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The Freedom of Forgiveness

Updated on November 17, 2016
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Seafarer Mama/Karen enjoys writing about spirituality as it is expressed in our everyday lives.

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A Miracle of the Heart that Heals the Forgiver

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~ Mahatma Ghandhi

Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is forgive a person who has hurt us deeply. It is easier to remain attached to resentments. They are our armadillo armor against the pain of vulnerability. They are something to hold onto when the rest of our life may be turned upside down by a heartbreaking loss.

Forgiveness does not mean we say "that's okay" to the offense. Forgiveness acknowledges that something bad has happened, but we choose to move on with our lives. How we relate to the offender after the crisis depends on the nature of the deed. We can keep the person in our lives but restructure the relationship to protect ourselves from further pain, or we can end our relationship with that person. No matter what we do with the relationship, we must choose to heal from the hurt so that the rest of our life is free to move on to meeting new friends, and embarking on new adventures that will bring us peace and joy.

Forgiveness is Life-giving

Holding onto the memory of an event that has caused us pain takes so much energy that there is little left for accomplishing what we are meant to do with our lives. We often hold ourselves back from realizing our dearest dreams because we are derailed by resentment, anger, even guilt if it is ourselves we need to forgive. Such tenacious clutching blocks our energy from making a positive impact on the world. We are stuck thrashing in quicksand and it is possible for us to keep sinking until the end of our lives. We become alienated from the sources of friendship and love that could help set us free from despair. Anger and resentment only separate us further from others, breeds unnecessary loneliness, and gives the offender power over our lives. But, forgiveness is the act of taking back our lives. Like the phoenix, the forgiver rises up from the ashes of a broken heart overcome by dark brooding and rises again to a new life, free to be happy again. Forgiveness makes us stronger because it gives us the power to be there for others, and thus enjoy the interdependence of a community of friends.

Radical Forgiveness is the Road to a Brighter Future for Humanity ~

Forgiveness is Radical and Revolutionary

The future of our planet depends on the advent of the global path toward forgiveness. Such forgiveness adds to the power of choice we have as humans. The less we are able to use our brains for deep thought, the more evil and intolerance have a foothold in our lives. and the lives of those around us. because we fail to see our connection to our fellow humans. The less we think, the more hate lives because we may begin to listen to others' words over our own hearts. Resentment clouds our thoughts and diminishes our ability to reason, and drives us deeper into despair. But if we let go of the darkness that has touched our lives, we have room to enjoy the world we live in and our place in it, and have the energy to bring beauty into the lives of the humans who inhabit our corner of the earth. Instead of wishing an event turned out differently, we have the energy to put toward solving a problem that could improve our own life and the lives of others, be they human or marine life displaced by an oil spill. We leave behind futile fantasies of being rescued from our misfortune in favor of making a positive impact on the reality of many who need our voice on their behalf in the world.

The problems faced by the human race today will steadily grow worse until our world implodes with the violence wagered by war, street gangs, and abuses of authority, unless such trends are stopped. The power to stop them begins with a choice made by each individual not to cooperate. A smile seals that choice within our hearts and brings hope and courage to others who are inclined to do the same. With a smile, we can clasp the hand of fellow humans in unity instead of division. Violence has a way of moving out of the path of mirth as it approaches, and the song "We Shall Overcome" echoes in our collective memory, a song that is timeless and as pertinent today as it was in the 1960s. Yes, we can forgive an evildoer their actions, but we need not allow them to continue. We can stand with suffering brothers and sisters against oppression, whether local, national, or global.

Forgiveness Heals the Forgiver and the Earth

The person who forgives a wrong done to him or her lets go of the need to retaliate, and is free to make real and lasting change in the world, both on a personal and a universal level. The forgiver looks for ways to bring greater beauty and peace to the world. Instead of bringing more violence to the world, the forgiver treads more gently upon the earth, and is able to treat all sentient beings with respect and love. Gratitude leads the forgiver to find more joy in the ordinary events of each day, and the people connected with those events. Healing happens because the forgiver is free to give and accept love.The world is a more beautiful place when we are able to do that. We are able to move around in the world with greater integrity when forgiveness rules in our hearts. We feel our power more and thus move and relate to the world with more courage and hope, for our deep humanity prevails, both within and around us.

Forgiveness: A Bold Choice for a Peaceful Heart
Forgiveness: A Bold Choice for a Peaceful Heart

Drawing on the philosophy of A Course in Miracles, Casarjian gives a new and surprising definition of forgiveness and provides original exercises and meditations that acknowledge our hurt even as they lead us beyond it. The book explores special cases involving family members, crime victims, self-forgiveness, and forgiveness of God.

 

Forgiveness is a Creative Endeavor, a Work of Art

The web pages for which links are provided below are meant to be sources of inspiration and comfort. They lead to time-tested ideas about love and forgiveness. You are invited to read through and/or listen to them. Through them, let forgiveness light up your spirit with love, as they did mine. Forgiveness adds years to our lives and takes premature wrinkles away from our faces. It changes our perception of the events and people moving in our corner of the universe. The palette of colors experienced by a forgiver is much brighter and richer than that of someone who holds onto resentment and hate. Creativity itself comes more naturally and fluidly to those who practice gestures of gratitude and forgiveness. Creative problem-solving that produces win-win situations for everyone involved is approached with more patience, and is implemented with more success. The world of the forgiver is merry, filled with music, art, laughter, and good food to eat. It is the feast of all souls who seek to pass on a healthy, vibrant world to the next generation of earthly inhabitants.

© 2010 Karen A Szklany

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    • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen A Szklany 

      6 years ago from New England

      Jamila- thank you for stopping by, reading, and sharing your thoughts and appreciation!

      Namaste!

    • jamila sahar profile image

      jamila sahar 

      6 years ago

      beautiful hub, and this wisdom is really needed in the world today ! voted up beautiful, useful and interesting ! thanks for sharing this valuable information

    • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen A Szklany 

      6 years ago from New England

      Glad you enjoyed this hub. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts, Debbie...and for your kind words. :0)

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I wish people could forgive each other...life would be so much easier...love your hub...great writing..thanks for following me and leaving me a wonderful fan mail...blessing to you...debbie

    • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen A Szklany 

      7 years ago from New England

      Thank you for sharing your experience, lovely lady. Hope you are having a great day, full of peace! :0)

    • ahostagesituation profile image

      SJ 

      7 years ago

      Beautiful. I love "Forgiveness as a creative endeavor, a work of art." That's awesome. I do not like hostility, and to my knowledge don't have any hostility in my life. If I have to forgive someone, I think of owning my part in whatever went down. If I really feel blameless in the matter, I go to understanding where the person is coming from. I truly want to forgive if I've been wronged, and usually don't make it a day without trying to fix it. I literally don't sleep at night if I don't have peace with the people--and I haven't lost sleep for that in many years. The Ghandi quote is great, never thought of it that way. I have at this point never not forgiven someone. But there are some wrongs I don't know that I could forgive, even to my own detriment.

    • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen A Szklany 

      7 years ago from New England

      Thank you Wavegirl, Drej, and Mennetonka Twin for stopping by and responding to my hub. Glad you found it a good read, and for your insightful comments. :0)

      Best wishes and Namaste

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      7 years ago from Minnesota

      What an inspirational hub on Forgiveness. I love the quote at the beginning from Ghandi. It is such a true and powerful statement. Thanks for a well-written, inspirational and enjoyable article.

    • drej2522 profile image

      Chris 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Forgiveness and Compassion...you're right, everyone needs such qualities in order to live life to the fullest. Honestly, it seems like we, as a society, need to re-evaluate ourselves. We are too bitter, too resentful, and too quick to judge.

      Globally, are we capable of being a 'compassionate' society? History, says no...

    • wavegirl22 profile image

      Shari 

      8 years ago from New York, NY

      Seafarer Mama - excellent topic as Forgiveness is something that one can never hear enough about. Especially for those who hold on to things that once brought into the light probably are not even worth having any ill feelings towards in the first place!

    • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen A Szklany 

      8 years ago from New England

      Thank you all for your thoughtful feedback.

      @ humagaia: There are some occasions when expectations are not part of the equations, such as when a loved one is unexpectedly killed by a homocide rampage or a drunk driver, because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. My links include forgiveness in times of huge personal tragedy that is so unexpected...or a betrayal of trust. I think that we need to be able to trust some people in our lives, or where would we be? Some people are worthy of deeper trust than others...so a betrayal of that trust can be rather painful...particularly when children are involved. We do our best to keep them safe...but what about a little girl in first grade fatally wounded by a bullet by a classmate? Do we expect that from sending the to school?

      @ LeanMan: Yes, life is too short to hold a grudge...and even the worst tragedies must be let go of...or at least processed in a way that does not weigh us down for the rest of our lives.

    • LeanMan profile image

      Tony 

      8 years ago from At the Gemba

      Life is too short to hold a grudge...

    • humagaia profile image

      Charles Fox 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Forgiveness is only necessary where the forgiver has placed a greater set of attributes upon the forgiven than that person can fulfil. Placing expectations upon someone is unfair as that asserts your expectations over and above their moralities. A relationship should be begun on the basis of acceptance that each of us is weak and we follow our own path rather than that imposed upon us.

      You will never need to forgive if you understand and accept. Forgiveness is a function of ownership of a mind that cannot be owned.

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      Yes I agree. Forgiveness is a hard thing to give but once given the person does feel an enormous amount of relief. The burden of the resentment and anger that the person carries because they have been holding on to a grievence affects every part of their daily life.

    • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen A Szklany 

      8 years ago from New England

      Thank you, Pamela99. :0)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Wonderful hub and you can never underestimate the power of forgiveness. I like your pictures as well.

    • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen A Szklany 

      8 years ago from New England

      Thank you, cupid51. Glad you enjoyed it so soon after its publication.

    • cupid51 profile image

      cupid51 

      8 years ago from INDIA

      Very nice hub with beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing!

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