No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.George Jean Nathan
Do you remember the scene in the movie Forrest Gump when Jenny and Forrest, as adults, are strolling the back roads of rural Greenbow, Alabama? They come across the old house where Jenny’s father raised her and her sisters. From earlier scenes we gathered hints and learned that abuse took place in that house; seeing it brought back a flood of horrific memories. Jenny clenched her fists.
Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved.Marcus Antonius
Young Jenny was abused by her own father. Fathers are supposed to be loving and protective so that children are allowed to let their natural curiosity flourish and grow. Unfortunately, this movie mirrored the sad fact that not every child grows up in a protected, safe or healthy home. The selfish, and sometimes evil, motives of adults can cause the trauma and pain that begins in childhood and often lasts a lifetime. Jenny clearly carried the scars of abuse throughout most of her life. It showed itself as she ran from her hometown roots, rejected the genuine love that she could have received, used drugs, and embarked on a series of false relationships based more on physical pleasure or social involvement then true emotional connectivity.
Anger ventilated often hurries toward forgiveness; and concealed often hardens into revenge.Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
After the rock throwing outburst, Jenny collapsed in a heap. Most likely that incident was the beginning of Jenny letting go of the past. Throwing the rocks revealed her need for revenge, born of the anger that had been concealed and hidden inside for her lifetime. Jenny needed to forgive to be free from her past and become a healthier person. Let me be clear that the forgiveness is not for the abuse – that was evil and should never be condoned. The forgiveness needs to be directed towards the people. Jenny’s father was generally a screwed-up dude; if she can forgive him for being human, she can begin to let go and move on. Most importantly, Jenny needed to forgive herself – consider that she probably blamed herself at least partially for what happened, as often is the case among the abused.
We know that at the end of the movie, Jenny is at peace with her past. She goes back to her roots and back to Forrest who loves her. They marry.
But how about Forrest and his compassion and simplicity when he said, “Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.” There are never enough rocks to wipe out the pain one might suffer from the past. There are never enough rocks when it comes to revenge. Forgiveness and letting go are the only way – as painful as that process may be.
To learn more on this subject continue to explore the SpeakingGump.com website or consider having Steve Weber speak at your next company or association meeting. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that!
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