In more than 40 years of marriage, I have made plenty of mistakes. My partner may have made a few too, but that’s for her to decide, but if I think she has made some mistakes, I have a choice to make: do I want to hang on to my judgments about the mistakes I believe she has made… or not?
Jack Kornfeld is a well known Buddhist teacher. He defines forgiveness as “Giving up all hope for a better past“. I think this is a very wise and useful perspective. In essence, it echos the Eagles song, “Get Over It!“
My father, by contrast, had a practice of “beating a dead horse.” A mistake anybody made any time in their life was something he simply could not let go. He judged everybody and found them wanting. He even held such harsh judgments of President Roosevelt that he would throw away a Roosevelt Dime! When he died, he had pushed away everyone in his life and had only his family left, and we had a collective sigh of relief at his passing.