Sunday, November 26, 2006


This just irritates me. I'll admit on the front end that Yoko Ono usually irritates me, but you'd think that advocating forgiveness and healing would fit in well with my general perspective on life. In theory, it does. I've found forgiveness to be one of the most powerful things in my life. The message of forgiveness is part of why Christianity appeals to me so. Being forgiven can be life altering, but forgiveness ultimately does more for the person who offers it than it does for the person to whom it is extended. It brings peace to the soul when an old hurt is released, and it enables growth. Forgiveness is the best way I know to move emotionally forward. Until I have forgiven a hurt, I keep returning to the wound and stay in a place of festering hurt and rage. In instructing us to forgive, Christianity speaks a Truth beyond the boundaries of any religion.

So I'm still trying to figure out why I'm so annoyed. I'll admit that her shrill, grating voice doesn't help. I hate her music. I've thought that some of her stunts over the years, including the infamous "bed-in", were just stupid. Pretentiousness is never appealing. I do get annoyed when anyone sets themselves up as an Ultimate Authority, as if they possess a wisdom greater than the rest of us mere mortals can really understand. It doesn't matter if the person is liberal or conservative, I've got a problem with people who feel they have the right to tell the rest of the world what they need to do. Some of it is the hypocrisy of her saying that she doesn't know if she's ready to forgive Lennon's killer, while she advocates that the poor, oppressed, and injured be bigger than that and forgive "us."

I think that it's that "us" in her plea that I find the most annoying. Just who exactly is this "us" and just what exactly is that we've done to need forgiveness? I can tell you too many things I've done for which I need forgiveness, but I have no clue what puts anybody else on that list. Is it all people living in the western world? Does that include the single mother who finds herself on food stamps even though she's still working two jobs,

When the world is sliced
into us and them,
it's not a
good thing.
going to PTA meetings and trying to make sure her kids wear clean clothes, exercise some manners and have their homework done? Are we all automatically oppressors because of our geography? Is it just the rich? Is she just trying to ameliorate her own liberal guilt for living a lifestyle that some would say is oppressive to others just because it exists? Or is she just playing up her status as widow famous for her loss?

I don't care how one does it. When the world is sliced into us and them, it's not a good thing. It's setting some people aside as different and lesser. Part of staying true to my religious beliefs is seeing all people as children of God. I need to identify with the starving child in Darfur and the janjaweed militia. I have to see Palestinians and Israelis as my brothers. The terrorist in the plane and the victim in the tower are both still kin. The redneck Klansman and the Grannies for Peace -- family. The pretentious, famous widow and I are sisters on some level. Now, this may be a southern thing, but when it comes to family, you cut them a little slack. You may choose not to be around them. You may passionately disagree with them. You may not like them, but somewhere, on some level, you just can't help loving them, because you've seen that despite how different they may be from you, they're still lovable ... somehow. Also, you're still connected to them whether you like it or not. I'm not saying that it's easy.

Forgiveness isn't a simple thing. It takes a lot of work to forgive. Some of that work involves feeling the wound in all its throbbing pain and rage. In fact, forgiveness may be one of the hardest things in the world to do. Despite the entirely personal gains that forgiveness brings to a person, it involves truly setting aside the self for awhile and letting a healing change take place. Getting to the place where one can forgive isn't an easy journey, and it can't be accomplished merely on request, even if that request is a full page ad in a large newspaper.

Yoko Ono, forgiveness


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yoko is most likely still dealing with the hurt of losing John. She only really lived for him. When he died, so did she on the inside. I can relate to that as it happened to my mom in regards to Dad. He died very young, 37, and he was her soulmate. I'm just guessing that Yoko is still searching for the One who can heal her.

November 26, 2006 7:04 AM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

Yoko has always been a bit on the hard to take side...but I respect her sincerity on this.

This little thesis of yours on forgiveness says way more than Yoko's big advertisement...

November 26, 2006 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cyn, please don't use your precious energy getting angry over such. It is a waste of your inner resources.

Reading the article, I felt no anger, just sadness. I saw the world in great need of taking those baby-steps toward forgiveness. Even Ono is "in the process" of forgiveness, since, as you tell us, forgiveness is mightily hard.

Take some deep breaths. Save that energy for your poems! :-)

November 27, 2006 3:09 AM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

That woman fried her brain years ago. Pay her no mind. ;o)

November 27, 2006 7:21 AM  

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