Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

The Power of Examples

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Finally, you have the opportunity to use your healed memories to offer compassion and support to those in need. When you forgive you become a model for those still struggling. They benefit from seeing people who have healed. You can serve as an example of what is possible. You show people through your example that forgiveness is possible.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 74

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 30, 2018

Freeing Ourselves

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Ultimately, we forgive others in order to free ourselves. What happens in our hearts is our field of freedom. As long as we carry old wounds and anger in our hearts, we continue to suffer. Forgiveness allows us to move on.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 199

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 31, 2018

Shine Like a Star

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

A star is a person who shines so brightly, who gives their gifts so fully, who loves so completely that everyone is drawn by the light of this star to find the way home. For us to truly know ourselves is to know that we are a star. For us to be truly ourselves is to recognize the genius in us, and to know what a gift we are to everyone around us. Stars may do very quiet things, but they shine an intense love light that burns through the darkness.

Today, recognize yourselves as a star, and allow anything that stops you from shining to fall away. Choose to forgive, or let go of any grievance or judgment that allows you control over yourselves, others, or the situation. Choose not to use anyone or anything to hold yourselves back. Choose to utterly and completely love. Nothing else will satisfy you. Nothing else is worthy of you.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 333

Photo: Lake Geneva and Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland, November 12, 2000

Cause for Celebration

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

Also, you remember what happened so that you can pat yourself on the back for forgiving. You deserve praise for forgiveness, for letting something go and moving on. You have succeeded on a difficult journey, and that is cause for celebration. You remember your hurts from the point of view of healing, not from that of helpless victimization. You do not need to dwell on what happened or get a swelled head because you have forgiven. You do want to acknowledge the courage and perseverance that led to overcoming the wounds of the past.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 74

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 29, 2016

The Forgiveness Process

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

But, of course, forgiveness is a process, an admittedly difficult one that often can feel like a rigorous spiritual practice. We cannot instantaneously force ourselves to forgive – and forgiveness happens at a different pace for everyone and is dependent on the particulars of any given situation. What we can do is create space for ourselves to forgive – and, perhaps ironically, part of that involves allowing ourselves to wrestle with our feelings of anger and pain to begin with. Once we are honest about our feelings, we can invite ourselves to consider alternative modes of viewing our pain and can see that releasing our grip on anger and resentment can actually be an act of self-compassion.

Telling the story, acknowledging what has happened and how you feel, is often a necessary part of forgiveness. Without that, we live in an artificial reality that is frozen in time, and sometimes woven from fabrication.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 196

Photo: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, October 14, 2018

Not a Doormat

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

Anger and hurt are appropriate responses to painful events. We must know how to say no when our boundary is crossed. We do not have to be a doormat in order to forgive; neither does forgiving mean that it is okay for people to treat us unkindly. Forgiveness is the decision to free ourselves from the personal offense and blame that have us stuck in a cycle of suffering. While anger and hurt are appropriate, they, unlike wine, do not improve with age.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 74

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, November 2, 2016

Breaking Resentments

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

When we forgive someone, we don’t pretend that the harm didn’t happen or cause us pain. We see it clearly for what it was, but we also come to see that fixating on the memory of harm generates anger and sadness. Those feelings then prevent us from savoring the love and joy available to us right now. Forgiveness is the way we break the grip that long-held resentments have on our hearts.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 193

Photo: Prague, July 16, 2004

Give Space to the Good

Monday, September 10th, 2018

The third benefit from forgiveness emerges as we give more love and care to the important people in our lives. I know from my own experience and those of many others that hurts from the past often cause us to draw away and mistrust the very people who are trying to love us. Too often the people who suffer from our grievances are not the people who hurt us but those who care for us today.

If we rent too much space to what went wrong, where is the space to appreciate the good in our lives? If we focus our attention on past defeats, how can we give our full loving attention to our significant other, friends, or co-workers? If we remain bitter over past parenting cruelties, who suffers — our parents or our current friends and loved ones?

— Fred Luskin, Forgvie for Good, p. 73

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 26, 2014

Anger of Limited Duration

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

Let us pause here for a moment to dwell on the significance of this fact of the limited duration of the divine anger, so clearly taught in the Old Testament. Take a few instances, “I am merciful, says the Lord, I will not keep anger for ever” (Jer 3:12). “His anger endures but a moment” (Ps 30:5), “while his mercy endures for ever” (Ps 136) — a statement repeated no less than twenty-six times in this one psalm. “He will not always chide, neither keeps he his anger for ever” (Ps 103:9). “He retains not his anger for ever, because he delights in mercy” (Mic 7:18).

But if this be true, what becomes of the popular creed? If God’s anger is temporary, how can it be endless? If it endure but a moment, how can it last for ever in even a solitary instance? I would invite our opponents fairly to face these plain and reiterated assertions: and to explain why they feel justified in teaching that God’s anger will in many cases last for ever, and that his mercy will not endure for ever.

— Thomas Allin, Christ Triumphant, p. 238

Photo: Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, Scotland, July 11, 2003

God’s Forgiveness

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

The crucifixion is not what God inflicts on Jesus in order to forgive; the crucifixion is what God endures in Christ as he forgives. The monstrous aspects of Good Friday are of entirely human origin. What is divine about Good Friday is the completely unprecedented picture of a crucified God responding to his torturers with love and mercy. Golgotha offers humanity a genuinely new and previously unimagined way of conceiving the nature of God.

— Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, p. 90

Photo: Kilchurn Castle, Scotland, July 2003