“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”–Mahatma Gandhi
My husband was chronically allergic to responsibility, coming into our lives when we were thriving, then abandoning us when we needed him the most. I wanted desperately to believe he could change, and so did my girls, but after a while, we accepted the fact that he would always be allergic to responsibility and that was who he was.
I still remember the time when my daughter, Jasmine, searched the house and looked out the window in vain for a sign of her daddy or his car. All she found was empty space, in the house and inside his car, parked in the carport—her dad was gone.
A while later, he stepped into our house, eager to reconcile, again. I knew little of the hidden fury Jazzy was harboring for her father. She was angry at him for abandoning us, for leaving her young hands to carry the burden of adulthood, and for never considering how it might make his children feel when he left.
Before I knew it, she was charging at him with a knife, chanting “I hate you! I hate you!”
Thankfully, no one was hurt, but I was greatly disturbed at what I had seen. I spoke to Jazzy gently about what happened.
“Jazzy, do you really hate your father?” I asked.
“I’m going to hate him until he decides to make amends to me,” she answered.
I confessed to her that I couldn’t say I knew exactly how she felt, but I did know this: Hate is the emotion that taints the spirit, destroys the body and robs the mind; all your power lands in the hands of the person you hate.
I told Jazzy that hate was like a boomerang. You think you’re throwing it at a person, but it comes right back and hits you instead. It makes you destroy yourself from the inside out. It steals your joy and it never benefits you.
I concluded my story, telling Jazzy, “Forgiveness is the key to alleviate hate and the key to you producing a life of abundance.”
Hate is a strong emotion, but forgiveness is stronger—forgiveness defeats hate.