It was hard enough to be working on my own life, it was another thing to feel the pressure to help others
At one point I was so frustrated, I turned to my grandmother and asked her – “How did you forgive?” She would know. I remembered some very poignant moments listening to my grandmother describe the loss of her younger sister who had disappeared early during Russian revolution. My grandmother had lost so much… and yet she believed and lived forgiveness. I wanted to reach out to her even though she had died some time ago.
Miraculously – I heard an answer. “Forgiveness is like climbing a mountain,” she said, and then in my imagination she took me to the base of a mountain. Having grown up in the Fraser Valley, it was easy for me to imagine all of this. It felt real. Then we climbed up the mountain – to the top of it – where there was a new view of life, a new perspective.
It did help – and it would be wonderful to offer something like this to everyone because it is well documented that there are huge benefits emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually for anyone who forgives.
Yet the research also shows that only 25% of the population has the capacity to forgive. This correlates with the negativity bias that has about the same ratio of 80% negativity to 20 % positive. It obviously does not come naturally. However, I believe everyone has the capacity - they might just need help.
What if everyone could climb a mountain with the support of a grandmother?
But I’m here in Winnipeg, and I love Winnipeg, but here are no mountains in Winnipeg.
I glance out side, I see the sun reflecting off of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. I remember climbing to the top of the Museum - experiencing that glass finger pointing upward, a dramatic symbol of hope.
It’s a elegant mountain encased in glass.
Perfect. If I had 100 billion dollars, I’d borrow me some of the design ideas from the Museum and build me a Healing Forgiveness Centre close to the Winnipeg airport on the way to Stony Mountain.
The first floor would be devoted to helping the body forgive, the second would be for the heart, the third for the mind and the top would be the spirit – close to the sky.
But the first floor would be the hardest to design. It would need to envelop each traumatized body walking through the front doors with a sense of safety, and then very sensitively communicate love through the five senses of the body.
What would that look like? Let me dream.
It is easy to go down into Hell; night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide; but to climb back again, to retrace one's steps to the upper air - there's the rub, the task. - Virgil