Why Do We Forgive?

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“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”- Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness means freedom. When you forgive those who have hurt you, you are not letting them off the hook of pain, you are letting yourself off the hook of pain and resentment. When you forgive people, you are letting go of the past. You are now ready to move forward. It does not mean you are letting the other person go unpunished. It means that you are letting go of the pain inflicted upon you by that person.

So, why do we forgive?

In her book The How of Happiness: A New Approach To Getting The Life You Want, Sonja Lyubomirsky writes: “In the long run, the preoccupation, hostility, and resentment that we harbor serve only to hurt us, both emotionally and physically.” She adds: “Forgiveness can be regarded in the larger context of community and society; it can deepen our sense of shared humanity (that we are not alone in experiencing hurts) and strengthens our personal relationships and our wider connections with others.”

You forgive people to let yourself off the hook of pain and resentment, to let go of the past, to be yourself again, to enjoy your life, to live in the moment, to focus on what is relevant to you and others, to be happy, to improve your health and well-being, to let the other person go, to free yourself from prisoner, to connect with loving people, to build your character, and to love and be loved again.

Don’t allow resentment to poison your life. Choose happiness, love, humility, courage, gratitude, and forgiveness, and move on. Enjoy your life!

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Our lives are all different and yet the same

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We have more in common than you think. We are not really different. We are connected. We need each other to survive. You need me. I need you. No one succeed alone. People helped you succeed- your parents, your teachers, your spouse, your boss (bad and good), your coach (if you have one), and your religious leaders. They all helped you to get to this point.

We all need the same good things in life- health, wealth, great friends, and a great place to work, to name a few. We are all connected, and when one is sick, all is sick. When anything affects anyone of us, all of us are affected. Anne Frank said, “We all live with the objective of being happy, our lives are all different and yet the same.” We can be different and still be happy. Yes, it is possible.

If you want to live happily with someone who is not like you, focus on what you have in common, not on your differences. When you focus on what you have in common, it opens up an opportunity for you to explore your differences. But when you focus on your differences, you are widening the distance between you and your neighbor. The world is beautiful! Reach out to your neighbors.

If you want to know people, reach out to them. Don’t judge them from a distance. The only way to know people is to live with them. If you don’t know me, don’t judge me? If you don’t know people, don’t judge them.

To know people, reach out to them.