Sometimes You Don't Need To Forgive

Several weeks ago my daughter dropped me on my head. We were roughhousing near the pool and she threw me in, forgetting there was a crawl-out bench inside the pool, and my head hit the edge of the bench. Dazed, I floated to the surface of the pool, and dragged myself onto the Sundeck. A bruise the size of a tropical banana swelled on the back of my head. Within days dark streaks ran down my neck and puddled above my clavicle.

My daughter was devastated. Over the next few weeks every time my hair fell behind my shoulders she saw my neck dyed purple and she apologized again. She was extremely sorry, and tried mightily to earn my forgiveness. She gave me hugs, kissed my wound, offered to do my chores, and promised not to be so rough with me in the future. But I had no forgiveness to give. I was simply not offended. I was not angry, not frustrated, not hurt (emotionally), not mad at her in any way. She was just having fun, accidents happen, she held no malice toward me, and I none toward her. I loved her just as much after she nearly knocked me out, as I did before, and treated her with equal kindness. Yes, she hurt me, but I was not hurt. There was nothing to forgive.

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