Yarris, wrongfully convicted of murder for 22 years, refused to wish ill on his abusers. I would have become like them, he said. He forgave the people who beat him repeatedly, threw him into solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, and who sexually abused him as a child. Ultimately, Yarris said that his suffering saved his life.
The hardest thing to do when people are hurting is to remain a decent person. – Nick Yarris
Love and compassion are hard to come by these days. Social media witch hunts have driven innocent people to suicide (as seen in episode 1 of Don’t Fuck With Cats). Hatred has become a sensationalised commodity. Love has to be earned; we have forgotten the genuine benefits forgiveness brings us first and foremost.
When hate is given more freely than love do not be surprised at the atrocities committed.
Active abusers rarely acknowledge their full part in the acts they committed. More often than not, they blame whoever inflicted trauma unto them first, heir view of reality becomes skewed.
I loved my abusers from birth, and as it was not safe for me to express dislike of them, I shifted those feelings to myself. Only now have I learned to fully love myself, but the empathy for my abusers has stayed.
I understand what drove my abusers to hurt me, therefore I understand all the more that pain does not justify more pain.
I love them for they cannot love themselves.
For this, I first had to learn emotional sobriety: I had to be aware of any resentments, see my part in them, and understand that I was taking other people’s actions personal. By clinging on to pain and not forgiving, I was hurting myself over and over again.
I learned to sit with anger (not hatred!) and allowed myself to feel it and give myself the space I needed. By not forcing forgiveness, it came all by itself.