The Gateway To Peace

Here is Part Three of The Key Is Forgiveness

In the first two parts of this series, I discovered these two keys to forgiveness:

1. My first step in forgiveness was to stop turning every good thought or action into something bad.

2. When I most needed uplifting encouraging thoughts, I couldn’t remember the very thoughts I needed to think!

In this search for peace, I began to sense that I had more fear than I had ever been willing to acknowledge, and that it was an anchor dragging me down.  I wrote a list of fears.  I didn’t even want to admit some of them because they seemed so silly.  I didn’t want to admit I was afraid of the dark, that I was afraid I would die alone and unloved.  I didn’t want to admit that I harbored the thought that I might truly be unredeemable and unlovable.  But I made my list and then asked myself what I thought would happen if they were true.

The answers to that question, “What if it’s true?” healed those fears. When I faced them, I saw that they could not possibly be true, and they disappeared. (My fears now are much simpler: older people often fall and break bones.  I’m older. I don’t want to fall.) Getting out of persistent fear made life so much easier and infinitely more pleasant!

When I finished writing, I felt a strange emptiness.  It felt like a big unfamiliar hole. Something was missing and I didn’t know where it went, but I knew I was supposed to be carrying it.  

In the years that have passed, I’ve come to realize that hole was the vessel that would eventually contain peace.  Once it was empty, it could hold the peace of Enough—enough love, enough time, enough money, enough joy, enough success, enough happiness, enough acknowledgements that I have value. That vessel of enough became my most valuable gift.

One of the fears I uncovered had at least 100 forms: in a myriad of ways I was governed by not wanting to break the rules. I was following some rulebook and it dawned on me that I had no idea what rulebook I meant. I didn’t know where it came from or who wrote it.  It didn’t exist anywhere but in my own mind. That realization opened a door to the third gift of healing.  I came to this simple, healing belief: 3. I am. Period. I am.

I began to let go of my repetitive chant about my flawed-ness. It didn’t happen in a flash of light. It happened one thought at a time, one index card of better thoughts at a time.  I eventually replaced the rulebook with a code of conduct: treat everyone exceptionally well; take care of myself; give myself enough; find and create joy and beauty every day; have faith that all is well; value my own art and inspiration; be in service to people and to the earth; live in love; when I can, create jobs for people so that they can take care of themselves and their families.  I have a few simple guidelines that serve me: don’t spend every dollar that comes in; choose in advance how to spend my money; treat the earth with kindness; start the day by naming three things that fill me with gratitude and with a list of what I’m joyfully anticipating; never keep a list of resentments.

I will be eternally grateful that I looked within and found this grace. It revealed two doors marked “Peace” and “Freedom.” The two doors were locked until I found the key marked “Forgiveness.” If you are facing your two locked doors (or three, or four…), here is a prayer that might help:

Divine, this path I’m on doesn’t serve me anymore. Guide me to the gate of Peace. Lead me to door of Freedom. I’m ready to find the key.

If you want inspiration, you may find it in my newest book, Your Life Is Your Prayer.