Could I forgive? How would I handle carrying around Hate. A comment question answered.

I received a comment this morning on my post from yesterday “What is forgiveness to you?” from Quidmont asking me: “So let me ask you please … If you found something so terrible that you could not forgive it, would you feel like your life was in any way diminished by carrying around the hate or other bad feelings you could not let go of? Or how would you handle it?”

Good question..good question.

Hate is such a strong word, emotion.  When you feel or have great hate within you I think you can feel weighed down, you become heavy.  It’s easy to allow the hate to consume you and almost take over.  You have two choices when have it in you.  1. you can go on walking around with it, letting it control you and define you as a person or 2. you can decide you don’t want to be confined to the hate, make a point to come to terms with ‘yes this has happened to me, it was awful, painful, hurtful but I don’t want to defined by it any longer’.  You have to let yourself in some way become free of the hold it can have on you.  I don’t know if I could really ‘forgive’ so to speak but I would have to in some way come learn how to live with it and find a way to be happy.

Bad things happen, awful things, evil things. When you are the victim of a horrendous crime (this is what I would think) you can continue to be defined about what has happened to you but I would think there would come a point in your life, and this could be many many years down the road, where you don’t want to feel that weight anymore, you want to be happy, you don’t want to be defined as the victim any longer.  If something horrendous would happen to me I of course would be scarred for life, it would never leave me but I think I would have to at some point in time have to move on.  Move on in order to find myself again, relieve the weight that it brings, be me.  This is easier said than done because I have never been through anything like that so I can only assume.  I know therapy would be needed, friends, family, I don’t think that ‘freeness’ can be achieved alone.  I think it would have to be talked about to free your mind of the emotions, the hate, the history.  It would never fully leave your mind but you would have to get it out in one way or another so it doesn’t eat you from the inside out.

Its easy to let yourself become consumed by hatred.  It’s like a disease in my eyes.  It can take over your mind, consume your thoughts and you in turn become miserable, a prisoner in your own cell of hate.  You must find a way to break free..but you also have to want to break free.

When it comes to the question of what is forgiveness, if I was to put myself in a victim’s shoes I honestly don’t think I could forgive the person or persons involved that did the crime to me.  Never.  I could never forgive them for what they did.  They did it, they, at that moment in time had a choice.. to do the right thing or not and they chose not to therefore I could never forgive them for their choice.  They can go on to do their time and say they have been saved by god and now they are asking for forgiveness..I would still say no.  You did it, you made your decision to do it, I don’t care if you are sorry 1000x over or if you are a different person now, you still made that choice and now you must live with the guilt.

So to answer the question at hand….

“If you found something so terrible that you could not forgive it, would you feel like your life was in any way diminished by carrying around the hate or other bad feelings you could not let go of? Or how would you handle it?”

Here is a personal experience where I walked around with hate in my heart, now it’s not a crime that was done but at the time it felt like one had occurred.   My mother passed away almost 6 years ago suddenly to cancer, my mother was taken away from me.  I walked around after she passed for almost 2 years pissed off, just down right mad, angered, and most of all sad.  I would have headaches everyday, I was not much fun to be around, I was on edge all the time, quick to snap but there came a time where I was tired of being like that.  I had let it consume me.  I don’t know who I was mad at, I had no one to blame for her being gone but I was looking for something to blame.  At first I blamed “God” because that is who everyone was telling me took her, because “he” had another higher purpose for her.  That infuriated me.  So “God” became my first place of blame.   I was just mad at the whole situation, why me?, why my mom?  What did I do that I deserve my mom being taken away from me?  What do you mean “he” needs her, I need her, my sister needs her. I came to a point where I didn’t want to be mad anymore, I didn’t want to feel what I was feeling anymore.  Being pissed off isn’t going to bring her back so I realized I needed to come to terms with it and be find a way to fully 100% happy again.  I don’t want to sound like I had lost the ability to be happy during those 2 years because I was happy but not fully.  There was always that nagging in my head, that anger.  When I realized it was time to fully deal with the situation that I had gone through I felt a lightness in me again.  The headaches stopped, my attitude changed, I felt true happiness again.  I will never forget her, I still to this day think of her everyday that passes but I know she is gone and now watching over me from where ever she might be and I allow myself to feel her in my heart.

Now I know that doesn’t have anything to do with a crime done to me personally and in all honesty I can’t compare death to rape or another horrendous crime but I would think the healing process might be the same in a few ways.  The way that you have to free yourself of the hatred, of the feelings.  You have to find you again even though you don’t feel complete anymore.  You have to find a way to move on, to be happy again or it will eat you from the inside out.  It’s a choice.

About Jamie

Taking my time through this A-Mazing thing called my life. I'm the owner and photographer at The Adore Girls here in Nashville TN. Life is what you make of it and I am making mine...AMAZING!

Posted on February 24, 2011, in life, Me and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Thanks Jamie. That’s a very well thought out answer. It makes sense to me in part because I can relate to your analogy to experiencing a death close to you.

    When I lost my best friend from age 4 onwards, the person who stood as my best man at my wedding and who I talked to almost every day despite moving to different cities, when I lost him 39 years later, it was very much as you describe. Your analogy rings true.

    And yes there are many more severe injustices that may be visited upon us and we would not know how we’d react unless it happens.

    I empathize for anyone like the victim in your earlier post. My heart crys every time I read the blog of someone here who HAS been a victim of something truly horrific. And I pray for you and I and everyone else in the world that nobody ever has to go through such pain again.

    Simplistic. But that’s all I have and all I hope I ever have to know. Selfish in that I know there is pain in the world that I would wish never to have to experience myself. I feel privileged and guilty both at the same time.

    Thanks Jamie. Sincerely.

    – Bob

    • No thank you for asking and making me think!
      I agree with you with feeling selfish in the fact that I wish never to have to experience anything so dreadful. Selfish but true.

  2. Good answer.

    I have to admit you’re right, although I reserve the option of holding on to the hate as long as I deem it necessary.

    As I get older, though, I find I don’t have the time or energy to keep it going as long as when I was younger.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. She obviously went way too young. So it was with my father about four years ago. It didn’t occur to me to hate anyone about his passing, and I actually directed my energy in a positive direction by supporting Relay For Life for a few years even though it went against my dad’s wishes. (The ACS angered him before the end.)

    About the only thing I can disagree with is that, at least for me, my hate was separate from my ability to be happy. Those are two different things. But they are similar in that, in the end, ultimately we choose how much of each we’ll have in our lives. In that regard we are the deciders.

    • Absolutely, Every person is different and everyone’s time frame will be different and they do reserve the right to hold on for as long as they need to.
      I am sorry to hear about your dad and it’s nice to hear you turned it into a positive thing, good for you.
      In my situation I had no choice, I had to find some happiness, I had to find the energy to go on. I have a husband and 2 kids to care for and couldn’t let it consume me 100% because they would have suffered.

  3. I said this on your other post, but I don’t think I’d be able to forgive someone for that either.

    Like you said, it was a choice they made. And everyone makes mistakes, but that was a big one…and it concerned a person’s life.

    I think your description about letting go of the feelings is right on.

  4. Hi Jamie,
    I believe forgiveness is a very personal experience. If you need to forgive to move forward, then you must do what is best for you. It is neither good, bad, right or wrong. It does make us look inward as you so eloquently stated in your post.
    This is such a great topic I will give this further thought.
    Thank you

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