit awkward doing it in such a public way, but the fact was, I didn't know if anyone was upset with me.  

I was nervous but it turned out to be revitalizing for friendships.  Friends (even non Jewish ones) appreciated my apology, and mentioned they had been upset, mostly because we had fallen out of touch.


I find it hardest to forgive myself.  

This is my third post based on writing prompts for Elul.  Please join me and link your page in the comments section.

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