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Forgiveness - The Art That Heals

Updated on June 28, 2011

To hear the word "forgiveness"...

Forgiveness - the word itself causes many of us to think of words and phrases such as sin, wrong doing, mistakes, grief, guilt, shame, regret and despair, among others.

It causes us to think of the negative aspects of being human because we are capable of committing wrongful acts every hour of the day; we think of the downside of life because we can all think back to mistakes we've made and sins we've committed, even though some may have caused more damage than others.

Right now, we are thinking from the perspective of the wrong-doer and are almost ready to grovel and hide our faces once again just from memories of the past.

Another perspective

However, the word forgiveness means something totally different to the one who has been forgiven.

Words such as redemption, relief, grace, love, hope and salvation come to mind. It brings a sense of peace because, at some point in our past, we have been forgiven and the memory brings a feeling of thanksgiving and gratitude into our souls.

Forgiveness: How easy is it?

Can you forgive someone immediately when they hurt you or someone you love?

See results

Turning tragedy to Triumph

When feeling pain and sorrow, it's hard to see any clouds with silver linings. Everything on the horizon looks bleak and dismal, at best.

However, God can turn tragedy into triumph and it often begins with a forgiving attitude.

No one is above failure, though many people stand in the seat of judgment.

Justifying unforgiveness

People hurt us so badly ...

Sometimes people hurt us so badly they cripple us; this may be physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, or in other areas of our lives.

People who claim to love us may abuse us by using words aimed to destroy us and actions bent on instilling fear into our souls; we may be hurt as a result of an automobile accident in which case the hurt inflicted on us wasn't intentional, but we are still hurt.

When people hurt us by robbing from us - taking what belongs to us and feeling justified in doing so - it has great potential to set us back financially and the repercussions are often enormous for some people. In some cases, parents can't put food on the table for their children, have to wait to buy clothing and family vacations are canceled. It builds resentment and shatters trust in society as a whole because it just doesn't seem fair to work so hard and to be violated in such a way.

When we hurt, there's a tendency to blame God; after all, God knew what was going to happen to us but didn't bother to stop things from occurring. For a while, resentment builds, faith takes a nosedive and we are more miserable than we initially were because we ignore our only source of true and lasting hope.


We justify ourselves in so many areas for not forgiving another person.

Does that mean we are right?

Reasons we don't forgive - Of course, these are only a few...

  • My spouse beats me up; I keep making up stories hoping people won't find out.
  • I can't talk to my friends anymore because my spouse is so jealous of time I spend with other people; it doesn't even matter whether my friends are men or women.
  • I'm not allowed to give my opinions in most areas of life; my thoughts and feelings are unimportant, or so it seems.
  • People continue to say things which embarrass me in public; once in a while, I may be able to deal with it but, when it recurs often, it really upsets me.
  • My children won't listen to me; I'm trying to steer them in the right direction but, most times, all they do is ignore or insult me.
  • Someone spread rumors about me and my friends turned against me; I feel empty and don't think I'll ever be able to forgive that person.
  • My spouse claimed to love me but slept with another woman/man.
  • Someone broke into my house and vandalized it; it will take me a long time to get it in order but, even then, I may never be comfortable enough to stay here.
  • My child was abducted and/or violated. God help whoever did this!!!
  • My loved one is dying at such a young age; that's just wrong!
  • My spouse turns away from me every time I try to get close.

Amazing but true!

An unforgiving spirit hurts you, not the other person.

Holding onto past hurts

When we hold onto past hurts, heartaches, and humiliation, we are hurting ourselves;

those who have sinned against us have already moved on with their lives ... whereas we are stuck in the past - suffering in silence or frequently complaining about how someone has wronged us.

It's easy for me to say - After all, I'm not in YOUR situation ... but...

Do you feel justified in not forgiving someone who has wronged you?

The Consequences of Unforgiving Spirits

What do we feel when someone hurts us?

Anger, pain, rejection, dismay, heartache, grief and sorrow, to name a few.

For most people, in time, these feelings lessen as other situations occur and develop in the course of living life.

However, for those who have unforgiving spirits, time doesn't heal old wounds; instead, feelings fester and grow in intensity until people are consumed by what has grown into hatred for another individual.

The hardest person to forgive

If you think of it, you may agree that, sometimes, the hardest person to forgive is ourself.

We set standards for ourselves and, in some cases, we can't even hope to maintain them. Nonetheless, we strive to do so and, when we fall, we have trouble letting go of the anger and humiliation we feel towards ourselves.

The results of learning to forgive others...

What are the benefits/advantage of learning to forgive others?

See results

God loves the humble and the proud, the cheater and the cheated.

Being Completely Honest

If we were honest with ourselves, we would admit that we feel cheated sometimes - cheated from our hopes and dreams, cheated from what we feel we deserve.

Strength in forgiveness

There are many benefits in store for people who exercise forgiveness and, strangely enough, these benefits can be considered pearls because they are rare, but precious, and cannot be compared to anything else.

Forgiveness builds character ...

Forgiveness builds character ...
Forgiveness builds character ...

The Greatest Miracle of All

It's tragic when a person must suffer consequences for actions committed at another time, what seems to be another era.

However, the beauty lies in knowing God's love and forgiveness transcends time, space and circumstance.

How can I forgive? - I don't know where to begin...

Unforgiveness, in and of itself, is a battle to live with; however, when people hurt us and continue to hurt us, it seems we have a never-ending battle on our hands. I often refer to it as the struggle to survive.

Below you will read of a person who is living each moment with this type of struggle. Pain seems to be ever-present ; despair and heartache rule the day. Peace and contentment are goals which are hoped for may never materialize.

Take a step with me into this person's world (thankfully, it isn't mine) and I pray you do not find yourself in this particular situation; if so, I beseech you to talk to someone because, in so doing, you may find a light at the end of the tunnel.

Eternal Heartache

Hurting deep inside where no one sees;

Would you please come and rescue me?

I struggle to make it through the night;

I think of tomorrow - I’ve no more fight.

Too much heartache, too much crime,

Too much looking back through time.

My friends no more; can’t share the truth.

My only longing is for my youth.

My children - they suffer all day long;

What happened to their joyful song?

Tears blind my heart and flood my soul;

My only wish is to feel whole.

Norma Budden

October 07, 2009

Forgiveness goes hand-in-hand with love; one cannot exist without the other.

Forgiveness provides something people strive to attain

A powerful tool...

the written word

The written word is a powerful tool which people can go back to, time and time again.

Sometimes it's hard to say the words a person would love to hear and you so desperately need to speak; in many cases, the words just don't come forth, even though the words have such power to change lives in positive ways.

Perhaps you struggle to forgive someone; perhaps the desire is there but the courage to speak the words just doesn't come forth.

Consider one of these blank greeting cards. When thinking about the act of forgiving another person, it's a beautiful way to embrace the future. The photos of these greeting cards provide a wonderful snapshot of today preparing to embrace tomorrow so what better avenue can you take when you wish to breathe pearls of life into your soul, as well as the soul of another?

Golden Splash, as this photo is so aptly named, is also a Pigeon Lake sunset photo; it continues to fill my heart with a song of thanksgiving and joy. There's something about the photo that captivates me and throws me back into another time and place - another lifetime, or so it seems. The sun spreads her rays across the sky and lake so that the human eye is basked in sheer radiance. Could anyone ever ask for a greater gift than to watch this spectacle unfold?

Darkening clouds over Pigeon Lake - it's at this point when I know the sun won't be around much longer. Sadly, I know I will sleep through its counterpart - sunrise - but I'm thrilled at having had the opportunity to experience this particular sunset - and watching its various phases. I enjoyed the opportunity to watch today preparing to say, "Good-bye," in preparation of welcoming tomorrow with it's hopes, dreams and possibilities.

Forgiveness: an art form?

As a sketch artist, painter, songwriter, or author will tell you, works of art are not created instantly.

There is a labor of love involved with art... and if the desire to finish a project goes away, only the would-be creator would know. However, when strokes are made and words are typed, the end result can very well turn out to be a masterpiece.

The same is true of forgiveness; it doesn't occur overnight but, ultimately, forgiving others allows you to enjoy the masterpiece called, "life."

Forgiveness is an essential part of life; in fact, when you've been hurt, it's imperative that you master the art of forgiving another person.

Please share your comments about this all-important topic below.

Comments About Forgiveness

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Yes, I agree. Forgiveness is essential part of life. But, how do you do it? I know it's better, but how?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Good piece. Keep it up, dearie.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Good piece. Keep it up, dearie.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for the information, but I have problem when the person hurts you time and time again. For me forgiveness is a process, it does not happen at once.

    • TripleTK LM profile image

      TripleTK LM 6 years ago

      Great lens pointing out powerful truths! Thanks.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Just back to sprinkle some squid angel dust on this wonderful lens, on the power of forgiveness...stay blessed! :)

    • jstarley profile image

      jstarley 6 years ago

      Recently I've been told by a higher power that I have a lot of forgiving to do, but I can't forgive others until I forgive myself first. This is what I'm currently working on in my life. By not forgiving yourself, you can spend all of your time looking at life through a pair of sunglasses, and you want everyone to look at you using the same pair of sunglasses. Well, this isn't the true self. I'm learning how to take off those sunglasses so I can look at life and have others look at me without something blocking the vision of my true self.

    • PositiveChristi1 profile image

      PositiveChristi1 6 years ago

      What a wonderful and Godly lens you have created. I have added it to my "Rainbow Promises" lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      is there someone here,, help me to build a nice "Body" of The Art of forgiveness?

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      Lensrolled to "A Question of Forgiveness"

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 7 years ago

      indeed there is power in forgiveness! cheers

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      Adding a kiss for luck on this St. Patrick's Day!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I will come back to read this Lens many times I am sure. So meaningful.

    • Kelsey-Budden-16 profile image

      Kelsey-Budden-16 7 years ago

      Wow. What a deep lens! The poem is very sad too. :-(

      Before I read this lens, I wondered if I learned something from that not too long ago pain but, after reading this. I know I have! :-)

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You speak truth here and something that most of us have trouble with. Forgiveness is key in moving forward in life. You are so right when you say we only hurt ourselves when we hold on to unforgiveness. Forgiveness brings about such freedom, no matter how hard it is. Beautifully written and presented!

    • RuthieDenise profile image

      RuthieDenise 7 years ago

      A lovely lens. I am glad I found it.

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 8 years ago

      @delia-delia: Thanks so much!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 8 years ago

      wonderful message lens...5* a Christian forgivness is part of my life "forgive us our sins, as we forgive those that have sinned against us" I also can not hate, but might hate the sin...all this came to me when I got cancer, it changed my life for the with unforgiveness affects ones life and health....for the messgae a ~"Squid Angel Blessing "~

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 8 years ago

      Very beautiful lens on an important subject. The Bible clearly states if we expect God to forgive us, then we must do the same in our lives.

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 8 years ago

      @Sylvestermouse: Thanks so much for the angel blessing! :)

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 8 years ago

      @kimmanleyort: Yes, and sadly, the only lives they are really hindering are their own. I knew when I created this lens that it would not become one of the most popular lenses; however, I felt it must be written.

      I'm so glad you stopped by. :)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 8 years ago from United States

      A beautifully written reminder of what we should practice. How can we expect to receive what we ourselves are not willing to give?

      Angel Blessed!

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 8 years ago

      You have presented a very thought-provoking page here with beautiful photos. Forgiveness is really hard for many people.

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 8 years ago

      @AuthorNormaBudden: You posted a very wise comment. Indeed, one can hurt someone and even not being aware of it.

      I have the habit to always say what I think, I'm too frank sometimes, I know it and my friends also know that. They also know that whenever I say something that might hurt them, they can tell it because if I'm frank, I want them act frankly with me too.

      And as you say, a true friend will apologize; this is what I do whenever I hurt someone or learn that I hurt someone. Not everyone does it. Unfortunately.

      Oh well, there's always one day when our lives take a new way, and some friends have to leave the company because they can't follow us. Never mind.

      But as said in the private mails we exchanged, losing a 7 year old child in a town, stating that one didn't pay attention to him but refusing to apologize, is something I can hardly forgive :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I don't believe feeling justified would fit here too well for me. I suppose I would say, if they never changed from their evil way, then I have never been commanded to forgive someone who keeps dong the same wrongs. Now, if they turned a-way from their dirty-deeds, then that would be an automatic forgiven. ~ I love to keep my forgiveness list real short!

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 8 years ago

      @justholidays: Thanks for the angel blessing!

      Sometimes to get through life, we have to re-examine our circle of friends - re-examine why we became friends in the first place - ponder whether it was a real friendship in the beginning...

      A real friend will know when he/she has hurt us and, though excuses may be made for why something was said or done, a true friend will apologize.

      Regardless of whether people walk out of our lives or we have to, sometimes, cast them out - for our own piece of mind and, possibly, for safety reasons - it's always best to work towards forgiveness because that's where healing truly begins, even if we never decide to trust that person again.

      We may hurt people without knowing sometimes; we don't know what a person may have encountered before meeting us/meeting up with us - some things not willing to be shared. Sometimes a joke or random comment/action - which we think nothing of - can be a great offense to someone else, without us even knowing...

      Hurt can happen anywhere - in any relationship - to anyone; we are not alone in our hurts and sorrows, in dealing with the art of forgiveness.

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 8 years ago

      According to the degree of the damage, forgiving is easy: a wrong word, a quarrel and... finished, I forgive because it's not worth keeping sournesses in oneself.

      However, when the one who hurts me doesn't seem to be sorry or doesn't recognize their fault, then, I can't forgive and the person stops existing. Sometimes I think to those that I liked very much and who hurt me, I become nostalgic and then, I don't think of of them any more.

      Not forgiving someone doesn't imply that I would lose any objectiveness especially if I have to deal with the person in the future.

      Great lens. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 8 years ago

      @anonymous: You make a good point - forgiveness almost seems in vain when someone keeps repeating the same actions or saying the same words over and over. Even God commanded people to turn from their evil ways.

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 8 years ago

      @Joan4: Amen to that!

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 8 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks, Beth.

    • profile image

      Joan4 8 years ago

      Forgiveness can be one of the most difficult of spiritual tasks and yet is one of the most powerful things we can do.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      very nice, Norma!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great...i like this,very true, simple yet power message..........continue to the ministry like this....It helps a lot the readers...God bless

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens. The answer to your question on my lensrank lens is simply: because lensrank hasn't been updated, this lens doesn't have lensrank yet, can't be squidcast about and is in general not promoted on squidoo. Not your fault, this happens occasionally.

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 8 years ago

      [in reply to Owen]

      Thanks, Owen. Your comments are deeply appreciated and reach the deepest recesses of my soul.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      you have an amazing tallent & a gift from GOD continue to use it and you will go far in this realm of your calling

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      this is an excelent lense I love the work you have put into it, keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i am blown away , I love it , you did a super job on this..


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