Want to blossom? Forgive them Anyway …and Move On

 

The Anyway Poem

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered,
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives,
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies,
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you,
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight,
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous,
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow,
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough,
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God,
It was never between you and them anyway.

– Mother Teresa (Original version by Dr. Kent M. Keith according to  New York Times – (March 8, 2002).

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This is Part 2b of the 4-part Blossom series. It speaks to Forgiveness, a subtopic under Emotions that suck up your energies. To access Part 1 of the Blossom series, which covered the topic of pulling out the weed of unhealthy Mindsets that can hold you back, Click here.

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What is forgiveness? Really.

To define it, let’s consider the three aspects that make forgiveness complete:

  1. Letting go of the hold you have over what the offender did to you
  2. Relieving yourself from expending useful energy on nursing the related grudge
  3. Releasing the offender from the resentful hold.

To curve out the boundaries within which forgiveness ordinarily fits, let’s also discuss what forgiveness isn’t. Forgiveness is not condoning the behavior or protecting the offender in ways that enable them to continue offending. (See Isaiah 5:20). Forgiveness is NOT denying the occurrence of the offence. Neither is it allowing yourself to become a doormat for intentional offenders to wipe their dirty feet on. If you feel pressured to protect the offender out of fear for your safety, your situation would be considered abuse. There should be help for that.

Why Forgive – Anyway?

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Not forgiving can lead to an unhealthy desire to revenge, a longing to prove yourself at a cost higher than necessary, feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, anger, hostility,  resentfulness, helplessness, ill will towards the offender and other unhealthy emotions or drives. Besides that,

“Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in [your] heart rate, blood pressure and immune response. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.”                        – Dr. Karen Swartz of the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

We can, therefore, say with certainty that not letting go of offences can drain your energy, cause illness and leave you ineffective in ways unforeseen. According to Joyce Meyer, “Many people ruin their health and their lives by taking the poison of bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness.”

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Sure, it is difficult to consider forgiveness if the effects of another person’s actions have left devastating, permanent results, sometimes resulting in death! Death may include physical death, loss of relationships, loss of reputation, and the like. It is difficult to forgive if the offender continues to offend or if she/he is intent on continuing to wrong you. It is also very difficult to forgive if you perceive the offense as a betrayal – especially by people you consider close to you, or those you had considered to be your confidants.

Yet, there are incredible stories of forgiveness that reveal the strengths of exemplary men and women that we can all strive to emulate:

Real life Forgiveness example 1:

When overseeing the removal of an unregistered car from his rental property, Dr. Chuck Sandstrom was confronted by the car’s enraged owner, Mr. Ayers, who punched Dr. Sandstrom onto a hard wall causing the doctor to suffer a lasting traumatic brain injury.

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“… during Ayers’ trial, Sandstrom and his wife chose to join the defense, petitioning for a reduced sentence and access to treatment, work and school during his jail time.

….. Sandstrom said “People think we’re special to have forgiven this man but trust me, my wife and I are not abnormally good people. What is true, however, is that the path of forgiveness can take ordinary people on an extraordinary journey.”

Real life Forgiveness example 2:

“Scarlett Lewis’ son, Jesse, was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the biggest school shooting in U.S. history. At first … she felt like her anger sapped all her strength and energy. She was angry at the shooter and at the mother for unwittingly arming him. But she made a choice to forgive.”

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She said “Forgiveness felt like I was given a big pair of scissors to cut the tie and regain my personal power. It started with a choice and then became a process.” She urged mourners at Jesse’s funeral to change their angry thoughts into loving ones, that thereby they might change the world.”

The above 2 Stories were retrieved from https://familyshare.com


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And … No, you wouldn’t want to miss my Next Blog Post, would you?

Of course not! In the next blog, let’s continue to explore Forgiveness and Freedom. I will be talking about how to forgive using the ABC strategy – the Tri-Wisdom way. I will also be adding a real life forgiveness scenario … or two. To your success and True Happiness….

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