The Key Is Forgiveness
This is the first of three blogs on my search for peace.
Of all the healing I have received in the last 69 years, nothing has done more to keep me alive and well than my decision to learn self-forgiveness. In my younger years, I made a mistake or two. I made some doozies. My inability to identify or uphold my own values had cost me two great marriages and two great careers. I made money and lost it several times. My mistakes left me spinning– blaming myself, blaming others, giving up on any possible good future, and giving up on myself.
I created success, but I couldn’t hold on to it. I wanted prosperity but money flew out of my hands faster than I could receive it. I wanted recognition, but I couldn’t carry through with anything long enough to achieve enough to be recognized. I held all of that against myself. When that got too painful, I held it against others.
I surrendered to learning self-forgiveness after someone I respected strongly suggested it. I didn’t know at the time how clear-headed I would need to be to accomplish it. When I figured it out, I stopped drinking and became clearheaded in sobriety. It took some time to regain clarity, but I did regain it and began to make a little progress.
I didn’t have any idea how to be forgiving. Mean thoughts seemed to be the only thoughts I had, and I was certain they were “the real truth.” How could anything else be true?”
I read that, to find freedom, we must give up our history. I didn’t know what that meant, but I knew it was important. I decided to write out my history so I would know what to give up. I could only come up with things that seemed tragically awful. I was painting a picture of a life that was even worse than I had realized. It was all bad! Whatever had been good wouldn’t come to my mind and wasn’t ending up on the paper!
After pages of writing, weeks of writing, months of writing, I got sick of the life I was describing. I began to want something beyond 35 years of harbored tragedy. I didn’t know what it was, but I wanted something: something kind, something redeeming, a victory or two. I would come up with something good, then take another look at it and turn it into something bad. I would find something else good, then turn it into something bad. Observing that was my first gift of healing:
My first step in forgiveness was to stop turning everything good into something bad.
If you find yourself destroying all good things about you, here is a prayer that might help:
Divine, please help me recognize any goodness in me and guide me to peace.
You can find my latest book, Your Life Is Your Prayer, at: