Thoughts on Forgiveness

People will wrong you in life.  It may have been done by accident or the person may have done something to deliberately take advantage of you or harm you.

A willingness to forgive the wrong doer, can help you heal from the emotional harm done by the perpetrator.

However, forgiving is not the same as forgetting.

Once someone has deliberately deceived you or harmed you, do not trust them in the future.  To do so would only invite further deception.

Forgiveness may be freely given, but trust and respect must be earned.

Forgivness is also not an automatic pardon.  Forgiving someone does not take away the need for punishment or restitution, especially if a crime was committed.

Forgiveness is more about helping yourself heal, then it is about helping the other person.

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The Art of Letting Go

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This was an enjoyable book to read and full of practical advice.  The main things I learned from reading it:

  • Anything that feels forced or harder than it should be or causes you pain and distress is not meant for you.
  • If we keep holding on to toxic situations or toxic people because we’ve already done too much or it’s too late to change things, we are only setting ourselves up for a miserable life.

The Art of Happiness

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This is an excellent book and full of wonderful advice on how to achieve happiness in our modern world.  A few of my favorite points are listed below.

  • Happiness can be achieved through training the mind.
  • Success may result in a temporary feeling of elation, or tragedy may send us into a period of depression, but sooner or later our overall level of happiness tends to migrate back to a certain baseline.
  • Whether we are feeling happy or unhappy at any given moment often has very little to do with our absolute conditions, but rather it is a function of how we perceive our situation, how satisfied we are with what we have.
  • Our feelings of contentment are strongly influenced by our tendency to compare.
  • Greed is an exaggerated form of desire, based on over expectation.
  • The true antidote of greed is contentment.
  • Inner contentment is not to have what we want, but rather to want and appreciate what we have.
  • It is more sensible to spend energy focusing on the solution than worrying about the problem.