"Forgiveness is an act of creation. You can choose from many ways to do it. You can forgive for now, forgive til then, forgive til next time, forgive but give no more chances, it's a whole new game if there is another incident. You can give one more chance, give several more chances, give many chances, give chances only if. You can forgive part, all of half of the offense. You can devise a blanket of forgiveness. You decide."
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
It is the natural human tendency to hold on to our wounds. Our collective wound , meaning one of great magnitude touching all our lives such as the one we as Americans suffered that fateful morning of 9/11, continues to be deep and fresh all these years later. For our safety, we are surrounded with triggers and reminders that we are not safe simply because we live in America. The illusion that we were safe because we were surrounded by protective oceans from the rest of the world was shattered. The fundamental freedoms with which we had become somewhat complacent over were used against us that day resulting in the loss of our feeling safe within our own American community. If you are old enough, you will remember a time when we ran into the airport thirty minutes before take off surrounded by family sending us off at the gate and carrying our extra large bottle of Coca Cola for the trip. This morning, I watched as my disabled daughter’s purse was deemed a possible threat and had to be emptied into a grey container while they searched through her used tissues, strawberry lip gloss, and two handfuls of pennies and quarters lying in the bottom of it. You would have thought they were searching for Bin Laden himself in her purse with the thoroughness with which it was searched. So we are left wondering how do we learn to feel safe and hopeful with life post 9/11.
Some of us might think that forgiveness means that we now lie in the bed with the terrorists and become their friends. No! Simply put, forgiveness does not mean what they did was alright and we are now friends. Through forgiveness of 9/11, we are acknowledging our wound and blessing it. We are moving on in hope and trust for a better tomorrow based in the reality of our connectedness with one another, rather than illusion that we are separate from our global brothers and sisters.
May you find peace and gratitude and forgiveness in every moment.