Consequences of Forgiving

Guest Blog: The Human Spirit Is Not Broken

There are moments when the human body may be stripped of its physical skills, but the human spirit is not broken.

Here is the story of a lady who is a testament to that. The year was 1989 and 26-year-old Laura Chagnon was merely walking down a Boston street. She didn’t know that would be the day her life would take a 180 degree turn. She was the victim of a senseless assault by one or more people; the detectives never caught the individual(s).

More important was the result, one minute ambulatory, Laura was now quadriplegic, legally blind with a head injury. To this day, her short-term memory is not very good. She was in a coma for 5 weeks and came out of it feeling a sense of loss. Her legs were no longer her legs because now she could not walk. She could no longer use her hands.

Four years in physical rehabilitation facilities followed. Doctors told her parents that her cognitive ability was minimal and to save the aggravation and put her in an institution for the rest of her life. They refused, their unconditional love was stronger than the doctor’s advice. The doctors said Laura would be a vegetable, still her parents would not break.

In 1993, Laura returned to live at home with her parents. She had caregivers around the clock to be her eyes and hands. She would not let life be a pity party and wanted to be a productive member of society. Laura started to dictate sentences to her caregivers and the sentences evolved into poems. One poem after another, each day more poems. Now, her identity changed, she didn’t feel like a quadriplegic woman, she proudly said she was a poet. Laura’s poems were of very good quality and were printed in local newspapers. She told people she was some day going to be a published poet with her book of poetry to be shared with the world.

She had no malice for whomever assaulted her. Laura simply said, “I traded my legs for the opportunity to write poetry.”

Let’s fast forward to the present. Laura has written over 5,000 poems. The doctors would be astonished. She is a shining example of overcoming adversity and not ever doubting the human spirit. Oh, by the way, that crazy dream of hers, to become a published poet: Laura met a publisher in June of 2013. He read some of her poems and was amazed. He said, “Laura Chagnon deserves to be published.”

For more than 20 years, her poetry was basically a well kept secret. If you read her works, I think you would agree she can hold her own with any poet out there. Now anybody can be the judge of that. Her published book, “Never Touched A Pen” the inspiring poetry of Laura Chagnon can be ordered at www.civinmediarelations.com.

Thomas Damoulakis

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Forgiveness as Order

I was reflecting on all of the disorder within schools during 2013.  It has been reported that there were 30 shootings at schools in the United States in this one year period.  Think about that for a moment. The context of the shootings centers on innocent children, adolescents, and young adults (at universities) who are unarmed and innocent.

Such disorder.

How many family break-ups were there in 2013 or acts of bullying that cut deeply into the very being of those bullied?

Such disorder.

MandelaForgiveness is a profound response to disorder.  What do you think?  Do you think any of those school shootings would have happened if the men responsible for the mayhem had practiced forgiveness and rightly ordered their emotions from rage to calm?

What do you think?  Do you think all of the family break-ups would have happened if both sides of the conflict practiced forgiveness?  And perhaps the forgiveness needed to be toward people from years before because our left-over anger from childhood can follow us into adulthood and strike the innocent.

Forgiveness likely could have averted some of those break-ups if forgiveness toward each other in the present and toward parents from the past had been practiced.  Forgiveness could have restored order……..and prevented disorder.

The same theme applies to bullying.  If those who bully could only forgive those who have abused them, would the bullying continue or would the behavior become more orderly, more civil?

Forgiveness is one of the most powerful forces on the planet for restoringThe_Power_of_Forgiveness_Chain order within an injured self, within relationships, and within and between communities. Forgiveness is one of the most powerful forces on the planet for preventing disorder.

What do you think?  Do you think that forgiveness could save our planet from destruction by enraged people with the weaponry to destroy?  Forgiveness is about order, protection, wholeness, and love.

It is time for individuals and communities to see this and to have the courage to bring forgiveness into the light….to restore and then enhance order while it prevents the destruction of disorder.

Robert

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Tips on Reconciliation

Inez: Reconciliation cannot be the same as forgiveness because reconciliation is not a moral virtue. It does not originate within a person, but is a set of behaviors between people.

Sophia: Well said.

Inez: You mentioned trust in the context of reconciliation, but you have not mentioned that word in the context of forgiveness. Can I forgive and not trust the person?

Sophia: What do you think? How do you read this?

Inez: I suppose that if someone were a compulsive gambler, I could forgive that person and then not trust him with the checkbook.

Sophia: Right. You would not trust him in that one area, but this is not an excuse to write the person off as having no possibility of being trusted in anything at all.

Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 1752-1761). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.

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Being a Conduit of Good

Here is a challenge to anyone reading this: Do you have the courage to live your life in such a way that you deliberately pattern your actions each day to be a conduit of good for others? If you are steeped in bitterness and resentment, it is difficult to live for others because of the pain within. Try to forgive those who seem to be holding you back. They are not really holding you back because at any given moment, it is your choice whether or not to become a forgiving person. As you commit to becoming a forgiving person, your life takes on such amazing meaning. Only those who have tried what I am describing here will understand the importance of this post.

Robert

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On the Attempted Destruction of Beauty

I stand today before the eighth wonder of the Western world: Michelangelo’s Pieta at the Basilica of San Pietro in Rome. It is a marvel of the human spirit, how one man could have such vision and talent to bring forth such beauty from rock. Michelangelo used to say that he was only freeing each statue from its prison within the marble. It just had to come out.

As I stand before this magnificent work of art, I am reminded that in 1972 Laszlo Toth took a hammer to this masterpiece and tried to destroy it, knocking off the Virgin’s arm, chipping her eye and nose.

Mr. Toth was intent on destroying beauty.

I wonder, as I look at this breathtaking work, if too many injustices are perpetrated in the name of destroying beauty. Some partners denigrate the other…..just because. Some attack others…..just because. Some deface homes and walls and works of art……just because.

You are a person. Therefore, you are a work of art. You are a person of beauty. Some may wish to deface you—to hurt your heart—just because.

The master artists worked diligently to restore the Virgin’s features according to the artist’s original expectations (using detailed photos to accomplish the task).

You, too, should consider using the artistic tools of forgiveness when others try to hurt you, to deface you, or even to destroy you.

Forgiving those who try to hurt your beauty is even better than the tools used to reconstruct the Pieta. You see, forgiveness as a tool does not just restore you to your previous state. Forgiving others has a way of making you even more beautiful than you were before.

Robert

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