“I have asked you, “who
will cast the first stone?” When you are about to point the finger of
accusation against one of your brothers or sisters who has acted in an
abusive way toward you or another who is dear to you, ask “how can I
judge?” How can I know the painful and unloved place from which this act
has arisen? How can I know except through the depths of my own pain and
separation?” And if you will dwell there, instead of from some false
place of moral superiority, you will feel compassion for the ones in
pain, for both the abused and the abuser.
Whatever abuse you
have experienced in your life must ultimately be forgiven. When it is
forgiven, you no longer hold onto the violation. You release the shame.
First you forgive yourself. Then you forgive your abuser. Do not try to
do it the other way around. You cannot extend forgiveness to another
until you have claimed it for yourself.”
Paul Ferrini, in “The Silence of the Heart”
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