Sometimes, forgiveness can be very hard. Do you ever find it hard to forgive when tragedy strikes, or when there is abuse or discrimination of others? I certainly do. I have been reminded of how difficult it can be to forgive recently with the tragedy in the Melbourne CBD, where innocent pedestrians were killed and injured by a reckless driver, out to harm. Other examples where I have found forgiveness is difficult have been recent media reports of cruelty to others and discrimination by people in positions of power.
It is difficult to cope with such situations and while it is tempting to hop on the blame, judgement, anger and fear bandwagon with protests, abuse, criticism, revenge and refusal to forgive, this is never helpful.
Compassion for the injured and killed pedestrians their families and friends comes naturally. However, when it comes to the perpetrator of such harm, compassion and forgiveness can be very difficult. I know compassion and forgiveness for all is the best thing for my peace of mind, and the peace of the world. As Marianne Williamson reminds us "The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world". But how do we forgive in such difficult situations? It may be helpful to review some of the reasons why it is in our own best interest and healing to ourselves and our world, to forgive.
Review of things that may help us with forgiveness
Some years ago I heard the most amazing forgiveness story, that continues to inspire me to forgive. The story relates to a father, whose son was murdered by someone he had accepted a lift from, while hitchhiking. The father was not only able to forgive the man who had murdered his son, but also went on to show the compassion and strength necessary, to be able to support and visit him in gaol for years.
Maybe you are encouraged to keep going with forgiving even when it is hard. Again, remember to do your best, to do so, with kindness and compassion for all (including you).
I will look forward to sharing with you all on my return from Sri Lanka in March. Wishing you all a peaceful, happy and fun February.
Love Maree xx