"Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. it has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim." – C.R. Strahan
I once heard that refusing to forgive someone is like
drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick. Dramatic as this may sound, take a look at your
own life and see if the description doesn’t fit in certain, if not many of your
Certainly, when we’re trapped in the world of blame and
judgment, forgiveness can seem like a terribly unfair and bitter pill. Particularly for those who’ve endured abuse, loss,
and pain: why should we forgive those who’ve hurt us? Why should we let them get away with what
The answer is: so
that we can reclaim our own power.
To do so, we need an altogether different perspective on
forgiveness than the traditional ‘right-wrong’ model. In this view, forgiveness doesn’t mean you
necessarily condone what has happened. Neither
is it a sign of weakness or resignation; as Gandhi said: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute
of the strong.”
Indeed, forgiveness means that you are choosing to
release the grip you’ve continued to allow
people and situations from your past to have over you in the present. It is a
gift of acceptance you give to yourself; the very gift that allows for true
freedom from all that has come before.
In my work, I often encounter performers and
professionals alike stuck in and stunted by past relationships and events that,
hard as they try, they simply can’t get over. And they try very hard; not only is
a great deal of time spent trying to understand and integrate the hurt and
damage they feel has been done to them, these issues often become preoccupations
that prevent them from participating in and enjoying life.
It need not be this way.
Certainly there is an impact of what has happened to us; certainly
understanding can lead to acceptance and eventually peace. Yet ultimately, a choice must be made: whether
we will remain beholden to blame and continue to be a victim of circumstance,
or whether we will empower ourselves by accepting and forgiving what has
happened, so that we may be free.
Labels: inspiring, learning, singing