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Archive for July 30th, 2013

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

flower dew drops

The only essential to practicing the habit of Forgiveness is a genuine wish for both yourself and your adversary to become whole. Naturally, there are times when we cannot manage this. But we will see that, in genuinely opening ourselves to the power of Forgiveness, we ourselves become free. –Ed Bacon

I have come to understand that forgiveness is absolutely essential to happiness, wholeness, and love. What kind of person would I be if I still held on to the hurts of childhood bullying? What kind of life would I lead if I could not forgive? Forgiveness allows us to move on and be free.

When I discovered that my forgiveness of someone did not mean that I had to be in relationship with them, I was freed. Years ago, I was hurt over and over again by the same person. And, stupid me, I kept going back for more. Like I somehow deserved the condescension. I failed to see how I was in control of my own life. I matured and got wiser, but also I had someone who valued me as a person help me see the problem. Forgiveness, however, took longer. I ended the relationship, but I was still chewing on her critical words. Still feeling unworthy and unloved. Oh, the power I was giving this person, I shudder to think about it now.

Forgiveness became a process. I first had to realize my own weaknesses, my own contribution to the situation, and then I had to truly forgive. However long and hard, it was well worth it. Now I recognize when I am giving someone power over my sense of self-worth. I am independent and strong. A strong sense of self is necessary for forgiveness to happen.

Ed Bacon says that the Habits of Love require us to take responsibility for our own state of being. I am the only one responsible for my choices. I am also not perfect. So I have to learn to forgive myself, my weaknesses and faults, first. I can choose to be a victim, whining about how someone else is responsible for my happiness. However, this is a false identity. I must be truthful to myself before I can reach out to others.

Forgiveness opens doors. It allows our creative gifts to shine forth. If we get caught in the vicious cycle of our past, we get stuck and cannot move on to a productive, happy life. We must take on the responsibility of forgiveness to ourselves and to others. Living a life of love, rather than fear, gives us the inspiration to forgive.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Mahatma Gandhi

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