How I learned to forgive

As the child of an alcoholic father, I went through a time in my life when I longed for a sense of peace about what I perceived was a lost childhood. I felt plagued by instability, memories of humiliating incidents, and laments about opportunities that seemed to have been stolen away. Worst of all was the belief that I hated my father.

There was a bumper sticker that came out about this time that stated, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” I longed to embrace that sentiment but felt trapped between deep resentment for what I perceived this parent had done to ruin our family, and the desire to feel released from such nonproductive thinking.

Eventually I came to realize that the missing element needed for resolution was forgiveness. However, Dad had died a few months after I graduated from high school, and I was left wondering what good it would do to forgive him. Clearly, there was more to learn.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Worried about morality?
April 11, 2016

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.