I Love Redemption

The Girl loves the show Once Upon a Time and the fifth season will begin in about three minutes.  At this moment, a season preview of the season premiere is showing.  It’s a bit much for me.  I don’t need this many teasers; I’ve been seeing the same footage for a while.  And it’s nice…but I really feel like this is bit over-kill.

And I have to admit that the show is not one of my favorites.  It’s cute and it’s fun to watch with the Girl because it gives us something to talk about and it helps us to connect.  And that’s good for me.  But, in the end, I’m not that impressed with the CGI, the storylines, and (sometimes) the acting.  Of course, I couldn’t do anything better.  I am a horrible actress and my ability to create believable CGI is relegated to….oh….nothing.

But whatI love about the show is the concept of redemption, that no one really falls outside the ability to find the goodness within themselves. Yeah, I sound a bit syrupy, a bit too sugary-sweet.

Regardless, redemption is something hat keeps me thriving.  I believe in the redemption that was offered by Christ.  I believe in the redemption of the human spirit, that everyone has many opportunities to turn from their mistakes or turn from the darker parts of themselves and embrace the inherent goodness that is within everyone.

Everyone can be good.  No one is beyond redemption.

I know that I sound fabulously naive at this moment and I am one hundred percent comfortable with that perception.  I don’t care if people see me as foolishly naive and overly innocent.  I don’t are if this sounds syrupy sweet.  Because I truly do think that everyone can be good, can find the goodness within themselves.

Sadly, that goodness can also be mis-interpreted.  Tragically, history shows how people will believe that the goodness that should be embraced is the “goodness” espoused by corrupt leaders who have defined “goodness” by their corrupt terms.

This is shown in how goodness was perverted by Hitler and his administration.  Goodness was perverted by the RUF who said that they were trying to return the common person to a state of wealth and prosperity…all while mutilating people by amputating hands…arms….facial features.

A friend of mine is dealing with terrible betrayal (I have her permission to write this much), but she chose to find the goodness in her loved one who has caused her pain.  She knows that the actions which were originally taken have and will continue to cause great pain.  But she is the exclusive “victim” of the pain and has opted to show forgiveness.

“I’m still hurt,” she told me.  “But there’s not point in hanging on to the pain.”

But she’s choosing not to focus on the hurt but instead on the lesson that can be extracted from the grief that has been caused.  She knows that her loved one, in the end, truly didn’t mean any malice.  A single choice started an irrevocable chain of actions and reactions that has resulted in the right-now-moments-of-forgiveness.

And that’s what I love in Once Upon a Time.  The show could easily show and focus on the evil that people can cause.  It’s fractured fairy-tales; it’s about the battle between good and evil.  However, as opposed to showing the absolute binary opposition of good and evil characters, the show analyzes how a person can steadily start making positive decisions which will help cause healing.

Now, the show is a bit naive in this prospect.  Healing arrives quickly and, generally, without grudges and most people I know are quick to hold on to the nest of hurts and pains which have been built over the years.  I know that I have.  For so many years, I have taken the angry and snitty words and actions cast at me by other people and used them as the twigs and branches and debris to create my own bird’s-nest of reminders.

Each moment is like a broken fortune ripped from a offending cookie.  Wrap the words around each other, plait them together, and find the constant sores that fester and make me remember.  Or mis-remember because each moment has steadily evolved depending on how I remember or what I choose to remember.

Redemption is not necessarily a natural process; it is a choice that one must make.  Time and again, I have to choose to do better, choose to be better.  I am as human as can be and will, at times, say things I regret, will cause those whom I love pain.  And I can choose to allow the pain to remain, or I can choose to show remorse which creates the ability for me to redeem myself within the broken relationship.

Today, I spent about an hour doing some research, looking for a person who used to be my best friend until a horrible betrayal back in 1991.  I couldn’t find her no matter how many ways I tried to look.  I could find where I have been living for the last twenty years (a bit creepy), but this woman has disappeared.

The pain she caused me was horrible, something which destroyed a friendship that I thought was precious and unbreakable.  But it was irrevocably hewn apart and for over two decades, I have held on to little thorns and slivers of anger.

Today, though, as I thought about this person, I realized that the old pains are gone.  Even now, I invoke the memory of the betrayal, the hurt that she caused me and then, eventually, my parents.  And I find that those old hurts are no longer tender.  I’m not even certain that I can find the emotional scar tissue because those lines have been re-absored into the textures of who I am.

I believe in redemption because I have been redeemed, have been changed, have chosen to be better than what I could have been.  And for this, I am grateful.  I don’t know that I’ll ever have a truly “happy, ever after.”  But, for right now, I have peace with myself, with those whom I love.  And that is a good enough ending for me.

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