Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of Passage? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Let's be more aware of all the choices, situations, twists and turns that brought us to this place right here and now. They May Be Miracles.

Monday, October 3, 2011


If you're having trouble forgiving someone, you might want to consider that whatever it is they supposedly did to you had nothing to do with you at all. Hatred, bullying, and acts unbecoming of a human usually come from a selfish place - a place where a person is trying to prove that what they believe is true. They really don't care about what you think or what your feelings are - they don't care that you're angry, or sad, or hurt - they don't EVEN KNOW that they've offended you. Stop the cycle of hatred and instead return love and forgiveness. When you choose to return a grudge or walk around with sadness, burden and a hardened heart, you too are coming from an equally selfish place. Contrary, love is the only unselfish existence you can choose. To love means to forgive and understand that you may be right, or they may be right, but ultimately it doesn't matter...what matters is that you live a life of gratitude and servitude. People who care more about their beliefs or their truth more than the people around them will find themselves standing alone in their is enough.


Larry said...

I love the subject of forgiveness. I even made up a definition, though it may not be true. My made up definition is that forgive, or for-give, means to (first-give). I don't see forgiveness as a judging kind of action. If I decide that I can forgive because I can see how the other person could arrive at some erroneous conclusion or state of being than I am judging that person. It may be that I took a lot of time, effort, and thought to arrive at the conclusion that I can forgive the person, but it is still judging them.

If I decide to first-give, then instead of embarking on the judgement route at all, I can try to treat that person with respect, kindness, and civility. It is easy to see how someone could look at a person who has committed violence, especially toward ones self or loved ones, and judge that person as undeserving of any respect whatsoever.

My thought (and of course this is all just my current opinion), is that if someone is being violent, then hopefully they can be stopped by myself or someone else. Some may point out that stopping violence might necessarily be violence in itself. I have to think that "intent" is the important issue here. If the intent is to simply stop the violence, then it seems to me that it does not have to be a judgmental or a hateful act, but instead can even be done respectfully. A person does not have to have hate in their heart to stop a violent act. I think that it is very sad that there are organizers of violence in the world and innocent people are pulled or pushed into it with no original ill intent. In war, a soldier may start out only intending to protect and defend, but become angry or bitter because of the circumstances of war or finding the dishonesty or politics of the war. We should pray and first-give goodwill and intent for our soldiers, so that they may keep their own.

For centuries people have often forgotten that we effect each other in war as well as in peace. That our actions and intent towards others have an effect that may not even be what we intended.
I'm saying that we should all first-give, even after someone has harmed us. We affect each other and first-giving is the only way to keep the intent of good-will alive and prospering. I like Teddy Roosevelt's "speak softly, but carry a big stick". Of course we should protect ourselves and each other. Just don't forget that to others "we" are the others!

DUSTINE said...


The idea of first-giving takes the idea of forgiveness to the next level. You are right to say that it eliminates the need for forgiveness... because we first-give notice and respect to one another as fellow humans and as "the others."

Your heart is so full of love and compassion. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with me.