Thursday, 22 May 2014

To Be Strong - Is To Forgive.

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." Mahatma Gandhi.

In the early days with depression, when I really didn't know what was happening and the self harm thoughts would flood in, I would attempt to distract myself in 'tasks'. One of those tasks I clearly remember was to answer the question - 'If you only had six months to live, what three things would you do?'

The reason it sticks in my mind after what must be just over 20 years, is that one of the things that came straight into my head was to call my father and tell him I love him.

Now, this is after growing up in a broken home, where there was always shouting and arguments - leaving home with my mum to stay with my grandmother at 3am on one occasion, due to my father being a rather violent alcoholic.

My mum died when I was 15 and I had stayed most of my life with my Gran and my mum. My father was never really part of my life as mum attended anything I did at school or sports. The worst thing was when my mum died of cancer and my father, who was not welcome at my gran's, came for the first time to the door and was refused entry to see her. I struggled to cope.

Now, here I was 25 years on, having spent little time with my father, who also never hugged or cuddled me, suddenly thinking about calling him as one of only three things I would do if I only had 6 months to live!

Anyway, I did it and it was probably the most difficult phonecall I have ever made. He couldn't speak - told me that he had to sit down and that his whole scalp was tingling - he said he didn't know what to say. The fact was - he didn't have to say anything. What I had recognised over time, was that he did the best he could do with what he had. His childhood had not been pleasant at all - lots of beatings.

There is no doubt that if you hold grudges it certainly diminishes your life in both quality and in life itself. I believe the Gandhi quote above to be very true and recognise how long it took me to be 'strong' enough to recognise that no one really gets up each day to do wrong.

Who can you forgive today? Who can you call and overtly forgive today? Who can you talk to to release your own negative burden and also possibly their own internalised guilt?

Les
A Moodscope member.