What he spent four decades trudging on the road, speaking all over the place, writing books, what mattered most was that you found ways to change your life, was that you found hope and possibilities, was that you knew that change was possible, that you had within you a depth of courage, knowledge and transformation. Because of that, because of his commitment we are honoring him by sharing this important interview once again. I know I feel his influence every day, I hope you enjoy listening to this enlightening conversation as much as I did. Enjoy!
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” It’s being able to send love. It’s being able to have love in your heart.
I must say, Nick, that forgiveness is probably the single––if you had to put one word on why my life shifted when I was back in my thirties to a new direction, it was because of my forgiveness.
My father, a man I never met, but he walked out on our family. My mother had three boys under the age of four. It was the Depression. I was born in 1940. My brothers were born in 1936, December, and then in 1938 in October and myself in May of 1940. So three-and-a-half years she had three children, and this man just left. He spent some time in prison. He was an alcoholic. He was abusive. He was a womanizer.
When my mother brought me home from the hospital in 1940, my father had moved in with another woman in Ann Arbor––we lived in Detroit, about 40 miles away––and left my oldest brother, who was just four, in charge of my other brother, David, who was 16 months. My mother came home to that. I heard those stories my whole life. I grew up with deep anger and resentment and hatred
towards someone who could treat a woman that way.
You have the same day twice and then you miss a day. On the way down there you miss a day. It’s Tuesday and then it’s Thursday. I thought, oh my god, I’ve missed a day. So I got up out of my seat. First of all, I ran up and down the aisle until the flight attendant said, you can’t do this. This was on Qantas Airlines.
I went into the bathroom and I ran in place for a full hour. It was about eight miles, because I knew what my pace was. I came out of the bathroom on an airplane, sweat pouring down my face and everybody in line looking like, what were you doing in that bathroom? I did my eight miles. That’s how neurotic I was at the time. Watch some what about it here.