“Isn’t it amazing-
how much effort it takes to hate,
but how easy it is to love… “
Bah- Humbug… We’ve heard the story and followed as “Tiny Tim” and his family experience the mean Mr. Scrooge. And we’ve cheered as Scrooge is changed and learns to embrace the holiday spirit and open his heart.
Feels good to open your heart. To let go of our expectations and judgements of other people. Feels good to accept that everyone is un-perfect and we’re all just trying to get by in this world.
But not everyone can forgive right now. Sometimes we get hurt so badly that we feel like we have to hang on to hurt forever.
Maybe because we think if we let go of our hurt then someone else wins and we lose.
Maybe because hurt is familiar to us and so it is comfortable.
Perhaps we do not know how to let go- or just do not want to.
My most memorable time of forgiveness came, ironically, after Sept 11, 2001.
I can still remember exactly how I felt on that morning. I remember that whole day pretty clearly. I remember that week pretty clearly. I remember feeling sad and confused and lost. And just really sad. And I remember the way the entire San Francisco area (a very diverse population) all came together and for about a month everyone was so good to each other. People were living together. It was an amazing experience. Like we were all children again, just wondering why there had to be so much hatred.
It wasn’t on Sept 11 that I felt forgiveness- that day I mostly felt a lot of sadness. But the days and weeks after that day I felt better about everyone else around me and I was very forgiving of them all- I was more like my children… very forgiving.
It’s a lot of fun to watch my children. They can go right up to a complete stranger and ask them to play. They see another kid and they want to play with them- that simple. They can fight about something and then two minutes later they forget all about it and they’re playing again. We were all children once, and we all had that same spirit.
I think that’s the holiday spirit I want. To play more, and if I disagree with someone to be able to forget about it and just keep playing…