One cold morning in January, I wake before dawn and write down, It’s ridiculous to blame anyone else for our lives. Our lives are gifts that exist long before we enter them and go on long after we leave them, intact, just as they are. What we do and see and learn is what we need to learn.

            I’m not sure where this comes from and I’m not sure I believe it, not entirely, but the fact that I am able to receive and record such a thought is a testament to forty years of hard labor in the fields of forgiveness. I grew up in a series of violent, sometimes brutal households, with adults addicted to drugs and alcohol, as well as gambling and sex and who knows what else. Pain. A lot of the adults in our lives, my brothers’ and mine, were addicted to pain, their own pain and the rush of inflicting pain on others.

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