There are temporary situations, uncomfortable and frustrating, but they are temporary, nonetheless. I think we can all be too reactive and impatient; we want immediate results when it comes to anything and everything. But, mostly, we don’t want to hurt.
We want to see the world and circumstances through rose-colored glasses.
We want perfection, not pain.
We want to be lied to rather than hear what might hurt…even if it’s the truth.
We want now, not yesterday.
But, a temporary unpleasant situation can feel like it will last a lifetime. It can also alter your life, forever. But, it doesn’t have to. You could have been in Boston on April 15, 2013.
One minute you’re running a marathon and the next you hear the sound of thunder, which rocks the asphalt below you. And perhaps you might be a family member of one of the three people who died that day or one of the 260 injured. Maybe, you were running with both legs and now, you’re one of the 16 people without at least one limb.
How do we recover from tragedy? How do we bounce back from life-altering events and not let them define who we are?
Can you forgive? Would you hug a man who murdered your father? Phillip Robinson’s father was shot to death by Ron Hammer. When Hammer finally asked Phillip to forgive him, Robinson did. Yep. All the news outlets caught them hugging, even. Can you imagine actually hugging the man who took your father’s life and not attempt to inflict as much pain on him in the same way he hurt you?
He pardoned a murderer.
The man that shot his father to death.
He forgave him.
Just like that.
There are many stories like this of forgiveness. When a human reaches deep in their soul and despite torture, concentration camps, rape, murder…something happens to the survivor. Trauma has a way of making you feel either stuck, in which case you destroy your remaining life, or it gives birth to a saintly spirit that takes over and turns you over to good. It’s as if too much pain has penetrated the physical body and you no longer can feel hurt.
The human spirit either breaks from the pain or wields inhuman strength and goodness. Like a diamond, you are refined from the extreme temperatures it took to shape your life from nothing more than earthly, ugly rock and embolden you with a heavenly shine.
The Bottom Line:
Those who chose to forgive have experienced tragedy yet freed themselves by letting go of their pain. I’m not sure if that’s the formula for inner freedom. It takes a special person with personal strength beyond the average individual.
I think the gift tragedy and upset can bring into one’s life is the ability to almost be inhuman. You rise above human emotions to an ethereal place not of this mundane world. Call it enlightenment, if you will.
A temporary event doesn’t have to result in a permanent label. You are not a label but a perfectly imperfect soul. You are not what happened to you or the circumstances thrusted upon you.
When you reach beyond yourself, when you push beyond your own personal limitations, when you find strength when strength has been extinguished, when you stop existing in the hurt and live in love, you will find that simple gratitude is enough and all you ever needed.