It is very hard for me to forgive. I do forgive, but only myself and my insomnia know how much strength and effort it requires. Especially when you do it over again. Especially when you forgive the ones closest to you over again.
Like all the other people in this world, I also have two wolves inside me. A white one, tame, strong but sensitive, strict but just, a guardian but a well-intentioned one who could forgive anyone. And a black one, a shabby, starved avenger, who’d deliver justice with his jaws, punish by his actions and only forgive those repenting on their knees. In a fierce fight between the two, the one I feed always wins. I have no way of knowing how, or why, which demons from the past raise the one starved and barely alive to its feet, the ferocious wolf, which witchcraft they employ to give it strength so that, despite being neglected by me, it still ruins my sleep…
I think it tends to haunt me so as to teach me more how to forgive. To teach me that to forgive does not mean just to condone something but forget it as well. To teach me that to forgive someone does not just imply removing that person from your life, but wishing them well after all that has happened. To teach me that to forgive does not mean to bury the memories of someone, but live happily with those memories. To forgive the one who repents does not make you a good person, but when you forgive someone who does not know how to repent, it does. To forgive is a verb that grammatically implies completion, but in everyday practice it can only be of use as the noun forgiveness, which is an ongoing process. Infinite. It has no end and it proves its existence by making you reaffirm it by your actions, not just words.
Forgiving is not related to others in any way, but solely to ourselves. There is no better future for those who do not know how to forgive, because living in the past prevents the future from happening. Happiness does not knock on the doors of those holding grudges. In their houses only their memories live. Their wolf feeds on their memories. It is easily recognised. It is black. It is like its owner and his thoughts.
This is why I know, no matter how many times I wonder: ‘’When is this going to stop?’’ and whisper to myself so that no one could hear me: “I can’t take it any more’’ – I am still capable of forgiving. So, life, give me some more! Pour some more hardship, introduce me to more dishonest people, take every opportunity to rub salt in all the wounds from the past that have not healed yet because I can still forgive, even when it hurts. Because I am not the one to drown in a sea of bitter revenge. No way! My white, always well-nourished wolf, dined on love and wined on understanding, has been trained not to fight on my behalf, but to guide me like a blind person as far as possible from the futility of war the moment it senses there is a possibility of a fight.
Therefore, when you see I am hurting, and you think it is my defeat, you should know it is always my victory, because you cannot inflict anguish through pain the way forgiving can bring me serenity!
Translated from the Serbian by Svetlana Milivojević-Petrović
This post is also available in: Serbian