Non-forgiveness is like clutching a hot coal in our closed fist. We only drop it when a moment of perfect clarity reveals how holding this pain has distorted and deformed our entire humanhood.
If I knew myself to the innermost point of my being, I would not second-guess myself, doubt myself, criticize myself, improve myself, compare myself or forgive myself. And I would never ever apologize.
No one “blows it,” not even the crucifiers. Everyone acts according to the fullest extent of their consciousness. Crime and punishment? Punishment is itself a crime.
Let us remind ourselves that none of the virtues—love, forgiveness, generosity, courage et al—require any effort. The only thing effort can do is turn them into a religion.
The whole notion of sacrifice is rooted in the idea that I am bad or deficient and I must pay a price for that. Millennia ago, the Holy Temple of Jerusalem was basically a ‘divine’ slaughterhouse where bulls, rams and a variety of other livestock had their throats cut as an expiation for the sins of humans. Today sin-excited Christians flagellate themselves on Good Friday while the less theatrical cleanse themselves via weekly acts of murmured penance.