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Can We Forgive Ourselves?

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Edith Eva Eger, an Auschwitz survivor, shows us the way.

"Mother," I say.

As soon as the word is out of my mouth, I want to pull it back into my throat. "Sister, Sister, sister!" I want to scream. Mengele points my mother to the left. She follows behind the young children and the elderly, the mothers who are pregnant or are holding babies in their arms.

Could I have saved my mother? Maybe. And I will live for the rest of my life with that possibility. And I can castigate myself for having made the wrong choice. That is my prerogative. Or I can accept that the more important choice is not the one I made when I was hungry and terrified, when we were surrounded by dogs and guns and uncertainty when I was 16; it's the one I make now. The choice to accept myself as I am: human, imperfect.

-Adapted from THE CHOICE by Edith Eva Eger, PhD
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