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.