“For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?” -bell hooks


I wanted to stay angry at him, of course, but found that I couldn’t. I pictured him getting off to some Taylor Swift song that helped him to feel as though his actions were totally vindicated, and felt myself roll my eyes. I couldn’t help but picture a child, and I just couldn’t stay angry.

Who can stay angry at a child, even after they smash a butterfly? I had to forgive him, and I had to let go.

In the case of the potential love lost, I also felt numb. The truth was, he wanted the love of a dog- unconditional, uncomplicated, unadulterated, simple to understand and easy to manage- but I could only offer him one of those. He would really have to love me for anything more to come of it. I had to forgive him, and I had to let go.

At first I was worried I held myself responsible for everything that went wrong mostly because that was the reality reflected back to me by others. Then, I was worried I was doing so mostly because I often do blame and beat myself up over things to the point of excess. Today, I feel as though I hold myself responsible because I knew more; I was aware of more variables. I was the only one with the epistemic access to appreciateĀ  how the experiences in my past were informing and impacting my dispositions and behavior toward relationships.

My way of making amends has to be to tend to the implications of that last point. I need to understand myself- learn how to love and value myself- first. Then, I think, I will make for a good partner.


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