What a great opening statement from an even better movie, The Princess Bride.
Many of us think forgiveness is how we say sorry for messing up. We think it is required of us to let other people “off the hook”. But, what if forgiveness is actually a super power? I mean I don’t see Stan Lee creating any hulk type, master of the universe, super hero with the indestructible power of forgiveness! Yet, in my little world I discovered something quite amazing about the power of forgiveness.
Let’s jump into the DeLorean and head back to the year 2007, when my very loving, highly educated wife presented me with 20 pencils. Now it wasn’t my birthday or Christmas, not even close to Labor Day, but here were 20 pencils wrapped with a red string and my life was totally rocked. Which is even more amazing because I don’t use pencils at all. I am a blue ink black ink type of guy. So, why would my wife gift me 20 pencils for no particular reason?
Hop back in the DeLorean and this time we are headed to 1977. Disco is king, Grease and Star Wars are actually playing at the movie theater, and your star blogger is in Mr. Higgin’s 2nd grade classroom. This afternoon Mr. Higgins is reading Sawdust in His Shoes and I am about to change my life for the better.
I had just bet Lucy 20 pencils. For what? I can’t remember for the life of me, but I know this…I won the bet and I was about to be the richest kid in the 2nd grade. I arrive at school the next day after a night of endless dreaming ready to pick up my pencils and to my surprise, she didn’t have my pencils! I was shocked. How could you make a bet and then not follow through with the payout?
The next few days I continued to remind her of the lost bet and I was still waiting for my pencils. Days turned into weeks, then months, then all of a sudden, school is out for the summer. I lost a lot of sleep that summer thinking of those pencils. Soon, school and the third grade were approaching and I just knew I would collect my reward then. Well, as things happened school began and I tried to find which class Lucy was in. After checking all the rosters, I came to a terrible conclusion and developed what I can only suspect today as being my first ulcer. Lucy had moved over the summer!! Noooooooo! A smart person would have realized that this dream is over. Not me, I knew some day some how I would get those pencils.
Let’s head back to the future in 2007, my wife, Tracy found out this was a long lasting trial that I had put myself through. But, instead of saying I was being silly, selfish, or stupid (all true) she went out and spent $7.29 and in one full swoop, put me out of my misery. Think about it, I have been carrying this weight of not receiving these pencils for 30 years for $7.29.
That, my friends, is a very poor investment.
More importantly, back to The Princess Bride and like my good friend Inigo Montoya, who had been in the revenge business so long, he didn’t know what to do? I had reached that same point in my life. Again back to the future, future, we arrive in late November 2017 and I learn the true technique of this super power called forgiveness. I was driving back to the oil fields in North Dakota and since I had a spare seat in the Dodge Durango, I invited Lucy to ride shot gun for a part of the ride. Now, this wasn’t the physical Lucy, but in my mind I visualized her sitting next to me and had a great conversation.
I apologized for being such a brat in 2nd grade and realized I had carried this grudge on for far too long. Lucy laughed and we joked about Mr Higgins reading Sawdust in His Shoes and whenever one of us weren’t listening, he would plug our names in the book as characters to get our attention. It was a great conversation and I asked for her forgiveness and she accepted and also asked for my forgiveness for causing this huge controversy.
Lucy then disappeared, and I was left with a slight smile, as I again thought of all the grief I had caused myself on this journey called life. I then had an amazing vision. If you go back in time and remember those 5 pound Velcro weights you would wear around your ankles to increase your strength and stamina. I thought to myself, what if every grudge, every negative thought, every offensive online post could be redeemed as a five pound weight attached to our body? How many of us would be so bogged down that we literally couldn’t get off the couch?
In a very real sense, we carry these “issues” around with us in our lives. We are actually bogging our lives down with a literal weight that is, for lack of a better word, destroying our lives. Think about that feeling we all had as we would take those ankle weights off at the end of the day. We felt like we could fly.
I STRONGLY encourage you to make a list of all those people that you feel have wronged you in some way. Take time to have that very real “imaginary” conversation. Ask for forgiveness and release that weight that is bogging your life down. Get out of the revenge business and start your new life spreading the love and helping others release this unnecessary weight on their own lives.