I haven't written here in a while mostly because I was feeling like I was whining too much. But I have something I would like to share.
I'm not a HUGE fan of Oprah Winfrey but occasionally she does something that strikes a chord in me. She has started a new show on her network OWN, called The Next Chapter. Her first show was a two hour long interview with rock icon Steven Tyler at his home in New Hampshire. I knew I always like Aerosmith's lyrics and I know lead singer Tyler has had a tumultuous life, in large part because he was/is a drug addict. But he is enormously talented and apparently a strong person with strong ties to his family and his roots. This interview was amazing..
At one point in the interview Oprah asks him how he has survived what with his infamous drug use, his conquering hepatitis C and his professional/personal troubles. He says something like..Forgiveness is the solution to everything..or the answer to everything..I can't remember which even though I watched it twice. But the concept struck a deep chord within me. I sometimes have trouble forgiving. And then when I do manage to forgive, I can't seem to "forget." That's a problem I will always have to work on.
Forgiveness. What does that mean? Why is it so hard to forgive? And why is it so necessary?
Years ago, an acquaintance of mine lost her 19 year old son in a terrible car accident that was probably the fault of the driver of the car her son was in. At the funeral in the church, the young man sat next to her. He came out of the accident barely injured physically. The whole family embraced him and comforted him as he comforted them. He was never quite the same afterwards but he eventually moved forward, joined the Navy and had a life...as did they. Of course they were deeply saddened but they were able to continue in a way their son would have wanted.
A few years later a good friend lost her young son in a car accident when the driver of the vehicle fell asleep at the wheel and they hit an enormous tree. Again the driver was barely hurt. But he did not appear at the funeral and my friend never spoke to him. Both she and her husband became unhappy and bitter. I don't think the sadness ever lifted from their eyes and their professional and personal lives suffered.
I remember at that first funeral remarking to someone how heart warming it was to see the family and the driver together. The answer I got was similar to Steven Tyler's thoughts on forgiveness.
Even if forgiving just chases the negative thoughts out of our heads it's worth a try. But I think, from what I have seen, it can do so much more.