27 February 2011

Season of Nonviolence – Day 29: Forgiveness

Welcome to Day 29 of the Season of Nonviolence – 64 Days of peaceful wisdom honoring the lives and nonviolent principles of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez.

Nonviolence begins with learning how to be less violent and more compassionate towards ourselves. We learn by building the courage to speak and act with respect, honor and reverence for our own being.


"If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we would find in each person's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When we realize the spiritual truth of the oneness of all life, we learn not to take things personally. We begin to live more peacefully in the world. When we are able to recognize the inner pain and turmoil that leads others to strike out in anger and rage, we connect to their humanity. Hate and fear cannot heal those hearts, they can only add to the fire. But when we find compassion in our hearts for their suffering, everything starts to change.

When we forgive, we are free to let go of the past and move on with our lives. We do not condone the hurtful behavior but we realize that there is something within us that is more powerful and important than this wounding experience. Today, write a letter to forgive someone. You do not have to mail it. 

Also, identify a person or group you have strong negative feelings toward. Consider how fearfulness and a belief in separation fuel the words and actions of this person or group. Contemplate or journal about how bringing love and light into your own consciousness and feelings can bring greater peace into your life and/or the situation.

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