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.