Day 195 Question 195

Day 195 Question 195:

Are there actions in life that are completely unforgivable?

I expect to get a lot of commentary on this entry.  A lot of people will not like what I have to say here.  Honestly, I think everything is forgivable.  Yes, I know that is a HUGE thing to say.  I also realize that circumstances could change my mind in mere moments.  Some people may peg me as naïve or just plain ignorant.  If they do, then so be it.  As many of you know, I am not a religious person….I believe more in spirituality.  I believe that God is within and it took me a long time to understand (for myself) what God is Love really means.  I believe that as people, if we do not forgive then we build up a lot of internal negativity in so many forms, whether it be anger, depression, resentment, etc.  There are actions that take place that can absolutely disgust us to the core of our being….rape, murder, child molestation, etc.  Just because we forgive someone for these actions, does not mean we accept or condone the actions.  I choose to forgive because I believe people that perform these sort of behaviors/actions are suffering very deeply.  I feel sorry for people that have chosen to take the lives of others or to act on inappropriate instincts….I believe some people have inner demons and their actions come from those inner demons.  I still forgive these people.

I am not educated on religion like many people are.  I do not know the ins and outs of Catholicism or Christianity or the like.  I know very little about scripture in the Bible.  I do know that many religions focus on forgiveness.  Although I am unsure of my beliefs in the religious sense, this is one aspect I believe in.  Forgiveness is something that has the potential to heal the world…to make is a less ugly and chaotic place.  If you think about it, when you hold in anger or resentment (or any negative feelings) how does your body react?  I know mine just shuts down….depression sets in and I physically feel weak.  There are circumstances in which it is understandable if people have a hard time forgiving….the murder of a loved one or the harming of a child.  I know if anyone that I loved dearly was harmed I would hold in anger for a while but I believe after time had passed I would have to choose forgiveness.  Again, I am not saying I condone the actions, I am just choosing not to hold onto an emotion that is only going to harm my physical and mental state.  There is not one single day that we get to walk in another person’s shoes.  I want to give people the benefit of the doubt in most situations because I believe everyone has goodness in them….but some people’s demons overwhelm the potential for goodness.  I think the actions of the shooter in Colorado are absolutely appalling and horrid but I forgive him because I believe he must have been battling some sort of internal evil or chaos in his head.  I truly believe that people do not perform such horrid acts when they are stable…people that are able to harm or kill with such ease must be battling something that we are not always able to pinpoint.  The human chemistry is a mystery.

I want my readers to remember that these words that I write are my thoughts in this moment right here right now.  I change my opinions and views all of the time based on my feelings and what I am exposed to.  It is easy for me to say what I do about the Colorado shooter or anyone else who has done extreme harm to others because it is something I have not experienced first-hand.  I know that if it was someone close to me that was in that situation, I may not be able to forgive…I would hope after time though that I could.  I spent so much of my life angry at myself and angry at the world and I no longer want to live that way.  I don’t want to hold onto anger or hatred anymore because they serve no ultimate purpose….an eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.  Other may find that to be naïve because of the current state of the world and yes I have momentary anger or disgust but I choose not to hold onto it because I want to try to keep my mind and body as healthy as possible.  I want to convey and teach love instead of ignorance and selfishness.  My reasoning for choosing this topic to blog about today is because of the article I included below.  This article is written about a man that is in the hospital recovering from gun shots that were a part of the Aurora theater shootings and how he is choosing to forgive the shooter.  Upon reading his words, I had a greater respect for religion (broadly).  This is a man (and I can only say this based on this article) that seems to take the words of the Bible and of his religion to heart…he is practicing what he is preaching (for a lack of better words).  I am sure it is not easy for him to forgive….as it would not be for me if I was part of that situation but he feels it is the right and natural thing to do.  I have reflected on my life and am proud to say I have forgiven in many instances and the benefits from forgiving have long outweighed the “benefits” of holding onto anger or hatred.

Shooter Forgiveness? One Survivor Of ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Massacre Feels Bad For Holmes

Forgiveness for the suspected shooter in the Dark Knight Rises massacre last week seems a far off concept, but one of the victims, still healing from injuries sustained in the bloodbath, is past the anger stage of his recovery.

 Perhaps shooter forgiveness is something most people couldn’t find it in their hearts to consider, which is totally understandable. After all, James Holmes is believed to be the man who gunned down 12 innocent theater patrons in cold blood, and is thought to be responsible for injuring scores more both during the assault and in the ensuing melee.

But forgiving the shooter is something one of the men injured quite badly during the Dark Knight Massacre has already managed to do — and shooting victim Pierce O’Farrill says he feels badly for the man who tried to kill him and dozens of others during the July 20th rampage.

O’Farrill is a member of The Edge Baptist Church, and he feels that Christ’s teachings have influenced his view of the man at the center of the horrible tragedy. O’Farrill says that his faith has enabled him to let go of anger and hatred after he was wounded in the shooting:

“There is an enemy, but the wonderful news is there is a Light, and there is a Light that shines brighter than the darkness ever imaginable.”

O’Farrill says that whatever torment prompted James Holmes to plan the attack and carry
it out is far worse than what the victim himself has endured:

“This is going to be hard for people to understand, but I feel sorry for him… When I think what that soul must be like to have that much hatred and that much anger in his heart—what every day must be like. I can’t imagine getting out of bed every morning and having that much anger and hatred for people that he undoubtedly has. I’m not angry at him. I’ll pray for him.”

O’Farrill’s pastor Ryan Heller says that shooter forgiveness is in line with Christian teachings, and that Jesus’ words reflect as much:

“Some of the other survivors have said that they can’t or won’t forgive [the shooter]. Reporters are contrasting him against other survivors, so it is important to understand what Jesus says about forgiving.”

Although O’Farrill has forgiven the shooter for the attack, shrapnel is still lodged in his chest, and he is still recovering from injuries to his lower leg and foot.

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10 Responses to Day 195 Question 195

  1. mimijk says:

    I applaud the provocativeness of your post, and am humbled my the reality that I am not as forgiving as I might like to be in order to be more in sync with my spirituality would like me to be. I have a hard time with sociopathy in its truest form – those who lack any real interest in human lives other than their own, people who abuse children, sexual predators who lack the emotional control or moral fortitude to suppress their own desires for the sake of their victims. I think forgiveness in many ways – arguably most ways – is for the benefit of the victim, allowing them to move forward with their lives in a productive, happy way. But when trying to determine which populations I could not effectively work with as a therapist, it became clear to me that I had limits that would require a great deal of work on my part – to understand, forgive and constructively assist. I am neither proud of this nor suggest that theoretically your point isn’t a valid one. I do think it is a far harder exercise for most victims, one that ultimately is in their best interest but representative of a profoundly difficult journey.

  2. I agree nothing is unforgiveable. Forgiving is work for us. The pain of some losses is devestating. We are all filled with Divinity and it is all the same. Forgiveness is a gift we give to others. Sometimes it is one rough path and it is more of a blessing for us than the other person.

  3. Paulina Czarnecki says:

    I think… It’s hard to say. There are some things that definitely could be considered unforgiveable, like the Holocaust, but we should all try to forgive. If anything, it makes US feel better when we let go of the pain. Even when we, with the grace of God, forgive, it doesn’t EXCUSE the actions of others, though.

  4. bibuji says:

    A very indicative picture of forgiveness, I liked it so much…I have even a lot of experiences that I myself would not be forgiven by others, that always break my heart.

  5. 100% in agreement.

    Be encouraged!

  6. Jane says:

    I believe there must be some things that are unforgivable, except I’ve had the fortune of not experiencing them first-hand (thank God) and so I can’t say with certainty. Seems to me, though, that if someone abused or raped or murdered my child, I couldn’t forgive them. In fact, I’d probably want them to suffer, and suffer a long, long time. I know a woman who was raped, during a business trip, in a hotel room by a man more than twice her size. She did not find her power in forgiveness; rather, she regained control by remaining in the city (though she lost her job) and making sure he landed behind bars.

  7. Penhand says:

    If we want God’s forgiveness , we must forgive others , That doesn’t exempt the authorities from punishing those who commit crimes , especially the ones that are so evil . I do agree with most of what you say .

  8. I believe that when we don’t forgive someone who wrongs us, it is the one wronged who suffers. I’ve been told this by secular and Christian counselors. I was abused as a child and have a lot to forgive. It’s a very long, slow process.But once I forgive an offense, I feel better. Until the next time I remember another wound. Then I go through the long, slow, painful process again because I will feel healing in the end. The one who harmed me is dead for 22 years, it doesn’t matter for him, it does for me.

  9. David Alves says:

    Diane, thank you for this humble and authentic sharing of your understanding surrounding forgiveness. As Jesus said to someone he had questioned, “You are not far from the Kingdom.” I’m sure if you knew both the doctrine of forgiveness and the doctrine of God’s grace, you would become a disciple of Jesus as so many of us have. That’s because I remember being where you are thirty-four years ago. I was open to spirituality but turned off by religion. Please let me know by replying, if I may share a link to a blog post that could help define for you and your readers the difference between religion and spirituality (relationship).

    Thanks again. Blessings.

  10. Shez says:

    Interesting post. Have been struggling to forgive, not just on the surface, but deep within my soul a wrong. It is still raw and slow to heal. I do not endorse it residing in my body at all. I want it out. I do not hold grudges and have long believed no one lay away at night plotting how they could cut me off in traffic to ruin my day. It just happens. But this hurt has chosen to fester and I want it gone. I have forgiven the wrong doer, I cannot understand the action, but mostly it was directed at me, there were nine hours to change their mind and heart, but they chose, wrongly. Two of us were hurt, but I am the living one who bears the weight. My constant prayer is, “Dear God, How do I release the burden?”

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