"Some kimonos (Japanese robes) have a design and purpose that is very different from western clothes. Certain robes are very plain on the outside, and even have imperfections purposely sewn into them. On the inside they are intricately beautiful and meticulously crafted. I imagine the purpose of the robe is to remind the wearer that their beauty lies within. Those who see the robe being worn, with only the imperfect outside visible, are reminded to think of the magnificence beneath the exterior — of the robe, the person, and themselves.

"If all you see is imperfection — I'm too fat, they're unfair, you're not attractive enough — it is the same as focusing only on the outside of the kimono. There is always the option to shift your focus and see the loveliness of what is in the heart.

"Looking to what is on the inside of the kimono, beyond the imperfection, is precisely what forgiveness is. When you are able to look beyond the mistakes and imperfections of people and recognize their magnificence, you have practiced forgiveness.

"In reference to forgiveness, I often hear the comment, 'My (parent, spouse, etc.) has never really expressed their love for me. We barely talk anymore. Do you think that there is a chance that if I offer them blessings and forgiveness they will change?' This question points to the belief that, for forgiveness to be worthwhile, the other person needs to change in some way. Instead, look within yourself. Forgiveness is your most powerful tool for healing because with forgiveness you always receive blessings — even if the person's behavior does not change. This is because:

When you behold another with the eyes of love, you see your own magnificence too."