Last Thursday, the Center for Civic Engagement at LSC-CyFair hosted a powerful event featuring members of The Journey of Hope, a non-profit advocacy group that opposes capital punishment. Two activists, Shujaa Graham and SueZann Bosler, shared incredibly moving stories that captivated the audience. Mr. Graham spoke about serving time on death row before his exoneration. Ms. Bosler told us about the horrific day in 1986 when she watched a man murder her father in their family home. The man also stabbed her multiple times.
How do some people overcome their anger while others let it destroy them? Anger is a strong emotion that can cause a person to unravel if he or she doesn’t thoroughly process an experience and then let go of the negative feelings associated with it.
We all know someone who is held hostage by their own bitterness. In all likelihood, they will never be truly happy unless they change their mindset. This requires some level of emotional awareness that you can’t develop without self-examination. The problem is that holding on gives a person the illusion of control over a situation when, in fact, it’s an emotional dead end that will never yield any peace inside. Here you only have one option: forward; and yes, that realization hurts like nothing else.
These activists inspire me to reconsider how I handle the difficulties I encounter because painful experiences should lead to a personal evolution, not devolution. Moving forward must include forgiveness because if you’re mired in pain, then a victim narrative becomes your creed. I never want that to dictate the terms of my life.