Posts Tagged ‘Timothy Evans’

Life is made of one-third what I choose to do with my thoughts, behaviors, and attitude. Another one-third is the choices people around me make, in which I have no control. Hopefully, my wife will continue to choose to be with me. I cannot control her choice. I can decide how I will behave in hopes that she will find me pleasant and interesting, but in the end, the choice is hers. The final third, which again I cannot control, is what the universe, biology, nature, or what some believe God determines. I have no control over a hurricane hitting Tampa, my cat having heart disease, or a friend getting cancer. This is biology. I do have a choice in how I interpret and relate to those specific events (again my one-third).

If we live long enough, we will encounter events that force us to face our vulnerability as human beings. This can be interpreted as an injustice because “I have been doing everything right (if there is such a way) therefore nothing bad should ever happen to me.” This “injustice” may be because of someone else’s choice or biology. When it occurs, I will experience vulnerability and know that I am not totally independent. Some may guard against these feelings of vulnerability and say his wife’s cancer is the work of the devil. These life events will test our emotional self-reliance (self-responsibility) and push us to need others.

When we confront and experience our vulnerability we receive a dose of humility, which connects us to others. From these incidents, we will learn there is only one genuine need we all have and that is other people.

Since the beginning of time, human beings have misbehaved and made poor choices. Take for example the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis. His brothers sold Joseph, the youngest and special son, into slavery. This was the beginning of Joseph’s trouble. He was falsely accused of having sex with his owner’s wife and thrown into prison. Yet he survived. Before he reached age 30 he was appointed as a top official by the ruler of Egypt. He predicted a famine and was put in charge of a food storage that saved the region. His brothers were forced to journey into the city seeking food, starving, and begging. Who did they appear before? Joseph! His chance to get even.

So it would seem that justice will prevail and what goes around comes around. His brothers did not recognize him and Joseph’s natural inclination was revenge. However, Joseph recognized that revenge was an easy way out. The courageous choice — and the only way to be happy — was forgiveness. One difference between happy and unhappy individuals is the ability to forgive.

Tragedy, error, inhumanity, and struggle will not go away. However, the realization that you have a choice in how you respond is powerful and influences your happiness and well-being, in spite of the other two-thirds. Forgiveness is done through the use of good psychology. It requires courage, emotional self-reliance, and a desire to be free.

Anyone who has done you harm will continue to have a stranglehold on your life, until you are willing to forgive them and free yourself from the resentment, anger, hurt, injustice, and sometime hatred.

Joseph took an active approach to the injustice and pain inflicted upon him. He used the situation to become socially interested instead of self-interested.

Forgiveness is an active process that requires these steps:
• I will not bring up the incident again and use it against you.
• I will not talk to others about this incident.
• I will not let this incident stand between our personal relationships.
• To do this I will not dwell or ruminate over the problem or punish you by withdrawing and keeping emotional distance.
• I will free the relationship to develop, unhindered of the past wrongs.