Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rant # 16: Forgiveness

Last night my dogs were playing as usual. Suddenly Charlie did something that Roxy didn't like. That rarely happens but Roxy has no problem putting Charlie in his place. Of course, Charlie was devastated. He loves and respects his big sister so much. He is a very sensitive boy (must be gay) and he would rather die than upset Roxy.

After their little spat, Charlie came up on the couch and laid down next to me. He needed comforting. Within a minute Roxy walked up to the couch, gave Charlie a big lick on the nose, and let him know that all was forgiven. Overjoyed, Charlie jumped down and together they continued their game as if nothing had happened.

The dogs have a way of making me think. Their behavior is such a template for we humans. They can get angry with each other, express their feelings, and then totally forgive and move on. They can do this because they are totally committed to love. I work with many abused dogs during our season in Palm Springs (too hot in the summer) and it never ceases to amaze me how they still want to be loved. It is in their DNA to give and receive love.

But I digress. What amazed me last night was the pups ability to forgive almost immediately. We humans seem to have a much harder time doing that. We tend to hold on to everything including anger. Why do we do that? We are capable of forgiving. But we have trouble putting forgiveness in action. Even after we give our forgiveness we don't just forget about it. We will drag around whatever we perceived as a wrong for a very long time. We can remember wrongs more than we can remember names or small acts of kindness.

What works for me is to remind myself that I am coming from a place of love. Love can't feel anger. Anger doesn't exist in the same space that love does. When you remember that love is your true core, forgiveness can be ever so much more genuine. Love can even help you to forget whatever made you angry or hurt in the first place. Letting go becomes a far more attainable goal.

It may seem to you that I am writing about the same thing all the time. Perhaps that's why I chose the word "rant" for the title of my blog. I AM basically saying the same thing over and over because I hope the reader will see how love gives us the power to overcome all obstacles. Armed with love we can forgive ourselves and that opens the door to forgiving others.

                                         Peace and Love,



  1. Betrayal Bill...that's what make it hard to forgive and forget especially when it's by someone that you thought loved you and that you trusted.
    I may need a lobotomy to live your philosophy.

    You are spot on about dogs....

  2. Bill, You may be writing about kindness and love every day but there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, the world needs more of it! You're amazing to be able to work with abused dogs -- that would be very difficult for me to do. Your dogs story of forgiveness was sweet with a dash of humor. Loved it. :-)

    If I could be a little presumptious, I'd like to say to Theresa that betrayal is awful and it may not seem as if you can ever forgive or forget such an act but, eventually, it's possible to let it go. I was betrayed and it took a long while but I eventually realized that it was still destroying me even after it was over. I had to let it go and I've never regretted that. Obviously, I don't know your situation but my heart goes out to you since you are hurting.

    caregiving. family. advocacy.

  3. I couldn't have said it better, Trish. Some wounds take longer to heal than others but left untreated they can cause huge problems down the road. Best to start "disinfecting" right away!

  4. Well, you know that Atticus & I completely agree that pups can teach us about forgiveness & love constantly, if we pay attention. It's wonderful to have these little beings in the house to remind us who we really are. They are the embodiment of love & compassion and all things good :)

    I'm with Trish & her comment. It's not easy & takes some time & work, but it is possible to get over a deep betrayal --- like Trish, been there/done that. Buddha said (paraphrasing) "carrying anger is like drinking poison & thinking the other person will die".

    Heidi & Atti
    "commentary to give you paws..."

  5. Theresa, it won't take a lobotomy, just some work, bless you. It will be like a huge weight lifted off of you, believe me and you deserve that. You already have let it weigh you down. Keep writing, Bill. You are connecting!

  6. Thank you Jeaneane. I'm so happy to have you on board!

  7. Hi Bill, it's so true what you said about love and anger not being able to exist in the same space. And animals are so good at being with their love and expressing that. I smiled when you wrote that you might be writing about the same thing all the time. I get that feeling about my writing too. But then we focus on what is important to us. Great post.

    Fiona Stolze

  8. Thank you Fiona. I feel better now. LOL!

  9. Just reading about forgiveness calms me down inside! Your dogs make it so clear how "easy" it is. True, some wounds are deeper and require a longer time for forgiveness to heal. I love the message of forgiveness, but I think sometimes people expect instant application even in cases of terrible injury. We know that even people hit by the murder of a loved one can learn to forgive, but to me it's lacking in compassion to expect that forgiveness immediately. I hope that as I grow old I will continue to develop the capacity to release and forgive. Don't want to carry that stuff with me.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing