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When you've done all you can, let go

Look at any religious scripture or any mythological story and you are bound to find examples of atonement. In fact, atonement is the promise with which many of the holy sites in the world attract so many people to them each year. Take a bath in this river and all your sins will be atoned. Light a million lamps and all your sins will be atoned. Do this or do that and all your sins will be atoned.

Although I'm not particularly a fan of atonement in the religious sense of atoning for your sins, I do like the idea of atonement. In fact, any culture or country that doesn't support capital punishment advocates for atonement. If they're spending a lot of money in imprisoning someone and then letting them out after a few years, the idea is that that person has atoned for her sins and is now ready to have another go at the world.

Atonement for one's sins and atonement for breaking the law is one thing. But what about that for having made a mistake?

I have, knowingly or unknowingly, mostly unknowingly, hurt some people over the years. I have come across as a complete jerk to some others. I have come across as a moron to a few others. But then, I've realised at a later time that I could have done things differently.

I have been on the other side of all these things as well. So I think it is fairly common, over a span of twenty odd years, for us to do these things.

And most times, the damage is not lasting. Like going to prison and coming back or like taking a dip in a holy river, we can make up for it. But...

There's always a but.

But, this isn't transactional. You don't know if it will work. You don't know if what you do to make things right is enough. You don't know what it takes to get back to a clean slate. You don't know if it's even possible to get back to a clean slate.

So, you have faith. Not blind faith. Faith that you're doing everything you can to right your wrongs. And then it is up to the other person, the one that has been on the receiving end.

Once you've done all you can, it is time to move on. It takes both sides to repair the damage.

We can do all that we can and still see a rejection from the other person, an unwillingness to forgive. And to continue trying beyond this point is blind faith.

This is the time to let go. 

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