May 7


Today's Quotation:

When I feel betrayed by someone, instead of sulking, clinging to my resentment and playing the role of victim, I am challenged to strengthen my soul through forgiveness.  By forgiving the person who hurt me, I strengthen my soul. . . . each time we are called upon to forgive,
we nourish our souls and learn more about who we are and what we have to share in this world. This is also an example of unconditional love.

John Gray

Today's Meditation:

Forgiveness truly is one of the greatest things in life.  I've found that when I'm willing and able to forgive someone else, the burden of anger and resentment that I've been carrying around is gone immediately, and they no longer affect the way that I feel.  I'm able to see the world in a brighter, more cheerful way, and my life is much more enjoyable.  Forgiving someone else is sometimes important to the person who has caused us pain, but it's much, much more important to me.  If I don't forgive someone, I sometimes cause that other person a bit of pain, but I always cause myself a great deal of misery.

One of the most ironic things about not forgiving someone, on the other hand, is that the other person very often doesn't even know that we've been hurt or that we're bearing a grudge.  We're not affecting the other person at all, but we're causing ourselves to live our lives much less fully than we normally would.  In other words, we're hurting ourselves and accomplishing absolutely nothing with the effort.

John Gray says that forgiveness strengthens our souls, and I believe him.  My soul is strengthened through love and loving, and the more I love others--the more I actually show that love--the stronger I become as a human being.  The more I forgive, the less that outside circumstances are able to affect me, the less hurt I feel because of other people's actions.  Most people hurt us inadvertently, anyway, and most of our pain is caused by our reactions to what other people do.

Take care of yourself, and help yourself to grow and strengthen and live life more fully.  Learning how to forgive fully, sincerely, and lovingly is one of the best things you can do to help yourself grow into the person you were put here to be.

Questions to ponder:

1.  Whom are we affecting when we're unable to forgive someone else?

2.  Can we truly say that we love unconditionally if we're unwilling to forgive someone in our lives, no matter what the transgression?

3.  What are some of the typical behaviors of someone who refuses to forgive someone else?  Are these behaviors ways that you would like to see yourself acting?

For further thought:

The process of forgiveness—indeed, the chief reason for forgiveness—is selfish.  The reason to forgive others is not for their sake.  They are not likely to know that they need to be forgiven.  They’re not likely to remember their offense.  They are likely to say, “You just made it up.”  They may even be dead.  The reason to forgive is for our own sake.  For our own health.  Because beyond that point needed for healing, if we hold on to our anger, we stop growing and our souls begin to shrivel.

M. Scott Peck

more thoughts and ideas on forgiveness



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