Perceptions and Forgiveness

My older sister got married when we all lived in Anchorage Alaska in 1979.

Sometime during all of the events scheduled around a typical wedding, my mother’s marble statue of David got broken. I think it was his head. It was a long time ago, so I don’t remember exactly. All I do remember is that I didn’t break it. My younger sister and brother denied breaking it. For years, I’ve known that someone had to break the statue. Who did it?! No one has ever ‘fessed up.

What if, your perception of an event or a situation is limited? What if there is another way of looking at something? I know, not an earth shattering thought. But, what if it is? Earth shattering, for that situation.

Have you ever been driving and someone cuts you off? Of course you have, we all have. Instead of thinking, That so and so! I can’t believe they just did that to me! You begin to feel stress, your shoulders start to tense.  Your whole attitude changes. What if, you had compassion? What if, you thought, I hope their life is okay. I’m going to bless them. I’m going to wish them well. You instantly can feel your shoulders relax. You feel kinder towards them.

You are changed, and they have no idea of your shift. It only affects you.

 Resentment, which is what lack of forgiveness is, really affects you, more than the person you have unforgiveness for.

My mentor, Mary Morrissey says, “Resentment is like drinking a little bit of poison, hoping the other person will die.” Think about that a minute.

If you want to experience a big expansive, abundant life, you can’t have that kind of life, while dragging around the ball and chain of resentment.

Many times, the other person has no idea how we feel about them. Yet, we carry it around, and it eats at us. We nurture our sense of wronged. We drink the poison everyday. (Not for someone cutting us off in traffic, usually). We carry our hurt, our victim attitude like a badge of courage.

Could you begin to forgive? Believe me, I know there are some HUGE wronged situations out there. Begin praying for the other person, wish, them well.

You have two choices. Continue resenting, or begin praying.

Those really are your ONLY two choices. Begin where you are, somehow wanting goodness for the other person. Remember, it’s for you. You don’t know how that might look. You do know how caring around unforgiveness or resentment looks.

All of the siblings were together to celebrate a significant birthday of one of us. During lunch, and after a enjoying some liquid refreshment, I posed the question, “Ok, after all of these years, who broke Mom’s David?” Everyone claimed, “Not me!” “I didn’t.” Well someone did. We can’t get in trouble now, so who broke it? My younger sister asked, “Did it ever occur to you, that there were a lot of people in the house, maybe it wasn’t one of us?” Now, that seems like a logical option. It never occurred to me. I always thought, if I didn’t do it, it had to be one of my siblings. Seriously, I never thought any other way than that, for all of these years.

When you are in the middle of unforgiveness, you can’t picture what another way of being might look like.

You know, that there is another perspective, another way of looking at the current situation.

One where you aren’t poisoning yourself daily.

Strength: Look at the two choices; resentment and forgiveness, choose wishing them well.

Dignity: Not inviting others into your pity party of being wronged.

Grace: Knowing that you have experienced forgiveness at some point in your life, undeserving of it, extend that to someone else.

Leave a Comment