Accept, Forgive, Let Go, Live
by: Scott F Paradis
“Oh Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember the suffering they inflicted on us, remember the fruits we have bought. Thanks to this suffering — our comradeship, our loyalty, our humanity, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all of this — when they come to judgment let all the fruits we have borne be their forgiveness.”
This note, this final prayer, found by the body of a dead child upon the liberation of the death camp – Ravens Brook – at the end of World War II, expresses poignantly a sentiment of ultimate forgiveness. A sentiment we each must come to know to live a full and fulfilling life.
Recalling the horror the innocent faced in the Nazi death camps, we might ask: Why didn’t the prisoners resist? Why didn’t they fight? Every life faces the same questions.
The chronicle of every lifetime, whether a breeze or a struggle concludes the same way – every story ends with release. Life need not be a fight, need not be a struggle. Death forces us to let go.
A misfortune of life is clinging so tightly to the known we miss the opportunity to soar, to experience untold joy, to fulfill our potential. We fear and in that fear we die, while life calls us to joy. In the end, we are released from the bondage of this life – the exit finds us. That end follows easily when first comes forgiveness; for from forgiveness flows release. This miracle happens at the end of life or anytime we choose to pardon perceived transgressions.
The author of that note asking forgiveness for those who inflicted suffering, recognized his own face, his own humanity, in the face of his captors. He let the transgressions go and in so doing freed himself.
Wisdom leads us down a humble path; courage allows us to overcome the energy, the emotion, of fear. The process of attaining fulfillment is: accept, forgive, let go, live. The steps are the same for all. If you refuse to pardon, in the end, by resisting, you will be forced to cram the process of liberation into your last shallow breadth as you close this chapter of existence and depart this life.
In the end you have no choice,. Today, however, now, you do have a choice. By letting transgressions go, by forgiving, you free yourself. Break the ties of hate and discontent that you believe originate out there. The truth is, you bind your own hands, limit your own opportunity, and repress your own true spirit. Forgiveness is letting go. Forgiving is the way out – the way of release.
Overcome ego’s resistance to the circumstances of life — the tendency to judge, the desire to control, and the need to cling to the known. Move beyond self-imposed limitations and act in ways that usher in peace of mind, harmony of intent and joy of spirit. To find true joy now – accept, forgive, let go, live.