To Forgive Or Not To Forgive?: Theme From RED
"I closed the bedroom door behind me. I could feel her crying herself to sleep but I had no time for feeling sorry. She betrayed me and that wasn’t something I could easily forgive her for. I needed time to myself."-Mason (RED)
Forgiveness is a touchy subject but it's the topic I said I would talk about this week. Last week I talked about dropping your ego to become someone new and make a better life for yourself, and the week before that I talked about making mistakes and learning from them. These are all major themes in RED but forgiveness is probably one of the biggest.
As I mentioned before, my characters are far from perfect and they make tons of mistakes (maybe even more than the average person) which causes for a lot of forgiveness to take place. From the moment the novel starts, Peyton struggles with forgiving her mother for leaving her the way she did (readers of A Tragic Heart knows exactly what I mean). Mason and Adalyn has some obstacles to overcome within their marriage which means they both have to learn to forgive if they want to move on with their lives for themselves and for their family. Jackson (Peyton's uncle and Mason's ex-brother in law) also finds himself in the middle of a situation that requires forgiveness in order to move on. The same goes for Ronan.
Forgiveness is something we all have to learn. The truth is I'm not sure if forgiving is part of human nature. Our first instinct is never to forgive the person who wronged us or show grace towards them. When we feel betrayed our first instinct is to express anger and plot revenge. We have to train ourselves to forgive and love that person in spite of whatever it is they've done. The characters in RED struggle with the same issue. Some of the issues seem unforgivable while others are a bit lighter to digest.
“That’s not stupid, it’s called being young! You and Marcus had a hurtful history and it’s normal to want to find comfort in a person who caused you so much pain. Alex was a complete mistake and you have to forgive yourself for it. That’s the hardest part…forgiving yourself. Once you learn how to do that, you’ll be happy.”-Adalyn (RED)
Forgiving isn't always an action you have to show someone else. Sometimes we have to learn to forgive ourselves just as much as we have to learn to forgive another. Forgiving ourselves sometimes mean we have to forget whatever it is that we've done and move on. It's not easy but we can't spend our entire lives dwelling on something that's in the past. After a while you're going to have to learn to pick yourself up and say "I forgive you" and keep it moving. Even if the person you wronged hasn't forgiven you yet, still, forgive yourself. You deserve it. This is something Peyton, Adalyn, and Mason must learn. As humans, we can do some pretty horrible things but that doesn't mean we have to punish ourselves forever. Forever is a long time and you deserve to be happy and guilt free for whatever remaining time you have left here.
"She didn’t only humiliate me. She publicly humiliated me. How am I supposed to get past this? How am I supposed to forgive her? But mostly, how am I supposed to forget this?"-Ronan (RED)
Some acts of betrayal are so terrible that we convince ourselves that there's no way we can ever forgive that person for doing what they did to us but the honest truth is that it isn't true at all. No matter how horrible the act or how much that person humiliated you, you can get over it and learn to forgive them. It doesn't mean you have to be best friends again, it just means that you're no longer letting what they did consume your life or thoughts. You have better things to think about. Sometimes it feels impossible to forgive if you can't forget what happened but it gets easier with every day that goes by. It all takes time. We can't expect to be forgiven when we do something wrong if we can't forgive others when they wrong us.
So today, I hope that you learn that whatever happened to you (or what you did to yourself) isn't the end of the world. Get up, forgive yourself or whoever turned their back on you, and move on. It's not the end of the world and life goes on whether you like or not, so why not make it a little more peaceful? Learn from your mistakes, drop your ego, and forgive so that you can start over. Start over...that sounds like a great topic for next week, eh?
Here's a song that teaches us all about forgiveness...and love!