Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.
Mary Baker Eddy quotes Shakespeare
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 66):
To be human means you ache. You hurt for the things you don’t have, the life you never got, the people who betrayed you. Some days seem full of grief, heartbreak and anger. And it’s so easy to stay in this place.
Although you’re never promised a perfect life, you gripe in agony over the things don’t turn out as planned. Perhaps, serious transgressions occurred at one time and you wish desperately for a way to right the wrong. And instead of wading your way through it, you allow anger to slough away the vulnerability and toughen your insides. It can become a daily obsession. “What if this didn’t happen? Why did it have to happen to me?”
This kind of thinking is in no way helpful, productive or beneficial. In fact a lifetime of daily bitterness is a pill that will end up killing the soul, one negative thought at the time.
Nobody wants a life like that. No one deserves it. But how do we transition from victim to victor when we’re enduring so much pain?
This F-word will always do it. Forgiveness.
On *Oprah’s Next Chapter, Olympian Greg Louganis shared his inspirational story about how he went from a troubled childhood, being bullied, abusing drugs, suffering from depression and rape to getting to the other side of victim toward hope, freedom and happiness via forgiveness. In fact, he’s not only forgive them, but thanks them for the gifts they brought.
Here’s my favorite quote from him:
“[A] lot of those experiences were the gems of my life. It also allows me to empathize with people who are in similar situations. If I share my story, if I share who I am, it just kind of opens up that door to let other people know that they’re not alone.”
The truth is, forgiveness isn’t about the other person. It’s always about us. It’s about allowing ourselves to heal, to move on and to let the experience change us in a positive way. There will always be love and light if we open that door. When we allow ourselves to finally forgive, let go and make peace with a situation that cannot be changed, we give ourselves the freedom to love others and love life again.