I have always felt that there were two traits in our lives that we don’t practice enough: learning to accept and learning to forgive. We go through life carrying way too many prejudicial opinions and grudges against each other causing us to be a negative person and give out negativity. We hold onto grudges and hatred for others for too long. We shouldn’t take life so seriously and this is where forgiveness comes into play. If we are willing to accept what and how people are and learn to forgive, this world would be a much more pleasant place and experience for the majority of us.
Many would say acceptance and forgiveness is easier said than actually done because it is frightening and at times we would doubt whether we accomplish it or not. I have doubted myself so many times when my aunt taught me about acceptance and forgiveness and it was a very tough lesson to learn. The first person I had to learn to accept and forgive was my mother. She is a very strict, self-centered, and always complaining about the smallest things. We never got along well, and she was physically abusive so that only worsened matters. I hated her for how badly she treated me what she put me through emotionally and mentally and being an only child didn’t help at all but only made matters worse. My aunt explained to me that she was my mother no matter what happened and even if she didn’t love me or respect me like a mother should. I should learn to accept her for who she was because she may never change and start to learn to forgive.
I questioned myself on how I could learn to accept and forgive her for all the scars and emotional damage she’d done to me. I thought it was an impossible task to accomplish. My aunt told me that I was only thinking about myself as well. She said I had to be more considerate and think of the type of time, family environment, and upbringing my mother came from. If I was unable to change how my mother was, I had to change how I was and hoped she would catch on and see how inconsiderate she had been. As hard as it is to forgive someone for whatever they did to you mentally, emotionally, physically, it is possible to learn to let go, accept, and forgive. When I thought about what my aunt said, I realized how inconsiderate I was right at that moment. I’ve only been focused on how she’d been treating me, but I hadn’t realized or thought about all the hardships and difficulties in life she had to go through before having me. She didn’t choose to be this way when she was born but life changed and shaped her to become this way. No one becomes who they are overnight. We all go through major life altering situations to affecting who we are and what we do.
I finally understood what my aunt meant by what she said concerning how inconsiderate I was to not see things from my mother’s side. That is how many of us are because we always think about ourselves and society has told us -if you read about a rape suspect you would hate them, or if you read about a school shooting in the papers, you would not be able to forgive or accept that person for what they’ve done, or if you heard of a robbery you would wonder why would people do such a horrible thing. Well, I would ask you the question: what if you were in their shoes? Have you ever thought from their point of view? No one is a born criminal, murderer, or born to hurt and upset you. Everyone was raised different and went through different scenarios in life that caused them to be molded to be a certain type of person. You are a certain type of person as well. You aren’t perfect and neither is anyone around you. What right do you have to judge and choose not accept or forgive others?
There are situations and people in life that we have no control over and we have no power to make them change to mold them into our ideal image in our minds. We have to adjust, adapt and accept them for who they are if you love them, if they are important to you. We have to take every adventure we encounter in life as a new test and not to run from them. They come across our life for a reason and this is the same with the type of people we encounter. We must have some sort of lesson to learn from them whether it is an opportunity to improve ourselves or to be more considerate and learn to forgive others. I believe no matter what horrid crime a person has committed or how many lives someone took from families; they all deserve to be forgiven. I understand it is impossible to forgive someone who’s taken a loved one away but if we never learn to forgive then we can never move onto a new sunrise. We aren’t God, and we have no right to say ‘I won’t forgive you!’ or ‘You’ll never be forgiven!’ That is not our call to make but that is the call of the power greater than us to decide if they are ultimately forgiven or not.
We all have to learn the lessons of acceptance and forgiveness because God can forgive all humans for their sins regardless of how serious or light it was. God is all loving and as are we. We must learn to practice his ways of acceptance and forgiveness. I have been able to do so these past years to the point where it surprised even myself. I just kept in mind what my aunt said: ‘Always think from both sides of the situation and understand where the other person may be coming from.’ If you aren’t willing to be in their shoes, to understand them to a much deeper level then you won’t be able to forgive or accept them. I always keep an open mind with everyone I meet, keep an open heart to everything that comes into my path, love everyone and accept everything as it comes. It’s become natural reflex reaction to everything I come into contact with.
Life is way too short for us to hate someone for a life time, for us to mope about how things didn’t turn out as we wished, for us to refuse to accept things to be as they are. We are just wasting time when we remain fixated on a grudge or a certain way of thinking and it’s exhausting to hate someone for a long time. My mom hated my uncle for a total of twenty–six years and when they ran into each other recently, she brought it all back up again. I admire her persistency and stubbornness to not forget what he did to her back then but isn’t it time to cut loose and let things go? When you can’t change others, simply forgive them and accept them for who and how they are. There are other things in life that should be able to outweigh the negativity in life.
My aunt also once mentioned to always keep positivity in my life and to always think that at the end of the storm the sun will break through. There is nothing we can’t get past as long as we remain positive and continue putting positivity into the world and those around us. If we grew up in a negative environment, then we naturally would only give out negativity and have a grim outlook on life in return. It requires consciousness and positivity to be able to accept life and people for what and who they are and it will take twice as much to learn how forgive but it is completely doable. It depends on if you are willing to start accepting and forgiving today.