Sunday, January 31, 2010

How do you forgive?

I know that life experience is the only thing that truly gives me understanding and empathy. Strange things tear families apart.
Every single person on this planet makes mistakes, they make stupid, irresponsible, thoughtless mistakes; and they need forgiveness.

It's hard to forgive when you think someone did something personal to you, or they disregarded the welfare of you or others, and maybe you think they did it on purpose. They did something so irresponsible that you need to cast them away.

Do you cast them away because you wish to punish them, as if their behavior means they don't deserve such a great person in their life such as yourself and you'll "show" them?
Or is it because they are a future danger to your heart, you no longer trust them, their judgement, their words or their actions?
How do you give forgiveness?
How do you ask for forgiveness?

Is it possible to forgive when you are still hurt or angry? I've never been able to. After time has healed my wounds I like to think I forgive, but it really just feels more like I've gotten over the incident and moved on. *POOF!* "You're forgiven!" But is that the same thing? I don't think so.

I remember years ago watching a news story about a traffic jam at a dead stop on a bridge somewhere. The cars were just sitting there. There was a young woman who became a victim of what we now know as 'road rage', when a big man got out of his car, somehow got her out of her car, and beat her so bad that, after a while, to get away from him she jumped over the edge of the bridge to her death.

All that time, while the woman screamed for her life, every single person in all the other cars just watched. Not one person got out to help her.

When the news journalist asked the Mother of the victim if she herself was angry at all these other people who would not get out of their cars to save her daughters life, the Mother said No...that those people were just sheep. They couldn't help it.

Right then and there I knew I was no sheep! "I'm a Shepherd!" I know I would have gotten out of my car. Maybe I would have sat there, feeling stunned for the first few moments, not believing what I was seeing. But I would have gotten out, opened my trunk to get the tire iron, and I would have started heading in that direction.

Even before hearing this story I already knew one thing about sheep...they follow! I know that if just one person had gotten out of their car, others would have followed. Obviously I would have been betting my life on that.

Over 20 years ago, in downtown Stockholm, in broad daylight, my friend Bosse, my ex and myself were standing outside of N.K. and suddenly a bag went over the head of my ex and men were pulling him away.
Mats came out of no-where, started pulling me away and said over and over to me "It's ok.", while they threw my ex in the trunk!

During this commotion some elderly woman saw what was happening and with a purse or umbrella started whacking them with it repeatedly!
We can laugh about this story, but really, what a brave woman she was; she didn't know the guys and yet she was willing to give them a pounding!

I wish I had paid more attention to her...I didn't understand then that she was a sister Shepherd!

Mats' wife, Lene, took me out to dinner and a movie while the guys did...something. I can't remember the name of the movie, but we thought it was an American movie about something japanese. Then I would be able to listen to the movie in english and Lene could read the swedish subtitles.

Turns out, it really was a japanese movie, in japanese, and the subtitles were in swedish! Much to the chagrin of the other movie-goers, Lene whispered a translation of Swedish subtitles of the entire movie into english in my ear!

I wish I knew where Lene was today.

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