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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ruminations on forgiveness

It's hard not to dwell on forgiveness during this holiday (Yom Kippur). In fact, I guess you're actually supposed to. Last fall, I had a very unpleasant interaction with a woman at my synagogue, and I haven't really spoken to her since. I thought she stepped way over the line, insulting me and calling me names, and continuing to tear me down until I was crying. Of course, I've been thinking about this situation during these Days of Awe, and I've concluded that forgiveness is not really the issue for me. I don't feel like I'm holding a grudge. I just don't understand what purpose would be served by pretending like it never happened. I suppose it would be more comfortable for her, but that's hardly my goal. My instinct is to stay away from her as much as possible. She's shockingly judgemental.  Her approach to the original situation was so inappropriate - trying to force me to change whatever it was she disapproved of by being venomous - just directing poison at me when she decided something I did or was didn't fit her view of the world. And not in a respectful way or a constructive way.  Just bam, bam, bam in your face.  Who is she to be my judge, jury and executioner???  What gives her that right?  Such arrogance.  She must feel justified in what she did, because she has never approached me, made any attempt to clear the air. I've certainly spoken sharply to people at times and when I've been frustrated, I haven't always managed to hide it, but I have never, never tried to hurt someone, berating them to the point of tears.  I can't just overlook this - it was so destructive. And what purpose did all this serve?  It's not like I magically became a different person - that wasn't going to happen anyway.  All it did was eliminate any respect I had for her, and ruin any possibility of a relationship with me and a few other people as well.  She's really a toxic sort of person.  I can't think of anything more sensible than just avoiding her completely, or at least to the degree that I can. I just don't need any additional malignance in my environment, if I want to face the new year in a peaceful state of mind.



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