Forgive because it is good for you – and maybe for the whole world

February 24, 2008

forgiveness heart

Imagine a world where countries and cultures as well as individuals could forgive rather than seek revenge.

For so many people, the only thing standing between them and happiness (and in a larger sense, Peace) is the unwillingness (or seeming inability) to forgive.

Forgiveness can seem like the biggest hurdle we have to clear on the road to happiness. For many of us the identity of Victim is all we know. I find it so sad that there are so many people living in pain when they have the power to heal themselves through forgiveness.

We have talked before about the scientific evidence of how forgiveness benefits your health. If that didn’t do it for you, perhaps you need a more esoteric viewpoint.

While I am sure there is no shortage of spiritual leaders who can speak on the topic more eloquently than I, today I am sharing with you Archbishop Desmond Tutu. There are those who would say that what was done in South Africa under Apartheid was “unforgivable,” but Bishop Tutu reminds us that refusing to forgive is refusing to allow ourself the benefits.

forgiveness project logo

Also, I would like to bring your attention The Forgiveness Project.

Their aims:

  1. Awareness ā€“ raise the debate by collecting and sharing personal stories (and images)
  2. Education ā€“ encourage and empower people to explore the nature of forgiveness and alternatives to conflict and revenge
  3. Inspiration ā€“ engage civil society, as well as transform hearts and minds

If you find yourself having trouble forgiving (or if you want to be reminded that others who suffer as greatly or more powerfully than you can forgive) I invite you to visit their site.

The bottom line seems to be this: Forgive because it is good for you.

If you can’t seem to find the ability to forgive on your own, I strongly urge you too seek help from either your spiritual counsel or a trained mental health professional.

And remember, the same rules apply to forgiving yourself.

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