We’re all aware of the power of forgiveness. Nothing feels better than to accept another person’s apology and move on. It’s powerful. It’s validating. It means that all the pain we felt was real and justified, but now we can put it behind us. We’re given closure. And it some cases, it means that we’re also given another chance at the relationship, and that can bring a tremendous sense of relief, especially if it was an important one. But what happens if we never get that apology, and we’re forced to find that closure all on our own? It can be so difficult to do. Whenever another person has done something truly awful to us, we react initially with shock and anger. How could he have said those things? How could she just walk away like that? You all know those questions, and the hundreds of scenarios that bring them about. And then we wait, thinking that they’ll surely come around and recognize how badly they behaved, how much more we deserved from them, and how irreplaceable we are in their lives. When those moments never happen, we feel an incredible sense of loss and sadness, and we often hold onto our anger to keep those feelings at bay, and to help us set appropriate boundaries. Emotional pain functions in much the same way as physical pain does. It helps us to know our limits and how far we can push them.
The question becomes how do we find it in our hearts to forgive someone who seems to have no interest in acknowledging how much they have hurt us. First we have to realize that forgiving them does not mean we no longer hold them accountable for their actions. It doesn’t turn us into the dreaded doormat who says “go ahead and walk all over me – I deserve it.” On the contrary, forgiveness makes us the bigger, stronger person. It may be a cliché, but there’s just no arguing that it’s true. Secondly, holding on to all that anger and pain will only serve to keep us tethered to something that obviously no longer belongs in our lives. We have to learn to trust the universe on this one. The minute we let it go, it allows our hearts to fully open to whatever is next. Otherwise we’ll never be able to get there. Finally, and most importantly, it’s about having compassion. Anger and resentment are emotions that deplete us. When we allow ourselves to become consumed by them, they literally hold a piece of our souls hostage. If we do that too many times, we’ll have nothing left. The thing that truly binds us to one another, and that truly opens us to all the joys that life has to offer is our sense of compassion for one another. Without it, we are lost. Even true love and the deepest of friendships begin as compassion, in that moment when another person touches your soul and you feel that recognition and connection.
Mark Twain is quoted as saying “forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” For today’s cocktail, I decided to go with a riff on the classic Aviation that would allow me to bump up the Crème de Violette to give it more presence in the drink. In order to do this, I replaced the gin with Rujero singani, the maraschino liqueur with Dolin Blanc, and the lemon juice with lime. Singani is a pomace brandy distilled from Muscat of Alexandria grapes grown high in mountains of Bolivia. It’s considered to be their national spirit. It has a beautiful aroma and flavor that falls somewhere between pisco and tequila for me and it married beautifully with the Crème de Violette, the Dolin Blanc, and the lime. The end result was a cocktail whose aroma and flavor landed exactly where I wanted them to be: in a place that’s both gentle and strong, because that’s what we need to be in order to truly forgive.
Place the ingredients in the bottom half of a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake for 15-20 seconds or until very cold. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime rose wrapped around a Luxardo cherry. Enjoy!