Friday, October 29, 2010

Thoughts on Forgiveness

Forgiving someone is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you.

-Lewis Smedes

Forgiving someone who wronged you or your loved one is one of the hardest things a human being has to do.

There is something that feels righteous about holding onto to the right to be fuming mad.

And yet, this anger you hold inside of you becomes a poison. As you merge with it become its slave.

When we are wronged or hurt we go over and over it again in our minds. It becomes the banner we wave as we walk through life, the heavy back pack we carry always.

Forgiveness is in no way condoning what the perpetrator did. It is only choosing to untie yourself from bondage.

Forgiveness is a process. You may have thought that you have totally forgiven and then something may happen to you or a loved one that brings up the hard feelings all over again. This is completely natural.

We sometimes think that if we don’t cling to our story it will be lost. The story will never be lost. It is a part of who we are and has helped to define us. It is just that we have the empowered choice of going on and living a valued life.

Forgiveness does not mean that you act as though the event never happened. It did happen and it affected you greatly. It is knowing that you can put it behind you and re-engage in life.

Forgiveness is eventually understanding that hurt people hurt people. We wish it were different. We wish that no one was hurt in their life so that they wouldn’t hurt. But the truth is they are and they do.

Forgiveness is realizing that hard times come bearing gifts. The gift of realizing your own strength, your own power. Gifts of allowing yourself to receive love and kindness from others. Gifts of knowing how to give love and kindness to others.

My favorite quote on forgiveness comes from author Jerry Jamplosky who has dedicated his life to teaching love and forgiveness.

From the perspective of love and spirit, forgiveness is the willingness to let go of 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. It is the willingness to open our eyes to the light in other people rather than judge or condemn them.

I hope dear friends, that you find a way to open your heart to let go of anything that weighs you down and keeps you from letting your beautiful light shine. The world very much needs your light and your joy.

As always, I love hearing from you!

From my heart to yours,

Brenda Strausz


  1. I think the thing that helps me forgive others the most is remembering all the times that I have been forgiven. I make a lot of mistakes, and I hurt people. I wish that this wasn't the case, but it happens. And whenever it does, I am almost always forgiven...even when I don't deserve forgiveness, it comes to me. Forgiveness is beautiful...

    So, whenever I have been hurt or wronged, I try to remember that and forgive the other person as quickly as I can. it's not always easy, but I know it's always right.

  2. Hi Brenda,
    Forgiveness is freedom..forgiveness is unconditional love in practice..
    One concept I think in general people may struggle with is forgiveness of readily we may forgive others, yet criticize our own self and allow those emotions to form a barrier to movement..
    May we forgive fully..each other, and our that we may experience abundant peace as we create each day:)

  3. Jay: You really understand forgiveness...we all do things that need forgiving, seems it is the human condition. How nice you forgive so readily. We will be in touch soon!

    Joy: Forgiveness is is loving without limits...and as you said, it means forgiving ourselves as well...what a journey this is...loving, forgiving, letting go...

  4. Hi Brenda

    These are such powerful words and all ring so true. Even though I hold no regrets, I wish I learned this so much sooner in life.

    Today, forgiveness comes easy, especially even more so, that I understand that no one does anything wrong, given their model of the world. And I will never forget too when I learned finally at some point, that in forgiving we give ourselves the gift, not the other person. So your words here embody so much what I know, feel and live by today.

    Many thanks for sharing this message!

  5. Evita,
    It is such a huge awakening when we understand that when people know better they do better so to hold a grudge is only hurting us.

    Forgiveness is so freeing!

    Thanks for your commments!

  6. Hi Brenda,
    I choose not to suffer! I'll never forget reading Jerry's books back in the 80's. I still have Love is Letting Go of Guilt. It's in a million pieces wrapped in a rubber band. And I'm guilt free!

  7. Yes...I love choosing not to suffer...I think it was Love is Letting Go of Fear, no? Fear or guilt both are toxic emotions!!

  8. Wonderful thoughts, Brenda. This is a topic we need to talk more about. How to free OURSELVES is what forgiving is all about. Blessings to you...

  9. Brenda,
    Can we just shout this to the world today! Maybe a Happy Forgiveness Day is necessary. We can't have love until we forgive. Love the quote. What a movement he started. I was blessed to come upon it so young!

  10. Want to rise for joy in your life and do what you enjoy most and get paid for it? Visit WWW.RISEFORJOY.WS Not Job But Joy! Once in a lifetime opportunity! God Bless!

  11. Brenda,
    I tried to comment to you on Tess's website but for some reason it wouldn't let me post this comment. But here it is:

    It was such a pleasure to be on Tess's website. I'm glad to give you "great relief" and reminders. There are so many times when I don't feels calm but force myself to peacefulness and not reacting. I'm always glad when I wait!!
    Thanks for the comment!

    PS Glad to have discovered your website.