By J. M. Hawkins and Geoffery Moore
I’m angry with myself. I wish I could back up and undo the mistake I’ve just made.
There is no reverse on the universe—but there is renewal. Ask forgiveness from anyone you’ve wronged…and forgive yourself. Now, don’t look back—don’t look ahead. Just look around! Just be surprised—just be reborn into this new forgiven moment.
But there are some things I just can’t forgive myself for, so every time I feel really guilty about something, I stuff that part of me down deep inside.
Oh, I see. You’ve become a taxidermist, and the creature you’re stuffing…is you! So one day if you are very still, very quiet and more unresponsive than usual, I’ll know that you’ve finally unforgiven yourself to death—that you’re finally, totally, and completely stuffed. To avoid this fate, I suggest that you forgive to live—and never stop forgiving.
Today, and every day, I will extend forgiveness to myself and to others—again and again and again. Because any and every delay in forgiving is a loss of life.
*The Dear Soul/Dear Life dialogs by J.M. Hawkins are adapted and used by permission. They are excerpted from his collection, Word From Soul City and were used in discussion groups that met in cities across America in the 1990s and early 2000s.