Updated: Jul 26
“The thing is, you can't take away one terrible thing you did any more than you can take away the millions of beautiful things that we had together. That's a million to one. If you can live with that ratio for another few years, then so can I.”
~Walter Lovell (John Lithgow, Late Night)
Humans tend to allocate more attention and energy on negative or traumatic encounters over positive ones. Recently I witnessed a 30+ years of friendship demolished over one argument.
A quote from Late Night, a 2019 comedy with Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling, serves as a great think-twice or sleep-on-it reminder to all of us.
The quote was said by a husband to his wife who had an affair when he was first diagnosed with Parkinson's. Like all the other couples, their relationship appeared to be dinged. Then came a scene that I must have replayed more than 10 times where the husband said to his wife who was desperately seeking for his forgiveness:
“...The thing is, you can’t take away one terrible thing you did any more than you can take away the millions of beautiful things that we had together. That’s a million to one.”
That’s a million to one.
One million great things against one terrible encounter. Maybe five or six in your case.
When we are caught up with hurt and anger, all the millions of great things vanish within seconds. We then devote all the attention and energy to that one bad thing, one bad moment.
Joseph Murphy’s “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” is one of many favorite books to read repeatedly. In Chapter 17 he talked about ways to use your subconscious mind for forgiveness. To understand all is to forgive all. When we understand the creative law of our own mind, we cease to blame others.
Oftentimes I would hear people say “well, but that person does not deserve forgiveness. He/She is simply awful.”
However, it is not up to us to decide whether or not they deserve to be forgiven. We forgive because we care about our inner peace more than unpleasant behaviors and people. Besides, why would you want to give them power by torturing your mind over their behavior?
With all that said, I know we are only human. To forgive sometimes it’s easier said than done. Therefore, I am going to wrap up this content with a few laughs for all of us. And perhaps one of them can help you to finally let go!
“Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is to understand the other person is a complete idiot!”