Forgiving

Quick Look

Nothing I can add here.

This post is a companion to another post, “Apology”.

The following Tale comes from Desmond Tutu’s website, The Forgiveness Project.

A Tale

Archibishop Desmond Tutu

“To forgive is not just to be altruistic. It is the best form of self‑interest. It is also a process that does not exclude hatred and anger. These emotions are all part of being human. Never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things: the depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger.

“When I talk of forgiveness I mean the belief that you can come out the other side a better person, a better person than the one being consumed by anger and hatred. Remaining in that state locks you in a state of victimhood, making you almost dependent on the perpetrator. If you can find it in yourself to forgive then you are no longer chained to the perpetrator. You can move on, and you can even help the perpetrator to become a better person too.

“Take the Craddock Four for example. The police ambushed their car, killed them in the most gruesome manner, set their car ablaze. When, at a Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearing, the teenage daughter of one of the victims was asked, ‘Would you be able to forgive the people who did this to you and your family?’ She answered, ‘We would like to forgive, but we would just like to know who to forgive.’

“How fantastic to see this young girl, still human despite all efforts to dehumanize her.”

The Tale Wagged

Forgiveness occurs when my need for vengeance is relinquished toward God, the universe, Spirit, whatever term you use. When every ounce of me cries out for restitution, but I see that I will never be able to even the score, but also see that justice cannot — must not — be dismissed, then I am almost forced to forgive. As the Archbishop implies, it’s the only way you can stay human, the only way to prevent Wrong from winning.

Yeah, but how do we put it into practice?

You may not be able to complete this in one week.
Choose a person who wronged you and forgive them. This happens in your heart, whether you also tell them or not.
If it feels too hard to do, visit Archbishop Tutu’s website (link repeated below) to meet many people who have forgiven the unforgivable.
It can be done and is in your best interest.
To be resentful is the most crippling mental state I know of;
it just ruins absolutely everything.

The Forgiveness Project

About RayMunn

Husband, father, Zen guy, web designer, film-maker.
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