Why Michelle Obama’s Prayers for Forgiveness in the Royal Family Matter for Everyone
Michelle Obama recently made news again, this time saying, in an interview with Access Hollywood, that she “prays that there is forgiveness” between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and the Royal family.
As an advocate on a mission to promote forgiveness as a force for personal and universal change, I couldn’t agree more. In fact, Michelle Obama’s message of forgiveness is about far more than the Royals: the world at large should take it heart to heart. That’s because only forgiveness can truly heal people and relationships.
This is something I have experienced firsthand. Several years ago, just after my third child was born, I learned I had a tumor on my adrenal gland. Although not life threatening, the condition was serious and required surgery right away. Having long experienced unexplained symptoms of dizziness and lethargy that neither medications nor holistic or Ayurvedic treatments have helped, I was relieved by the news. It seemed there was finally a simple solution to helping me regain my joy and strength: surgery. I could hardly wait for it to take place.
But even surgeons can make mistakes, as I learned. After the procedure, I felt no better. In fact, my condition, including crushing fatigue, worsened. There were days when I could not get out of bed.
It took months of pain, anguish and continual medical appointments for me to discover that the surgeon had made a terrible, irreversible error. I now live with only one half of one adrenal gland, and must contend with a lifetime of medical issues.
My family’s immediate reaction was: let’s seek revenge. Let’s sue the surgeon for everything he’s worth. My friends agreed. But this thought brought me no comfort. On the contrary: the idea of devoting my precious energy to pursuing the negative force of revenge made me feel even more bitter and exhausted. I realized it would not mend my broken body or soul.
So I chose instead to embark on a quest for peace and healing—beginning by seeking space in my heart to forgive. I write about this in my memoir On the Way to Casa Lotus.
True forgiveness, I have learned, heals us. It brings us back to peace and joy. This is why I echo Michelle Obama’s prayer for forgiveness between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Royal family.
But this is not just about individuals―it’s also about the world. Especially in these tense, divisive times the Royal family, Meghan and Harry are in a unique position to model forgiveness for all to emulate.
Here are some of the points about forgiveness that I encourage the Royal family, Meghan and Harry―and the world―to embrace:
● If we refuse to forgive, we do so at our own peril for there will be no real peace or healing.
● Forgiveness does not require us to make excuses for the person(s) who wronged us or to forget that wrong was done; it requires us to believe that they are still capable of good, that they still have value, that they have good intentions and the ability to learn and grow.
● It’s okay to be angry, even within forgiveness, for forgiveness makes room for both rage and redemption.
● Forgiveness must be sincere. Lip service will not mend or heal you.
● Forgiveness is an ongoing process. You don’t just decide to forgive and then turn the page. That decision is more accurately called “denial.”
I am on a mission to share my story so that the world can begin to recognize the power and the benefits of forgiveness. Imagine how much impact a Royal display of forgiveness might have.