04 Feb Forgiveness is a Gift that Brings Peace
Forgiveness is one of the most difficult topics we broach in our Orange Duffel Bag Foundation coaching classes with teens aging out of foster care and homeless youth. Some of the kids are amazed that Sam Bracken could forgive his mom for abandoning him to homelessness. They are even more amazed that he decided to walk away from confronting his biological father when pure chance gave him the home phone number of the man who had raped his mother. (Those stories and much more are in “My Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change,” the book our life plan coaching is based upon.) Yet, I’ve seen that both of those decisions have brought Sam great peace. The last years of his mother’s life, they enjoyed a tender relationship. Sam was filled with compassion for her. As for his biological father, that man will never know the great man that his violent act produced — and if you ask me, that’s a tremendous loss.
How do you forgive the unforgivable? Understand that forgiveness allows you to move on from the hurt and brings you peace. Forgiveness does NOT mean allowing the person back in your life to hurt you again. It doesn’t even require that the other person asks forgiveness. It’s an act of letting go of your anger. Sometimes bad memories may still come back in your mind and stir up your pain and hatred again. Allow yourself time and space to process those feelings, and then, when you’re ready, surrender those negative thoughts and focus on the people who love you and the good things in your life. Do not allow the hurtful person to take up residence and occupy space in your mind and heart. Let go, forgive and find freedom.