What does it mean to truly forgive somebody, on every level and for everything? I used to think that I had a great capacity for forgiveness and that, over the years, I had developed a deeper level of compassion for those that had slighted me, understanding that they are often operating out of an unresolved pain or trauma. However, my belief in my abilities was shattered and dramatically changed after watching the movie The Shack.
The film, based off the book by William P. Young, follows the journey of Mack Phillips who spends a weekend with a trio of individuals, each personifying God, at an old shack in the woods. The story takes place after a man called, “The little lady killer” kidnaps and murders Mack’s youngest daughter while the family is on a camping trip. While the rest of the family attempt to move through the pain, Mack falls into a deep depression that spurs doubt regarding his beliefs. The topics of forgiveness, judgement and love are discussed in a whole new way and eventually brings Mack back to peace, healing and a deeper level on his personal beliefs, changing him forever.
Watching this movie was an eye-opening experience that left me questioning how deep my level of forgiveness was. Did I truly forgive everyone with an open heart? Even if it was something unforgivable?
Every painful moment can be traced back to an initial heartache or trauma someone has endured, usually at the hands of another. The root of this suffering is often not easily visible to the person experiencing the pain. Yet, if we are willing to step back and see the entire story, the reason someone might have wronged us becomes clear. While this doesn’t condone behavior or activity that goes against social and moral conduct, it offers us the opportunity to be more compassionate and objective when forgiving someone, being careful to not get caught up in the energy of their story. If we are willing to step back and look at the bigger picture, we find that, while each of us is unique, we are not all that dissimilar.
As expressed in The Shack, we were made to love and forgive. That is our legacy to the world. Love is the answer to all things and the greatest gift we can give one another. But the first step to giving love is receiving peace. And how is it possible to receive peace? By freeing ourselves with forgiveness and approaching all situations with the same compassion and wisdom we would like to see in others. I encourage you to break the chains of resentment and find a way to peace, in all of your relationships, even if it means forgiving the unforgivable. As my mentor Judy Goodman has taught me, forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning what someone has done, it’s about freedom & peace. You deserve to have peace in your life! Only then will we be on track to living the life we desire — a loving, joyful and fulfilling one.
Make Every Moment Count!