The Ugly Truth About Forgiveness

My best friend, Shawn just posted a meme discussing letting go of anger, and the sadness and disruption of a family when its members do not speak. I completely understand where she is coming from and why she posted it. Donald Trump’s election caused many rifts within families, and I can honestly say I’ve lost friends and family members due to the hostilities and heated debates on social media. As a bi-racial woman, who is Jewish and has Muslims, LGBTQ and other members of minority communities in my family, yeah I’m hostile. It’s very difficult for me to understand how a family member, one who claims to care about you can go directly against you. I want to be open-minded. I’m trying to understand that people have their causes.

Abortion is a big deal. There are people out there who will not care about one other issue but a candidate’s stance on abortion.

The Police. I have many people in my life who are from law enforcement families, and as much as we see on TV, about police killing innocent people, that’s probably a fraction of the real deal. Being a policeman is a job I would never want to do, nor have my child do. I salute them, but as in many professions you’re going to have that bad seed, who spoils it for the the rest of the agency.

I had to reconcile this within myself, and understand why people close to me could support a person like Trump. I support Israel, I WANT a President who backs Israel, and let’s face it, Trump seems to support the Holy Land and yet…that’s not enough for me to vote for him or cosign on his egregious behaviors. I believe if you have not walked in the shoes of a person who has been marginalized, you have no idea why we’re so angry about Colin Kapernick, or the Wall, or treating Muslims as if they’re all terrorists. There are so many issues near and dear to my heart than whether or not a person five states away has an abortion.

Last week, my daughter’s school had an active shooter on campus. A 16 year-old was murdered in the hallway, the killer was another 16 year-old. Now, the shooter claims he was bullied. It’s entirely possible. Nevertheless, is this the way kids handle being bullied?

I’ve just named five things way more important than building a wall: Education, bullying, gun control, mental illness and the desensitization of our youth. I’m looking for a President who wants to take it down to the grass roots, get in the weeds, tackle education and school testing, hone in on mental illness and healthcare options, stop allowing anyone and their mother to own and buy a gun, support stiff as hell sentencing for people who are murders and used an illegal gun. To be honest, in the last twenty years, I haven’t found that person but it’s certainly not Donald Trump!

When a family member stops speaking to you it can really sting. I’ve said some things I regret in the heat of the moment, but I’m also quick to apologize if I was wrong. I also think you can agree to disagree. My biological dad died without a simple conversation between us. I have forgiven him for his lack of interest in me, the disrespect of my mother and the overall abandonment. I realized one day that he suffered from issues in his childhood, which stemmed from physical and verbal abuse. He was an alcoholic and overall sad guy, whose musical and artistic talents just fell to to the wayside because he just couldn’t. As my grandmother used to say (these are called Hannahism’s), “He’s more to be pitied than scorned.”

Hanging on to issues that happened when you were twelve seems a bit much, but there are people out there who are extremely bitter about events that took place years ago. Can you really control the little brat you were when you were twelve? Is it even worth the conversation? Some people just like to be angry. They revel in the resentment and feed off of the poison apple. I’m not sure there is much you can do with a person like that. I believe you don’t have to accept a negative force in your life just because they’re a family member. My mom and I have had countless conversations about allowing destructive people to control your emotions. There were times when she had to tell me to cut my losses and times when I had to tell her the same thing. And while forgiveness is the the gift you give yourself, decide if it’s worth receiving the gift. Take things slowly if having this person back in your life means something to you. Let me know how it goes. Let’s start the conversation.

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