But this jumped off the page and grabbed my heart: "None of us wants to have our life story to be the sum of all the ways we have been hurt." Wow. Just WOW! How often I have welcomed, even clung to hurts and slights and disrespectful comments because it SEEMS like if I stay vigilant I can keep myself from being hurt.
Of course, it never works that way. Instead whether I let my wrath fly against my perceived and real dangers (often escalating the danger) or I stuff it down deep to "maintain control," the sad reality is that it takes up space in my life, either spewing harm to those I "take it out on" or eating a whole in my gut as I put on a "happy face."
The only relief for me has been to lay all my hurts on Jesus. But I spent three years trying to figure out what God was trying to get me to understand to help me forgive a grandmother for something I learned she had done decades before her death. I KNEW I was wasting seconds and minutes and hours and days into weeks, months and years wasting energy on anger that could only damage me. But I could NOT let it go! I finally found my way through so I can again remember tender moments with that grandmother and have compassion for the wounded little girl that grew into an angry, injuring adult.
And when I look back I realize that God was working me through the steps that Bishop Tutu formalized to help his people and nation move forward in ways that embrace our connectedness, our deep longing for peace and hope and love.
So, this Holiday Season, as nerves are frayed and we are sometimes expected to "make nice" with family and friends who get under our skin, we can consider something new. We now have a resource to help us consider where we can root out fear so joy can expand; where we can let go of resentment, fear and discord, and embrace a much higher level of peace, healing and restoration and/or release.
I got it from the library, liked it so much I wanted it as a personal resource so I bought a paper copy which I decided was better given to a dear friend who had shared a desire to understand forgiveness more, bought an ebook for myself then bought another audio copy for someone dear who indicated they would be more likely to read it in that format. I tell you this to stress this point: I believe in the power of forgiveness and I believe that is a wonderful resource for people looking to live life more fully, more courageously, more joyously.