Many hold onto bitterness and resentment towards those in their past, sometimes even until their deathbed. One man found a way to move beyond this. However, is it a practical or intelligent decision for everyone to make peace with former enemies?
Divorce can be messy. The internal scars that all parties previously racked up from the battle can last a lifetime. Sean Whalen and his ex-wife were no different.
According to a Facebook post by Whalen in 2016, they could both barely communicate with each other unless it was through lawyers. Beyond that, they needed police officers to help transport their children. He stated that, at the time, he was seethingly furious with her boyfriend.
However, in that same post, he shared a joy-filled photo of the present day with him sitting down peacefully along with his former spouse’s then-boyfriend and now husband.
Children surrounded them, consisting of the three children he and his ex-wife had and her children with her current husband. The photo glowed as everyone gave the lens authentic and broad smiles.
The father penned that they all had a wholesome meal that night, letting go of the past and coming together in reconciliation. Whalen expressed:
“Never give up friends. PEACE is a choice. It’s YOUR choice. Not THEIR choice.”
The dad claimed that it doesn’t matter what anyone’s ex-partner does but that they should all instead focus on their own decisions.
The post went viral, and while the majority of individuals agreed and supported his message, many criticized it, saying it was an impossible goal. Responding to the negative remarks in the comment section, Whalen wrote:
“For all of you saying there is ‘no way’ to accomplish this, just know I said the same thing. You have to CHOOSE.”
The post has accumulated around 815,000 likes so far, 51,000 comments, and 391,000 shares. Whether you agree or disagree with this father, it’s clear that something in Whalen’s message resonated with a large number of people.
If anyone thought it unrealistic that Whalen was able to make peace with his ex-wife, they would never believe the story of Mary Johnson. This mother lost her 20-year-old son Laramiun Byrd, who was shot at a party.
The culprit was a 16-year-old boy named Oshea Israel. The teenager went to prison for 2nd-degree murder. Byrd’s mother viewed the guilty party as nothing more than a heartless criminal for years.
However, one day she chose to visit him in prison. The two spoke for hours on end, and she realized how apologetic he was. After that, this grieving mom was able to find it in her heart to forgive the man who murdered her son.
Human beings have achieved astounding feats, from walking on the moon, creating life-saving medicines, inventing the internet, to even mapping out the Human Genome.
However, perhaps our most significant accomplishments lie within our hearts, our decisions, and our ability to choose grace over hate; That is, even while staring into the eyes of what we once thought to be evil incarnate.