Because We’re All Humans

Forgiveness. Forgiveness is something I’ve given a lot of thought to over the years. At different times different thoughts about forgiveness have been helpful to me. When I realized that I should actually THANK people for gifting me with the challenges that helped me grow – that was a huge step forward. When I realized that to NOT forgive was hurting me more than anyone else – that was another step. And this week I had another epiphany about forgiveness – and, for me, this one was HUGE.

There were a couple books I read recently that helped lead me to my most recent revelation:

I’ve been reading Baroness Orczy’s “Scarlet Pimpernel” books (The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my all-time favorite books – I re-read it a few weeks ago and then started reading some of the other books in the series). In one of the books – I Will Repay – one of the characters says: “To understand is to forgive.” Whoahhhh. That got my thoughts going all kinds of interesting places. If we can understand other people – feel empathy for them – we can forgive them because we recognize in them our OWN human-ness, right?

After I’d read a couple of the baroness’s books, I felt the need for a change in genre – I needed to exchange the blood and muck of the French Revolution for something a little lighter. Something with some humor. So I brought Christina Lauren’s latest romance, In a Holidaze, to my Kindle. It was the perfect book for me right now! Funny and light and with a happy ending – just the escape I needed at the end of 2020. And it was in this book that I came upon another quote that I found helpful in my pursuit of forgiveness: “All this time I’ve been upset with him for simply being exactly the person I always knew he was.” Sheesh. It makes no sense to be angry at someone just because he/she/they is a human being – with the same human flaws and foibles we ALL share. I mean – none of us is perfect. There isn’t a single person on this planet who hasn’t done something stupid/thoughtless/unkind at some point. Let’s forgive others their faults, and let’s forgive ourselves, too, while we’re at it.

“How embarrassing to be human.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

“To punish ourselves for others’ faults, is superlative folly. The mental arrow shot from another’s bow is practically harmless, unless our own thought barbs it. It is our pride that makes another’s criticism rankle, our self-will that makes another’s deed offensive, our egotism that feels hurt by another’s self-assertion. Well may we feel wounded by our own faults; but we can hardly afford to be miserable for the faults of others.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings

We Forgive

“…old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
II Corinthians 5: 17

We forgive because
we no longer need the pain.
We forgive because
good is all that we gained.
We forgive because
love is all that remains.

Struggling to forgive old sleights and slingshotting
words sent to us, and sent by us, too, guilt
and hurt having a heyday in our hearts.
But how do we let go of the memories of mean
-ness and the bullying of those years when
we were the targets, the receivers (or givers?)
of hate? How do we let go, move on, forgive?

“…if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature…”
Can we really start new? How…?
Accepting all the good that comes from being
the target of envy, bigotry, hate – the strength
and confidence and empathy that comes
from surviving the bitter times – accepting
the healing, means an acknowledgement
that the rest is done and over. It served its
purpose. Judas to Jesus: It brought our
ascension. Led us to better times. Hate’s job
is done now – a cheap plastic toy from our
childhood – we put it down and move on –
no longer interested.

“…old things are passed away; behold,
all things are become new.”

We forgive because
we no longer need the pain.
We forgive because
good is all that we gained.
We forgive because
love is all that remains.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Love Hath Made

Sunset over flooded fields in Skagit County, Washington State. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

 

 

I Wish You Nothing But Good

Revelation! 
I’m not angry, I don’t hate you – 
all that happened then –
the unfairness of it, the injustice –
was a part of the healing.  It was
all good – all of it – the people,
the place, the circumstances –
and it led to the healing – 
it brought me to the place
prepared for me – a place of purpose
and joy. And I see you now –
and my feelings are benign towards
you. I wish you nothing but good.
How could anger and hate ever
abide where there is healing?

panoply of Love

 

Note from a Member of the Imperfect Humans Association

“…as I see it you will have two choices to make when you encounter imperfect humans – you can get really angry about it, or you can forgive people their flaws and foibles and be kind to them anyway. As a member of the IHA (Imperfect Humans Association), might I suggest you choose the second option?”

be kind