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Inspirational Thought

The First Step
in Forgiveness is the Willingness to Forgive


''Attack is an easier response than forgiveness, and that is why we are so tempted to give into it. Throughout our lives we have seen more anger than examples of true forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean that we suppress anger; forgiveness means that we have asked for a miracle: the ability to see through mistakes that someone has made to the truth that lies in all of our hearts. . . . Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness. Attack thoughts towards others are attack thoughts towards ourselves. The first step in forgiveness is the willingness to forgive.'' Marianne Williamson

I believe that the most important thing to consider when thinking about forgiveness is the effect that it has on ourselves. Forgiveness isn't always about the person being forgiven; often, that person will have asked forgiveness and will be very grateful when we do forgive, but probably more often we need to forgive for our own sakes. I've carried around anger and resentment for a while, and I've done so quite often. But the thing that always took it away was the realization--usually later rather than sooner--that my anger wasn't affecting the object of my anger at all, but it was affecting me a great deal, in a very negative way. I wasn't sleeping as I could have been, I wasn't able to focus on the task at hand as well as I could have, I wasn't able to relate to other people effectively. I have to admit, I still get angry and I don't always forgive as I should, but I try--I don't want that negative baggage to carry around with me. I want my view of the world to be a view filled with wonder and awe, and carrying a grudge taints that view; I'm the one who suffers from my own inability to forgive--just as I'm the only one who can save myself from that suffering by putting things behind me where they belong.

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
--Mark Twain

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Marcella .