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thoughts on forgiveness...

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This past week someone asked me about my take on forgiveness… whew… not really my area of expertise. But, as we are about to end one year to begin another, it’s an interesting time to ponder this.

How I might have answered this question years ago is not how I will answer today, but in considering this from who I am today, here are three thoughts I find interesting: 

“… there is an important distinction between forgiveness and simply allowing others’ wrongdoing… We must make an important distinction… the person and what he has done. Where the wrong action is concerned, it may be necessary to take appropriate counteraction to stop it. Toward the person, however, you can choose not to develop anger and hatred… not losing sight of the humanity of the person while responding to the wrong with clarity and firmness…” ~ Dalai Lama

“…Without forgiveness, we remain tethered to the person who harmed us… Until we can forgive the person who harmed us, that person will hold the keys to our happiness, that person will be our jailor. When we forgive, we take back control of our own fate and our feelings. We become our own liberator…” Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"Not going to the heart of all I feel, I have erased my real presence, sexuality, intelligence from language & expression… When a lie is told, the body is cast into a state of profound disturbance…" ~ Susan Griffin

No matter what you believe about the concept of forgiveness, be honest with yourself. Our bodies sense a lie when it is told. Saying the “right words” or reading something and thinking, “ah… yes this ought to be true…” means nothing if there is no authenticity for you. Whatever you choose to believe around forgiveness, it has to be something you fully get behind, or it will cause a tightening in your entire self. It’s how we’re designed… we cannot lie to ourselves without some ‘disturbance.’ 

No belief is set in stone. You can always swap out one thought for another. Every time we breathe, the body rebalances… What’s most important is what is true for you – acknowledge this, so you can determine if another belief is a better fit.

I appreciate the question, because it asked me to look where I may be holding on to something that is not only unnecessary, but harmful to my own spirit.

As I read what is written above... I am reminded the solution is entirely in my own hands… 

always in motion,


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  • We struggle towards forgiveness somedays…thinking we have to let it all go at once. Not true. We are moving as fast as we can and must remember that forgiving ourselves for not forgiving or not forgiving ‘fast enough’ is just as important as forgiving the ‘other’.

    In fact, it is not possible to for-give others until we have learned to forgive ourselves.

    For – give means that the ‘debt’ is already paid. And in most situations…though some are more fraught than others…it becomes more important to recall that WE truly are the only ones judging. Their judgement is THEIRS.

    What the ‘other(s)’ do is THEIR business. We must care for our own emotional and mental health. When we at last arrive there…then that forgiveness is the only wise choice to make. Then we remember the connection to all things…Including that pesky ‘other’…..just sayin’.

    -Rev Patti 🤣

    If he could have Pahka Dave… I can have Rev Patti (I actually am a Reverend!!)

    Patti Shaffner on
  • Thank you for those three thoughts about forgiveness. Most helpful!

    Shelley on
  • This is Excellent!

    Robbi Denman on
  • “Every time we breathe, the body rebalances”. That’s good to remember for everything. This will remain one of my favorite quotes. Thanks

    Kat on
  • WOW!

    Carol Ann on

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