This week, we examine what Wayne Dyer had to say about forgiveness. This time, he talked about how each of us must take responsibility for conflicts between ourselves and others who we feel have violated us in one way or another.
This point talks about how removing blame means never assigning responsibility to anyone else for what you’re experiencing. It means that you’re willing to say, “I may not understand why I feel this way, why I have this illness, why I’ve been victimized, or why I had this accident, but I’m willing to say without any guilt or resentment that I own it. I live with, and I am responsible for, having it in my life.”
If you take responsibility for having the experience, then at least you have a chance to also take responsibility for removing it or learning from it. If you’re in some small, perhaps unknown, way responsible for that migraine headache or that depressed feeling, then you can work to remove it or discover what its message is for you. If, on the other hand, someone or something else is responsible in your mind, then of course you’ll have to wait until they change for you to get better. And that is unlikely to occur. So you are left with nothing, when peace is really on the other side of the coin.
Not to sound like a broken record, but if you’ve been reading this column for any period of time, you know I was married and have three beautiful, successful children and three grandchildren. My husband and I have been divorced for decades, yet I couldn’t pass lovely homes without thinking of where I could be living now had we have stayed together, saved money and worked to make a positive future for our family. That didn’t happen, and my ex-husband was responsible for that —in my mind. I was not able to move forward until I co-taught a class on forgiveness at my old church, All Nations Baptist Church. The class was so refreshing to each and every student.
Look at Oprah Winfrey, who talks of how she finally understood the principle of forgiveness. She said there was someone who had offended her, but that person went about her daily duties, walking along, downtown shopping, smiling and happy. She began to understand that the pain and suffering she felt was only being brought on by her own negative thoughts — the other person appeared happy. Winfrey realized at that moment that she had carried that burden for quite a while until that day.
Titus 1:15 says it this way: “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.”
Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we can and must let go of any harm we feel others have brought upon us. Our Lord and Savior was brutally beaten and stabbed, drank vinegar for his thirst, yet he died for all of us, each and every one — even the one you feel has done you wrong. Put that bad deed out of your head, throw it into the sea of forgetfulness, and keep it moving.
Let me close with this quote: “May the road rise to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. May the rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again may the Lord hold you in the palm of His hand.”
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. Visit her website, www.lyndiagrantshow.com, send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.