In September, I began a motivational speaking tour of all 50 states. Each stop features an extensive open discussion where people share with me their thoughts and concerns, as well as situations they’re working on in their personal lives. One of the topics that comes up most frequently is forgiveness. How to move on. How to let go. How to heal. How to make sense of a painful experience or make amends with someone who has wronged you.
Recently during an appearance in Tennessee, a young man approached the microphone and emotionally yet calmly explained that he was angry with several friends who’d been withholding information from him. A woman they all knew had been beaten by her boyfriend. This had been happening for some time. The angry friend had only found out about it when she was put in the hospital after an especially brutal confrontation with her abuser.
Naturally, this friend was beside himself with frustration that he’d been kept in the dark. He wanted so badly to go back in time and save his friend. He wanted to avenge her and attack the man who’d beaten her. He wanted to lash out at his friends who hadn’t told him or done anything to intervene. He was living with a knot in his stomach, and it was tearing him apart.