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I think it's about forgiveness...

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

In life, I look for patterns and believe truly that discovering them is an indication that I need to learn something on a soul level. So, when a thought or idea presents itself to me repeatedly, I take note.
Lately, I've been thinking about Germany...of all things.
Zartman is a German name and many of the limbs on my paternal family tree are as well. Instead of exploring that or connecting with it as I have with other cultural elements of my history, I've always adopted an attitude of ignore and avoid when it comes to German-ness. I have no fondness for the food, the language or the culture. I harbor no curiosity there.
Actually, I have a lot of hangups about Germany and pretty much have ever since I can remember. I'm not even going to get into all of the reasons, but they're heavy and there are a lot of them.
But, this week, no less than a dozen times I've been given pause to cogitate and consider adopting a less thorny approach to the modern version of this country and people. I don't know why this is important. I am not aware of the current consequence. I don't know why it's relevant to life at this moment, but I suspect it will be revealed in good time.
Perhaps this isn't even really about Germany at all...maybe it's about challenging myself to find opportunities to forgive? Perhaps it's taking a big issue that on its face seems really insurmountable and urging myself to look at it differently if for no other reason than to open the mind and remove the heaviness? Can I do that? Maybe I need to. Maybe we all do?
Back to Germany... This week I unexpectedly, but enthusiastically went to Germanfest for the first time ever. I had a bratwurst. I smiled and giggled at the music and dancing. I bought a hat. I observed and appreciated a lot of wildly enthusiastic German folks having a good time and it was really helpful. Already, my heart feels a bit lighter. I think that's kind of a big thing. Maybe next year I'll join in on the chicken dance?

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