Scarlett Lewis was a featured guest and shared her story of love and forgiveness at the International Day of Forgiveness in Rome on March 10-11, 2017:
Forgiveness is central to my resilience. A social worker came to my house shortly after the incident and told me, “I know how it feels; I’ve also lost my son and I’m here to tell you the pain will never get better.” At that moment I thought, “That is absolutely not going to be my journey.”
And so I chose the path of forgiveness. Initially it felt as if the shooter was attached to me by some umbilical cord and all my energy was being sapped. Forgiveness felt like I was given a big pair of scissors to cut the tie and regain my personal power. It started with a choice and then became a process.
The International Day of Forgiveness is a secular and apolitical event, celebrating forgiveness as an essential tool to build a new way of being human. Its purpose is to create an international stage to encourage people from the world of culture, politics and institutions to commit to the spread of a new culture of peace and awareness.
The International Day of Forgiveness is not a just a day event: it is the sum of a year’s work, partnerships and projects and its purpose is closely linked to the development of an educational project.
Future generations need to be freed from the burden of resentment, due to our past and present conflicts. Only through maturity, heightened awareness and generosity of an awakened consciousness, can this path be taken, the main pillars of which are responsibility and forgiveness for true individual and collective freedom.
Forgiveness is a skill, an essential tool for realizing the universal value of peace. As human beings it is our duty to form new generations who live and transmit forgiveness as a social skill in life, an evolutionary strategy necessary for health and well-being. The correct process of forgiveness is a workout for the brain for developing basic skills in the personal, relational and social sphere. Turning problems into resources, managing conflicts, developing mature empathy, and building a peaceful culture based on values of cooperation are all qualities required by new leaders.
Over recent years, interest in forgiveness has grown exponentially, spreading from the language of spirituality and psychotherapy to that of science and medicine. Scientific publications on the issue have increased, involving neuro-scientific studies primarily focused on the beneficial effects of forgiveness in the circulatory, immune and nervous systems. Thus a real science of forgiveness The International Day of Forgiveness was created with the goal of fostering the understanding of the foregoing process, so that an increasing number of people may benefit from the positive effects that this mindset can produce on multiple levels of experience. We are destined for happiness and neither our talents, nor our charisma or power can reveal who we truly are: only our choices can. This is why great souls always choose Love. This day is an invitation to discover the lost sense of forgiveness: a key by which every heart may open the door to true courage and the healing of relationships, thoughts, emotions, body and soul.
Learn more about the International Day of Forgiveness.