I thought about sending you a nice motivating email about starting fresh this year with new goals and resolutions.
But there’s something on my heart that I think is more important, and more valuable than that.
It’s perhaps the thing that brings the most peace to the heart and is core to living a Truly Amazing Life.
Without it, I don’t think it’s possible to feel deep peace and true joy.
What is it?
Without it, the heart can never be fully at peace.
Without it, we can’t live fully in joy.
Forgiveness is way more essential than things like taking a shower, or cleaning out the vegetable drawer.
But the stench and the rot of those things command our attention — so we are compelled to do them regularly.
The need to forgive, however, is just as consistent, but it’s easy to overlook because it’s in our heart.
We don’t always know we stink.
We don’t always realize there is rancid rot in our heart.
We just don’t feel as light, loving, joyful, playful, or happy as we could. We often don’t even recognize that we don’t feel those things because maybe it’s been so long since we’ve felt them fully and we’re just accustomed to feeling how we feel.
Well, I’m going to share with you part of an email I got from someone last week, and part of my response. I hope it opens your heart to the need and value of forgiveness — because if it does, your life will be better for it.
I have been going through a serious turmoil for more than 8 months. My wife has left me alone and taken away my daughter and has been residing at her parents house, nearly 500 kms away. Both of us hate each other to the core. Though the only difference in our dislikes that I see is that I am willing to stay with her the rest of my life just because of my daughter.
But she can’t as her parents have given her the undue and unreasonable support to stay away from me. Indian law doesn’t allow me to fight for my daughter’s custody as she is only 4.5 years old.
Please guide me to overcome this problem, as staying away from my daughter becomes unbearable.”
My heart hurt when I read, “Both of us hate each other to the core.”
From a place of hate there is no possibility for peace, joy, love, and light.
It feels so sad for me to hear that. Although I can understand the deep challenge he is facing. Both of them feel so wronged I’m sure. Both feel such a deep commitment to their daughter I’m sure.
But what is the solution?
Here’s part of my response:
I’m so sorry to hear of your immensely challenging situation.
The one thing I believe you must do, of utmost importance, is to root that hatred out of your heart. I can’t emphasize this enough. It is a poison that is infecting your life and will continue to make it extremely challenging for you to ever find deep peace.
I realize it will be hard. But your duty to your self, to your own soul, is the most important thing. And that duty is to forgive & love everyone.
Regardless of how your wife treats you, hating her is only hurting you.
Say, “I forgive you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” Say that toward her in your mind, until you truly feel love for her. Say it over and over, every day until you truly mean it and feel love toward her.
She may hate you forever, that’s not in your control, but your own peace is not dependent on her actions.
Forgiveness and love are the most important things for you above everything else.
Living with hate in your heart will only make everything worse and make your life miserable.
I say that with all the sincerity I can, knowing how hard it will be, but also knowing it must be done and you can do it.
Every single day my intention is to spend time asking for forgiveness in my mind. Thinking, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” Toward whoever comes in to my mind that I may have hurt or judged or anything.
The process frees me every single day I do it.
It sometimes leads to reaching out to people and asking for their forgiveness if necessary.
But it always heals my heart and opens me to peace.
It is one of my core essential daily habits.
I highly encourage anyone and everyone to incorporate the habit in their life. It only takes a few minutes and it is life-changing.
Some days, like today, it completely overwhelms me with tears of compassion and love.
Most days it simply fills me with peace. And that’s all I need to live a truly amazing life.
Peace is amazing.
And it is impossible to feel deep peace while holding resentment in the heart.
I hope you are well. My greatest hope for you this year is that you let forgiveness become a deeper daily habit this year. It is quite possibly the most liberating habit I know of.
Happy new year!
Make today amazing!