Chapter 7: Freedom Through Forgiveness
An excerpt from You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
Think of moments in your life and remember the times that you chose not to forgive. Then think about the times when you chose to forgive. You need not look far into the past to remember them. You probably do not need to look to the past at all. Today, in the present, you might recall someone who you have forgiven and someone who you have not yet chosen to forgive.
Sit still for a moment with the memory of how it feels not to forgive. Does it seem to cloud the mind? How do those thoughts affect your body? Does it feel as if something heavy or uncomfortable is living within? Do you believe that holding on to those physical, emotional and mental sensations affect you in a negative way? Are these sensations hurting you, or are they hurting the person you have not forgiven? Who does your inability to release these thoughts and forgive affect more?
You think that by not forgiving, you hold a power over that individual, yet now you can begin to realize that, by choosing not to forgive, this individual holds that power over you. And to go one necessary step further, it is not the individual himself who holds a power over you, but those negative thoughts that you choose to hold on to that hold you captive. You hold yourself captive. These are the thoughts you created through your perception of the situation. This perception, which has made you a prisoner, can also set you free, for it is you that holds the key.
You have carried this weight and suffered long enough! Forgive, and you will see things differently. Forgiveness will give you power over all the people and events that seem to now have power over you. Remember how it feels to forgive, to truly let go. It literally feels as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
Forgiveness is in you, and as hard as you have tried to forget, you know it is available. Blessed is this day, for you have finally chosen to see what has always been.
You can choose not to forgive. You can carry stuff from your past with you all you want; that is your choice. But sooner or later, your shoulders will become heavy with the burden. So, heavy in fact, that you will fall to your knees. Once on your knees, you will release this weight, and for the first time in a long time, you will truly feel rested and at peace. You will ask yourself: Why do I choose to carry this weight, for the past is gone and the future is imagined. Now you realize you have a choice, and now you truly understand how each choice feels. One weighs your shoulders to the ground, and the other lifts you up. One makes you worry and stress about the past, present and future; the other offers you peace. Through your own judgment one jails you, and the other, through forgiveness, sets you forever free.
Kneel for a moment, my brother, and ask that this weight be lifted. Kneel for a moment my sister, and feel the weight lifting off your shoulders. Kneel for a moment, my friend, for today you have chosen peace.
This text can be found in the book - You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy.
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