Forgive others, forgive you

12:00:00 AM

It was just an average night out with friends when, out of the blue, he told us the story of how he accidentally killed someone on the road. He said he had a little too much to drink, as did his friends who were with him in the car. He was driving so fast that he didn't notice the kid when she crossed the street.

He ran her over, and he desperately wanted to go back, but his friends stopped him. So he went home and told his mother, who then sent him packing for another country so he could avoid possible jail time. He was young and very, very afraid, so he did as he was told. With a heavy heart, he fled, and continued to live a normal life in a new place. His mother was left behind, and she settled everything.

Years later, he came home, and a few months into settling back in, he heard the news that the kid passed away already. He went to the wake, and the victim's mother spotted him instantly. He was the only unfamiliar face in the crowd, so she figured out instantly that he was the culprit. She started hitting him, and he just stood there, taking the abuse until he was told to leave.

Once every year since then, he would bring flowers to her grave. When the mother was visiting, he would wait until she left before he brought his offering in order to avoid confrontation. This went on for a decade, until one time, he got to the grave before the mother did. She saw him, and when he realized that, he readied himself for her to hit him again.

To his surprise, she tapped him lightly on the head and smiled. It was a smile that told him he was forgiven. He was grateful as he was relieved. But he also felt undeserving of the woman's forgiveness. The conflict of emotions overwhelmed him, and he disappeared into a syringe.

You deserve it.
(photo from the internet)
That was practically a lifetime ago. He's now clean - he has been for a while - and he's doing quite well. He said that the key to his recovery was forgiving himself. It was the guilt of taking a life that consumed him, and he tried to repress the memory of that evening. It took a trip to rock bottom for him to finally forgive himself, but when he did, things turned around for him.

More often than not, we are our own worst enemy, that even when the people we have wronged have already forgiven us, we refuse to forgive ourselves for one reason or another. But regardless of our reasons, this is something that we have to learn so we could move forward. It is one thing to forgive, another thing to forget.

Forgetting is the dismissal of reality, the indefinite postponement of confrontation. Ironically, by dismissing the truth, you actually end up holding on to it more, and that will consume you in the long run. Forgiveness is facing the facts and accepting the consequences. It is letting yourself get hurt, and eventually letting yourself heal.

Everyone deserves to be forgiven, regardless of what he or she may be guilty of. If you can forgive other people, and other people can forgive you, then you should know how to forgive yourself.


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