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Many times in the day I am offered a choice between forgiveness and holding onto resentment through taking offense. I’ve seen this as the choice between violence and nonviolence. It used to be that forgiveness, the nonviolent choice, seemed unthinkable, too hard for me to contemplate. Only a wimp would let someone cut them off in traffic and not blow their horn. How will those people learn if I let them get away with it? If the service in a restaurant is bad and I don’t make a big fuss, how will they ever be motivated to change? If I forgive my brother for what he said and did to me then I’m not protecting myself. If I sit down and eat a big bag of chips then the way to prevent it from happening again is to berate myself until I feel sick and ashamed. As a child I was punished if I did something wrong, that way I’d remember the hurt and not do it again.
There are so many ways that I’ve been taught to perpetuate the violence through unforgiveness. Yet there is always the choice to love. At first it seemed harder, but now I can honestly say it is so much easier to forgive and go on. Instead of blowing my horn in traffic, I breathe deeply and enjoy the peace. Instead of making a fuss in a restaurant I put the waitress at ease with a joke and we both can have a laugh. Now, I really don’t want to eat a whole bag of chips anymore. I love myself and that much salt just isn’t good for me.
Every day I’m retraining myself to choose love. Instead of feeling wimpy I am stronger than ever. Every day, I walk with Gandhi, King, Kuan Yin, Jesus, Mother Teresa and all those who walked the path before me. When I think I might fall down I ask them to hold me up. Since forgiveness is the path of liberation available in every moment, today I invite you to write a letter to forgive someone you might be holding in resentment. Maybe it’s yourself.
(Click here to download my forgiveness letter exercise – it really works! Bring on your breakthrough!)
You don’t need to mail the letter, but you can use it to set yourself free from the past. Today let’s choose to activate our liberation and move the world in a direction of peace through our daily choices of forgiveness. Forgiveness = nonjudgment. What a blessing!
I AM willing to release all judgment and find freedom!
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