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Life is too short for boring stories

The empty store

3. Forgiveness

 

In dense flakes, the snow fell from the sky, so dense that one could barely see the hand, that morning. Lilith stood at the window and looked out into the deserted streets. There was something else that could keep people from shopping, and the few who were still daring to scramble, scowled, along the front of the houses. They hurried back home as quickly as possible to get into the warmth.

„No one will come today,“ Lilith thought, as she saw a figure, who held a man’s coat with one hand together and with the other the hat. A smile flashed over Lilith’s face, and even before he touched the latch, the door opened for him.

„Good morning, Ruben,“ she greeted him, „That you dare to be in front of the door at all.“

„Good morning, Lilith,“ he replied her greeting, peeling from his coat and hat. His shoulders were now upright, but still not as they should be. There was more to him, which drove him, „It was just the good tea I missed this morning. Nothing further“, and there it was again, this boyish smile, which was probably enchanting, as she could imagine vividly.

„Oh, just the tea”, she said, smiling, too, „Then you will get one if you have already come. How do you feel today?“

„Good, I’m fine,“ he said hastily, then to sit down, „And how are you?“

„Basically good, but it’s something that bothers me,“ she said as she did not let him out of her sight. Did he look away? Did he try to escape her? Or did she just imagine?

„And what’s the thing that bothers you?“, he asked, a bit unsettled, how to sound, ask a question and do not know exactly if you want to hear the answer at all.

„That you do not say what you really feel, but what I want to hear”, Lilith said gravely. „No, more, what you want to reveal.“

„How do you mean that?“, he paused.

„I do not think you’re doing well, but you give me this answer because you think I’m expecting it. Maybe not to burden me either”, Lilith replied.

„Basically, I’m fine“, Ruben tried to avoid, then to give himself a jerk, „But there is something that drives me around and does not come to rest.“

„And what is that?“, Lilith continued, who could obviously rely on her inner voice.

„A lot of things happen during the course of a lifetime, especially if you have a few decades. Many beautiful things, which I like to think back, which warm me and bring me up to smile, but there are also the others, the less beautiful. Most of the time, I can push them away, so I do not see them anymore, but then come moments when I’m not alert, and then they get up. And stay. Stubborn. Sustainably“, he said, still evasive.

„Can these things be brought to a denominator? Is there a similarity?“, Lilith asked.

„Yes, there is, if I consider it right“, Ruben explained, and his gaze wandered into the void, as if he were to reevaluate his whole life in his mind’s eye and make a review. „It’s always about people, people to whom I hurt. I do not want to hurt anyone. But it happens. „

„Yes, it happens“, Lilith repeated, while she herself was thinking about her pain, which had pursued her since she had left her husband, and so she continued, „But we must always make decisions in life. Some of them only affect ourselves. This is not a problem, because we have to justify ourselves. But then there are the decisions which also affect others. Some of them are good for everyone involved, but others who are good for oneself harm others. Nevertheless, one can not avoid making this decision. You have to do it, for yourself. As long as it does not happen frivolously. But you can see that you are just trying to get into the others. One can not avoid suffering. That is unfortunately the case.“

„Yes, you may well be right, but does not help me really because it just happened and it always remains to me. I can not escape it, just as I can not escape”, explained Ruben, and seemed convinced of what he said.

„It is true that what has happened can not be undone. But tell me first, have you forgiven the people you hurt?”, Lilith continued.

„I’ve always spoken and they said it“, Ruben said with a frown, doubtful probably what these questions should use.

„Then the people forgave you, all but one, and that is the decisive one”, Lilith went on.

„And who should that be?“, asked Ruben in astonishment, but also quite obviously interested.

„The most important person has not yet forgiven you”, Lilith replied, „You yourself.“

„I myself, how is that supposed to work?“, he asked.

„You hear the others forgive you. But they can only forgive you the part that affects them. That is their business. This is the one side”, Lilith explained, „But there is the other side. For you have not been unaffected by your decision, otherwise you would not have had to meet them at all, but also not from their suffering. You blame yourself for suffering, which is basically right, because if you had not made this decision, then you would not have to suffer either. But they must learn to deal with this, and they have done so clearly. The only one who has not forgiven yourself is you, and that is why you carry it with you. You have to forgive yourself to let go. You have to forgive yourself to be free. „

„And how can I forgive myself?“, Ruben asked.

„Just as you forgive others. You keep everything that inevitably led to your decision, and if you can then make sure that you have done everything that was right, according to your knowledge and approval, then you can say, that I forgive myself, that I hurt you. Because I could not help myself”, Lilith said softly, looking into eyes that growing steadier. They no longer avoided her gaze.

„And that’s all?“, Ruben noted disbelievingly.

„Yes, that’s all”, she agreed, „but if it would be as simple as you say, why did you not do it long ago?“

„I forgive myself,“ he said in a low voice, and it sounded genuine.

 

And that evening there was a small statue in the display of the empty shop, which had been broken in the middle, but had been stuck together again. You could only see it when you were close to it. The injury remains, a gentle reminder, but healing is accomplished by giving oneself forgiveness.

Go to part 4 here

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