In your book, La Niña, F is for fan. Now
that's a very useful device. No matter how tired and sweaty you are when you
come in from the harsh glare of the sun, you have only to spend a few seconds
under the fan to feel refreshed and relaxed.
Now the F-word that I am going to tell you
about is Forgiveness and it has much the same qualities. It has the power to
cleanse our hearts and rid them of filth, leaving us refreshed and calm.
Of course, this is one lesson that adults
need more than children. Children are naturally pure of heart. You give me an
instance of this every time I see you two together. In the course of playing,
you sometimes get into a minor squabble. Both of you want the same toy. For a
few minutes, there is unpleasantness. You, El Niño pull La Niña’s hair. And then
you, La Niña, pinch El Niño’s cheek, before taking off with the toy. For a few
minutes, you stay away from each other, but often, so often, in far less time
than it has taken me to type this paragraph, I see your heads stuck together
again, the offending toy thrust far away from you.
We grownups have so much to learn from you.
We have been known to break friendships, turn our backs on families, and bear
resentment in our hearts for years, over the slightest of causes.
Your grandma used to say squabbles were
natural; cattle in a shed often butt horns with each other and let out a loud
moo in protest. But after that, it is life as usual for them.
Only we humans maintain a memorandum of the
hurtful things that others said or did to us, intentionally or otherwise. Only
we maintain a scorecard of how many times someone has hurt us and how often we have
paid them back in the same coin.
In my time, I too have been guilty of this.
I have hated people for the hurt they have caused me. I have closed myself to
goodness, preferring to nurture the rancour in my heart, as if it were a little
one that needed to be cherished.
The heart, my darlings, was meant to hold
love and affection. It was never meant to be a portable garbage bin, filled
with hurts and slights, resentments and malice, that fester and putrefy, searing
our souls while we wallow in the illusion that it is burning their insides.
Never forget, mis niños, even when you are
older and wiser that we all need forgiveness. And so we must be quick to pardon
others, cover the hurt they have caused us with a handkerchief. Who knows? In
the eyes of God, we might need a circus tent to cover our own.
If you must maintain a memoranda or a
scorecard, make a note of the kindnesses that people do for you.
My wish for you is that when someone hurts
you, you may choose to walk on, without letting the burden of that hurt to
weigh you down. That if you cannot forgive and forget, you will at least
forgive and move on.
I pray that you may realise that when you
choose to forgive and let go, you release Pain, your fellow prisoner in the
prison that is of your own making, and you invite healing to take its place.
That's it for today. We've learned so much this week, haven't we? Now it is time to give these pages a short rest. A field that has rested gives a bountiful crop, I've heard it said. May our hearts and minds too return fortified from the well deserved break. Until Monday,