I recall the beginning of my journey to freedom, even while eating out of dumpsters or soup lines during those beach-bumming days homeless in California. Looking back, I realize that all I ever wanted was freedom from the chaos, freedom from the violence, anger, and abuse. But this freedom was never a reality, so long as I refused to release my abusers. By refusing to forgive, I was carrying my inner chaos wherever I went. I was never without it, which is why I often avoided peaceful situations.
The wound of unforgiveness affects and infects all of our relationships.
When there were was a lack of chaos, it allowed the pain, anger, and shame to echo through my heart and mind. My embrace of chaos was no different than my brother Mike refusing to take his schizophrenia medication. Without the tools to offer forgiveness, the only viable option was to avoid the pain as much as possible, or at least drown it in waves of commotion and disorder. There are many ways to drown the pain of unforgiveness.
I had to learn that freedom wasn’t found waiting for an apology or payback from my dad. Ultimate freedom was found in the act of freeing others by forgiving them regardless of what they did or didn’t do—and with 70x7, I would not be the sole recipient.
At 70x7, we have the opportunity to help others get on their path to forgiveness, through events, speaking to groups, books, curriculum and visual media, so others in pain can discover their freedom and peace.