One aspect of self-care
that is seldom discussed
as an important tool of self-compassion
is letting go of past grudges, concerns,
misdeeds, misconduct,
hurt, suffering, struggle,
or experiences through forgiveness.

Forgiveness is so fundamental
to a compassionate heart
that the ancient text instructs us
to not even pray for ourselves
until we have first forgiven others.

How many times do we forgive?
As often as it takes,
or at least seventy-seven times,
or seven times seventy.

Forgiveness does not mean
that we accept or condone
the misdeeds that we forgive.

Forgiveness means that
we remove them from
our own souls
so that we
free ourselves to
a consciousness greater
than the toxins
that attempt to weaken us.

As Einstein said,
we cannot solve a problem
at the level of the problem.


ELEBRATING PETER KATER through the following excerpts from i-Tunes
Blessing, Healing, Walk in Beauty (featuring Joseph Firecrow), Vastitude

In Between the World and Me,
Ta-Nehisi Coates tells his son

“I am sorry that
I cannot make it okay.
I am sorry that I cannot save you—
but not that sorry.
Part of me thinks
that your very vulnerability
brings you closer to the meaning of life . . . .

I have always wanted you
to attack every day
of your brief bright life
in struggle. . . .

I would not have you descend
into your own dream.
I would have you be a conscious citizen
of this terrible
and beautiful world.”

Forgiveness does liberate
the sinners
but it frees us
from their sin
so that we do not
descend into energy
that does not serve us.

“Forgiving and being reconciled
are not about pretending
that things are other than they are.
It is not patting one another
on the back and
turning a blind eye to the wrong.

True reconciliation exposes
the awfulness, the abuse, the pain,
the degradation, the truth.

It could even sometimes
make things worse.

It is a risky undertaking
but in the end it is worthwhile,
because in the end dealing
with the real situation
helps to bring real healing.”

Desmond Tutu,
from No Future Without Forgiveness

“Forgiving has even been found
to be good for your health.

Forgiving means abandoning
your right to pay back the perpetrator
in his own coin,

but it is a loss
that liberates the victim.”

Desmond Tutu,
from No Future Without Forgiveness

“True forgiveness deals with the past,
all of the past,
to make the future possible.

We cannot go on nursing grudges
even vicariously for those
who cannot speak for themselves
any longer.

We have to accept that
what we do we do for generations
past, present, and yet to come.

That is what makes a community
a community
or a people
a people—
for better or for worse.”

Desmond Tutu,
from No Future Without Forgiveness

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