“I can’t forgive” or “I won’t forgive”: I understand that great hurts can blind us to the humanity and frailty of others, especially when we’re encased in our own grief, pain, shame, ________. But, once the initial shock eases and we can breathe again, why would we choose to lug that nastiness around?
Ugly things happened when I was a child and a youth. They most certainly affected the course of my life. Traces of those events can be seen even now. But I don’t live there anymore.
A few years ago, I visited Oregon, where I once lived, after having spent most of my life in the South. Although fellow Southerners think I speak with a Yankee accent, Westerners hear the Southern accent.
There are traces of that life remaining in my speech.
And that’s okay. After all, it means I’ve been outside my bubble, seen other geography and culture, expanded my horizons.
Even when I no longer live in those places.
Those long-ago wounds still stab on occasion, but they no longer encage my mind or choke my heart or blind me to truth. Forgiveness, after all, is a matter of opening one’s hand and letting go of dust and rubble so one may reach for what is of more value — wisdom, love, hope, maturity, and more.
How can the pain in your life be transformed from a prison to a new pair of wings?