The Queen of My Self

–from The Gift of Years by Joan Chittister (BlueBridge)
The unselfish generosity of forgiveness is a myth. Forgiveness is more important to the one who forgives than it is to the one who is forgiven.

Bitterness, once it sinks like sand in the soul, skews our balance for years to come. It is always there, scratching and digging and eating and burning the heart out of us. We smile at some, of course, but the smile is more pretense than real. We are not really open, not really loving, not really a happy person. And the end of time draws nearer.

Only we can free ourselves from the burden of bitterness old anger brings with it still. Only we can begin to look for the exceptions that make this a forgivable offense rather than immutable malevolence. Do we even remember clearly anymore what it was that happened? Are we really sure it was as intentional as we have painted it all these years?

Hasn’t too much time been wasted on this little bit of nothingness already? Is this the kind of thing we want to have continue to weigh us down as we spend the last of our days, the best of our days? Is this the shrunken end to which we have brought ourselves? Is this the distance we want between us and life, now that we know how wonderful life is really meant to be?

Forgiveness puts life back together again. It is proof of our own learnings. It is sign of our own inner healing. It is mark of our own self-knowledge. It is the measure of the divine in us.
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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to


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