“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“And you know, when you’ve experienced grace and you feel like you’ve been forgiven, you’re a lot more forgiving of other people. You’re a lot more gracious to others.” Rick Warren
“It’s toughest to forgive ourselves. So it’s probably best to start with other people. It’s almost like peeling an onion. Layer by layer, forgiving others, you really do get to the point where you can forgive yourself.” Patty Duke
I believe I am thinking a bit negative today because I keep believing nobody is capable of loving anyone especially unconditionally. I spend many hours attempting to figure it out but it leaves me questioning our human population. Parents love their babies until those babies begin to offer challenges and then the spankings and screaming begins. We all remember having disruptive days but usually we get over it and find peace again. Kids are wonderful until they speak their own mind and want to do their own thing as well as lead their own lives. That is hard on parents who want to continue to control their kids indefinitely. This can carry over into their child’s relationships of all kinds. Nobody is left out and everyone is at risk.
We may not care for our kid’s friends, boyfriend’s, girlfriend’s in-law’s etc. We never ask ourselves why? Maybe they are receiving a different slant on the world or about people. Perhaps they are introduced into a different philosophy that we don’t like. Whatever the reason, we like to keep the threatening people away from our kids even if it might be a good connection. It leaves one wondering how any of us can love anyone and maintain that love. Do you question why you love anyone? What is it that makes you like them? Do you forgive them? People who are just married will say I would forgive my spouse anything. I think if that were the case we would see fewer divorces.
Why are so many families messed up to the point of never speaking to each other? Do they hate each other or are they hating quickly without thinking just as they love quickly without reflecting. I am not sure if I am superficial and not spending enough time on my relationships. On the other hand I question if I am doubting so many relationships. I don’t know about others but I sense I have not thought enough about what and why I consider or sense what I do care for and reflect about. It may be easier to simply get along and live in a blissful existence of make believe.
If I haven’t lost you yet I want to explain if I can, what my take on this is. I believe we are expected to attain the impossible in the hope of soaring quite high. Every interaction we have with another person is hazardous to our tranquility. It drains us when we are the caretakers or the ones who are supposed to be strong and dependable. That role gets tedious and weighs on our shoulders. The martyr role is boring and makes no progress. The savior role is next to impossible because we all must play the biggest role in our own redemption. Perhaps we are disillusioned and defeated when we want to but can’t solve other people’s problems. Being a person who requires attention can make one feel guilty. Nothing apparently brings us peace.
We may question our path and life frequently and we might try again but some insight into our own feelings must be added into the mix, especially if we want answers. I am sure we have all experienced those people who want sympathy, support, help of one kind or another. It can be mental physical or emotional support but when it happens consistently throughout our days it can render a person depleted. It is not a good state to find yourself in. I know it is awesome to give of oneself but we can’t forget to take care of our own needs. If you feel overwhelmed then perhaps you are forgetting to care for self.
Loving others is the hardest thing we can do because on any given day we observe weaknesses and negatives in people. That is annoying or impossible to overlook. That is perhaps why we end up loving people conditionally. It is like you help me and put up with my annoying attitude or remarks and I’ll help you and put up with your faults and impatience. Now is that love? I question if there is a sense of forgiveness in our relationships because others reflecting those horrible traits may be shining the light on those same traits found within us. Imagine if we discovered that we easily found bad habits in others to the extent we find them within our selves. Maybe that is the idea. If we see blame in others and notice then in us we can fix it.
I guess it gives us food for thought. Unconditional love actually means being able to love people enough that you can forgive the person. It is the simplest thing in the world to love another. People likely could marry someone new every year. Is that love or gratification for us? Does the person give us a positive sense of self? In the beginning it might be true but eventually we all need support of one kind or another and we all have those nasty traits we like to ignore. When we discover honesty we just move on rather than confront the truth and the reality of living.
Many people that question long marriages or families that stay together never realize the amount of effort patience love honesty and forgiveness it took to keep the connections alive. Love is not easy and unconditional love is superhuman to develop. It means we tie into forgiveness. It means we accept another’s negative words, thoughts and actions and then wrap our arms around them and squeeze until our doubts are gone. That is forgiveness. We know they hurt us, we accept the pain and suffering and we hold on tight and release the injury. When our being is devoid of the wound and pain we can fill our hearts minds and souls with love. If you cannot release the suffering you have no room for the love and the hurt continues while the wound festers.
I am no expert at letting pain go but I work on it. I know it is comforting to have love in my heart rather than suffering the wounds others inflict without regard. That brings me to mindfulness which is something we ought to encourage at all age levels. If we see others as beings of light and deserving love then we can understand they deserve our regard. That might mean placing their needs above our own at times. Of course it maybe placing our own needs first at times when we are depleted.
Unconditional love is seeing and focusing on the good we see in another person and accepting their bad notions with understanding. It helps us in two ways. Their wrongs may reflect ours and their wrongs may help us to develop more empathy and tolerance. Either way we are stronger in the end. Babies don’t come with guarantees to love their parents unconditionally. Parents can’t always love their kids unconditionally. Marriages break p for the same reasons as do friendships and sibling bonds. If we were capable of loving without conditions we would have the freedom to see and improve our own imperfections, rather than pretend others have blame but we are perfect.
It isn’t easy to forgive when you have been hurt. It isn’t easy to turn the other cheek as they say we should. Perhaps with reflection we might come to a point of comprehending the magnitude of courage it takes to forgive and be thankful for the times others forgave us. It might help us to return the favors to others and learn to forgive other people. Love is not about perfection nor is it about who is more at fault than another. Love is caring compassionate and unconditional at its’ best. Love is needy demanding possessive and jealous at its’ worst. Strive for releasing love so it can spread and gain us more love rather than caging it in attempting to keep it safe. We are capable of loving and in an unconditional way. We just have to add forgiveness.
“He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has need to be forgiven.” George Herbert
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain
“Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love.” Francis of Assisi