Helpful Forgiveness Hint

We sometimes think that those who hurt us have far more control over us than they actually do. We often measure our Constant forgivenesshappiness or unhappiness by what has happened in the past.

My challenges to you today are these: Your response of forgiveness now to the one who hurt you can set you free from a past influence that has been toxic. Try to measure your happiness by what you will do next (not by what is past). Your next move can be this–to love regardless of what others do to you.

Robert

Reflection on Legacy—Your Legacy

While surfing the web yesterday, I came across this idea on legacy: “…. legacy counts for little: the vast majority of us will be forgotten and our works with us.”

That quotation got me to think about each of our legacies. Legacy is what we leave behind when we die. Even if we are forgotten and our work along with us, legacy remains. You see, legacy is not just how we are remembered. In addition, and most importantly, legacy is what actually remains from our actions here on earth—whether what is left is attributed to us or not.

In a recentMake a Difference 3 blog post we discussed anger in Northern Ireland, an anger that has lasted since the late 17th century. No one today can pinpoint who it was that started all of this anger that lives on. Yet, it lives on. It is real and it was started by some who left it here on this earth when they died.

I think love shares this with anger: It, too, can be our legacy that lives on long after we are gone, and it can exist apart from anyone ever connecting our love back to us.

Does legacy count for little? Look at the legacy of anger in countries torn by strife for centuries. Even though we cannot name the originators, the legacy is profound and not in a good way.

Does legacy count for little? Think of even one time in which one of your parents gave you legitimate love that stayed in your heart. If you can pass that to even one other heart and then it is passed on to another heart, does this count for little?

Legacy of LoveDo not be concerned if your name is not in lights 200 years from now. Be very concerned that you have the opportunity today to start a pattern of love that goes from heart to heart to heart…even if you and your works are long forgotten.

Legacy can be profound and in a very positive way. Start your legacy today. Love someone deeply enough that the love abides in that heart….and lives on.

Robert

My husband has a bad temper. He is in therapy for this. His father abandoned the family when the children were young, which is part of why my husband now has his temper. Should I start with forgiving my husband or his father? I find that I am angrier with the father for what he did.

Perhaps you should begin forgiving your husband. There are two reasons for this: 1) It is easier to forgive those at whom we have less anger. Starting here will strengthen you for the bigger issue of forgiving your father-in-law; 2) You are in a direct relationship with your husband and so your beginning a forgiveness process now may help you to reduce your anger with him, thus improving your relationship. With you being less angry with him, then you can be a support for him as he changes.

After 13 Years of Living Hell. . . Forgiveness

891 ABC News, Adelaide, Australia – Imagine being locked in prison, being beaten daily and suffering in inhumane conditions in a cell with 49 other people. Imagine coming out of this living hell after 13 years, being diagnosed with cancer but having found forgiveness, happiness, and even peace.

SchutteReon Schutte, a former South African elite Special Forces solider, was captured in??1992 and imprisoned in the notoriously brutal Chikurubi prison in Zimbabwe. He was pardoned and released in 2004, and has since shared his incredible story of survival??to more than one million people around the world through speaking engagements and his book, “Set Yourself Free.”

While incarcerated,??Schutte subsisted on a half cup of rice and cabbage leaves a day, endured inhumane conditions and daily beatings ???and learned forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance of circumstances and the ability to reprogram his mind for ultimate freedom. The key,??Schutte says, is choice, “a powerful tool to which every human has access at every moment and that is our ticket to freedom, regardless of the situation. We may not be able to choose our circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond.”

When Schutte shares his life journey with audiences, he??holds listeners spellbound with his incredible story of survival and overcoming inconceivable odds. At the same time, he inspires his audience members to break out of the “personal prisons” they have created for themselves through fear, hate, anger, blame, lack of forgiveness, self-doubt and attachment to material possessions or status. In his??book,“Set Yourself Free,”??Schutte shares 10 Principles–lessons he learned the very hard way–and provides simple exercises to immediately put the Principles into practice.

The 10 Principles to Break Out of Your Personal Prison

  1. ForgiveSet Yourself Free cover
  2. Love and Serve Others
  3. Persevere
  4. Accept Your Circumstances
  5. Choose your response
  6. Lead by Example
  7. Practice ???This is Sufficient???
  8. Understand There is no ???There???
  9. Stop WHYning!
  10. Exercise Your Power of Choice

Read the full story: “Reon Schutte. . .the definition of forgiveness”

Is it possible that as a person forgives that she can actually become a better person? If so, what does this “better person” look like?

Forgiveness is a moral virtue and thus centers on goodness. ??The specific goodness expressed in forgiveness are mercy and even love toward those who have been unjust and even cruel to us. ??As a person forgives, he practices what is called seeing the inherent worth in the one or ones who have been unfair. ??As the person practices inherent worth, there is a tendency for this to generalize so that she now sees all people as possessing inherent worth. ??So, as a person forgives and keeps practicing forgiveness, he can grow in being a more merciful and loving person who see the built-in worth of all.

I have been hurt by two different people in almost the exact same way. Both insulted me and acted like I don’t even have a brain. I found it not so hard to forgive the first person. Two times is too much and so I am having a hard time forgiving the second person. What do you recommend?

You likely have anger toward both people and so the anger toward the first one is spilling over to the second. ??In other words, you may have an accumulation of anger. ??First, please be aware of this if indeed this is the case. ??Then I recommend continuing to forgive the first person and persevere until the anger lessens. ??With lessened anger, and with the practice you now have in the process of forgiveness, you may find that forgiving the second person is easier than it was previously.

Forgiveness as Truth, Goodness, and Beauty

We all quest after these three qualities of life: truth, goodness, and beauty. Too often, those who hurt us are not standing in the truth of who we are, they are not behaving in a morally good way toward us, and the outcome surely is not beautiful.

Those who hurt us leave a mess behind: a distortion of truth, goodness, and beauty.

three-pillarsTruth tells us who we are as persons. We are all special, unique, and irreplaceable. All persons have inherent worth.

Goodness conforms to truth. When we realize that all persons are special and possess inherent worth, our response of goodness should include fairness toward all as well as kindness, respect, generosity, and love.

Beauty is defined by goodness. If we are to respond to others with fairness, kindness, respect, generosity, and love, then we have to express this well from the heart.

So, how do we clean up the mess left behind by those who are cruel?

We should try to forgive with truth, goodness, and beauty. How do we do this?

In truth, we have to start forgiveness by understanding it clearly. Even when someone is cruel to us, the truth is that this person is special, unique, and irreplaceable. Even if this person has hurt us, he/she has inherent worth.

In goodness, even when someone is cruel to us, the challenge of goodness compels us to respond with fairness, kindness, respect, generosity, and love. Yes, even toward those who are cruel to us.

In beauty, even when someone is cruel to The-Truth-Goodness-and-Beautyus, the challenge of beauty is to transform our hearts so that all of the goodness is not forced but is given willingly as a gift to that person.

As we apply truth, goodness, and beauty to those who have acted unfairly toward us, we not only help to clean up the mess left behind but also we are doing our part to make the world a more beautiful place.

Robert