One of the things that is largely overlooked when it comes to personal protection is forgiveness.
Think about it. If you are learning how to deal with conflict and violence there is a lot of emotions involved. Things don't always go as planned. Mistakes are made. People get hurt not only physically, but emotionally and psychologically.
Sometimes events and actions cause us to question our world view, our beliefs. Trauma can stir up a lot of emotions and thoughts that you have about yourself and others.
Conflict and violence at all levels can really rock your world. Yes, you want the skills to survive, but you also want the tools to heal, and live a good life. One that's worth protecting.
Sometimes it can be difficult to forgive others...
Sometimes it can be difficult to forgive yourself...
Here's a short story that although melancholy, I think you'll find it inspiring.
A Warrior's Greatest Tool?
An old man once had an argument with his only son. He tried to apologize many times but the young man would not listen. The father never gave up because he loved his son with all his heart, but the son would not give in, because he was too blinded by his pride.
Years passed and as the man lay in his deathbed, he made a final attempt to reconcile with his son, but still he would not listen and so the father died with a heart full of grief.
During this time the son too had a child who had now grown up into a young adult. To this child he never mentioned his father and when the young man asked about his grandfather he would tell him never to mention him again.
One day, they too were both involved in a hot argument and his son fled away as his father did many years before. The man was extremely saddened and this time he had no pride, but felt completely isolated.
He was afraid that he had lost his son forever and for the first time after many years he turned to God in prayer. At that moment something filled his heart and he realized how his father must have felt many years back.
He remembered how he had hurt his old man and only at that point he realized the extent of the hurt he had caused. The more he thought the more he understood how unjust he was with his old father, the man who gave him everything through out his life.
With these sad thoughts he felt asleep on the couch. Next morning when he opened his eyes he found himself tucked in his bed and in front of him stood his son. The man could not believe his eyes, and the two hugged each other while they cried together.
After lots of apologies, the young man explained that up till the day before he felt lots of hatred towards his father, but during the night he had a strange dream that touched his heart. He dreamt that an old man was hugging him, and as he embraced him, all his hatred turned into love. The old man then told him to forgive and forget. He then explained that as soon as he woke up he came running to his father's house.
At this point the man told his son that on the same night, he learnt an important lesson, and how he had let his father down when he was younger. The son wanted to know more about his grandfather who he never met or even saw, and this was the most appropriate time.
The man went to an old bookshelf and fetched an old family album. He then picked an old photograph of his father and when the son saw it, he remained dumb-founded. The son then explained that the man in the photograph was the same one he dreamt of the night before.
By Vincent Magro-Attard
It Can Be Difficult...
I'll be honest, I struggle with forgiveness. Not so much in the larger sense, but more when it comes to more personal things.
I tend to shut down, isolate and distance myself from the person or group who I feel wronged me. I tend to simply cut them out and let them fade away...
It's like I forgive, but then drift, not wanting to get close enough to be hurt again. So, I have trouble letting it go and opening myself up again. That's hard on people who you may want to continue having a relationship with.
You know those old adages.
"Once bitten, twice shy..."
"Wronged once shame on them, wronged again shame on me."
They sound cool and all... but when you're trying to forgive people close to you those things take on a different meaning.
I'm still working on it.
I'll forgive myself for not being perfect. =)
The Bottom Line Is This...
PeaceWalkers need to learn how to forgive.
Protecting yourself and loved ones isn't only about physical protection... It also the hearts that needs protecting.
Both yours and theirs.
Your Heart On Your Sleeve
All of this talk about forgiveness and protecting out hearts reminds me...
If you would like to support this PeaceWalker Effort, consider wearing YOUR Heart on Your Sleeve so to speak, with our custom PeaceWalker Gear.
Check out some of the designs. Every purchase not only gets you some cool swag, it also helps me to continue to get this message out to people who really need it.
Here's the link:
I appreciate you being part of our community and all of your support!