I started this blog to act as a vehicle for promoting the positive. One aspect of promoting the positive that I mentioned in my first blog post was promoting positive news coverage and I admit that I have not done a lot of that. So when I happily saw a positive news article promoting the act of forgiveness on Monday, January 28 I immediately felt the urge to blog about it.
The article I refer to is titled, “Forgiving others is a gift to yourself“, and it appeared on the FRONT PAGE of the Charlotte Observer on Monday, January 28. It details a talk that Dr. Ned Hallowell (psychiatrist and best-selling author) gave to Charlotte’s Christ Episcopal Church the day before. How exciting that an article on the topic of forgiveness appeared on the front page of a newspaper!!
The basis of the article is a list of Hallowell’s 10 tips to understanding and acting on forgiveness. I am not going to detail all of them as they can be read in detail by accessing the article online, but I will list two key points that he made.
“Forgiveness is fundamentally a gift you give to yourself. Because your clearing your system of poison – anger and resentment.”
“Forgiveness is not a moment. It’s a process that has to be renewed over and over again.”
It is nice to see a topic like forgiveness get front page billing. I have my personal stories of forgiveness that I will share someday on this blog and elsewhere, but for now I just want to celebrate the fact that Ned Hallowell’s talk on forgiveness made front page news in the Charlotte Observer. It is nice to see. I think this article is a ray of light. If an article on forgiveness can make front page news then maybe we can build on that. Maybe each of us that read this article can start practicing some of the forgiveness concepts that are listed, and from there maybe the practice of forgiveness that we each individually create can transcend our personal experiences in a way that forgiveness becomes a practice between groups of people – people in relationships, families, political parties, religions, countries, etc. I have hope that this can happen. That over time we can all learn to forgive in a way that allows us to put past indiscretions in the past where they belong so that we can each allow those indiscretions to no longer define us and from there we all grow.
I close with a few other thought-provoking quotes on forgiveness.
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese
“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” – Louis B. Smedes
“Those who injured us only did what they knew how to do, given the conditions of their lives. If you won’t forgive, then you allow those ancient injuries to continue their hold on you.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
Forgiveness can be a challenge but ultimately I believe it is necessary in order to move forward and grow. We all have stories of forgiveness. As Dr. Halloway says, forgiveness is a process that must be renewed. Sharing stories of forgiveness is a way to renew that forgiveness process. Please feel free to share your forgiveness story by leaving a comment!
With Peace and Gratitude,