Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama succinctly explain the role of forgiveness on the path to peace. It has been my life experience that empathy is the path to peace and forgiveness is a necessary step.
Pursuing peace is a practice of acceptance...of one’s self and others. The peace pilgrimage is transformative...but change can be challenging and changing the way one thinks or feels, perhaps the greatest challenge. Along this journey, forgiveness becomes paramount. Internally, we must learn to forgive ourselves... for our inadequacies and shortcomings, our foibles and frailties, our weakness and our wrath...for what is our fascinatingly flawed humanity. One must come to terms with oneself, for better or worse, before it is possible to achieve acceptance and pursue transformation. Acceptance of self makes it possible to accept others and forgiveness is an aspect of acceptance.
Forgiveness is Herculean. It is difficult to endure loss, hurt, disappointment and betrayal, but endure one must on the path to peace. Forgiveness is about accepting another’s humanity and valuing one’s own sense of well-being and peace. It is strength. It is power...the power to not let outside forces impact your serenity; the power to allow another their humanity; the power to experience empathy and the power to promote peace. May we all find forgiveness, seek to promote peace and be Empathy:Bound.