“There’s not a lot to be gained from holding grudges. You know, it feels like poison inside of you. How much better would it feel if you could just… be clean?”
– Jester Lavorre, Critical Role
Campaign 2, “The Mighty Nein,” Episode 92, “Home Is Where the Heart Is”
It’s amazing how family drama can follow us, haunt us, even define us, for our entire lives.
In the case of Beauregard Lionett, she was raised by parents who made themselves miserable despite getting everything they wanted, and when Beau’s rebellion, as she sought something happier down paths which were self-destructive, proved too much for them, they sent her off to undergo brutal mental and physical training in an order of monks, complete with a slap to the face when they were dragging her away, out of her home. It was probably that slap, last of all, which sealed all the pain in her heart. Now, years later, she finds herself having to confront that pain, and her family, for the sake of the people who have become like a new family to her.
Beau’s dear friend, Jester Lavorre, takes her aside as this is happening, and helps her, reassures her, and shares a quiet, gentle strength with her. She doesn’t try to tell Beau what to do, or push her to forgive her father, but advises her to listen to the man as she would listen to her friends, with open ears. That’s when Beau asks how Jester was able to so quickly forgive her own father, after the man had apparently run off and abandoned the woman who loved him and their daughter, and had pushed Jester away when she tried to get close to him. That was soon explained, as Jester’s father had made mistakes which would seriously endanger her and her mother, and he thought all he could do for her was keep her out of danger by pushing her away. Still, that’s a lot of baggage, as much as Beau’s and she managed to let it all go and love her father anyway.
So, how did she do it?
Jester answers that her father seemed quite earnest when he explained himself, and then, more to the point, there was no benefit in holding on to that grudge, that pain. It would just poison her soul, and she didn’t want that. She wanted to be free of it, so that’s what she chose.
Beau obviously wants something like that, to forgive and be free of the pain, but is having more difficulty in doing so. Still, she takes a good first step in that direction, by letting herself feel her sorrow, and let the tears flow with her friends all around her.
There is something to be said for that. Indeed, there is much to be said for that!
I would say that forgiveness can be vital to the well-being of our soul. As Jester says, the pain of past offenses can be likened unto poison within us, and holding on to it makes us sick inside, like the rot of corruption, and we are left… unclean.
Worst of all, we sicken our souls and gain nothing whatsoever for it.
I mean, what is there to be gained if our soul, any part of it, is left to rot?
If there were nothing else to be said – and there is much which can still be said – then that alone would be enough to make forgiveness the wiser, more beneficial path to take.
And I have to wonder, if forgiveness helps us all so immensely as individuals, then how much better would the world be if we were all more forgiving? If we held fewer grudges, kept less malice and hate in our hearts? If we just let go of our pain, instead of holding on to it and letting it drive us to violence on a widespread scale, how much more peaceful would our world be? How much more prosperous would we be?
I think, quite a bit.