Wine and Forgiveness

PM winesDo you remember the ads for Paul Masson Wines back in the 1970s?  They featured Orson Welles uttering the then famous catch-phrase, We will sell no wine before its time.  Since Paul Masson was a mass market product featuring wines sold in flip-top decanters … and often cited as an alcoholic’s cheap wine of choice … the ad was considered low humor by serious wine drinkers.  In addition, numerous outtakes of the Welles commercials with Orson apparently three-sheets-to-the-wind have surface on YouTube, adding to the humor.  Orson was dumped by Paul Masson after admitting on a talk show that he never drank the stuff.

So, what’s this have to do with forgiveness, other than the fact that a glass or two may mellow a fellow out a bit and move him in the general direction of forgiveness?  It seems to me that in spite of the hundreds of articles touting the benefits of forgiveness … from every standpoint from spiritual to psychological and physical … forgiveness sometimes takes time.  Or, to paraphrase the portly Mr. Welles, I will serve no forgiveness before its time.

That is not stiff-neckedness on my part.  I truly believe that forgiveness is a noble goal and that if I don’t forgive, my anger will harden into resentment, that poison that I give myself, hoping that someone else will die.  I believe that we are each only responsible to keep our own side of the street clean and that judgement of others is bad business.  And, indeed, withholding forgiveness is a form of judgement.  But I also believe that forgiveness, like grieving, is a process.  The process depends on many things and, and in particular, the event that is to be forgiven.  I don’t believe I serve myself well by offering forgiveness before I am truly ready to forgive.  Cramming emotions into our psychological cellars is rarely healthy.  My sponsor once told me, Trust is easy to lose but difficult to earn back.  I can, however, offer the variety of trust known as The Benefit of the Doubt to someone as a means of getting by in their company until my forgiveness has come of age.

In looking for ways to find my way to forgiveness, I wound up again on website, The Tiny Buddha – simple wisdom for complex lives. Perhaps I should bookmark it.  A post titled How to Forgive Someone When It’s Hard offers 30 ways to let go of anger and move toward forgiveness.  It is  a great list but at this point, at least half of the 30 ways are in the GIVE ME A FREAKIN’ BREAK category.  But I’ve started on at least ten of them.  And that’s progress.

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6 Comments on “Wine and Forgiveness”

  1. DougDoesLife Says:

    I remember those commercials! I was too young to drink but the phrase stuck in my head…

  2. cherperz Says:

    Forgiveness, that’s a tough one. I agree with your comment “I also believe that forgiveness, like grieving,is a process.”

    I am often unsure where the lines between forgiveness and acceptance lie. I can accept that things happened and I don’t dwell on hating the person or wishing them some type of retribution. That’s not to say, I want that person to be closely involved in my life.

    I don’t know, Bud…when I see parents of a murdered child say they forgive the person that took their child’s life and they visit them in prison, that seem’s super-human to me. In the case of an enormous wrong, I might trust they are sorry, I might accept there is no going back, I might evenhave pity for them but could I forgive??? I am really not sure.

    • oldereyes Says:

      I, too, find it difficult. I’m fairly good at getting to acceptance. What else can you do after all? And I can get past wanting revenge. But saying “I forgive” when it’s not from the heart, I can’t do.


  3. Boy, you really do tackle the tough subjects here and frequently too, don’t you? I’m dealing with my own “issues” of forgiveness right now and as such, I know in my heart I need to reach out in the forgiveness vein but at the same time, I also know I’m just not quite ready to do that at this point in time. I still need a lot more vision before I can accept that the whole problem I have going on in my mind is totally a done deal and that I have to accept it,for better or worse. And knowing my daughter, even if things are not as bright and beautiful as she is touting that they are, she’s never going to admit that there are problems she didn’t think about that are ongoing -at least not to me anyway! But none of this is life-threatening -just a trifle uncomfortable much of the time. It will pass -eventually, I’m sure -but in the meantime, gotta go with the phrase -“no forgiveness before it’s time” sounds like the best answer to me too!

    • oldereyes Says:

      I am being asked to forgive on several fronts in my life right now. And I’m struggling with it, that’s for sure. I’m better at acceptance than forgiveness.


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