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Let me begin as all good letters should begin (when you can well and truly mean it). We love you. Not with a shallow passing love, but with a love that reverberates in our very bones. Nothing we have done in the past should ever cause you to doubt that. And we admit that we should have written this letter a long time ago. We shouldn’t have waited for one specific day to tell you how sorry we are. We shouldn’t have waited for a specific day to admit that:
We have not been patient.
We have lost our tempers.
We have lied.
We have hidden from you.
We have allowed you to hurt yourself.
We have hurt ourselves in front of you.
We have run away.
We have not been honest.
We have not worked as hard as we should have.
We have not been who you wished us to be.
We have been too patient.
We have not been honest about who we are.
We have said unkind things.
We have been careless with your non-human children.
We have been preoccupied with our own pain and ignored yours.
We have not listened as well as we should.
We have heard what we wanted to hear.
We have been arrogant.
We have been blind to what others need.
We have been self-absorbed.
We have hurt people on purpose.
We have damaged the earth.
We have lashed out in anger.
We have betrayed friends and family members.
We have stolen.
We have rebelled against those who love us.
We have persecuted those who need support.
We have led others astray.
We have judged.
We have not praised you enough for how good you can be.
We have yelled when we should have remained silent.
We have held on to guilt beyond its time.
For all of these things, we come to you and repent. We ask your forgiveness, and promise to forgive you as well. Let’s start a new year with more honesty, more compassion, more listening. Let us speak out of love this year, not only out of anger. Let us hold each other accountable on all days, not just one. Out of this accountability and love can grow a more justice-filled world, once where compassion reigns and kindness is of higher value than money. Today, when we are inscribed into the Book of Life, let us together decide to make that Book brighter, stronger, and more centered on love than we have in the past year.