One Woman’s Path to Forgiving the Unforgiveable

Camping TentStar Tribune, Minneapolis, MN??- In 1973, Marietta Jaeger Lane’s?????? 7-year-old daughter, Susie, was kidnapped from her tent in the middle of the night on a family camping trip to Montana. It was not until a year later that the kidnapper was caught and confessed, not just to killing Susie, but to the murders of three other children. Lane visited the man in jail, just before he hanged himself. He was 26.

After finally being able to bury Susie on a beautiful October afternoon in 1974, Lane drove to the home of the man’s mother.

“I wanted to tell her I had forgiven David, the David she knew who cut her lawn and took her shopping,” she said. “We just held each other and wept, two mothers who had lost their children.”

Lane has since become a sought-after speaker on forgiveness.

“You have every right to your initial rage and grief,” says Lane, the mother of four adult children. “Forgiveness takes daily, diligent discipline. It’s not for wimps. But hatred isn’t healthy. Forgiveness sets us free.”

Read more about Lane’s forgiveness work in??“One Woman’s Path to Forgive Unforgiveable”

With the holidays coming up, I am feeling depressed. Family conflicts stress me out. My brother, who is coming in from another state, and I just do not get along. What do you suggest? I really do not like being so civil when I am not feeling that way inside.

The holiday time can be stressful for many people because of past memories and current conflicts. I suggest that you start a daily exercise of forgiving your brother for little things, those that can make you irritable. Try to take one small incident at a time and work on the process of forgiveness as outlined??in the “Need to Forgive?” section of our website. More detailed advice is in the book, The Forgiving Life.

Our most recent Forum discussion for adults addresses this issue of forgiving the small things.

With daily practice in forgiveness, you likely will be more ready to meet and interact positively with your brother.

Which Moral Principle Underlies Forgiveness?

Sophia: And which is the most excellent way among civility, respect, and moral love as your basis for forgiving others?

Inez: This one is easy to answer and hard to implement. Moral love encompasses civility and respect in its response and so is the most complete. Civility is the least demanding and also the least complete. I can be civil and rather detached from a person. I can even be civil Love scroll & heartwithout respecting the person. Even respect does not go far enough. I can respect a person who is homeless by writing out a check to the soup kitchen. That is a somewhat detached way to treat someone who is deeply suffering. Yet, if I love another, I not only must be civil and respectful, I must be more than that. In the soup-kitchen example, I must be personal with the homeless person by going to the shelter, dipping the ladle into the soup, and serving that person. Moral love asks the most of me.

Sophia: How then do you understand moral love?

Inez: It is different from romantic love or brotherly love or the natural love between a mother and her child. It is the kind of love that “goes to the wall” for the other by being in service to him or her without burning yourself out, of course. That would hardly be love if I destroyed myself in the process. I think it is a paradox. As I become personal with another for her good, I can and do experience a kind of refreshment.

Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 1789-1801). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.

Dr. Bob

Man Serving 40-Year Sentence Is Forgiven by Woman Who Lost Her Family

Fatal DUI CrashIdaho Statesman??- Nine years ago, a man who was not a drinker, became intoxicated, traveled 98-miles-per hour down the wrong side of the road, and killed Natalie Marti’s husband and infant daughter. She, too, sustained serious injuries requiring 3 years of patient healing. Despite all of this, Natalie offered forgiveness to Edgar Vasquez, currently serving a 40-year sentence for the crime. Mr. Vasquez’s life has changed considerably, and for the better, because of this bold act of forgiveness.

Read the full story,??“Fatal DUI??crash shows both sides of forgiveness.”

“I Forgive You” – True Stories of Forgiveness

Promo for I Forgive You gmc television seriesIn??an effort to facilitate healing through forgiveness, the gmc television network will air a documentary series called “I Forgive You” that premieres Nov. 18.

This emotional, uplifting and compelling series provides individuals the opportunity to forgive someone who has hurt them or a loved one. Whether the affliction is physical or emotional ??? the murder of a family member, an estranged parent, or sibling, infidelity, or bullying ??? the series brings two parties together to try to facilitate healing, overcome hatred, anger and revenge from real-life traumatizing events. Each story will showcase the ???forgiver??? and the ???receiver??? of the forgiveness before, during and after an act of forgiveness.

“I don???t know of anywhere on television where you get to see the raw, gripping emotions that stem from the act of forgiveness,” Brad Siegel, gmc TV???s vice chairman said of the network???s first unscripted series.

According to Emmy-winning producer Arnold Shapiro, “Forgiveness has the drama of any Shakespearean play. There is suspense, emotion, drama, uncertainty…. tears.”
Siegel added, “Viewers will come away from “I Forgive You” feeling enriched, inspired and amazed at these true stories that show the best in human nature.”

The gmc channel is available on Dish Network on channel 188, on DIRECTV channel 338, Verizon FiOS channel 224 and on many local cable networks. Newsmagazine??Hollywood Today??outlines the series at??“Forgiveness is a complicated gesture.”??Channel Guide Magazine??provides summaries of the stories in the Nov. 18 premiere at??“Bullying, murder victims offer forgiveness in GMC’s ‘I Forgive You.'”??Watch video outtakes from the series at the??gmc (uplifting entertainment) website.

“I Forgive You” – True Stories of Forgiveness

In an effort to facilitate healing through forgiveness, the gmc television network will air a documentary series called “I Forgive You” that premieres Nov. 18.

This emotional, uplifting and compelling series provides individuals the opportunity to forgive someone who has hurt them or a loved one. Whether the affliction is physical or emotional – the murder of a family member, an estranged parent, or sibling, infidelity, or bullying – the series brings two parties together to try to facilitate healing, overcome hatred, anger and revenge from real-life traumatizing events. Each story will showcase the “forgiver” and the “receiver” of the forgiveness before, during and after an act of forgiveness.

“I don’t know of anywhere on television where you get to see the raw, gripping emotions that stem from the act of forgiveness,” Brad Siegel, gmc TV’s vice chairman said of the network’s first unscripted series.

According to Emmy-winning producer Arnold Shapiro, “Forgiveness has the drama of any Shakespearean play. There is suspense, emotion, drama, uncertainty…. tears.”
Siegel added, “Viewers will come away from “I Forgive You” feeling enriched, inspired and amazed at these true stories that show the best in human nature.”

The gmc channel is available on Dish Network on channel 188, on DIRECTV channel 338, Verizon FiOS channel 224 and on many local cable networks. Newsmagazine Hollywood Today outlines the series at “Forgiveness is a complicated gesture.” Channel Guide Magazine provides summaries of the stories in the Nov. 18 premiere at “Bullying, murder victims offer forgiveness in GMC’s ‘I Forgive You.'” Watch video outtakes from the series at the gmc (uplifting entertainment) website.

Former Miss South Carolina Forgives Her Sister’s Killer

Statesville Record and Landmark, Statesville, NC??- It would be easy to understand if Dawn Smith Jordan talked about sadness, anger, even vengeance.

Instead, the former Miss South Carolina chooses to speak of serenity, faith and forgiveness.

That was tough for Dawn to do at the age of 21 when her 17-year-old sister, Shari, was kidnapped from the driveway of her Lexington, S.C., home and murdered in 1985.

During the five days between the kidnapping and when her sister???s body was found, the killer called the Smiths eight times, each time talking with Dawn. He told her he planned on doing the same thing to her that he did to Shari.

?????????? Dawn Smith Jordan??

Several years later, with the killer on death row, Dawn decided she needed to forgive. “You can’t live your life to the fullest if you’re stuck in unforgiveness,” she said.

Dawn said she learned about forgiveness from her mother. “She lost her daughter in a horrific manner and she forgave. She pressed on because she had two other children that needed her,” she said.

Dawn, who shares her forgiveness philosophy as a Christian singer, songwriter, author and speaker, is also the founder of Dawn Smith Jordan Ministries, Inc. According to her website, Dawn has learned“to not only forgive??her sister’s??murderer, but to daily choose forgiveness as a path to healing and wholeness. The brightest future will always be based not on a forgotten past, but on a forgiven past.”

 

Read more about Dawn’s decision to forgive:??“Message of forgiveness buoys her, decades after tragedy”or??visit her website. (Photo:??dawnsmithjordan.com)