Quote for the Day

One of my favorite songs from Mary Chapin Carpenter:

“And the three greatest gifts of moving on
Are forgiveness, hope, and the great beyond.
After that perhaps peace can come
Peace will come

And you see that you’re leaving…
And you see that you’re gone…”

I am convinced that “moving on” from Mormonism requires forgiveness, hope, and facing the future.

Whom should we forgive? I don’t believe most of the leaders and members of the church intentionally taught me that which isn’t true, so I don’t know that I need to forgive any of them for just doing what they thought was right. I suppose if I had to forgive someone, it would be Joseph Smith for starting the ball rolling. But it seems a little silly to forgive someone who lived and died 120 years before my birth. But I guess he’ll do as the object of my forgiveness. That doesn’t mean I accept that what he did was right or true (I’m sure it wasn’t), but I’m past harboring bad feelings toward the man. And I can forgive the people who have treated me less than charitably since I left because they’ve been taught to do that. I don’t hold them totally responsible, anyway.

As for hope, I think some of us have a hard time seeing anything but the ruins of our faith, the wreckage of our personal relationships, when we leave the church. Hope to me involves expecting that things will get better–and they usually do–but also the wisdom to let go of false hope. We’re not going to have the same kinds of relationships with our friends and family, and we’re never going to look at life the same way we did before–hope means letting go and enjoying the possible and the real. Without getting too horribly personal, I’m quite sure it was the inability to hope that led to my suicide attempt. Those days are long gone.

To me, the great beyond is the future. Too often I get stuck in the past, thinking of all the things that happened to me during my time in the church. You can only grieve so long, only regret what might have been for so long. Then you have to let go of the past and face the future. I think of it as deliberately turning around and facing the light, not letting someone else direct me away from it.

Then peace comes. It really does.

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3 Responses to Quote for the Day

  1. Diane Sower says:

    I’ve heard it said that forgiveness isn’t for the person you are forgiving, it’s for you. To allow you to move on without hatred in your heart. I’m still learning.

  2. Yes, Diane, I agree, well said. I too have struggled for many years and have come to the conclusion that forgiveness is a [neverending] journey to unburden your soul and find peace. Runtu, I could be wrong as I only know you from your writing… but I wondered if the one you subconsciously needed to forgive was yourself…to release anger and resentment that you had allowed the church to have a hold on you…for the pain you felt you brought to your family. It seems that you are far along that path and making great progress. You seem to have been able to find healthy self-love which also translates into more authentic relationships…no longer feeling the need to be right but rather caring for them as another human worthy of love.

  3. learning to forgive is a process of differant levels for each persons journey that they are experiencing in life. everyones lifes circumstances and ebvironment is differant so it depends how each person was brought up in their culture and reigion.for some frogiveness is right away instantly and for others its a very hard struggle and takes longer to forgive depending on what the offense is and how the person percieves the offense.some offenses are major and soem are minor.for me my greqat experience of forgiveness coomes when i kniow that i am ready to let go of my ego,pride and stubborness and submit to the lords propmptings through the working of the holy ghost which is by the grace of God through Gods amazing grace.when i let go and let the amazi g Goids grace take over i am able to have gods aagape love and feel love and compassion towards others once ive gotten out of myself and reaxhed out to also mak3e r3econcilation to others. i love reading spencer w Kimballs book a miracle of forgiveness.

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