This I Believe

Joanne - Santa Rosa, California
Entered on March 15, 2007

I believe in the power of forgiveness and kindness

I believe in a higher presence or divine energy that I can experience when I move beyond my own ego and self interest. I believe in the power of forgiveness and kindness.

Forgiveness has transformed me, released me, and purified my habitual thinking and resentments. Those that have wounded or hurt me did not suffer from my grudges, anger and resentments – I did. When I forgave someone who seriously hurt me, I had to cultivate compassion for the other person – actually an amount of compassion beyond what I thought was possible. I didn’t believe I could do it but I did it anyway. I had faith that the act of forgiveness would heal me. This act was transforming for me. When that old hurt and anger was released and no longer took up my thoughts, I felt a lightness and openness. I no longer have these old stories running in my head. I have new stories. I have been transformed by forgiveness in ways I never dreamed possible.

I believe that a small act of kindness can have a ripple effect. In any given situation where I could easily be annoyed, rude, harsh, if I take a breath or two and shift my thoughts to what can I do to soften this situation, be the one to accommodate, or step back and smile, this will ripple through that person’s day. And this act might ripple to another person they touch, etc. When I let go of my annoyance I feel better. Sometimes the smallest gesture can have so much power. It could be the only kind word someone experiences in a day or a week. I have hundreds of opportunities to be kind in a given day and it usually doesn’t cost anything but generates tremendous wealth. I find when I am kind and thoughtful I have more energy, but if I am annoyed and angry I have no energy.

I believe that the situations that annoy me the most are the situations I need to embrace the most and have the most to teach me. Somewhere if I don’t resist is a seed for growth waiting for a little light to grow. Or that divine light can penetrate when I soften my heart and practice kindness.