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Gillian Sanger

How has forgiveness impacted your life?

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This week's question asks:

How has forgiveness impacted your life?

From the time we are born until now, there are likely many moments where granting or being granted forgiveness has moved each of us. Whether on the giving or receiving side, forgiveness is deeply healing for all parties involved.

Feel free to share a time that forgiveness was necessary for moving forward (whether as the giver or receiver). Or, simply share your thoughts on forgiveness. Consider any of the questions:

  • Is forgiveness 'all or nothing'?
  • What does forgiveness really mean? Is it clear or complex?
  • Is it easier to forgive yourself or another?

If any of these questions inspire you, feel free to share your thoughts ❤️

 

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Forgiveness is very complex for me. It is a constant journey. When I feel like I finally let go it reappears at some future point.  The process is very long and I battle it internally rather than outward. It is not easy to forgive myself. Radical acceptance and self compassion must happen and it is a work in progress. . 

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@Bluebabee - I agree that forgiveness is a complex journey. It's often mistaken to be a single event - either we've forgiven or we haven't. But reality is much more dynamic than this. In one moment, we might feel completely at peace with whatever we've needed to forgive.... and then moments later it could come rushing back to the surface as emotions (i.e. anger, guilt, shame, etc).

Harriet Lerner talks a bit about it in her book, "Why Won't You Apologize?" It was a great read! Here's a link to an article about it:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2017/01/12/why-wont-you-apologize-relationship-expert-harriet-lerner-teaches-us-how/#798d479f4172

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On 1/21/2020 at 8:23 AM, Gillian Sanger said:
  • Is forgiveness 'all or nothing'?
  • What does forgiveness really mean? Is it clear or complex?
  • Is it easier to forgive yourself or another?

I started looking at forgiveness as a gradual process of re-establishing the ability to direct loving-kindness or feel compassion for those who have hurt us, and also for ourselves when we hurt other people. And as a rule it's easier for me to forgive others than myself.

There is an app whose name I can't remember because it's long and not very memorable, and that app offers 3 forgiveness meditations of different duration that I really really like using from time to time. One of the stages in those is to try and forgive yourself for hurting others, but it asks you to recall specific situations when you've caused pain to other people. It's always interesting to me how I can keep producing these lists and at some point they become so silly that I am sure that people don't even remember those events or my words (and I've checked!) but I still feel sincerely bad at the time. Whereas when others have hurt me, I have an easier time forgetting because I see those times as opportunities for me to grow, so whatever their intention was I try to make the best of it.

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@Vladimir - I resonate with this. I also tend to become more mentally consumed by my own shortcomings (i.e. times when I've been short with someone, impatient, etc.) than with similar habits in others. It's easier to see these behaviours clearly and find compassion when it's another person exhibiting them (for example, I might think, 'They must be having a bad day,' and let it go). Whereas when something is going on within me that leads to me being short with someone for instance, it's harder to connect with that compassionate place.

Of course it all depends on the situation, but I do think this is a pattern that many can identify with.

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I too echo what both @Vladimir and @Bluebabee has posted. Personally I have found forgiving others and also forgiving myself has become liberating. Setting myself free from the shackles of guilt and resentment.

It's the inner peace that forgiveness brings that becomes the fertile soil of self improvement.

That said, it's easier said than done. I've found that forgiveness is a willful decision that I have to make, sometimes against my own feelings of hurt. And more often than not, I have to repeat it several times. The heart eventually follows, at which point at least to me, liberation sets in. I therefore believe forgiveness to be a practice, and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. 

It also helps to remember that those that transgress against us, have their own demons that they fight daily and in most cases are totally oblivious to their own actions not to the effect it has on us. Kindness is key here. Apply it liberally. LOL, I'm preaching to myself again!!!

tumblr_p1ozlunkxq1w6swm0o1_500.jpg

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19 hours ago, Spaglua said:

I therefore believe forgiveness to be a practice, and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. 

Absolutely! And beautiful quote 🙂 Is that your journal? Are you a writer of sorts @Spaglua?

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2 hours ago, Gillian Sanger said:

Absolutely! And beautiful quote 🙂 Is that your journal? Are you a writer of sorts @Spaglua?

Negative Mam. I am abysmal at journalling. 

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Forgiveness for me is also liberating.  I have always known that things that need to be done and finalized or taken care of are best done immediately.  I am a bit autistic and have to have things done immediately for fear of forgetting or losing that moment.  I resonate with all above.  For me forgiving myself is by far, the HARDEST thing for me.   I don't even realize it when I take things personally or have put past things in the way.  I usually have to seek it through meditation and surround and push compassion in. 

Once compassion takes over then myself included is forgiven.  There is nothing so precious or equal to helping someone else release the forgiveness of something.  The elderly especially that feel they treated their young wrongly.  This to me needs to be settled before passing.  I have found in my family that we all take this personally and need to have it cleared.  

Another awesome topic.  Blessings everyone.  

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