Forgiveness is the Key to Your Inner Peace

Do you live in the space of anger at others for things that happened long ago. resenting the heck out of them? Or, do you live in the realm of forgiveness, having moved through your resentment to the other side?

There is another side, you know, a side where there is freedom from the physical and emotional aspects of anger, resentment. I don’t know about you, but when I was angry for all those 36 years, I was tight as a drum in my muscles, went around with a scowl on my face a great deal of the time.

Emotionally, I was always in a turmoil, a continual thought process about how I’d been wronged by so-an-so, who had hurt me, whose fault it was. I definitely did not have inner peace. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. Peace? Being at peace in my heart, my mind? What’s THAT?

What I discovered after about 5 years of sobriety was true forgiveness and the effect of that forgiveness was that 36 years of anger and rage slowly receded. One day, I just noticed how my energy was being spent watching the world and other people around me, and that I was a witness to miracles, every day. This realization bred a great deal of joy for me.

All this was possible and had occurred, because I was willing to consider forgiveness when it looked me in the eye. It looked me in the eye when I realized I was doing to the men in my life the very same thing that had been done to me when I was a child. I used to get drunk and scream at them that they were worthless. I was heartsick and mortified when I remembered this, because I so denigrated their soul.

The thing is, I didn’t even feel that way about THEM, I was feeling worthless about ME. After realizing that, I was given the grace to feel compassion for myself, a small child being told she was worthless, and the permanent scars that these words caused in her life.

One day it dawned on me… if I didn’t feel the men in my life were worthless, instead that I was worthless and said it uncontrollably, then is it possible my father hadn’t meant it about me, but instead, about himself and was unable to keep those feelings of worthlessness inside? Suddenly, the door was opened ever-so-slightly. Through that crack, I saw a man, just a man, young at that, with lots of responsibility for a large family, under lots of stress, having endured the verbal abuse himself at the hands of his father.

I saw all of that through the crack in the door, and slowly, it crept open and compassion flowed in. Well, it actually trickled, but steadily flowed. Forgiveness came over me slowly, gently, with God’s grace and my actions and thought processes. Willingness and being open minded and open hearted helped a great deal.

Suddenly, I began to experience what I described before… the ability to observe the miracles happening all around me. I put my toe in these waters, slowly, cautiously, not sure if I was dreaming or if the feeling of freedom would be rudely yanked away. Time showed me that it was permeant and that I loved it as a space to hang out in.

You, too, can discover the willingness to consider looking at things with new eyes. That’s all it takes. Willingness to consider something and someone differently. Then it takes compassion and being willing to extend it to another. What lies through this all is peace, inner peace. And freedom. Join me tomorrow and I’ll walk you through the process of how to find forgiveness for not only others, but yourself as well.

My day would feel incomplete to me if I did not say this… May we hold a screed space for those who were directly affected by the events of 9/11, and also for those of us who stood helplessly watching… horrified. Many blessings for those brave souls who sprang into action to help.

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