Movie Quote Monday – North To Alaska
I wish that I was as forgiving and accepting as Angel:
Sam: What I can’t stand is when people look down on others who aren’t doing them any harm.
Angel: Oh Sam, you cannot change the world. And it’s…it’s so nice here. And that’s enough.
North to Alaska is like the 1960 version of Pretty Woman, with Angel being the pretty woman. She knows a little something about prejudice and rejection, and in the scene before this, the “decent women” have refused to tolerate her presence at a company picnic. And still she’s able to let it go, to appreciate her surroundings and even go so far as to make excuses for their behavior.
I still hold grudges from as far back as high school. I have forgiven many things that I haven’t forgotten. But I’m working on that, on letting it go, on appreciating what I have, and believing that’s enough.
Forgetting can take as long as you like, the forgiving is definitely the start of the healing process. Someone pointed out recently that forgiving doesn’t have to involve any change on the part of the other person, or institution or whatever, it’s about YOU. I had forgotten that. Made a lot of sense.
I agree that forgiving is an important step, perhaps the most important step. But I think that people who are truly able to forget are much happier and healthier.
I double dog agree that change has to happen within YOU. It can’t be about the other person, it must be about changing yourself. And it can be done! I can say from personal experience that it can be done and it is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
A co-worker today was just telling us about a girl and named her by name who stole her unicorn pencil in 3rd grade. This led to a discussion about women holding grudges. Women seem to hold grudges more often than men and often over petty things.
That’s an interesting coincidence. I think you guys are right, but I’m sure there must be some kind of reason for that. I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure it’s not our fault. 🙂
And then there are those experiences that are not petty. Ones that are truly hurtful and personally damaging. I’ve been faced with a few of those. I was helped by the advice that holding onto unforgiveness really hurts yourself more than the person who wronged you. In most cases I think this is true. The other person has moved on with their life and you are stuck with your insides churning. It’s better to let it go. Forgiving doesn’t mean that you think what they did was okay, it’s just that you are not going to let it eat at you forever.
I have had those myself. In some cases, I have forgiven, in that I accept that it was done, it doesn’t eat at me anymore (time helps that), and it doesn’t effect how I treat the other person – I don’t think about it every time I see them, etc. However, I don’t feel the strong connection or closeness to that person anymore. I think that’s something you can get back, but there are cases you don’t.
I completely agree that holding on to the hurt has no real effect on the other person, it’s totally our thing. And I agree with you that forgiving is not condoning the behavior, words, etc., but just letting it go.
One night last week I punched in the wrong number on the remote and Oprah filled my screen (honest, I rarely watch her). She was saying something to the effect of: forgiveness means accepting that you can’t change what happened in the past. For some reason that line has been going through my head ever since, and I’ve been trying to figure out whether I agree with that idea or not. And, of course, it’s all about acceptance once again, isn’t it? (I’m starting to sound like a broken record!)
Good old Oprah. I think it’s like when you buy a new car and then suddenly you see that kind of car everywhere – it’s just where our focus is, what’s on our mind. The same thing happens to me when I am going through various stages in my life. Maybe it’s just where my focus is. Maybe it’s God talking to me. I don’t know, but I’m learning to listen. No matter the reason, it doesn’t hurt to pay attention.
I don’t think I agree with her definition, but I do agree that acceptance is important. I see forgiveness as more of a personal thing, within yourself, and between you and the other person. You can accept that the past cannot be changed, without forgiving what was done in the past. I think forgiveness is more about accepting that we all have faults, that people are who they are, that some things we do or say have consequences that we did not foresee or intend, etc. That’s easy to say and believe, but not as easy to do.
I don’t think you sound like a broken record 🙂