Reflections on Our Journey: Forgiveness Matters


Written by Byron Murgatroyd, Birches resident and retired banker from Orland State Bank

Movement matters sounds kind of corny, doesn’t it? Well, at my age, I’ll take the corn. This theme is part of what the management here at The Birches is promoting to its residents for the month of September.

Where does this fit in our discussion of forgiveness? Well, if you think about it for a while, it does tie together. After all, when you execute an act of forgiveness, doesn’t it involve movement of your brain? Of course, it’s not normally possible to see this action physically, but something is going on up there. Wouldn’t you agree?

At any rate, movement for the aged —whether mental or physical—is important. I concur whole-heartedly. Now, back to the subject at hand—forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a road and not instantaneous. Humans have struggled for centuries with things and people they perceive as “bad” and “evil.” The result is not offering forgiveness for fear of this evil. But this only works to scapegoat others.

Probably, this is largely an immediate, perhaps, unconscious response to satisfy our egos. The self (ego) comes out as hatred. Hatred can hold groups or individuals together, rather than understanding—a lot of love lost here!

Of course, forgiveness is the key to all of this. It can overcome the idea that someone, a group or institution, needs to be blamed and/or attacked.

But how can we, as individuals, become able to forgive others?

Perhaps, it is like peeling an onion or stripping an old chair. You do it layer by layer. I know, personally, this excess baggage I drag around keeps me from living a peaceful and spiritual life. Sometimes, I have to let go. Maybe through prayer and meditation, maybe group or individual therapy, maybe other ways.

Any way that allows you to offer forgiveness and lead a peaceful life is the way to go. I hope you find it. Bye, for now.

If you missed it, check out Byron’s first post on change and forgiveness. And stay tuned for more reflections from Byron on this journey we call life!