The Power of Music
One of the most healing form of the arts, is “music.” A great song can instantly elevate our mood, give us hope, or help us take our mind off of something we would rather not think about at the moment.
Forgiveness is defined as the process of stopping being angry or resentful at someone for a flaw, wrong action, or mistake. These flaws, wrong actions, or mistakes may be real, that is they really occurred, or they be only believed to have occurred, but not really occurred. Or, they may have partly occurred, but may not have occurred to as great as a degree as the person being wronged may feel they did.
In other words, the person who feels wronged may be:
1, totally correct in feeling wronged and accurate in their perception
2, may be partially correct but partially incorrect, and only partly accurate in their perception, or they
3, may be totally incorrect in feeling wrong and inaccurate in their perception
Have you ever felt that someone made a mistake with you? Made a wrong action with you, or did you really wrong? Of course, you have. We all have.
Did you ever later assess your perception of your anger and realize that you were either partially incorrect, or totally incorrect? Again, we all have. None of us are perfect, and therefore, we all may make errors in judgement concerning those who wronged us. We also all have wronged others, either willfully, or by accident.
The fact that one may accidentally be wrong in assessing how one has been treated, does not stop the fact that at times, we can very clearly see when we are being treated badly. A victim of child abuse for example, or domestic abuse, generally has a clear perception of the facts. They may know, “He hit me,” or “She pulled my hair,” or whatever the case may be. Generally, with most things, most persons brains and minds work pretty well in determining basic facts of reality.
For this reason, courts of law in the U.S. exist in which juries and judges attempt to reach facts based on evidence and proof of what can be known to be true. Minds and perceptions of truth are trusted, and can either give a man his freedom, or condemn him to death.
No One is Perfect
Is it not reasonable to conclude that because our judgements are not always perfect, and because we may accidentally treat others wrong, and want their forgiveness, that we should also strive to extend the same courtesy to others, giving them the benefit of any doubt that they did not intend to harm us as well? In the American legal system, we are supposed to have a presumed innocence, and are supposed to be given the “benefit of doubt” when it comes to an accusation, until it is proven true.
Even if a person’s harm was deliberate, is it not better to extend forgiveness, if not in all circumstances, then at least in “most” circumstances? Otherwise, would a person not go through their entire life, every single day, being angry, and wanting revenge?
How lonely and pathetic a life must it be, to be constantly angry, to always feel wronged, and to incessantly want revenge! And yet, this is exactly the life and philosophy that so many lead.
Most politicians live this way, but lie, and pretend like they do not. Could you even imagine rising to the top and existing in American politics if one didn’t have such an eye for an eye mentality and way of life? I don’t think they’d last very long, do you?
American Government was supposedly founded on Christian ideals, but these days, it is far from that. Similarly, Hollywood is often the same way. People try to destroy others in Hollywood they deem as competition. Or they try to silence those they disagree with.
Can we forgive those who do us wrong? Who judge us unfairly? I remind you, “Forgiveness is defined as the process of stopping being angry or resentful at someone for a flaw, wrong action, or mistake.” Forgiving does not mean that we have to stop seeking the truth or demanding justice. It only means that we stop being angry and resentful at a person. We can choose to stop being angry at a person, but still have justified anger at their deeds. It’s two different things. And we can choose to not let this anger at one’s deeds consume us. We can let the resentment against them go, giving them no power over us.
Forgiveness Does Not Mean There is No Justice
In the case of an abuse victim, forgiving the person who abused the abuser is for the victim’s benefit, for their peace of mind, sanity, and soul. This doesn’t we don’t still condemn the abuser’s actions or hold them responsible. It simply means, we set ourselves free from being controlled by anger. We release our hearts, minds, and spirits to that of the greater power-which is love, and do not let anger overwhelm us. When one lets anger overwhelm, they are in fact being a victim. They are being weak, and are not in control. Forgiveness puts the person in control of their own life again. To forgive, is to set oneself free. Anger turns to stress, to disease, and literally kills the one in a constant state of anger.
Forgiveness does not mean there is no justice. It means we stop punishing ourselves with a toxic hatred and anger that is self debilitating.
So again, we can still condemn the unjust, and fight for justice. We can hate the actions of evil and fight for it to stop, but we must rise above making it personal. We would be wise to see the dualistic reflection in all, that all are indeed our brother and sister in the realm of creation.
How we respond to living in our challenging environment will determine not only our peace of mind, but our physical and spiritual health.
Focus on the good, consider the long term vision, and when you can, forgive. I assure you that you will be a stronger and better person because of it.