Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, detachment, Forgiveness

The Journey from Vengeance to Compassion

I hear the whisperings of many:
“Terror on every side!
Denounce! let us denounce him!”
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
“Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
and take our vengeance on him.”
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
O LORD of hosts, you who test the just,
who probe mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause.
Sing to the LORD,
praise the LORD,
For he has rescued the life of the poor
from the power of the wicked!

Jeremiah 20: 10-13


I must humbly admit I sympathize with Jeremiah in his rant against his enemies and his desire to see vengeance meted upon them. In the many years I have had to deal with those who “hate me” I have gone from praying for their suffering and basking in satisfaction as I watch karma enacting its justice upon them to where I am today – still finding some satisfaction in karma (I’m still human!) but mostly having compassion for the suffering they continue to choose while I (mostly) live in peace. Not a peace born out of satisfaction for karmic retribution, but my own peace in knowing the Love that I am in God and doing my best to live from that Love.

The peace that I now know is the fruit of 25 years of diligent attention to my spiritual practice. This is a practice that goes beyond sitting in silence and includes unwavering accountability to everything within me that might otherwise infringe upon my ability to know Love. This unwavering accountability has nothing to do with freeing myself from “sin” out of a fear of Divine retribution. Instead, it is an acknowledgment that I have wounds from my past, social conditioning and fears that have kept me from knowing God’s love – not because God’s love is being withheld, but because these wounds, etc. prevented me from feeling and knowing the Love that has been here all along.

In knowing this Love, I feel whole and complete within myself. When I waver from this feeling of wholeness, I tend to the wound that is still asking for healing. Now, this is where I’m going to lean a bit in Jeremiah’s direction in describing in contrast the inner life of my “enemies.” For the record, I no longer consider these people my enemies, but I know that to them, I am the enemy. I am the enemy because I dare to question, challenge, and confront the doctrine they cling to – a doctrine they cling to mostly out of fear of God’s punishment.

These are those I have come to refer to as “the self-appointed inquisition” who for years harassed me, tried to sabotage my work, spread rumors against me, called the contemplative practices I teach “the work of the devil,” called my healing work “sorcery and witchcraft” and wrote letters of complaint to the local bishop so much that I understand the file on me is enormous and that I have been officially blackballed in the local diocese. To them, my work is “dangerous.” And, I guess it is. I invite people to use the brain God gave them to reason, discern and exercise their truth and to challenge anything cloaked in fear.

In the past, I was heartbroken by the action of these people – many of whom I thought were my friends. I was traumatized when a group of them came to one of my classes and turned it into an inquisition. I was further traumatized by the local chancellor who harassed me about a class I was teaching on the Aramaic Lord’s prayer. I was profoundly insulted and disappointed when the same chancellor promised to let me speak on behalf of Reiki – arrived 45 minutes late to our meeting and then issued the Reiki prohibition (which he always intended to issue) the very next day. I found myself writhing in anger, hatred and confusion of how these so-called Christians were treating me. I felt like a victim to their constant harassment.

Then the harassment stopped. Not because the self-appointed inquisition ceased their relentless inquiry and reporting on everything Lauri Lumby – but because I no longer care. Not caring is not a defense mechanism born out of fatigue. Instead, “not caring” is the detachment born out of Love. The more I have come to know the Love that I am, the less I am triggered by other people’s fear. The more I know God’s Love, the less I care about what other people think of me or my work. And in this I have peace – a peace my “enemies” will likely never know.

This is where my dreams of vengeance turn to compassion. Today when I see or hear from my “enemies” I no longer see their cruelty, I see their fear. I see a fear born out of shame – shame for who God made them (it’s not ok to be gay in the Catholic Church), shame for past actions for which they have never forgiven themselves, shame out of secrets that might destroy ones place in society, shame out of something so deeply suppressed that the only thing that can come through is prideful self-righteous. As it relates to the officials of the Church who have made me their enemy, I see fear, shame and in some an arrogant quest for power – using fear, deceit and manipulation to acquire that so-called power. For all of these I now bear compassion knowing that they will never know the peace I know in coming to know the Love that I am as God’s beloved daughter – the same love available to all of us if only we have the courage to heal the fears that keep us from knowing this Love.

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Posted in codependency, detachment

The Prophet’s Curse – Why Caring is Dangerous

As a prophet, we see too much, hear too much, feel too much and know too much.  We see the truth behind the veil and the face you hide behind your mask.  We see the truth beyond the illusion.  We recognize and see the sign of the times.  In our ability to see we are able to “predict” where things are going and the likely outcome if things continue on their current trajectory.  We are able to hear the truth beyond the words and it is difficult for us to be deceived.  You might not know your own truth, but for those with the gift of prophecy, we hear it. Even if you are in denial of your own truth, we know it.  In addition to all this seeing, hearing and knowing, we FEEL you!  We feel what you are feeling – your anxiety, your fears, your worry and concern, all the shame, past traumas and wounds that keep you imprisoned in the current patterns of your life.

The purpose for the prophet in possessing all of these gifts is so that we might be a source of support for those who desire the gift of healing that comes with our gift. For those who are interested in being free of past traumas, shame, woundedness and the unacknowledged fears that keep them small; and for those who are willing to do the difficult work of healing their soul, the prophet’s gifts are wholeheartedly welcome and received and the prophet’s purpose is fulfilled in the exchange.  As prophets, when this happens we are able to live fully from the love that ultimately drives our gifts and our desire to be of service to the world.  More than anything else, the prophet is one who deeply cares about the wellbeing of the world and the people in it.  Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to receive our gifts.  This is where caring becomes dangerous…..


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Posted in Being Human, detachment, God, Inspiration, Surrender

God Doesn’t Care Part II

In saying the God doesn’t care and asking the question, “then why do we?” (Read part I HERE), I am speaking about a specific kind of caring. I’m not referring to the caring and loving acts we demonstrate or show towards others.  I am also not talking about the proper concern we have for our fellow human beings, all of creation, and the world we live in.  All that we do to demonstrate caring, love, compassion, and concern are natural and healthy drives within us as human beings supporting our connection and fostering peace and harmony between us.  These are all healthy expressions of caring and supportive in building a happy and healthy world.  This is the highest expression of ourselves coming forth, arising out of love and grounded in compassion.

The caring that I am referring to about which God does not, is that which arises out of judgment and/or fear and is recognized by powerful emotional reactions. This is the kind of “caring” that we often see in ourselves and in others.  “Caring” that comes through as highly charged emotional reactions to the experiences, circumstances, events and people around us.  “Caring” that causes us to get our “undies in a bundle,” as we pick up our sword and ready for battle.  This is the “caring” that compels us to take up a cause and fight for that cause.  This is the “caring” where we judge something or someone’s actions as bad, disordered, etc. and the “caring” that causes us to build a wall of separation between “us” and “them.”  These are human actions and human responses and a guaranteed path to anxiety and conflict.  When we assign these kinds of attitudes and behaviors to God, we are creating God in our own image, not the other way around.

Unlike human beings, God is neutral. God does not judge.  As the psalmist says, “In you, darkness and light are but one (Psalm 139).”  God is simply being, observing, witnessing, allowing.  When we remember that we are created in the image and likeness of God we also remember that we are called to be like God.  When we accept the invitation to be like God, we then allow ourselves, like God, to simply be, allow, observe, witness.  When we do so free of judgment, this is the way to peace.

Being present to our world from a place of non-judgment and non-reaction allows us to be with the ever-changing circumstances of our lives and of the world around us. Non-judgment allows us to simply observe without the need to react.  We can observe, sit in this observance and discern within ourselves, from a place of non-reaction, as to how we may or may not be called to respond.  In this, we are able to refrain from reacting and find the place of authentic, loving, peaceful response.  I could give you a million examples of (many of them recent) as to how judgment and reaction disrupt our peace, but I will leave you with this:

We know within ourselves if we are reacting from a place of judgment or responding from a place of peaceful awareness. In the former, we feel charged by powerful emotions of fear, anger, wrath, frustration, impatience, etc.  In the latter, we only know peace.

Choose peace.


Posted in detachment, Surrender

God Doesn’t Care – So Why Do We?

A quick heads up: This blog may trigger you in the area of your attachments.  Please be patient and read through to the end….I promise there’s a happy ending! 

Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing

there is a field…

I’ll meet you there.

– Rumi

Detachment is perhaps one of the greatest skills we can develop in our journey toward wholeness and peace. As Jesus is quoted as saying in Paul Ferrini’s book, I am the Door, “judgment is the original sin.” It is our judgment of things that is the cause of our suffering.  Jesus says the same about judgment in scripture, “Judge not lest ye be judged.”  When we judge experiences, situations, things, ourselves or other people as good or bad, we create separation which then causes suffering.  Instead, we are invited to gaze upon our human experiences from the position of objective observer, trading our judgment for curiosity and wonder, and our tendency to separate for union. When we judge we separate.  When we cease from judging we join.

Jesus taught us that Oneness is our Source and our origin. After coming to understand and then embody this Oneness within himself, Jesus then set out to teach this to others.  Oneness within himself.  Oneness with others.  Oneness with all of creation.  Oneness with that which he called God.  Oneness, as Jesus explained, can only be known when we pierce through the veil of perceived separation – setting down our tendency to judge, setting down our tendency to separate, even setting down our desire to care.

Caring can only arise out of judgment, which then leads us down the path of suffering. Caring arises when we judge something as good or bad (usually bad).  Caring then causes us to take up our sword in response to that which we have decided we have to fix, heal, change, or defend ourselves against.  (I am especially guilty of this in my former attempts to reform or change the Catholic Church or in my many attempts at keeping myself safe from a broken heart).  Profound freedom arises when we are able to cease from caring and simply let things be.

This is what God does. God does not care.  In “His/Her” great love, God gave us the radically liberating gift of free will.  In this, we are free to be and act and think and believe anything we want – and God doesn’t care.  God doesn’t judge our thoughts, our actions, or our beliefs as good or bad.  God simply watches in curious wonder – joining (loving) us through whatever choices we make.  By natural law, we experience the consequences of our choices, but these consequences do not come from God.  Instead, in the mind and heart of God, we are loved without condition.  No matter what we do or how we act, we are loved.  God might find it interesting that we would choose fear over love, judgment over acceptance, suffering over peace, but God doesn’t care.  God does not seek to change or alter who we are or what we choose.  Instead, God allows us the freedom to learn it for ourselves.  The same is true of the actions of our world.  God doesn’t care.  God stands back in curious wonder over the choices human beings make and the consequences we create for ourselves out of these choices.  But still, God doesn’t care.  God does not seek to change or alter our choices; allowing us the radical freedom of learning (or not learning) for ourselves.

Jesus told a story which reveals God’s unconditional love and the powerful gift of free will that arose out of this love. This story has come to be known as the Story of the Prodigal Son. In this story, a father (playing the role of God) has two sons.  The youngest son asks for his share of his inheritance early so that he can leave the perceived safety and security of his father’s home to go out into the world and find his own way.  Loving the son freely and without condition, the father agrees, knowing that the son’s choices may lead him down an uncomfortable path, but allowing him the freedom to risk failure so that he might learn and grow (or not).  The son chooses all sorts of experiences that might be thought of as opposite what his father might wish for him and he suffers the consequences of his choices.  He eventually learns that it is in separating from his father (God) that his choices caused him suffering, so he (humbled and exhausted) chooses to go home, hoping his father might forgive him and allow him back into union with him.  Not only does the father welcome him back, not once does he inflict judgment, reproach, criticism or condemnation on his son.  He accepts him with nothing but love.  When the son asks for forgiveness, it is the son who needs to forgive himself from choosing separation over union.  In the father’s eyes, there is nothing to forgive.  Even if the son had continued to choose separation, it seems the father would still love him, waiting for the day that life would beat him down enough that he might, just might, risk the peace of union over the suffering of separation.

Jesus told this story to explain to his disciples what God is like. God does not care.  If God doesn’t care, than why do we?  (Stay tuned next week for an invitation to caring that is free from judgment, perceived separation and suffering.)




Posted in addictions, Authentic Freedom, Boundaries, codependency, detachment, Empowerment, Healing

Heal Yourselves! Lessons on Detachment

It is said, “The good Lord helps those who help themselves.”

The key here is “help themselves.” The Lord (or whatever name you give to the transcendent aspect of the Divine that is said to be a source of guidance and support) cannot help those who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives, their own patterns of dysfunctional behavior, their own woundedness and their own fears.

The same can be said for us. When we reach out as a source of loving support for others, we can only help those who are willing to help themselves.  We cannot help those who are unable or unwilling to identify their own patterns of dysfunctional or compulsive behaviors (including behaviors of gluttony, addiction, victimhood, martyrdom, rage, power and control, envy or jealousy, sloth or pride); and we cannot help those who are unwilling to do the work of identifying the unhealed woundedness or fears that are in fact the cause of their dysfunctional behaviors and the unfortunate life situations their behaviors get them into.

What we can do is provide a listening ear and a compassionate heart. We can be a presence of unconditional abiding love.  We can educate, inform and direct them toward resources that might help them (including ourselves if we have the proper resources).  The rest is up to them.

As it is also said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.”

Whether or not those we hope to help refuse to drink from the well of support we lead them to is completely out of our control. Even if we could make them “drink” that doesn’t mean they will actually do the hard and often painful work of taking responsibility for what ails them.  This is where the subtle and necessary practice of detachment comes in. When we have offered all we are able in the form of guidance and support and when those we hope to help refuse to help themselves, there is nothing left for us to do but walk away.  For the sake of our own wellbeing, we cannot allow ourselves to take another person’s decisions personally; neither can we lose a minute of sleep over it.  As one teacher says, “their decisions are none of my business.”  Detachment is the ability to be a loving source of support while also having no attachment to what the other person decides to do with our offer of support. If they receive the support and take appropriate action, then they are well on their way to healing.  If they refuse the support and continue in their dysfunction, it is now on them.

As the Lord helps those who help themselves, it is also true for us. We can only help those who are willing to help themselves.

The Authentic Freedom Mastery Course empowers us with the ability to identify our gifts, along with our compulsive and dysfunctional patters of behavior and then provides tools for helping us to heal these patterns ourselves.  Learn more by clicking the image below:


Posted in Being Human, detachment, Spiritual Practices, Surrender

“I Don’t Care” as a Spiritual Practice

Today’s blog explores the invitation to non-attachment and one practice for getting there.

Human = Attachments

Because we are here to be human, we form attachments.  Attachments are a function of the false perception of separation that is inherent in the human condition – separation from Self, from God and from One another.  Attachments are the hooks we place into the things that we strive after – our hopes, desires, dreams, longings, goals, wants, etc.   When we identify a desire, place our hook of want and attention into that desire, then pursue that desire, we have formed an attachment.  While this is a normal part of the human process of doing, attachments can cause us great suffering because sometimes, the things we have formed attachments around will never come to pass and most will not happen in the form or the time in which we had envisioned them.  While suffering is an inherent part of the human experience, we can lighten the load through the practice of non-attachment.  I recently discovered a spiritual practice that can help us to release some of the bothersome attachments we have created in our lives.  I call it the practice of “I don’t care.”

Explaining “I Don’t Care”

Before I explain this practice, I want to mention that the intention of this practice is NOT to make us feel badly.  Neither is it intended to drive us into the pits of despair or the darkness of depression.  The intention of this practice is to help us identify the things around which we have formed an attachment and to provide a tool through which we can begin to release the hooks we have plunged into our desires.  When we can identify the attachments and begin to do the work of freeing them, we open ourselves to other possibilities, other opportunities and an outcome that is perfectly timed and in perfect harmony with who God knows us to be.  Releasing attachments helps us to surrender to God’s plan instead of the plan of the ego that is driven by our desires, longings, wants and our desire to control.

How it Works

1) To begin the process, write down all the things that you have been striving after.  This will differ for each of us, but might look like:

  • notoriety or fame
  • a particular salary
  • certain professional roles/jobs/tasks
  • a new house
  • having a baby
  • finding a loving partnership
  • the ability or desire to travel
  • professional or personal goals, desires, hopes, longings

2) Now, go through each of these desires, goals, etc. and apply the “I don’t care” practice.  It might look like this:

  • I don’t care if I never have a baby of my own
  • I don’t care if I never find fulfillment in my job
  • I don’t care if I never find loving partnership
  • I don’t care if no one ever knows or cares about who I am
  • I don’t care if I don’t get that job
  • I don’t care if I never become famous
  • I don’t care if I never make another penny
  • I don’t care if I never have the house I want
  • I don’t care if I never get to travel the world

3) Recite the “I don’t care” mantra over and over and over around each of the items that you have identified.  As you recite “I don’t care” around that attachment, imagine the attachment being released and that you are letting go of your attachment to this this goal, desire, etc.

4) If you find yourself feeling angry, tearful or afraid around the release of a specific attachment, CONGRATULATIONS, you have just identified the one that has the greatest level of attachment around it and the one most in need of release.  Be angry.  Cry.  Quake. AND keep reciting “I don’t care” until you have raged, cried, shaken yourself out.  THEN BREATHE.

5) NOW……and this is very important!  Do something very kind to and for yourself.  Take a restorative bath.  Listen to some soothing music.  Pour yourself a soothing cup of tea.  You have just accomplished a very difficult spiritual practice and it is important to soothe the part of you that might now feel a little (or a lot) vulnerable.  And….know that you have freed yourself from the limitations of your hidden fears so that you can step more fully into the freedom that God intended and the possibilities and opportunities that you haven’t even begun to dream about. Also know that the “highest good” that God intends for you will happen gracefully and effortlessly without your need to pursue or control it.

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in detachment, Inspiration

Learning Detachment

What happens when we try to share our gifts in the world and find that some are unable or unwilling to accept our gifts.  As Jesus said, “shake the dust off your feet and walk away.”  Learning detachment is a critical tool in the journey toward self-fulfillment and peace.

Sharing my Gifts

As I became aware, a few weeks ago, of my life’s purpose – which is to help others remember the love that they are, I began to reflect on how I have used this call throughout my ministry and my life.  With this newfound awareness, I was astonished at how this “call” or “purpose” seemed to be making itself known all the way back to my earliest memories.  I remember seeing the best in people and wanting to help them know this about themselves as well.  Sadly, not all people are able or willing to see this good in themselves and will do everything they can to resist embracing this goodness.  In the past, I used to take this as a form of rejection of myself and my gifts.  Now, I know better.


Each and every one of us has a unique purpose and reason for being here and specific gifts we are called to share in the world toward this purpose.  It is through our purpose and through our gifts that the world can become a happier, healthier, more harmonious, loving and peaceful place.  Unfortunately, as you have probably already realized, not everyone is able to receive our gifts.  This is not because our gifts are not of value or because we are not of value.  It is simply a reflection of the other person’s unhealed wounds and the primary wound that remains unhealed is the wound that says they are not worthy or deserving of a vibrant, joyful, peaceful, fulfilling and love-filled life.  I remember very specific examples of this being played out in my own life as I have made my gifts available to others.  The invitation, when we try to share our gifts and the other is unable to receive them, is to practice the art of detachment.  Detachment is the art of being able to freely, generously and openly share our gifts without any attachment to the outcome.  Detachment allows us to share our gifts and not take it personally when another is unable to receive our gifts.

Detachment and Compassion

To some, the idea of detachment might seem cold or cruel….how do we just shake the dust off our feet and walk away from the people we care about who continue to choose fear, suffering, constriction and imprisonment in their lives?  Detachment, does not mean that we do not feel for the people in our lives.  Of course we can still feel compassion, even sadness, over their inability to remember the love that they are, to embrace freedom and joy in their life, to experience peaceful contentment, to be receptive to loving intimacy, to know fulfillment.  I know how truly sad I have felt when I see people I love continue to choose fear, constriction and an unfulfilling life.  I know how my heart breaks when I watch people I know continue the same destructive patterns.  Yes, we feel sorrow, empathy and compassion.  Detachment, is the skill that allows us to surrender to the process – to know that in sharing our gifts and holding another in love, we have planted a seed….and that in their own way, in their own time, if they so choose, that seed may take root and grow.  And that if it does not, that is ok too….we are all on our own unique and individual life journeys and we are still love regardless of whether or not we know it and regardless of how we choose to live that out in our lives.

Where have you shared your gifts and seen them joyfully received?

Where have you shared your gifts and had them not received?

How have you cultivated detachment in your own life?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in detachment, Surrender

It is None of my Business vs. Personal Responsibility

Today’s blog is in response to questions raised about embracing the philosophy of “It is none of my business” and how this may or may not be related to personal responsibility, especially when it relates to advocacy, being a source of support for another or in situations where we might seek a personal vendetta.  In the journey of spiritual growth and enlightenment, these are the hard questions we must all face.


Right off the bat, I want to make it very clear that I do not have all the answers…..and most of the time I’m not even sure I have ANY of the answers.  That being said, the question has been raised (by my readers) about how “none of my business” relates to the call to advocacy and personal responsibility.  HHHMMMM……Let’s explore.

None of my business

I have shared with my readers the philosophy of “It is none of your business” that keeps showing up in my personal journey….both in regards to my own compulsive need to plan, anticipate and know the path and outcome of my life and in regards to my tendency to carry the shadow of others (seeing others’ “faults” and thinking it is my job to fix it).  Employing the mantra, “It is none of my business” allows me to let go of my tendency to worry and fret and it frees me from the inner judge and inner control freak that thinks it is my job to decide what is best for others and it is my job to make them comply with what I think is in their highest good.  More importantly, embracing the attitude, “It is none of my business” opens up opportunities of time and energy to tend to myself, my own needs and my own gifts and talents, time that I used to spend worrying about outcomes and trying to control others’ journeys.

Life is not so Black and White

Here is where the question comes in, specifically the question that keeps coming up for my readers.  “What if we know that someone is in a harmful, abusive, unhealthy situation?  Is it still none of our business.”   Embracing the mantra, “It is none of my business” does not preclude personal responsibility or a personal call to activism.  If we know that someone is in a dangerous situation, compassion invites us to bring this to light.  It may be as simple as letting them know that the situation is dangerous and that there are other choices.  Sometimes we are called upon to be a source of support and help for others who seek to find another way.  Sometimes intervention is called for.  Sometimes reporting the abuse/danger to the proper authorities is necessary.  These are all ways that we fulfill our call to personal responsibility and advocacy in the human journey.  HOWEVER…..not everyone wants our support, not everyone wants to be healthy or to live a life-giving, joyful experience.  AND…we cannot make anyone do or receive anything they do not want for themselves.

The Balance

I believe that in the end, it is about inner balance.  What are we worrying or obsessing about?  What is causing us inner tension, anxiety, fretfulness?  “It is none of my business” allows us to let go of this inner yuk.  When it comes to our own journey, and the journey of others, all we can do is “plant the seeds,” then let go of our attachment to the outcome.  Because in the end, we have NO CONTROL over the outcome.  Neither do we have control over the choices of another.  And yes, this part sucks as we watch those we love continue to make unhealthy choices (in our mind), and suffer unnecessary pain (according to our definition). And this is again where “it is none of my business” comes in handy.  It allows us to let go of the inner tendency to worry about the choices of another when in truth we have no control over it.

One Final Thought

Then here was a very specific question regarding the responsibility to “report” a business professional for their lack of integrity.  HHHMMMM  A challenge to be sure.  If a law has been broken or we have experienced a business professional doing something that has been defined as unethical by their field, yes, we have a responsibility and a right to report it.  If someone has done us wrong, we have the right to no longer choose to do business with them.  We have the freedom to not recommend them to another person.  The temptation in situations like this, however, is to want to take personal action against the individual as a means of exercising a personal vendetta, to get revenge.  This is where we are invited to trust in the law of KARMA!  We are not going to make an unethical business person change their ways.  We are not going to re-sculpt the moral landscape of an otherwise dishonest person.  All we have in this situation is, “It is none of my business,” and the invitation to trust in karma….the universe will work it out in the end and it only takes time and energy away from our own gifts and call to dwell on the way the person has done us wrong and on thoughts of all the ways in which we hope to “set it right.”  SIGH!

Where do you spend time in unnecessary worry about another’s life?

How do you balance the call to advocacy and the invitation to detachment?

Where do you project your own ideals, morals, values on another?

Where are you tempted to seek revenge against another who has personally harmed you?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries