When I heard some of the family members of the 9 dead people in Charleston, they said that they had already found forgiveness for the shooter. I was shocked! I asked myself if that really could be possible so soon and while I tend to think that anything is possible, it seemed unlikely. So why did they say that? My guess is that as faithful church goers, they have learned that it is the spiritual thing to do. I am not criticizing them but simply observing their behavior. I send blessings of love to all who are feeling pain from the shooting in Charleston!
In my book, Dancing Feather, she has a huge struggle with the anger and hatred for the "Invaders" who murdered her loved ones. Because she feels that she knows better than to harbor resentment, she has difficulty admitting her feelings to anyone. From Chapter 9......
~I thought of Grandmother, always teaching self-control and restraint. She taught me repeatedly that it wasted energy to display such anger, that it was disrespectful to yourself and others. I pictured the Invaders in my mind, clenching my fists and my teeth, I hated them with all of my body. Rolling onto my back now, I looked up to the blue morning sky wondering how my uncle was doing. I felt so badly that I didn’t want to face anyone yet. More tears streamed from my eyes down my cheeks, pooling in the cups of my cold ears eventually overflowing down my neck and onto my black hair. Maybe I could melt into the ground becoming one with the dirt and stones by just closing my eyes and relaxing, making all of this pain and horror disappear with me.~
So I thought about forgiveness in my own life. It took me a long time to forgive my parents for the things that happened to me when I was young. I read self-help books, went to therapy, and did group processing. So now, as I say proudly that I have absolutely forgiven my parents, I ask myself how I did it. One huge realization that I had with regard to my parents was that they were now nothing like the parents from the past. Those past parents no longer exist. The other huge realization was after hearing some wise words from a great man, Matt Kahn. To paraphrase him, forgiveness is the natural by-product of shifting the habit of becoming upset when life doesn't unfold my way and the idea that I will be happy when things do go my way. So forgiveness just happens with the absolute acceptance of divine will and everything is the divine will.