November 23, 2013 Leave a comment
I knew a woman who lost her child when a drunk driver hit the 7-year-old girl with his vehicle. A classmate of mine many years ago was bullied for revealing that he was a homosexual. A past coworker of mine grew up with parents who were drug addicts and had physically abused him. A woman who I met through volunteering for a good cause was raped when she was 16-years-old.
They all chose to forgive even though it was very difficult and painful to do so. Bree Despain wrote in The Dark Devine, “We don’t forgive people because they deserve it. We forgive them because they need it–because we need it.” Sometimes, we have to learn to forgive those whom we may feel don’t deserve forgiveness. If we continue to resent, hold on to grudges, and never let go of past transgressions, then we become prisoners of our own negative emotions. Nelson Mandela once stated that “resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
What we can do is learn to not continue being victims in our lives. We can turn our unfavorable circumstances into learning experiences and see them as catalysts to making positive changes, instead of surrendering to the poor situations. We can educate others and spread awareness. We can even seek help and support, or provide them to others. In addition, we can do what’s right instead of just going along with what others deem as a normal part of life. Hurting others is not the right way of life, nor is it normal. Most importantly, we have to learn to forgive ourselves and to stop the blame.
“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” ― Marianne Williamson