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In the aftermath of yesterday, and my post on An Empty Experience, I’ve been the recipient of an outpouring of reaction that deserves a reply.

Ideally, I’d like to reply to each person and to do that personally, and where I’ve had the ability to do that I have taken that opportunity.

Where I haven’t had the opportunity to look the other person in the eye, well if you recognise yourself in one of the replies below, I may well be talking to you.

There are those who (very politely) have wondered if I’ve  jumped in to the deep end of the loony pool. Who wonder what I’m doing on my public blog is some form of seppuku and if I still remain fully compos mentis.

They’re right. I don’t know who actually reads this blog, and I don’t know what perspective they have of me and where they stand on the issues I talk about. I have some shrewd ideas, and I know of people who I would never expect to read my blog, who do.

It’s a public blog. I knew the risk of posting when I wrote it, and I don’t recoil from the consequences now, whatever they may be. I’ve a willingness to lie in the bed I’ve made. I’ve long believed that all actions have consequences.

For me, writing that post was cathartic. It took all that rage, all that fire, and focused it into a single moment of intense fury. I worked myself into the anger and felt the burning words come alive on the paper. I transferred all my rage in to those words. In to those words, and out of me.

Others, like my sole commentator Anon, spoke of forgiveness. That this rage, this anger, to make it personal, would consume me and change nothing. I was counselled that forgiveness, ultimately, would help me, that it was the only path because “it’s about letting yourself go, free from those emotions, so that your soul may be at peace.”

Yesterday night, when I was writing that post I removed a paragraph.

In that paragraph, I wrote that if I could do nothing, and indeed I can do nothing, then that would not matter. I was content to wait. On the day of judgement, in the sight of the throne of God himself, I would ask for justice. I would ask for punishment. To obtain that moment, I was willing to endure every minute of this decrepit situation.

I removed that paragraph.

I removed it because the catharsis had begun. The process of cleansing myself of this violent turmoil of the spirit, to take a deep breath and release myself from the chains of this deep hatred was the release I sought.

For me letting go of the chains, was something to be achieved by first acknowledging them. Then describing them, and then the realisation of how weak they were.

I’m glad that people encouraged me towards that goal and the only goal that I saw this process could have and their understanding and insight was both reassuring and appreciated.

Finally, we have a person in a category all of their own. Uniquely, the only person to comment on my blog by text message. I must confess to some ambiguity – I don’t know if they were talking about My Moment of Reflection or my Empty Experience: their reply is fit for either of them. It was about forgiveness, and embraced everything above as well as allowing myself to forgive.

To that person, I would say that if you require my forgiveness, for any reason, it is yours. I could not and would not be doing anything more than saying the truth. The truth  that you will never need my forgiveness and not have it.

To the first part of your message, I would say this: when you act with integrity, kindness and compassion, there is nothing to forgive, and no need for forgiveness. In this situation, I return your apology with thanks, it is generous and appreciated; this is a situation of integrity, kindness and compassion; no apology is required.

If someone else understood those two things, if they’d understood what 20 years of friendship means, yesterdays post might have never been written.