Forgiveness is such a deep card for me, goes right to my essence. Forgiving my shadow, who pops up unexpectedly , growling with rage at my kids when I have been tapped more than I can endure. Forgiving myself the limitations of my love, the times when I can’t muster any more empathy and sweet sing song cadences. Forgiving myself the darkness, the endless wanting things different: different behaviors, different lifestyle, different house, different food.
Reading an incredible memoir by Mary Karr called Lit all about her struggle with addiction and the glorious relief—and hard work—of sobriety. While I don’t necessarily have addiction issues, what resonated with me is how beautifully Karr talks about prayer. Not in any woo woo way, but in a blunt, almost practical terms that pierced me with their beauty. I have been praying a lot myself of late. And inspired by Karr, I have unabashedly asking God to help be a better mother, or trust that things are unfolding perfectly, or to know that I have all I need. And in those moments of prayer, there is a sense of forgiveness, that in asking to be healed lies the healing, that praying is its own solace, regardless of what comes. For me, prayer is forgiveness. I can let myself rest in the absolving.
Here is an excerpt from Lit:
“It’s unhip to fall to your knees, sentimental, stupid, even. But somehow I’ve started to do it unself-consciously.
Behind a door, my body bends, and the linoleum rises. I lay my face on my knees in a posture almost fetal. It is, skeptics may say, the move of a slave or brainless herd animal. But around me I feel gathering–let’s concede I imagine it–spirit. Such vast quiet holds me, and the me I’ve been so lifelong worried about shoring up just dissolves like ash in water. Just isn’t. In its place is this clean air.
There’s a space at the bottom of an exhale, a little hitch between taking in and letting out that’s a perfect zero you can go into. There’s a rest point between the heart muscle’s close and open–an instant of keenest living when you’re momentarily dead. You can rest there.”
Live the perfect zero, the endless letting go, the emptying. That’s the sweet spot of our love. Our children forgive us every moment–you can see that unconditional love in Oriah’s eyes:
What do you struggle to forgive in yourself?