Many people have come to me asking “How can I forgive him/her. Do I just forget?” How does one forgive those who have hurt them be it by an ex-spouse, lover, parent, sibling, etc. I decided to ask my facebook friends to see how they deal with the thought of forgiveness. As you’ll see, many grapple with the true meaning of it and its purpose. Below are some of the responses:
Randy and Monica Z.— I’ve personally learned that as I forgive I’m able to be whole and free and even get personal healing. If I don’t forgive I feel stuck, miserable and bitterness will set in and rob me of living the life that I was meant to live. I make mistakes and I say things that I shouldn’t but as I go to the person I offended and ask for forgiveness my relationships grow and I can move on and grow as an individual.
VL— I like, “don’t let the one you are angry with live ‘rent free’ in your head.
SK— I think in order to live your life honestly, you have to forgive, no matter the offense. To forgive is not to forget, but to release the toxins and venom from your own body in order to live in the present. Forgiving is not giving the other person, people, event or circumstance a free pass, but giving yourself the power to heal and love again.
Steven Geller discusses forgiveness and explains that forgiveness is the first step in healing. Perhaps what we’re leaving un-said is that for forgiveness and apology to last, it must be genuine and sincere. For a long time, I’ve lived by a principle I refer to as hineini. It is a Hebrew word meaning, “here I am.” To me it means, “right here, right now.” I am in this moment at this place. It means live right now… don’t forget the past or forsake the future, but don’t live there either. Learn from the past, plan for the future, savor the now.
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M Gary Neuman is a New York Times best-selling author, and creator of Neuman Method Programs. He was on the Oprah show 11 times as well as having made multiple appearances on Today, Dateline, the View, NPR and others. Oprah referred to Gary as “One of the best psychotherapists in the world.”