Many years ago the Viceroy of Naples, Duke of Assuna, made a visit to Barcelona in Spain. In the harbor at that time was a galley ship full of convicts at the oars and Duke went aboard the galley and called for each prisoner and asked him what he was dong there, and why he found himself in a galley pulling on the oars as a convict slave and he listened to the tragic stories they told.
The first man said that he was there because a judge had accepted a bribe from his enemies and convicted him falsely. The next man the Duke talked to said that his enemies had paid witnesses to speak falsely against him and that was the reason he was there. The third chap said that he’d been betrayed by his very best friend who’d escaped justice leaving him entrapped, and then finally the Duke got the one man who said, “My Lord, I’m here because I deserve to be. I wanted money and I stole a purse and I deserve what I now suffer.” The Duke was absolutely astonished at this and he turned to the captain of the slave ship and said, “Here are all these men who are innocent, who are here by unjust cause and here is this one wicked man in the midst. Let us release him for fear that he should infect the others.” The man who had confessed his wrong was then set free and pardoned, while those who continued to excuse themselves went back to the oars and back to the galley.
This is a true story and it’s an interesting one because it’s exactly what happens in our lives. We make some error of judgment and then we go through life trying to excuse ourselves for it, rather than accepting that we simply made an error. We blame somebody else, we blame circumstances, instead of saying, “I have dominion over my life. I am the only one that has any power in the processes of my mind and what I have thought has brought me where I am this very minute. I am responsible for my thoughts and by changing my thinking, I can change my life.” The moment anyone of us reaches this moment of truth, we are free from the galley slaving of this life, free to live the life that was ours all the time.
Look back over your own life. Recognize the growing processes. Learn to forgive yourself and to love yourself despite your mistakes. Accept them. Forgive them. Love yourself for them and you’re pardoned from the galley of life and you’re free to live, as you always
knew you should live, in happiness, peace and perfect health. It all starts with taking responsibility for your past, present and future.