Cultivating peace in daily life.

Today's Theme: Forgiveness

Forgive someone today.

Theme for the 27th day of the month:

(Photograph for today's theme by Randall J. Hodges, Randall J. Hodges Photography.)

It is an unavoidable fact of relationship that people often don’t act the way we think they should. How we handle this is one of life’s greatest challenges.

Everyone needs forgiveness. The darker side of human nature is everyone’s challenge. We make mistakes and errors every day. In our relationships, we struggle with one another. We can be cruel. In every aspect of human life we can easily find examples of one person’s will stubbornly braced against another’s. Sometimes the conflict seems endless, as does the suffering that accompanies it.

We each need something that lifts the weight of our own and each other’s accumulated mistakes. We need to be able to start again—to learn, correct, make amends, understand, heal, and move on. Genuine forgiveness offers this while never condoning cruelty or injustice.

Many of the world’s traditions recognize forgiveness as a spiritual practice that can bring peace to the soul. Recent research has demonstrated that forgiveness is also good for physical and emotional health as it reduces stress on the body and especially the heart. Old resentments that become inflamed every time we think about them can wage a brutal war with health as well as with peace.

With every resentment and grudge, every loss and betrayal, there is a right time to make peace. Today’s theme suggests that we review our memories for a recent or long-standing resentment or grievance that we might be willing to release. Is there one that comes to mind?

Forgiveness is an active process. It must be freely chosen, not forced. We choose it among the many ways we might respond to hurt or injustice. We choose the timing. In the empty space created by releasing resentment, the spirit of peace and healing can enter.

It might not be easy to make the choice to forgive, but it may be time. May our reflections on forgiveness today reduce suffering, restore hope, and bring a stream of true justice into the rhythm of peace.

Peace is truly possible only when forgiveness becomes a habit.

Rhythm of Peace:  Cultivating Peace in Daily Life
Download the Rhythm of Peace calendar of daily themes

Check back tomorrow for a new theme!

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin. ~Mother Teresa