Forgiveness and Illness

We all have opinions on who was right and who was wrong according to our own perceptions, and we can all find ways to justify our feelings.  We want to punish others for what they did to us; however, we are the ones running the story over and over in our own minds.  It is foolish for us to punish ourselves in the present because someone hurt us in the past.

To release the past, we want to be willing to forgive, even if we don’t know how.  Forgiveness means giving up our hurtful feelings and just letting the whole thing go.  A state of nonforgiveness actually destroys something within ourselves.

No matter what avenue of spirituality you follow you will usually find that forgiveness is an enormous issue at any time, but most particularly when there is an illness.  When we are ill we really need to look around and see who it is we need to forgive.  And usually the very person who we think we will never forgive is the one we need to forgive the most.  Not forgiving someone else doesn’t harm the person in the slightest, but it plays havoc with us.  The issues aren’t theirs; the issues are ours.

The grudges and hurts you feel have to do with forgiving yourself, not someone else.  Affirm that you are totally willing to forgive everyone.  “I am willing to free myself from the past.  I am willing to forgive all those who may have ever harmed me and I forgive myself for having harmed others.”  If you think of anyone who may have harmed you in any way at any point in your life, bless that person with love and release him or her, then dismiss the thought….

If you feel ripped-off by another, know that nobody can take anything from you that is rightfully yours.  If it belongs to you, it will return to you at the right time.  If something doesn’t come back to you, it wasn’t meant to.  You need to accept it and go on with your life.

— Louise L. Hay, The Power Is Within You, p. 89-91


That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book.  It’s geometrically progressive — all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.

Juliet Ashton in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Age Well

By midlife most individuals stop blaming external villains for problems.  They accept their shortcomings more readily and change their ways.  This willingness to reform is a major difference between those who age well and those who do not.

— Allan B. Chinen, Once Upon a Midlife, p. 80

The Power of Story

All stories are full of bias and uniqueness; they mix fact with meaning.  This is the root of their power.  Stories allow us to see something familiar through new eyes.  We become in that moment a guest in someone else’s life, and together with them sit at the feet of their teacher.  The meaning we may draw from someone’s story may be different from the meaning they themselves have drawn.  No matter.  Facts bring us to knowledge, but stories lead to wisdom.

— Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, Kitchen Table Wisdom, p. xl

Feelings and Circumstances

From my vantage point, you’d have seen many, many people who are deeply loved and still lonely, beautiful and still horribly self-conscious, professionally successful and still so terrified of failure that their nocturnal tooth-gnashing could crush diamonds.  Here’s something you’ll need to hold in your mind, at least temporarily, if you want to get a good look at your own North Star:  External circumstances do not create feeling states.  Feeling states create external circumstances.

— Martha Beck, Steering by Starlight: Find Your Right Life No Matter What!, p. 6

Forgiveness Is a Journey.

Forgiveness about injuries this deep does not come easily or quickly.  There can’t always be a moment of forgiveness, when suddenly our lives are transformed.  We are human.  We need time to process our experiences, to mourn, to separate, to grow.  Forgiveness brews within us, expedited according to our own creative capacities, impeded by our conflicts, a mysterious product of the human spirit.  The reclamation of love and of the forgiving self is an arduous and profound journey.

— Robert Karen, PhD, The Forgiving Self, p. 60

Resting in Jesus

Resting in Jesus is not applying a spiritual formula to ourselves as a kind of fix-it.  It is the essence of repentance.  It is letting our heart tell us where we are in our own story so that Jesus can minister to us out of the Story of his love for us.  When, in a given moment, we lay down our false self and the smaller story of whatever performance has sustained us, when we give up everything else but him, we experience the freedom of knowing that he simply loves us where we are.  We begin just to be, having our identity anchored in him.  We begin to experience our spiritual life as the “easy yoke and light burden” Jesus tells us is his experience.

— Brent Curtis & John Eldredge, The Sacred Romance, p. 174-175