Hi there. I now realize I have a very hard time with forgiveness. I’m Harold Sanders and maybe you can relate. I really struggle with this concept and I think it all started when I was bullied at school. We didn’t live in Shady Pines Story Town back then. I grew up in the city.

When I was a little kid, I was skinny and tall, and I wore glasses. My family didn’t have much money. Most of the time I had to wear hand-me-down clothes from relatives or from the thrift store.

The other kids in school would make fun of me and call me names like, Four Eyes, Bean Pole, and Bum. I tried not to show it, but those words and the way they said them, really hurt my feelings. It made me mad. I felt like an outsider. The cool kids would sit together at lunch, but they wouldn’t let me sit with them. I was always the last to be picked for teams, if they let me play at all.  You get the idea.

THAT’S NOT THE SHADY PINES WAY

It got to the point where I didn’t want to go to school. I was afraid to answer questions in class ‘cause the other kids would make fun of me later. The teacher thought I didn’t want to be part of the discussion. But that wasn’t true. I was just afraid.

My mom and dad tried to comfort me. They said they would talk to the principal of the school about what was happening, but I told them not to do that. I knew if the guys who bullied me the most got into trouble, they’d only make it worse for me. My parents were upset, and I felt helpless.

Back then there was no internet, no social media, and no cell phones. Children today have it so much worse because they can be bullied online right in their own room! I can’t imagine what that must be like. It was bad enough back then.

I was so happy when my dad got a new job and we had to move. In my new school, people were nice and welcoming. I started to play sports and discovered how much fun it was to be on a team. Finally, the fact I was tall helped me when it came to basketball. I started to get a little more confident. My grades got better. Mom liked that. I think those early lessons of kindness and compassion helped me appreciate the wonderful community of Shady Pines where we try to be like that all the time.

These days my wife, Edna, is my rock. I know how much she loves me and I love her so much. It also helps that we adopted Boomerang, an Australian Shepherd dog, and Halley’s Comet, a silver streak of a cat. Those two critters are our kids. They help me understand unconditional love, and the incredible amount of patience you need to be a parent!

Being surrounded by love is helping me let go of the anger I carried around for so long. I now forgive the kids who hurt me when I was young. And, you what? I feel better. I can’t change what they did. But I’m learning that I can change the way I react. 

A happy family hugging their pets

THAT’S THE SHADY PINES WAY!

It’s funny, but I have learned to forgive my friends, co-workers, and family members when things don’t go as planned or they accidently do something that’s out of bounds or hurt my feelings. I feel better not holding on to anger. But I am very slow to forgive myself when I do something wrong. Isn’t that weird?

Learning forgiveness is an ongoing process, I guess. So, while you learn that it’s important to forgive others, don’t forget to go a little easier on yourself.

For a real-life example of forgivess, right from the headlines, READ THIS

Please leave a comment and let us knowyour experience with Forgiveness!