There is a portion of the Bedtime Shema that states "I hereby forgive anyone who angered or antagonized me, or who sinned against me,
whether against my body, my property, my honor or against anything of mine;
whether he did so accidentally, willfully, carelessly, or purposely;
whether through speech, deed, thought, or notion."
Rather a tall order. At times I find myself letting go of some incident from the day, other times my mind is so churned up that the message skips across the surface. What I find most interesting is that while it is implied, the recitation does not specifically include myself.
Is that because "I" can be the hardest of all to forgive?
On Mother's Day especially, I find that I question my past decisions. What if...What if...I had made different decisions...Would my daughter be here now instead of gone?
I don't harbour anger toward the parent of the child who carried the virus-they've got their own problems. It doesn't work to cut away at G-d. My daughter didn't leave purposefully. That leaves only my own decisions to question. My own choices to rail at. And, just as dominoes fall, that path can be rolled back through years of decisions. It's not even a question of the quality of the choice. The direction didn't have to be better-just different and the outcome could have been radically changed.
All of which is a loop that would drive anyone crazy if we let it. And what breaks us free from this is the flow of Forgiveness. It's a choice not to flay someone/ourself daily for an act that has already gone by. Part of the fluidity of forgiveness is sometimes releasing the same moment of time over and over...Nightly, in the Shema.