Forgiveness is mine

Thanksgiving is coming up soon and it always gets me to thinking about what I’m truly thankful for:  This week I am thankful for forgiveness.

I’m not a perfect person as my children like to tell me regularly.  They tease me about my foibles, the eccentricities of their mother, and my outright mistakes.  (Only they are allowed to do this though, they would set anyone else straight who criticized me.) I have had to ask for their forgiveness and I am so thankful that they have given it to me.  I can’t imagine living with the guilt for the rest of my life, if they said, “No, we can’t forgive you, you are unforgiveable.”  Their father and I made mistakes in our marriage, ending it in divorce, and today respect each other and have given forgiveness.  Our children have benefitted from that and learned from it.  We are a family who believes in forgiveness.

I had coffee today with a classmate from my high school days.  We talked about forgiveness and how it correlates in today’s society.  I shared with her that it upsets me that our entire society seems to have a chip on their shoulder and is unable to give forgiveness.  What we have is a society of victims who can’t give forgiveness, choose not to move forward, and are unable to be healthy survivors.  Here I am on my high horse, I know.  There are wonderful examples of groups of peoples who were treated horribly in history and have moved on: the Italians, the Irish and the Chinese were treated as slaves, they mined and built our railroads receiving little or nothing for pay.  They were spit on, beat up and called names.   They are survivors.

When you act like a victim; people treat you like a victim; you are perceived as weak and unable to take care of yourself.  Look around you.  Some of you will think I am talking about a particular race, or culture, but I’m not.  You see victims everywhere, regardless of whatever stereotype you want to name.  I’m reading a book right now about coal miners in the Appalachians who were treated horribly..  Many moved on and survived; many didn’t.

I understand forgiveness, because I have had to ask for it and I have given it; both are tough. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget, as my children example shows, but forgiveness means you get peace.  The negative energy it takes to not forgive, becomes positive energy, you get to move forward.

My Dad is in assisted living and I stopped up an visited with him the other night for an hour or so.  When I left, I said, “Dad, I’m going to be gone for a couple of weeks, but will see you when I get back.  He said, “Ok, well I will miss you.”  “I love you Dad.”  “I love you too Wanny.”  Our family knows forgiveness.  I know forgiveness.  I wish it for you, with all of my heart.

Peace….

Zen, the opposite of what I feel…..

Watching the news the other day, I saw a story on Bill Cosby.  The prosecutor used, as one of his arguments, that the Bill Cosby story couldn’t possibly be true, because the woman continued to have a working relationship with him.   Apparently the prosecutor has never heard of the Stockholm Syndrome: feelings of trust or affection felt in certain cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor.

Was the victim (although I like to refer to her as the survivor, because she is dealing with her incident) kidnapped? a hostage?  Anyone who has been in an abusive relationship knows that is exactly how it feels; powerless, under someone else’s control, feeling unable to escape…..  A young (30), black, gay woman would have felt kidnapped…trapped in her own mind and body, with her memories.  When, as a society are we going to get it?  She is crazy strong and brave.  I don’t know her, but I sure respect her.  Many of the relationships around her, working and otherwise, challenging her flashbacks…

Are there exceptions when someone lies about abuse, yes there are, but they are far less than what we could ever imagine.  Women and men are far more likely to be disbelieved, when they are telling the truth.  We don’t want to believe the truth, this is obvious in the Cosby case…but we have to look at the ugly.. We have to, in able to solve it..

I need to clarify:  looking at the ugly is when there are facts to support; looking at the ugly is not believing every bit of gossip that runs through the grapevine.  I have been the subject of those grapevines and the only ugly there is the people spreading the unsubstantiated gossip.  I challenge you to know the difference

ZEN: adjective
The definition of zen is slang for feeling peaceful and relaxed.

Yourdictionary.com

I am riding the CANDISC this week, hopefully feeling Zen and not like flat squirrel.  Please keep my safety in your prayers.

Peace..