The song “Let it Go” from frozen has been my theme song through the last couple of months. Let it go. Let go what happened/ is happening to me. Let it go. Forgive. Forgive He-who-must-not-be-named. Forgive myself. Forgive God. Let it go.
You know that thing in your life that you will not let go of. You hate it. Wish it wasn’t there. You want to let it go but you just cannot seem to loosen your grip. Instead you let it eat at you. You carry it around with you every day and everywhere you go. Forgiveness. You just can’t seem to give it. And what really sucks about it is that by you not forgiving so-and-so you are only hurting and torturing yourself. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why can’t we let it go and move on? How do we let go and move on? I started to read this book. Its called Let it Go: A True Story of Tragedy and Forgiveness by Chris Williams. The book is about how Chris was able to forgive the young boy driving the car that killed his wife and two children.
Here is a short video about his story:
We know we should forgive, that it is healthy to forgive. But how do we forgive?
A man named Lloyd D. Newell uses the example of Jane Eyre when he addresses forgiveness, “Life is a study in forgiveness. No one gets through life without needing to forgive. And no one escapes the need to be forgiven. Perhaps the central test of character, forgiveness brings out the best in us. It leads us beyond our own pain and suffering and helps us feel God’s love. Ironically, we help ourselves in the most profound way when we give the gift of forgiveness to others.
Charlotte Bronte’s literary Jane Eyre addresses the theme of forgiveness so well. Young Jane, orphaned and sent to live with a spiteful aunt, endures years of neglect and cruelty as a child. When Jane is old enough, her aunt sends her away to a substandard boarding school, where she is again mistreated. But Jane learns a vital lesson from Helen, a dear friend there. Helen explains to Jane one of life’s great secrets: “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.” Helen teaches Jane to forgive: to forget wrongs, to love enemies, to “bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you… and despitefully use you.”
Jane’s life is different ever after. It doesn’t necessarily become easier–Jane still has to endure injustices, hardships, and betrayals–but she is better prepared for all these things because she has learned not to hold on to grudges and ill feelings. She frees her soul from anger, bitterness, and revenge. In fact, Jane even returns to her malicious aunt and attends to her during her dying days. Ultimately, Jane finds true joy– and even true love–because she learned to forgive.
And so can we. It may be the hardest work we ever do, but it is also the most rewarding. Resolve now to let an old grudge go. Decide in advance to forgive any future offense that may come. Determine never to let a mistake get in the way of a meaningful relationship. As the 18th-century British poet Alexander Pope wrote, “to err is human, to forgive, divine.”
To err is human, to forgive, divine… I want to be divine. Forgive him. Forgive myself. Forgive God. Be more holy, more divine. Let it go…
finished his book. Let It Go: A True Story of Tragedy and Forgiveness. It was wonderful, heartbreaking and beautiful. I flew home to Iowa for Thanksgiving. I read Chris’s book on the plane. Wrong move. While reading the book I became very emotional. It took everything I had to keep it together. I feel sorry for those who sat next to me. Ha-ha. Some of you might be wondering why I chose to read a book such as this. I wanted to read it for a few reasons. Something you should know about me is that I love self-help books. LOVE THEM. They help me to learn about others and myself. I am also fascinated by death. That might sound weird but I truly believe death is a beautiful thing. How people cope with loss appeals to me as well. And when I saw the video of Chris and his story I was moved. I was moved to compassion and inspired to be one who would choose to forgive. Choose to “let it go.” Below is a passage from his book.
“I knew that the adversary works tirelessly to steal our peace and turn us against each other. We all make mistakes, sometimes with terrible consequences, I reminded myself. We say something that should never had been said, we do something that should never had been done, we misunderstand, misrepresent, or misinterpret, and our actions or words create hurt in our own lives and in the lives of others. And there are those who suffer cruelties at the hands of others. I thought of the five people whose lives ended Monday night at Trolley Square. And yet He who knows that these and so many other kinds of tragedies would occur commanded us to combat them with love. He knows that when we’re hurt, we’re vulnerable and thus susceptible to grudges, hidden wedges, and wounds, all of which, if left unchecked, could fester into anger, retribution, vilification, even hatred.
Without the necessary healing the Savior provides, over time we may begin to wonder why we’re not as happy as we used to be, why we’re a little more critical, a little less patient, and more judgmental, why we withhold our love and affection rather than give it – all the while feeling more miserable, rather than joyful in this life.
I recalled in my mind the many experiences of the last week preceding the viewing and the funeral and the roller coaster of emotions propelling me from the extreme highs of peace to the depths of sadness and grief, over and over. What an opportunity for the adversary to kick me when I was down, to finish me off and heap added misery into my life had I chosen to not follow the Savior’s command and “let it go.” How seemingly easy and justifiable it would have been for me to join him in his misery, to get angry, to vilify, to lash out at this life and how wrong everything in it had just become.
The Savior had suffered all so that we would not have to. He said He would take our burdens, and He repeated the invitation to give them to Him while He ministered in the flesh, and He has since reminded us what He accomplished in the Atonement. There’s no way I was or ever will be strong enough to bear that burden I was presented on the night of the crash. It was immediately given to the Lord at His command, and I instead took upon me His light burden and easy yoke of serving and loving others – having full faith in the Savior and in His ability to bear my heavy burden and to heal my family.”
Heavenly Father, please help me to have full faith in my Savior and His ability to bear my heavy burden and to heal me. My hope is that
“some distance will make everything seem small. And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all. Its time to see what I can do. To test the limits and break through. I’m never going back! The past is in the past! LET IT GO!
And I will rise like the break of dawn!