Fran, you couldn't have picked a finer example of dominion over hatred than Olympic runner Louis Zamperini and the best seller "Unbroken" which describes his life as a prisoner of war in Japan. Add to your insightful comments that it was not mere human effort that enabled Zamperini to forgive and "let it go," but a profoundly transformative confrontation with his faith. He calls it a "divine love" that saved him. While I"m not pushing either Christianity or a particular brand of religion, it's important to mention just how big a role prayer and spiritual reformation played in this. And Billy Graham's inspiration is given much credit by both Zamperini and Hillenbrand. As I noted in a blog some time ago:
Finally liberated by the Americans after his family had been told he was dead, Zamperini began a civilian life that quickly spiraled downward through alcoholism, poverty and despair. At last that unbroken spirit cracked and began to shatter. Then, at the insistence of his wife he attended a Billy Graham rally near his home in California, and one night, despite strong resistance, the evangelist from North Carolina reached him. Louie Zamperini was reborn. Hillenbrand writes:
“Louie felt profound peace. When he thought of his history, what resonated with him now was not all that he had suffered but the divine love that he believed had intervened to save him. He was not the worthless, broken, forsaken man that the Bird had striven to make of him. In a single, silent moment, his rage, his fear, his humiliation and helplessness had fallen away. That morning, he believed, he was a new creation.” (p.176)
Louie went on to forgive his captors, even Bird; to live a life declaring his faith, serving his new church, and helping at-risk boys learn to excel and thrive under his loving mentorship. With a marriage restored, a body healed, a heart put right with the world, and a God –given purpose to live out, Louie remained unbroken and whole.
Christian Scientists believe that the same divine love Louie found is also spirit, or God. This Spirit, which cannot be broken, is our very life. Through prayer, gratitude and humility we can see ourselves as worthy before this spirit, our relationship with him as always unbroken. Restoration and healing result from this spiritual, new view.