I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately, not for a noble reason such as the New Year and trying to better myself, but because, like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, I’m stuck in this compulsive habit of keeping a little psychic notebook of “offenses against Leslie Srajek,” and it gets longer and longer each day. And I’m not talking about the girl at Panda Express who charges you for “free refills,” or even the bank clerk who–oops!–deposits your paycheck into the wrong account. Also, this is not to say that I have not made my share of mistakes, because I SO have.
But some people have treated me not so well lately. If we were in daycare together, they would need to be in time out for the whole day. Maybe the whole week, with no chocolate Cherrios for snack. However, like the old blues song says (and what the laws of discretion and good taste dictate), the details of all that “‘t’aint nobody’s business but my own.” What does matter to all of us, however, is forgiveness.
Forgiveness mostly sucks, because being angry is SO much easier and less vulnerable. And if you are a drama queen like me, you enjoy clinging on to your own morsel of pain until the whole world sees how wounded and derserving of love and sympathy and healing and worship you are and …Okay, stop that. In the end, it’s like Anne Lamott says: not forgiving someone is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die. Also, Annie Lamott has a chapter in Traveling Mercies about forgiveness in which she quotes C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity as saying, “If we really want to learn to how to forgive, perhaps we had better start with something easier than the Gestapo.”