The ramifications of forgiveness go far deeper than I think we sometimes may realize. These are complex times. Nothing seems very simple any longer in this modern era. We are really often angered prior to understanding what others may well be offering us in the way of insight as to the human condition.
Love is simple. Human problems sometimes simply are not.
In the act of forgiveness, we then allow others to breathe better and be themselves.
Sometimes it seems sheer improbability that certain people may even be worthy of becoming forgivable. If nobody's forgiving, then nothing seems resolvable.
Now, I'm not talking about weakness.
Weakness and being forgivable are neither one in the same nor essential to each other.
I've seen people regard me as weak for just having forgiven someone.
Being tough or rugged seems to be the natural human answer to having been offered some struggle or other. But if nobody's perfect, and people keep on making the mistakes we're accustomed to them making, forgiveness can become really a serious project to accomplish.
I've learned something new here lately where this tough subject is concerned. While this certainly makes me no expert, I'll have to admit that right now, in this stage of learning I'm currently experiencing, it makes sense to study the act of loving kindness called forgiveness.
But what does it mean, exactly?
The Mayo Clinic even has its own page on the subject.
Today's google search has yielded a whopping total of 52,800,000 search results!
Forgiveness must be a pretty big deal, then.
Merriam Webster online shows that to forgive is:
: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone)
: to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong)
In other words, to let go.
To let things be.
To be FREED.
"The prisoner that it really frees is you."~ Matthew West
(Oh, I am being brazen now, aren't I?)
I think there's strength in forgiveness, not in its opposite.
Any real strength can only be gentle, kind and allowing. It simply cannot strengthen others that we be unforgiving, angry, or impulsively against truth.
So if i'm sensing that somebody else's ideal is that we be arguing and in trouble together, what's to be given?
That's the middle syllable of the word, "forgiveness," after all--
To my way of thinking, to be the swiftest, the angriest, the most rageful, the toughest, the strongest physically, doesn't necessarily mean that a person is the best.
Strength of character isn't blind to the needs of others. Maybe that's why so many people can't help but admire the character of Atticus Finch in the famous book, "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Sure, he was a great shot. He put the sick and dangerous loose dog down, remember?
But he also taught Scout to be a better person, to no longer scrap and beat people up over problems.
He taught by example. That's why so many still love his character.
It's his dignity we could appreciate as young people growing up and viewing the film version of the book for the first time. I know that I'm one of the ones who saw Peck's version of Atticus prior to finding more depth in the book than even the film still offers me.
Atticus was a strong person. His strength of character showed in everything he said, did, and obviously felt.
The truth fits with some people.
Atticus had to choose to be forgiving of a doctored legal system even as he worked to reverse the evils of society which had allowed legality to become so doctored.
Atticus knew the ways of dignity, love, truthfulness and--
It's the flexing of certain muscles of an interior kind.
His interior self had to be strong, beautiful and courageous for him to become so respect-worthy.
It requires care, if not outright love, and an open heart, an open mind, and the ability to admit the truth of one's own flawed humanity.
That's a big part of my lessons here lately.
To be unforgiving is to be unkind. It holds people back. It offers nothing but mistakes, misery and a heap of problems.
Forgiveness is the freedom factor I see missing around me even as I type these words.
It's the best "F" word I know.
It's the gift that heals, mends and chooses peace.