Acrimonious Mercy

Forgiveness and mercy are very different. One often precedes the other. There have been rare occasions when I have forgiven deeds that were so bad forgiveness was required. I have demonstrated mercy when forgiveness was unattainable.

My youngest brother contributed greatly to the stress and heartbreak that caused my mother’s untimely demise. His life has been reduced to that of a head on a pillow; he’s completely paralyzed, an event that transpired in the weeks immediately following Mum’s death. I love my brother. There’s a part of me that is rancorous against him because he spoiled the very last visit I had with Mum. I extend mercy to him, by not telling him any of the many ways he broke her heart, when he calls me crying because he’s stuck and he misses Mum. There’s no point in kicking a man when he’s paralyzed. I know he’s remorseful but I don’t believe he’s changed.

There have been times when I have traded forgiveness for a sincere apology. Other people find themselves impacted by circumstances or ill-advised impulsive behavior and deserve the benefit of forgiveness. Conversely, I have always known when I was doing something unethical, ALWAYS. I did not ask for forgiveness either from the self or others because it would be disingenuous. I can’t fool me. I hoped for gracious acceptance of genuine apologies. I learned the lesson.

2011 has found the monkey of animosity on my back. I am plagued by seething anger. I can’t seem to shake it. Sometimes, I find myself wishing the dead back to life so I can get my 2¢ in. I want to resurrect the buggers so I can kill them with vitriol, so I can say- “You know what you odious coward, I was never so naive that you fooled me; you didn’t. You were evil through and through and if you were crazy then how did you know to blame other people for your foul actions?”

It’s worse than that. I have pseudo-relatives, people who are so loathsome to me that I’d rather not share the same air they breathe. People who have not a single redeeming characteristic: no generosity, care, consideration, not one altruistic inclination. It taxes the essential elroy to be in proximity to them. I am civil because that’s all that is required. Forgiveness is unattainable and mercy may be beyond my limited abilities.

I hope that I can leave these acrimonious thoughts behind in 2011. In selfish irony, I hope to replace anger with calm and peace so my suffering will end.

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About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
This entry was posted in Human Condition and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Acrimonious Mercy

  1. Bingo! Your last sentence says it all. May a tranquil joy infuse your life in 2012.

  2. Elyse says:

    Good luck with it — because the anger only does hurt yourself. And being merciful towards yourself will help.

    Happy new year —

  3. gkinnard says:

    A very intense post—I feel for you, and I can relate. The first and last paragraphs framed your thoughts exceptionally well.

    • elroyjones says:

      The problem lies with my expectations of myself. I should be able to walk the high road but sometimes I just don’t want to so, internally, I seek the lowest common denominator. Hopefully, the frustration and anger will dissipate and I can be the person I expect myself to be!

  4. Judy says:

    It’s not easy to put your feelings out there. Good for you. For in doing it, you will find others who can relate, and you can grow from your own words. I see it already in your last paragraph. Good luck. I hope 2012 is everything you want it to be!

    • elroyjones says:

      Thanks so much, Judy. I’m pretty lucky to be mostly happy so it troubles me greatly when my heart feels ugly. Sallying forth into 2012. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

  5. I was glad to read that last sentence and hope that it happens for you this new year. When my mom died 13 years ago, her children were left without answers for why she allowed us to endure evil for a time during our childhood. Besides believing the promises of the Bible, writing about Mom has been my way of coping with the “why.” I use my writings to extend forgiveness and mercy to her and bring peace to my questioning heart. Last year on her birthday, I re-wrote her biography as a short story. It imagines her in heaven talking about the good and the bad, and apologizing to her children, the one thing we wanted to hear from her and never did. When I wrote her saying “I’m sorry,” I accepted. Done. I think having your goal of replacing anger with calm and peace will do the trick. It sure did for me. (The short story is on my blog, “Telling Stories,” if you’d like to read it.) Thank you for sharing in such a personal, honest way.

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