According to Attitudinal Healing International, “Forgiveness is the willingness to let go of and release the hurtful past. It is the decision to no longer suffer, to heal your heart and soul. It is the choice to no longer find value in hatred or anger. And it is letting go of the desire to hurt others or ourselves because of something that is already in the past. Forgivenes is not condoning egregious acts nor is it supporting someone else’s insane or unjust behavior. Rather, it is an internal process where we execute our free will to heal our own heart and mind.
To forgive is to feel the compassion, gentleness, tenderness, and caring that is always within our hearts, no matter how the world may seem at the moment. Forgiveness is the way to a place of inner peace and happiness, the way to our soul. That place of peace is always available to us, always ready to welcome us in. if, for the moment, we don’t see the welcome sign, it is because it is hidden by our own attachment to anger.”
Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be different. We will truly have more peaceful relationships when we stop telling others how to live and start practicing love and forgiveness.
Only the brave know how to forgive
Decide to forgive
For resentment is negative
Resentment is poisonous
Resentment diminishes and devours the self.
Be the first to forgive,
To smile and to take the first step
And you will see happiness bloom
On the face of your human brother or sister.
Be always the first
Do not wait for others to forgive
For by forgiving
You become the master of fate
The fashioner of life
A doer of miracles.
To forgive is the highest,
Most beautiful form of love.
In return you will receive
Untold peace and happiness.
And here is the program for achieving a truly forgiving heart:
Sunday: Forgive yourself.
Monday: Forgive your family.
Tuesday: Forgive your friends and associates.
Wednesday: Forgive across economic lines within your own nation.
Thursday: Forgive across cultural lines within your own nation.
Friday: Forgive across political lines within your own nation.
Saturday: Forgive other nations.
by Robert Muller, the late former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Adapted from the work of Greg Walker, Leeward Community College, http://blogs.leeward.hawaii.edu/compassion/