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My personal practice of nonviolence is the path that I walk on daily. It reaches into every nook and cranny of my consciousness and my life. Through my practice I’ve discovered that I am my only adversary and if I think there’s an enemy outside I only have to look within to find its source.
The most challenging person I meet on the path is myself. I can remember berating myself for having made a choice that I knew had hurt my friend because there was a part of me that felt I’d been selfish. It took me more than a year to forgive myself. Now, when I look back, I find it interesting that it took me so long to heal my self-inflicted wound. If my friend had been on me about it the way I was on myself I would have gotten angry and had it out with him. I never would have tolerated that level of unkindness from my friend.
The great lesson for me has been that when I fall short of my vision for myself I have an immediate opportunity to love myself back on track. Through my practice of nonviolence I’ve learned to call forth love in the midst of any form of violence I experience. Calling forth the love not only heals the “mistake” it generates a healing energy that applies to every mistake I’ve ever made. So, now, when I misstep, I immediately rejoice and give thanks for the opportunity to call forth the presence of love and let it lift us all. Traveling this road daily has made all the difference.
My great teacher, Mahatma Gandhi said, “I know the path. It is straight and narrow. It is like the edge of a sword. I rejoice to walk on it. I weep when I slip. God’s word is: ‘He who strives never perishes.” Because of the oneness of all life, my healing benefits everyone everywhere. I’ve discovered that the opportunity to call forth more love is what my life is about. It’s my purpose and my mission. I rejoice to walk on it.
Today, I see the pure beauty and grace in my life and in the continuous experience of falling down and getting up, falling down and getting up. I’m so grateful to have the eyes to see the beauty. Today, my personal practice of nonviolence is the foundation of my life path.