It is the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, and even though I’m not Jewish, reconciliation and atonement are often on my mind, maybe more so today because I hear so many other people talking about it.
A few years ago, (four? five? more?) I had a falling out with my very best friend. For years after I had these really vivid dreams in which I was just so fucking mad him. I would wake up, shaking, enraged and unable to direct it anywhere. About a year ago the dreams changed and I found myself desperate to see him, or begging for forgiveness. Before I moved I sent him a letter, written at 3 am after one of these dreams. I simply apologized for the part I played in our break-up, explained why I was mad or rather hurt by what had transpired. He never replied to the letter and I’m not even sure he got it. It’s been years, he easily could have sold his house and moved. If I was smart I probably would have sent it to his parents, but I didn’t. And really, I could probably get his phone number from mutual friends and try and reconcile in real time, though I doubt I will. I think I hoped sending the letter would make the dreams go away. Didn’t work. Last night I had the dreams again. This one with out anger, just me finding him and trying to talk to him while he turned away from me. Without getting all New Age freak girl about it, there’s clearly unfinished business there. My brain just can’t let it go and so while I still think he was wrong I have, I thought, forgiven him and asked for forgiveness for the part I played and for my actions afterward. But maybe there’s still more to do.
I should make up with my mother, though I know that’s impossible. She’s so hurt by me moving away and I can’t make any sort of overture to her about it just because of how she is. I know I’d end up feeling more shut out if I said anything. I should perhaps keep a list of things to talk about when one of us is on our deathbed making us both more receptive to such conversations.
In both cases though, it boils down to forgiveness. I know I have ongoing issues with it and I know that in the end it’s about me forgiving myself which I can never seem to do. In a weird sort of way, I admire people that can truly ask Jesus for forgiveness for whatever sins they feel they’ve committed and can accept/believe that he’s given it. I don’t personally believe that you ask a third party for anything, so the Jesus thing would never work for me, but it’s sort of a nice idea, conceptually. I can, I guess, only continue to live trying to do as little harm to other people as possible and perhaps learn to mentally torture myself less when I feel I’ve failed at this.