“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Whenever I would see that part of scripture in the Bible I always thought about it from the perspective that Jesus was asking for mercy for the people killing him but that was such a Jesus thing to do that I never really thought twice about it. As if I could never do that because I’m not Jesus. We’re asked to live like him but forgiving such evil and hatred is not something us regular humans can do. Right?
As I’ve grown up and learned a whole lot about forgiveness, I’m looking at that scripture differently. Most spiritual teachings include forgiveness, but not really for the other person or people, but for yourself. Can forgiveness be a selfish thing to do? Absolutely. I have a choice between hating someone else for the hate they have in their heart or I can feel love and compassion because I know they don’t know what they’re really doing. I feel the feelings, they don’t feel my feelings. So why feel hate when I can feel something a whole lot better like compassion and love?
You might be thinking, okay here we go with that hippy love is all that matters bullshit. What about these assholes who are committing hate CRIMES!? They certainly know what they’re doing!!
Okay, I understand that totally. I have been ANGRY at racism and bigotry my whole life. I have never understood it. I can’t fathom thinking about another person as lesser than because of race, nationality or religion. Or can I? What am I saying when I can’t think of someone as lesser than but right afterward think that the “evil” people in the world are lesser than me because they think those things about other people. That’s not any better.
So, as I see reports of the hate in Charlottesville, and all around the world, I have a choice to add more hate to it by hating those people OR I can believe that they don’t know what they’re doing and forgive them. I kinda like to look at people, even adults, as toddlers. When a toddler dumps over something and stains a carpet, or breaks something valuable, I’m not mad at the toddler. I understand they didn’t realize the implications of their actions yet. They’re not enlightened to the law of gravity yet. They haven’t quite understood the value in those things yet. So when I see people hurting other people with violence and hate crimes, of course it’s sad and of course I hate those actions, BUT I choose compassion. Hating something makes ME feel the hate. So, I ask for forgiveness for them because they truly do not understand their own hate. They hate themselves. They hate their lives. They don’t understand how the world truly works and they are adding to the negative side of the balance of the universe. Can you remember a time you did something “bad” and really didn’t understand how far reaching it would be? And now that you’ve come out to the other side of that situation you KNOW better? There’s a knowing in you that would never let yourself do that again? I’ve certainly not truly known what I was doing as a full grown adult, many times. But now I do.
Again, you might be thinking, “Oh here we go! This girl is delusional. She is naive. She has her head in the sand.” I understand why you think that. But I ask what if more people thought like I think? What if we could reduce the amount of hate in the world? Don’t you think that could solve some problems? I completely believe in standing up for what’s right, kind, and loving in this world. I believe in boundaries and consequences. I believe in taking action, but from a place of compassion, love, determination, confidence, not hate. I believe that the hateful people in the world will certainly attract more hate and violence to themselves. I don’t want to be one of those people. Of course, I wish Donald Trump would/could do something about it but I’ve not had faith in that toddler since the beginning so why would I expect him to change overnight? Donald Trump cannot fix this issue. We had these issues way before he became our president. These are individual issues stemming from our own misunderstanding of the world, of other cultures, of other races, whose flames have been fueled by more hate and misguided thinking.
We have the power to decide how we show up in the world. Let’s decide to love instead.
Speak love, seek love, be love, and act from love.
Love, love, love.
Thanks for reading!!! I love to hear back from readers. What do you think about this topic? Have you had similar experiences? What helped you the most? Please comment below!
*I do not make any money off of this blog. I don’t get any kickbacks from products or books I write about. Just sharing the love!