Thanks to a friend of mine sharing an article today, I have been thinking of the above headline while tackling my Monday.
The article was about Restorative Justice, and it was a huge leaping off point for me this morning. To read the article itself, here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/magazine/can-forgiveness-play-a-role-in-criminal-justice.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
I was thinking about the parents in the article, quite a lot. I started to wonder if I have the capacity to be as forgiving as they are. So, welcome to my stream of consciousness.
Forgiveness is liberating. To extend it to others, though, we must first know how to forgive ourselves. If you think about it, each and every one of us has done things we wish we could undo. But, of course, you can’t unring a bell. As time goes by, we each need to let go of the regrets or things in our respective pasts in order to move forward. I think this is something we all know, but it can be hard to put into practice.
The secondary part, though, is how to forgive others. It’s so easy to be judgmental, or hold onto resentments, or want to “get even.”
There’s a reason for the phrase “living well is the best revenge.” Living well, by its nature, means living with freedom: freedom from the negativity that only keeps us “stuck.”
I have been accused of being too “nice.” I have been accused of being a “pushover.”
But, you know what? I can take a deep breath every day and know that the ghosts of my past, the people I have had to step away from, do not reside with me. I refuse to withhold forgiveness from myself for the idiotic choices of my youth, I refuse to carry a grudge against perceived slights or wrongdoings.
Perhaps by starting on this small scale, it can become second nature.
Audrey Hepburn once said that we should never “throw out anyone.” Release them from your life, from your consciousness, with your sincere wish for their joy and wellbeing. A grudge is just a rebounding curse: it injures the bearer, not the object.
Blessings to you all…
“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed, never throw out anyone.” ~Audrey Hepburn