The weekend before last was tough. Peace was broken. The shooting at the Tree of Life Synogogue in Pittsburgh made a dent in my heart. I think of those people who went to worship, same as I do, on a Saturday (I am Seventh-day Adventist) and getting gunned down by a man filled with hatred, and my heart breaks at the senselessness. To what purpose? Because of power? of hate of a certain race/religion? It’s hard to fathom.
It reminds me of my own struggles 2 years ago that still comes up now and again. Of fearing guns and how prevalent it is. But that’s not what this post is about. I may be a pacifist and not believe in having guns around but that doesn’t mean others can’t have a different opinion. This post is more about the power of forgiveness and how it can heal in so many ways. Forgiveness is a large part of my religion. As God forgives us, so should we forgive others, and it’s done on a daily basis. Forgiveness is changing YOUR attitude on a negative or offensive event AND then lets go of the negativity WILLINGLY and forget it. It’s hard, believe me, I know how hard it is. And you may not be able to do RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Or even in the next days. But if you keep it in mind and keep going towards forgiveness, it can only help you.
Retaining or holding onto a grudge or that certain negativity can only harm you and cause irreparable damage to your soul. Negativity can make you bitter and afraid and depressed. It doesn’t really matter what it was that harmed you. If you can forgive and forget and let it go, you will have won. And that is critical. No one can take that away from you ever again. Don’t let that person take that much space inside your head, otherwise, he wins. It’s not about forgetting the whole thing. It’s about letting go and forgetting about the negative aspects. For me, it was about understanding the man who assaulted me, the culture he was raised in, the whole power trip he was into, the community he was from not having resources he needed. Once that came into my head, it was so much easier to let it go. I’m not sure it was even about forgiveness as that’s not really my job, it’s God’s. But I was able to let it go and adjust my own life, to understanding the experience and learning from it.
And so should it be for anything like Saturday’s sadness. Don’t let that one man take control of you. Don’t let him be the one to make you fear. Yes, let yourself have your emotions as they are all real and deserve time and space. Forgetting takes time! Yes, take care of yourself and those around you. They will all need reassurance. Yes, turn off social media for a while. And in the end, stop and forgive, stop and let go of the negativity. Go and find positive productive things to share with others and the community. This will help you to find peace and comfort. And in that forgiveness, maybe spreading it to others can become viral!!!
May peace be unto you.