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The Power of Forgiveness

To err is human, to forgive, divine.

~ Alexander Pope


This popular adage about the virtue of forgiveness is often quoted, and even more often misunderstood.  The common interpretation is that we all make mistakes and that the bigger person forgives in order to absolve the wrongdoer from guilt, allowing him or her to go on with life and “sin no more”.

In that sense, forgiveness is a “divine” act on the part of the one who forgives. But what reward, if any, does the forgiver gain?

Forgiveness has very little to do with the person who has hurt you. It is really a gift that you give to yourself.  A quote attributed to Buddha, among others, states that holding on to anger and resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. The act of forgiving frees us to live without the weight of that anger and resentment, negative emotions that can only create bitterness and depression.  

Forgiveness enhances physical and psychological well being in the giver as well as the receiver, by promoting self worth and decreasing stress. Letting go of an injury also demonstrates your willingness to move beyond the “victim” role and into your personal power.This allows you to live a more satisfied and fulfilling life.

It’s important to remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to accept or excuse the behavior of another.  Nor does it imply you should forget. However, it does mean granting yourself permission to let go of the hurt, move on and be happy – because that is what is best for you!

To Your Best Life!


Practice Being Happy Now

How often have we heard that life is short?  We toss the statement off so easily that it’s almost a cliché, but one that’s all too true nonetheless. 

Most people live a condition-based life, waiting for things around them to change before they can be happy.  The paradigm goes something like this: once “x” happens, then life will finally be better.  But when it comes to happiness, waiting until tomorrow isn’t always an option.  For all we know, tomorrow may not come. The truth is that becoming motivated, inspired and fully engaged in life is a choice that starts within each one of us right now. 

Being happy in the present doesn’t imply that you should be complacent or resigned to mediocrity, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you ought to enjoy misfortune. However, there is always something in your experience you can feel good about.  In one poignant diary entry shortly before her death, a young Anne Frank wrote,  “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

Human beings are creatures of habit. If you wait until everything is going great before you can be happy, you may wait a long time. Not because things will never be great or even somewhat better, but because unhappiness will have become your habit.  By concentrating on what you don’t like about your life right now, by relegating your happiness to some future time, you’ll become a master at being miserable. 

The good news is that being happy is also a habit.  With practice, it will become your natural state. You won’t have to think about it – you’ll simply BE it.  When you practice being happy, investing your energy in positive thoughts and emotions, you will attract whatever you desire almost effortlessly. The greatest bonus, however, is that your life TODAY will be what you always wished it would be like tomorrow.

To Your Happiness Today!


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