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Forgiveness Series: Why Forgive?

by Jo-Ann Downey on December 28, 2012

in Relationship Communication Skills

How do you want to spend your daily energy?  Do you have energy leaks that get in your way of having a healthier, joyful, and productive life?  Can you see that any level of anger, upset, or resentment is an energy leak? Why preoccupy yourself with yesterday’s grudges at the expense of today’s successes?

Forgiveness Quotes from the Masters

In “Forgiveness Series: Quotes about Forgiveness”,  many quotes describe forgiveness as an opportunity of a much higher order than an exercise in forgiving a particular person, belief, incident, or situation.  Forgiveness is a healthy choice, demonstrates your intention to contribute in constructive ways, and sets you free to use your daily energy in positive ways.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” Louis B. Smedes (1921-2002)

Forgiveness is an Inside Job

Forgiveness is personal choice to let go of judgmental, negative, and unproductive energy so that you can use your energy in more constructive, helpful, and joyful ways.  Forgiveness does not mean that you excuse or condone the behavior of others, that you necessarily reconcile with others, or that you like certain circumstances or situations.  Forgiveness has nothing to do with whether justice prevails, whether someone apologizes to you, whether you communicate your forgiveness to others (never put yourself in physical, mental, or emotional harm’s way), or whether someone accepts your forgiveness.

Forgiveness is an inside job,  although outer circumstances can change through forgiveness.

Forgiveness is Good for Your Health and Well-Being

Releasing negative thoughts, feelings, and energy opens up space for more positive thoughts, feelings, and energy.  As shared in “Choose Your Thoughts Well”, thoughts tend to build upon each other. It is not likely that after having a thought like “this is not going well”, that you would have the thought “things are in harmony.” Thoughts, positive or negative, connect to each other like compartments of a train- they pull each other along in the same direction.

Watch your thoughts and get on the positive thought-train going in a positive direction. Once you are on the train, stay on it for as long as you can. You have complete power over your thoughts, so why not get on the best train as often, and for as long, as you can? It’s your choice.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

Choose to forgive.  Forgiveness is good for your health and well-being.  Very Smart Girls choose forgiveness and they start with themselves.

For reference, “Forgiveness Series: Categorizing and Judging”, and “Forgiveness Series: Observing Where You Are Coming From.

I welcome your comments! The name you type in the comment section (for example, Jo-Ann, Jo-Ann Downey or Jo-Ann from Boston) will appear on the site next to your comment. Your email address will NOT appear. If you provide a website URL (for example, your business or your blog URL), it will be linked to the name you typed in name so others can learn more about you.

photo credit: marimoon

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Louise January 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Forgiving people depends on the severity of the situation. If everyone says that if god can forgive, why can’t we? But we’re not all gifted with a god-like forgiving heart.


Jo-Ann Downey January 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Louise- thank you for your input. I feel that forgiveness is a work in progress. My sense is that it is just a matter of time for authentic unconditional forgiveness for everyone…even if it is at our last breath; however, why not try to progress before that point! 😉


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