Making Our World a Better Place

Ink on Watercolor Paper – Words: Norman Cousins

Whether we like to admit it or not, forgiveness is a part of our daily lives. If we are wise it becomes a habit, state of mind, an emotional skill we employ each and every day. “If we are wise” we do this, which can be very hard to do when all you want is to be angry.

People will fail us and we will fail people. It’s going to happen no matter who we are, how we live our lives, what we believe or how much we have cultivated the content of our character. Humans are flawed beings, all of us. Expectations go unmet which leads to anger, resentments and deeply seeded pain. The gift life gives us is the opportunity to forgive. The trick is to employ that choice BEFORE resentment has the ability to take hold and grow like kudzu in our heart. And by the way, kudzu can grow up to two feet a day if not eradicated and it eventually smothers everything it covers by choking the life out of it.

Forgiveness is a choice and one we need to constantly make. Because when we do not we are daring to believe that we are better than having to be the one to forgive or ask for forgiveness. We are smarter and can “work through” this “thing” on our own, which is just a way to avoid having to be accountable for our actions or how the actions of others have impacted our life. When we choose not to forgive we are simply jumping into a canoe and paddling down a long, winding river called denial. We are on a lonely journey and will work ourselves silly moving slowly down a river that leads to a vast ocean of emotional pain.

Or we can choose to forgive. It is a choice, one in which we have to actively engage in all our relationships. It’s forgiving an organization that reorgs you right out of your dream job just when you are hitting your stride. It is forgiving people you love for failing you, falling short or asking them to forgive you when you fail them. It is forgiving agencies, processes, equipment, body parts, and even our own emotional gaps when they jump up and bite us in the fanny. It is forgiving situations we cannot control even though we think we can control everything. And it means forgiving ourselves for our own emotional wreckage we carry around like armor to protect us from further pain. We must choose to forgive.

Forgiveness is easy to talk about, hard to do. Our old friend that ego of ours prevents us from being wise and humble enough to forgive, it wants to be in control and to be proud. It is our choice to move forward in forgiveness or stand still with our ego feeling proud and angry, so much so that we cannot see the kudzu creeping up our legs. Which is when it’s time to step back, take a deep breath and let it go. Forgive ourselves, forgive others, forgive the situation. Chop up that kudzu vine and release everyone and everything from being choked. Choose to forgive, choose to let go, just choose. And don’t pull it all back in when it happens again…as it always does. Forgiveness is part of our daily lives, and when we are wise and courageous we have the power to forgive and make our world a better place.

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