Dear Me: Day 34
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The full quote I found that inspired this photo was "Forgiveness is choosing to love. It is the first skill of self-giving love." In truth, it was the "self-giving love" that really spoke to me. We tend to treat forgiveness as something we give as a gift to others, specifically to the people we're choosing to forgive. But it's not just a gift to those we forgive, for often they didn't even know they've been forgiven-- if they even knew there was something to forgive.
In truth, for the things that hurt us most, and longest.... we're so far removed from our aggressors by the time we forgive that it isn't actually something we do for them. It's something we do for ourselves. The act of forgiveness imparts an act of love (the self-giving love I think Gandhi was speaking of), but I don't think that love necessarily goes to the person being forgiven. In a lot of cases it does, and should! But I think that love also goes to the forgiver.
Yesterday I spoke words of forgiveness to a mother who's been gone for almost 7 years... and felt a flood of peace and love in my own heart. Self-giving love. Unbidden, unasked for, unrequested, and all I did was speak the words-- and mean them.
So I say as my final (for now) thought on forgiveness: choose. to. love.
Even if the only one you can choose to love-- is yourself.
Also by Sarah Philipson
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