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I am feeling heartbroken and an overwhelming sense of disbelief after the horrific violence and senseless murders in Orlando.

It is difficult for me to comprehend.

The outrage on social media doesn’t make me feel any better, and my opinions on gun control and love and support for the gays isn’t going to take away my pain.

While some will try to make sense of these unspeakable acts by blaming others and spewing more hate into the world, I challenge all of us to make a different choice: Forgiveness. Not because it is easy or the person’s behavior is acceptable (far from it!), but because forgiveness has this magical way of transforming pain and suffering into peace.

We get to be in control of our thoughts and feelings, which is empowering, rather than feeling victimized by the actions of another.

I had a moment where I thought, “Our world is so unsafe right now. I am scared.”

I quickly shifted my perspective to a much more loving one, “I trust I am safe and always protected. There are so many loving people in the world.”

See how much better that feels? We can choose to unsubscribe from fearful thoughts, and replace them with loving ones. Our thoughts will then be reflected back to us, and we will collect more and more evidence as to why the world is a safe place to live and how we are surrounded by kind, loving people.

In her phenomenal best-selling book, A Return To Love, Marianne Williamson said,¬†“Forgiveness of mankind, of everyone in every circumstance, is our ticket to Heaven, our only way home.”

In other words, peace begins with you and me. If we want to live in a peaceful, loving, kind, compassionate world, we must first embody those characteristics ourselves and share them with everyone we meet.

We can’t control others, but by being kind, first and foremost to ourselves, we spread kindness into the world instead of more anger, hatred and fear. I see so many people on Facebook outraged by the violence, and they have every right to be, but then they treat themselves and others poorly. When I ask if they are donating money or volunteering their time, they say, “No.”

It is extremely easy to point fingers and blame laws and politicians, and you will be justified in your anger and opinions in many instances, but you will not be happy or at peace.

If we think it’s going to take a long time to heal, it will. If we think people are evil, it will be reflected back to us.

One decision can make you free right now. Forgiveness.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” ~Mark Twain