One Word, One Lesson, One Day

Today is September 11, 2012, the eleventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks that shook our nation. My heart is heavy just thinking about it and all the people who lost someone, mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, uncles, aunts, daughters, sons, nieces, nephews and best friends.

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Carrie Bergonia mourns the loss of her fiance, firefighter Joseph J. Ogren (inset), as she touches his name that is etched into the memorial pools at the World Trade Center site.

Thinking about September 11 made me think about forgiveness and wonder if it is impossible to forgive such a seemingly unforgivable act. I don’t think anyone would argue that those who lost someone in the 9/11 attacks have just cause to be angry and hold onto the pain that they were caused. All I can think of is forgiveness. What is it? What does it mean? How does one really “forgive”?

I can look back at this past year and remember all the people who have hurt me. I can look back knowing that my anger and hurt is justified, recounting every detail and every wrong done to me and then I think about the families and the friends of the victims of 9/11.  It makes me think that if just one of those friends or family members of the deceased can forgive the people who caused those terrible events 11 years ago, then I can forgive too.

Skylights lit September 10, 2012 to recognize the lives lost at the World Trade Center Towers

There is a song by Matthew West called Forgiveness. It is almost a heartfelt prayer asking for help to forgive. It says:

“Show me how to love the unlovable. Show me how to reach the unreachable.”

Forgiveness is a choice and although I’ve heard this so many times, I think it just really hit me today. If the person who hurt you apologized or something bad were to happen too him or her would that 100 percent take away the pain?  No, it wouldn’t. Again, forgiveness is a choice, and though opposite of how you may feel, it is the most powerful and freeing decision a person can make. We must all live with the decisions we make. Choose to forgive.