Forgive.

 

“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
– Unknown

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THE LOWDOWN

Jack Kornfield tells the story of two ex-prisoners of war found after many years. When the first one asks: “Have you forgiven your captors yet?” The second man answers: “No, never”. “Well then,” the first man replies, “they still have you in prison, don’t they?”

We have all been hurt and suffered betrayals in our life. Forgiving does not mean forgetting, denying, praising the action or the damage it has caused, nor exempting the person from responsibility, we do it to free ourselves from the suffering and agony that comes with not doing so. Choosing to forgive is a long and difficult process, but it is necessary to release that poison, so that the wounds are healed and we can move forward in peace with ourselves.

If you find it hard to forgive, this practice from the Greater Good Science Center can help you.

WHY IS IT GOOD?

Forgiving gives inner peace and frees from anger, rumination and resentment, allowing you to feel better and move forward with your life.

  • In this study by Prof. Loren Toussaint, forgiveness is related to the cardiovascular, hormonal and immunological systems and shows that those who forgive tend to be healthier than those who don’t. Those who exercise “conditional forgiveness” (forgiving only if the person apologizes), tend to live shorter lives. Those who forgive unconditionally live longer.

  • Forgiving is an act of courage, by forgiving you eliminate victimhood and regain control.

SOME IDEAS

Here are some situations where you can start practising forgiving:

  • Your hairdresser for making you look like a poodle.

  • That reckless driver who almost took you out of the road.

  • Politicians (forgiving level: Jedi).

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EXTRA BROWNIE POINTS

If you think you can forgive and recover a lost relationship, do it.

Have a wonderful week forgiving left and right!


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