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Learning forgiveness through lockdown

By Abby Crawford

“You can choose if you’re going to live with anger, regret and revenge and miserably think yourself a victim. Or you can choose to be a hero in your own life and forgive the past and move on” – Lindy Chamberlain.

Now if anyone would have “the right” to be bitter and angry, it’s Lindy. Having suffered one of the worst injustices in Australian history, being wrongly convicted by the court system and wrongly condemned by the public for the murder of her baby daughter. Yet, in a recent interview she has revealed she has forgiven, now focuses on the positives and has let the past go to find happiness. She could teach us all a lesson or two in forgiveness. But more importantly, it is also women like this who inspire us and remind us to be the hero in our own lives. To rise above it. To make the future positive, to approach it with a thirst for peace and a hunger for happiness.

The COVID-19 restrictions have certainly had a dramatic – and fortunately successful – impact on our lives and the way we missed the simple things. Simple things like being able to see friends and family, being able to work with our colleagues and send our kids to school. While there are certainly bountiful frustrations in the extensive time we have been in lockdown, and there is certainly evidence of huge amounts of anger towards the decision-makers who imposed the restrictions, there is another aspect that I think we are all capable of focusing on. And that is what this path has taught us, a focus on what we have learnt rather than what we have been denied.

So, what have we learnt? Well apart from obvious things like what a huge inconvenience this virus is, how terrible it is to lose people to a pandemic (albeit we got off very lightly with the toll, it is still a huge number of families distraught to have lost loved ones) and that not many of us are cut out to be in charge of home schooling, (should have bought shares in Dan Murphys!) there are higher learnings. And those learnings can and should focus on appreciation, positivity and looking to what we can put our minds to, being the hero of our own lives. We have a choice to re-emerge from restrictions as better people. We have a choice to be more appreciative of each other, our work colleagues, our children’s teachers, and all those in our community. We can redefine our own goals.

We have felt what it is like to be isolated for lengthy periods of time, we can now appreciate slowly re-engaging in all that life has to offer. But make it a happier place. Where toxicity existed, take this as a clean slate to start again. Forget the struggles of the past, the judgements that you might have made on others. Lose the bitterness and regrets and just focus on the future. Celebrate that we can move on.

Let this be a chrysalis – that we emerge from our cocoons as butterflies simply because we have the chance to appreciate the things we took for granted. Fortunately, we don’t have to suffer the extremes of injustice as Lindy did, to evolve on our path to choose to move on with a determination of positivity. Create a peaceful yet productive space. Let your hunger for happiness shine with a welcoming energy. Choose to be the hero of your life and inspire those around you, be the leader in exactly how we should all move on from the past.

Until next month,

Abby x •

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