Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Forgiving Dr. Mengele"

My thoughts after seeing a film in a class about "forgiveness."

The movie "Forgiving Dr. Mengele" was documentary about a woman, Eva Kors, who survived Auschwitz and Dr. Mengele.
In order to be free of the terrible mental pain afterwards, she found a way to forgive the people that were so cruel to her and in so doing released the pain inside and found peace. She was so strongly convinced that if others when through the process of forgiveness (please do understand it is a process) that she lectured the world over.

I had a lot of therapy in my late thirties. I had alot of anger inside me and in therapy I released it gradually, and not without a lot of resistance to doing so, my re-feeling it and directing it at the images of my parents. And after repeating the process over and over, the pain mostly went away and I found as though I crossed over to another side. I found peace and as a byproduct forgiveness toward my parents came with it.
Forty years ago my wife died suddenly. The key element of my successful grieving process was to direct all my anger towards her first, then me second. And in so doing I was able to forgive her and then myself.

The documentary didn't show any part of the steps involved in getting to forgiveness. It didn't show the hard, long and painful getting over process necessary to get to the forgiveness part.

The key to the path of forgiveness therefore, is to confront the anger aggressively, feel the pain associated with it, and after awhile forgiveness comes. But one will never find forgiveness without acknowledging the anger and dealing with it. One can not just decide to forgive, it doesn’t work that way.

Many in the class, during the following discussion period, seemed to find it strange that forgiveness should be an endeavor to want to achieve. The film showed a courageous woman more than it showed how to achieve forgiveness. Many didn't even believe the woman truly had forgiven.

But then, they probably didn't go through therapy

1 comment:

GETkristiLOVE said...

Mom got really mad at Al for dying too, but I think shoe shopping became her therapy because she was never allowed to splurge when he was alive.