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I learned an amazing life-lesson about the liberating power of forgiveness when my first husband left our 24-year marriage. At that time a friend said, “Don’t be bitter, as I was for 30 years.” Her comment made it so clear to me that bitterness and resentment are hellish states of thought. So I decided to focus all my attention on forgiveness. Also, I had been studying Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in the Bible, so I knew my Christian faith demanded complete forgiveness (see Matthew 5—7). But how could I get to that point?
Looking back on that experience, I see that forgiveness began with a desire to act rightly and love more, no matter what. I prayed for myself every day, affirming my ability to love purely and forgive, because God, who is Love itself, has designed us to. I included my ex-husband in my prayers, claiming his right to go forward into all good.
On several occasions, when battling a fierce bout of anger or grief, I called a Christian Science practitioner to pray with me. Those were times of special spiritual growth. It became clear that no one and no action could interrupt the good, love, provision, and opportunities constantly flowing from God to me and everyone. Therefore, what did I need to forgive? I’d never really lost anything. I felt complete as I saw wonderful possibilities all around.
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