The price of hate and pardon – Part 2

Paulo Coelho


“It’s very difficult. But there is no choice: if you don’t pardon, then you’ll think about the pain they caused you and that pain will never go away. I’m not saying that you have to like those who do you wrong. I’m not telling you to go back to that person’s company. I’m not suggesting that you start seeing that person as an angel or as someone who acted without any hurtful intentions. All I am saying is that the energy of hate will take you nowhere, but the energy of pardon which manifests itself through love will manage to change your life in a positive sense.”

“I have been hurt many times.”

“That’s the reason that you still bear within yourself the little boy who cried hiding from his parents, the boy who was the weakest in his class. You still bear the marks of that frail little boy who could never find a girlfriend and was never good at sports. You haven’t managed to chase off the scars of some injustices they committed against you during your life. But what good does that do you? None at all. Absolutely nothing. Just a constant desire to feel sorry for yourself for being the victim of those who were stronger. Or else dress up like an avenger ready to inflict more wounds on those who hurt you. Don’t you think you’re wasting your time with all that?”

“I think it’s human.”

“It’s certainly human. But it’s neither intelligent nor reasonable. Respect your time on this Earth, understand that God has always pardoned you, and learn to pardon too.”

After this conversation with J, which took place just before I traveled to spend 40 days in the Mojave desert in the United States, I began to understand better the boy, the adolescent, the hurt adult I once was. One morning, going from the Valley of Death in California to Tucson in Arizona, I made a mental list of everyone I thought I hated because they had hurt me. I went along pardoning them one by one and six hours later, in Tucson, my soul felt so light and my life had changed much for the better.

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