Tuesday, August 1, 2006

The Land of Beginning Again

"I wish that there were some wonderful place

Called the Land of Beginning Again

Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches

And all of our selfish grief

Could be dropped like a shabby old coat by the door

And never be put on again." - Louise Fletcher Tarkington

Those words are excerpts from a poem I discovered in high school. Whatever was going through my head about those words then is a mystery to me now. Something entirely different than what I am thinking these days.

There have been so many people to forgive, including myself. In so many ways that has been the hardest part of all. It is an ongoing process - a few steps forward, a few steps back. A constant battle of judgment, redemption, accusation, bewilderment, and precious moments of peace.

The ability to forgive is, in my estimation, the most important lesson we can ever learn. It has the power to bring health and healing to hearts, minds, and bodies. It has the power to bring us back "to the land of beginning again." It is, however, oh so difficult to master. The words, "forgive me, I forgive you, I forgive myself" are so very easy to say, but they are only just words. They bear repeating over and over. They need reevaluation, reassertion, and the touch of a hand. They need to be repeated out loud, and silently to no one who is there.

When an offense insinuates itself into your awareness, those words need to be used to beat it back to nothingness, for the offense is now gone in fact. It was provoked out of selfishness, confusion, ignorance, maybe even fear. There can be no explanation, there needs be no explanation other than life is what it is.

Forgiveness heals the giver and often, only the giver. It is all that is necessary, though it is a monumental task and may require a lifetime. The idea of forgiveness should always be close by. It is necessary for a peaceful death. It is necessary for a graceful old age. It is required of us before we can pass to generations the knowledge we have stored up for them. Practice it.

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