Friday, September 6, 2013


Forgiveness means choosing to release resentment, anger, bitterness, hatred, and the desire to punish or avenge past offenses or wrongdoings.  We can choose to forgive even when the offender does not deserve it.
This is not the same as JUSTICE.
The offender is some cases needs to realize the true consequences of his choices.
We free ourselves from the past, realizing that punishing, getting even, and judging do not heal.  We stop insisting that the past be changed before we can again be
happy, and we instead take responsibility for our present happiness. 
 Paradoxically, in releasing the burden, we gain greater control of our lives.
Forgiving ourselves is just as important.  If we can't come to terms with our own past wrongdoings, then our present experience becomes colored by shame. 
 Such a self-concept saps the joy in our life's journey:  there is not pleasure in unremitting guilt, self-loathing, or self-condemnation.  Shame drains the energy we need to respond fully to others' needs.  It is difficult to be sensitive to others' needs when we are focused on, and weakened by, our own unhealed wounds.  We might think that constantly reliving the offense will prevent its recurrence, but in reality such replaying tends to diminish the capacity to live well.

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