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.

Forgiveness.

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.

Go figure.

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)

: to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed)

In other words, to let go.

To let things be.

To be FREED.

"The prisoner that it really frees is you."~ Matthew West

Forgiveness.

(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--

give.

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.

Forgiveness.

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--

Forgiveness.

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.

To forgive.

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.

Forgiveness.

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.

Forgiveness.

It's the best "F" word I know.

It's the gift that heals, mends and chooses peace.

Photo: BlairSnow 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gift-wraping.jpg

Views: 301

Comment by Poor Woman on March 31, 2015 at 8:30pm

Sorry to keep you waiting so long! I had some things to take care of and so went offline.

Thanks, Theodora! I like what you say here about the other person not being hurt by resentment. It makes perfect sense to me. Most of the time, I'd say that's true.

On further reflection, however, I hate to admit it, but I do believe that sometimes we may hurt not only ourselves but others by being unforgiving.

Does that make sense? I think it's a two way street at times--maybe not all of the time, just some of the time.

I guess i'm learning a lot about this these days.....

Peace to you and your sweet pets

Comment by Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall on March 31, 2015 at 9:05pm

Actually it was Scout's uncle - not her father - who punished her for beating up a boy who had called her father a nigger lover.  It was never her style to scrap or beat people up over problems. In this instance, though, she was defending her father's honor.

Comment by Poor Woman on March 31, 2015 at 9:16pm

Her father's honor was only in question by a boy or set of kids that did not understand, and who were copying bad adult behaviors they'd seen at home.

Scout's uncle? In the book was Atticus her uncle? Or was it her uncle in the book, and not Atticus who took care of that issue?It's been a very, very long time since I last read that book. Harper Lee would be ashamed of me!

In either case, while I do believe Scout was trying her best, I see scrapping as essentially unnecessary.

After all, ignorance can't be handled effectively with fists if it's the brain which needs to be given a shift in direction. In the film, it's Atticus who corrects Scout, and he makes a strong case against violence in response to such blameworthy ignorance. Perhaps it was because he saw those children as having merely parroted their elders' attitudes. For some, it takes time to grow out of such things. For others, nothing can help them to change direction.

Wasn't it H.G. Wells who said something about the first one who raises a fist being the first to run out of ideas?

Comment by Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall on March 31, 2015 at 11:19pm

Atticus was her father. He didn't believe in hitting kids. It was her uncle who spanked her in the book.

Comment by DaisyJane on April 1, 2015 at 6:18am

a wonderful post, pw.  i struggle with it every day.  love atticus.

Comment by Poor Woman on April 1, 2015 at 2:58pm

Dr SJB: Thanks for clarifying. Atticus was right. Hitting kids is a useless power play. It demeans them, it doesn't teach them anything but to hate having to be corrected or disciplined. Thanks for the input.

Comment by Poor Woman on April 1, 2015 at 2:59pm

Janey: Thanks, dear. I struggle with these issues every day too. It's just part of life, I guess.

I love Atticus Finch too, both in the book and on the screen. Peace to you.

Comment by Poor Woman on April 2, 2015 at 12:24pm

For some reason, one of Zanelle's comments went AWOL and I just found it--go figure.

I thought that I already had figured out how to moderate comments. I am learning.

So--sorry, dearie!

:(

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