There is no peace without forgiveness. – Marianne Williamson
“But how? How can you just get over these things, darling?…You’ve had so much strife but you’re always happy. How do you do it?’
‘I choose to…
‘I can leave myself to rot in the past, spend my time hating people for what happened, like my father did, or I can forgive and forget.’
‘But it’s not that easy.’
He smiled that Frank smile. ‘Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things…I would have to make a list, a very, very long list and make sure I hated the people on it the right amount.
‘No’ – his voice became sober.
‘We always have a choice. All of us.”
There are many experiences in life that require us to forgive and although it’s often for ourselves, either way, it’s always a conscious choice.
When I forgave the driver that hit and killed my son, I surprised myself, but not in a way you might expect. You see, I thought I could never do it. I thought that my anger, my outrage and the injustice of her actions, was a rite of passage for a grieving mother. That nothing would move me from sitting in judgement of her and the life sentence she gave me.
But one day out of the blue, only about a year or so after our son died, I woke up and decided to forgive her. Intellectually I knew it was the right action to take, and had read it would help me heal, but it wasn’t until I put pen to paper and started writing to her in forgiveness, that I realized the immense release and freedom it would give me.
To carry the story of our burdens, resentment or anger, is exhausting, and over time it becomes a heavy load to bear.
We only have to choose once, we only have to forgive once.