Reposted from BetterLifeHealing.com. Spread the Love.
Today is Patriot Day, a day of remembrance for the attacks of 9/11. This happened 12 years ago, but with the Syrian conflict looming in the background TV news of our supper tables, it’s as close to home as ever. I was in High School in the Midwest when this happened. I had never even been East of Erie, PA. I didn’t know anyone who was hurt in 9/11, and I didn’t really know anyone who knew someone who was hurt in 9/11. I have since known many more people who feel 9/11 closer than my 16 year old Hoosier experience.
With the time that has passed, my guess is that a lot of forgiveness has already taken place, and I imagine there is much more that needs to happen. And I feel slightly immature for even trying here in this blog post, for even as a naive High Schooler on that day, I saw no other option but to destroy the opponent…
Not to minimize anyone’s experience, I know it’s not the best analogy, but with the distance that I have from 9/11, it feels almost like a global drunk driving catastrophe. Let me explain. When someone drives drunk, they are are more or less consciously putting themselves and someone else in danger. They may even more or less consciously know they could kill or be killed. That person might be alone, angry, careless, feeling helpless… and the loved one who loses their friend or family member might blame themselves, or get angry, and hate the drunk who caused the accident. They want justice. They don’t want forgiveness. Likewise, 9/11 was sudden, it wasn’t an accident and caused by many who felt helpless and alone and angry, many died, some may blame themselves, and perhaps, it could have been prevented.
The situations are clearly different, but the feelings can be very similar: pain, anger, vengeance, desire for justice, hatred, sadness…
Unlike the drunk, this wasn’t an accident. The drunk didn’t intend to kill (even while knowing there was the risk). The high-jackers of 9/11, however, did intend to kill. It wasn’t an accident, and accidents are far easier to forgive… But maybe in some ways, it kind of was. I want to believe that they were not born with such an intention to kill and be killed. It was an accident that such an operation was even able to take place. It was an accident that humanity would let someone or a group or a country get so angry, alone, helpless, and full of hate that they would feel the need to do such a thing (similar to the drunk driver)…
I know that the wounds are deep, and I can’t begin to understand, but I believe this day is a day worthy of forgiveness. A day to give up the pain and anger in your heart, and be free to better care for the other.
If you’ve ever had a loved one hurt or killed in an accident or on purpose, whether the perpetrator is dead or alive, here are a few healing statements for you. Take a deep breathe after each statement.
I forgive myself for believing… there was something I could do to change all this. I have to hate forever. I will never forgive. All of them are evil. I give up. I will harbor this forever. There is no justice. there is no love or healing in the world. forgiveness isn’t worth it. revenge is better. they are not human. they are not worthy of love or forgiveness.
I forgive them… for hating so much they felt they had to hurt. For ruining my life. For ruining our lives. For believing it’s better that I’m dead, and that my people are dead. For not understanding. For giving up. for hurting. for not caring. for not seeing me as human. for not seeing me worthy of love or forgiveness.
I give them permission to forgive me… For hating them. For not taking care of them. For not acknowledging them. For blaming them. For when I hate as much as them. for when I don’t want to forgive. for when I want to hurt you as much as you hurt me. when I seek revenge. When I give up on them and on peace, love, healing… When I don’t see them as human. When I don’t believe they are worthy of love and forgiveness.
I give myself permission to accept… there will be justice. love and forgiveness heals all. I am helping heal myself and others when I choose love and forgiveness. I can’t change the past, but I can make a better future for the generations after me. We are all a part of humanity. We all have responsibility in our humanity. Everyone is worthy of love and forgiveness. If I extend forgiveness, forgiveness will be extended to me and future generations.
I love and accept myself even when I’m afraid… if I forgive and love, it will all just happen again. forgiveness only puts me in more danger. it’s impossible for me to ever love again. it will happen again. hate is too strong. I’ll never see the other in our shared humanity. future generations will just make the same mistakes.
Without this anger and hate and hurt in my heart due to these events, I am free…
- to live
- to love
- to forgive
- to help
- to seek peace
- to discover restorative justice
- to let go
- to be free
- to heal
- to allow them to heal
- to be friends
- to see the other as human.
- to care others no matter what
- to make life better for the generations after me
The Freedom Tower is pictured above, but I’m not always sure people realize what freedom means. It most definitely means responsibility. It means leadership. It means freeing ourselves and others from seemingly endless suffering so hate has no rooting, and love empowers. Twelve years is a long time ago, freedom comes from forgiveness, and all we have left is to forgive. The sooner forgiveness takes place, the sooner there is peace and freedom.