The Peace of Forgiveness

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“As long as you don’t forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy rent-free space in your mind.” ~Isabelle Holland

This can be a tough one. Is there someone you’ve been holding a grudge against? Someone you’ve simply been unwilling to forgive? Consider that you might be the only one suffering as a result of that. I tell my clients that to hold anger and animosity against another is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It usually doesn’t turn out that way.

For just a moment, think about the offending person. What feelings arise in you? They are likely all negative—that’s the poison. Now check in with your body. What do you notice about where those negative feelings are stored? How are they impacting you physically through tension or heaviness? Next, take an inventory of your thoughts. What shows up? Likely more poison.

So this is a choice point. You can choose to forgive. It is possible to forgive, even if you don’t forget. I’m not suggesting that it’s necessarily easy or done quickly—especially if the hurt is recent. I’m also not suggesting that forgiveness necessarily means a reconciliation, although that can result. And forgiveness doesn’t mean that you condone the behavior that hurt in the first place. What you’re after is a sense of peace and understanding…and that is my wish for you.

Please share your thoughts, insights and questions below. Your participation provides wisdom that all can benefit from. Thank you!

Denise Yamada © 3/2011

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