My go-to definition for “a reckoning” is as a calculation of a ship’s position in the middle of the ocean. Back in the day, you looked at the stars, the currents and angle of the sun to try to figure out where exactly you were. Are you on course or off course? Are you staying true or are you lost?

A reckoning is also a settling up of accounts as to who owes what.

I feel myself in the midst of such a personal accounting just now.

There is the person and the story that I have considered myself to be. Once in a while, I am able to unwind from it and let the story go. It’s easy to get lost in it. “Here is who I am and what I am up to.”

I see this process in my relationship with Carole. We’ve been together 20 months now. It’s fair to say that we have both been slow to open up our hearts to each other.

For myself, every time that I have opened my heart up to Carole just a little bit more, let her inside another chamber, I find myself clearing out the debris of old stories. In order to let Carole in to a new place in my heart, I have to let go of whatever emotions and story I was keeping trapped inside.

It’s very difficult to let someone in when I am uptight. First I have to unwind and let go. That is the true definition of forgiveness. It’s not for somebody else’s benefit. When I forgive, I unwind and let go. Only then is there space for something or someone new.

I get to forgive the person I was being in order to create space for the person that I am now.

starry night