Gandhi said, “I know the path. It is straight and narrow. It is like the edge of a sword. I rejoice to walk on it. I weep when I slip. God’s word is: ‘He who strives never perishes.”
My personal practice of nonviolence reaches into every nook and cranny of my consciousness and my life. Through my practice I’ve discovered that I am my only adversary and if I think there’s an enemy outside I only have to look within to find its source.
The most challenging part of my practice of nonviolence can be forgiving yourself. True Forgiveness is non-judgment and that is a powerful, life-transforming practice that we can get such benefit from.
I can remember berating myself for having made a choice that I knew had hurt my friend. I was so upset with myself because I judged myself for being selfish. Even with the help of my Spiritual Practitioner it took me more than a year to stop judging and forgive myself. Now, when I look back, I find it interesting that it took me so long to heal that judgment. I realize now that this has been a core issue of mine and that experience really help me get to the deep healing, even though it was intensely painful.
I saw that if my friend had been attacking me about it the way I was attacking myself I would have gotten angry and had it out with him. I never would have tolerated that level of unkindness from my friend.
The great lesson for me has been that when I fall short of my vision for myself I have an immediate opportunity to love myself back on track. Judgment never helps. I cannot be loving and judgmental at the same time.
Through my practice of nonviolence I’ve learned to call forth love in the midst of any form of violence I experience. Calling forth the love not only heals the “mistake” it generates a healing energy that applies to every mistake I’ve ever made. Because of the oneness of all life, the healing benefits everyone everywhere. I’ve discovered that the opportunity to call forth more love is what my life is about. It’s my purpose and my mission. So, now, when I misstep, I immediately rejoice and give thanks for the opportunity to call forth the presence of love and let it lift us all. Traveling this road daily has made all the difference.
Now, I see the extreme beauty and grace in my life and in the continuous experience of falling down and getting up, falling down and getting up. I’m so grateful!