Forgive others so that your heavenly Father will forgive you. I read these words from the Bible and I can understand them. What I have problems with is actually putting those words into practice. I find it easier to forgive people when they are out of my life and no longer hurting me, even large, gaping emotional wounds can be forgiven. However, it’s the people who continually hurt me that I struggle with forgiving. I don’t have any easy answers or solutions because this is an area that I haven’t mastered yet. I simply don’t understand why people can’t be nice to each other.
Yet, there is a fierce determination in me to be the kind of person that I would admire. I have to live with me, and I can’t escape me, so I want to be proud of me. I want to be the person who can forgive, but I don’t want to be someone’s punching bag either. Yesterday, I read some motivational words from William Zinsser in his book Inventing the Truth. They’re not the typical words from a pastor or spiritual leader; they’re words about how to write an interesting memoir or personal story. The strange truth is that these words also apply as words of wisdom on living an interesting and well-remembered life. They are words that encourage me and motivate me to forgive.
The best memoirs “were written with love. They elevate the pain of the past with forgiveness, arriving at a larger truth about families in various stages of brokenness. There’s no self-pity, no whining, no hunger for revenge; the writers are as honest about their own young selves as they are about the sins of their elders. We are not victims, they want us to know. We come from a tribe of fallible people, prisoners of our own destructiveness, and we have endured to tell the story without judgment and to get on with our lives.”