This I Believe

Natasha - Boiling Springs, North Carolina
Entered on October 24, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: forgiveness
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October 19, 2006

Life has its twists and turns, its ups and downs. People have come in and out of my life and will continue to do so. People hurt other people. It is a part of life. I believe in forgiving these people.

Growing up was hard for me. I had to grow up very fast. Many times I had to take care of my younger brother because my mom had to work two jobs. My dad had plenty of jobs, none of which he stuck with. Drinking was more important to him than supporting his family. He is an alcoholic. On a normal day that involves no alcohol my dad is a sweet, kind, gentle man that “would not hurt a fly.” After taking that first sip he becomes a totally different person. He transforms. He has spent most of his life being drunk or being an inmate in prison. I am a daddy’s little girl and I always will be. At times this has been very hard for me. He hurt me deeply without even realizing it. I had to forgive him. I had to forgive him for the pain, the troubles, the disappointment, and the hard childhood that he caused.

I finally realized that it is not my dad I hate; it is the alcohol and his addiction to it that I hate. His addiction is what hurt me in the past, not him. His problem was not a good enough reason to stop loving him or to loose him as my Daddy. After realizing this I knew what I had to do. I had to forgive him. This was not easy at all. I had to go through a long heart wrenching process. Once I forgave him, I was able to look past his addiction. I was finally able to feel at peace with my dad and his addiction.

Forgiveness gives me peace and hope. Holding on to grudges only causes heartache. Nothing good can come of it. People are not perfect; people make mistakes. There is no point in kicking someone out of my life when all I have to do is simply forgive them. For me, forgiving someone is sometimes easy and sometimes hard. In the end it is worth it. Life is too short to waste time being mad and upset with someone over things that more than likely will not matter in the future. Living in this world is hard enough; forgiveness takes one of the many burdens people have away.

One of my favorite quotes was said by John Lunden: “Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.”