The Power of Forgiveness

I’ve done plenty of things in my life for which I needed forgiveness. Sometimes I got it, sometimes I didn’t. Obviously I feel worse about the things for which I wasn’t forgiven. But I don’t feel worse only for me, I got over it a long time ago. I made peace with my screw-up, I vowed to not make the same mistake again and I moved on.

I feel worse for the person who didn’t forgive me. They may still be holding a grudge and that’s a terrible burden to carry around. I feel terrible that the original cause of that grudge was me, something I did or something I said. But when someone offends us we have two choices, we can forgive and get on with our lives or we can carry that offense around with us like an anchor.

Anchors are heavy, they slow down and often completely stop our journey towards success.

It is important that we understand that while forgiveness may be good for the forgiven it is vital to the forgiver. Forgiveness frees us to live in the present. Forgiveness allows us to move forward in life without that anchor of anger or energy sapping contempt slowing us down.

Forgiving does not mean condoning whatever wrongdoing was directed our way. It doesn’t even mean forgetting what was done to us. It just means we are not going to allow that offense to steal one additional minute of our happiness.

Forgiving someone flushes the anger, hatred, hurt and resentment out of our system and gives us back the power to control our emotions and our lives.

When someone hurts you in some way tell them. Tell them why you feel the way you do and explain why it’s not acceptable. That’s an important step in forgiveness because in that moment you’re teaching that person what you will accept and what you won’t. Tell them as well that you forgive them, whether they think they need forgiveness or not. Remember, this is more for you than it is for them.

There is tremendous power in forgiveness but you must forgive in order to experience it. When you experience the pain of wrongdoing YOU have to make the choice of carrying that pain with you or letting it go.

Holding on holds you back, let it go and set yourself free!

A Present for Yourself

It doesn’t really matter if you believe in Santa Claus (I most certainly do) or if you celebrate Christmas in any fashion. Whether you understand “the reason for the season” or if you’re a commitment capitalist who enjoys the cash flow this time of year, you likely still appreciate presents. 


Despite my trust in Santa he frequently disappoints me. Like pretty much always. My wife has done a terrific job through the years of picking up the slack for the jolly guy but sometimes I end up getting what I want by buying if for myself. 


It’s okay to give yourself a gift, especially this time of year and I know just the gift for you. It will have an immediate positive impact on you and it will last the rest of your life. 


If doesn’t need to be wrapped, it’s guaranteed to fit and the best news of all is that it doesn’t cost a thing. It’s the best present you will ever give yourself. 


Wondering what that present for yourself might be? Well here it is:


Forgive someone.


Forgiveness might be a gift you share with someone else but the forgiver often receives more than the forgiven with this special gift. It makes no difference in the forgiven has asked for this gift or not…you as the forgiver still reap the benefits of one of the best gifts ever. 


The reason this is a great gift is because it comes from within you. You might have to reach deep within yourself to find it but I promise you it’s there. The most unique thing about this gift is that it’s actually worthless until you give it away, then it becomes priceless….for you.


Forgiveness is one of those things that is far far easier to write about than it is to practice. Do it anyway. Get rid of the pain, the hurt, the regrets and the anger this holiday season. Do it once and for all, you’ve thought about it, maybe even for years, quit thinking about it and do it. 


Forgiving others can be hard but what can be even harder is forgiving yourself. If there is something you’re hanging onto, no matter how big of a deal it might have been in the past, let it go, forgive yourself. 

When you forgive someone else you give yourself a gift, when you forgive yourself it is like you’ve given that gift twice. So go ahead and give it, I’m absolutely certain it will be a perfect fit. 

A Second Chance

There has been a lot of talk in the news lately, at least in the U.S. of second chances. Specifically the conversation has centered around when and IF people deserve a second chance.

I suppose the politically correct and sensitive answer is: yes, people always deserve a second chance.

That’s an easy answer in theory but in practice it’s not so simple.

No one will ever accuse me of being overly politically correct but in this instance, maybe only in this instance, I believe the politically correct answer is actually the right answer. People really do deserve a second chance. Maybe a more specially correct answer would be other people deserve a second chance.

We seldom need to be reminded that we deserve a second chance, I mean, we’re only human, we make mistakes. We deserve a chance to “do better next time.”

So does every other person.

But again, giving second chances is often easier said than done. When the other person’s “mistake” has directly impacted us it is harder to give them a do over. It’s harder but not impossible. Some mistakes however are so big it’s hard to even call it a mistake, it might just be a lie, or even a crime. Still, it’s not impossible, only harder.

Just remember “second” means 2, it means another. It doesn’t mean 3 or 4 or 5. It doesn’t mean another and another. If someone continually does you wrong then YOU deserve to walk away from them.

Here’s a question to ask yourself when determining if someone else deserves a second chance: if you had done the identical thing, would YOU want and deserve a second chance? Answer HONESTLY….

There’s your answer. If you deserve a second chance then why doesn’t the next person?

If you answered no to that question you need to ask it again. Ask it again while keeping in mind that you are special, you are valuable, you matter. You deserve to be allowed to try again. Never forget that amazing FACT!

FORGIVE This Holiday Season

(Yes, I know this post is a day earlier than normal but it’s kind of a gift and I didn’t want it to be late)

The song says that this is the most wonderful time of the year. I agree! I think most people would agree with that sentiment as well. Most, but not all.

For some people “The Holidays” are the most difficult time of the year. Family gatherings bring with them heightened levels of stress and remembrances of things gone wrong. Often the memories are downright angry.

Sometimes we carry that anger with us for years and years, the weight of it burdening every holiday and family gathering. Anger wears us out, it limits the joy in life.

So this year, whatever holiday it is you celebrate just let go of the anger long enough to remember the good times. Then just forgive whoever and whatever has stood between you and the good memories.

Now, I know that sounds a little Pollyanna. I know how hard forgiveness can be and I know some people have been deeply hurt by others. Understand I’m not suggesting you forget, I’m hoping you will forgive.

Some of the most generous people will give and give, all while holding tightly to the anger and resentment. I’m suggesting that perhaps you to be even more generous this year and FORgive.

Forgive others because even if they don’t deserve it, you do deserve the peace that comes with forgiving.

It doesn’t matter if they are sorry, forgive them anyway. Even if you don’t want a renewed friendship or relationship, forgive them. Just forgive! Hanging on to anger is just too expensive, in every way you can measure it.

One more thing, while you’re forgiving others don’t forget that you also deserve forgiveness. So if it’s needed, forgive yourself too!

This can indeed be the most wonderful time of the year, but YOU must choose to make it so.