Showing posts with label forgiveness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label forgiveness. Show all posts

Gratitude - The Prozac Monologues Publication Edition

Fifteen years! From the hypomanic first draft of Prozac Monologues on a yellow legal notepad to a published book, and the nail file that inspired it all.

The book was officially released into the wild this week and will be celebrated in two launches, one sponsored by Paulina Springs Books in Sisters, OR, and the other sponsored by Prairie Lights in Iowa City, IA.

It's a good time to talk about gratitude. Forgive my self-indulgence. It is a day to reflect.

First, people have asked whether it was hard to write about such dark times in my life, if it retriggered some of those emotions. Occasionally, it did. Occasionally I would have a sleepless night remembering, in particular, difficult encounters in treatment. One can forgive sincerely. One can forgive over and over. Still, the brain remembers. I don't harbor resentments, but I can't always hop off the time travel machine that is my brain, how it repeats the tracks laid down by past traumas.

Spiritual Practices for the Dark Night -- Forgiveness

Okay -- one more in the spiritual practices series.

But I don't put forgiveness in the same category as thanksgiving and tithing, practices I keep and commend to my readers. I can't say that I practice forgiveness. When forgiveness happens, it comes as unbidden as a gracious gift in a time of desperation.

I can't tell you how to forgive. I never learned.

What I mean by forgiveness goes something like this: This person has a relationship with me, in which I can expect this person to treat me well, AND this person did me some harm, AND I forgive this person and will carry the burden of not forgiving no longer.

I never learned that kind of forgiveness. I learned BUT forgiveness: This person did me some harm, BUT it wasn't that big a deal. Or: This person did me harm BUT there were extenuating circumstances. Or: BUT I just haven't figured out the bigger picture yet. Or: BUT he/she couldn't help it. Or: BUT I am the better person, and will let it go.

But the BUTs don't work. They hide a wound that does not heal. They disrespect me and how I deserve to be treated. And they cover with a fig leaf my disrespect for the one who hurt me.

The "I just haven't figured it out yet" thing is especially problematic. There are certain statements that simply can't be reconciled unless something gives. In my case, my brain. Rehearsing and rehearsing the same event, trying to comprehend the incomprehensible, experiencing that pain over and over -- this is called rumination, the bad kind of rumination, perseveration even, my therapist would call it when she was trying to scare me out of it.

Popular Posts