149 Days ’til 40: Forgiveness

25 Sep


Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. ~ Mark Twain

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them. ~ Bruce Lee

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave. ~ Indira Gandhi

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

The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world. ~ Marianne Williamson

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

As I think of all of the individuals who will be observing Yom Kippur this evening (Tuesday) through Wednesday evening it brings to mind the struggle that so many individuals have with forgiveness.  Yom Kippur is often thought of as a holiday of forgiveness only, but it is really one that focuses on the reconciliation that comes after the apologies and forgiveness have occurred.

I know of many individuals who have struggled with forgiveness in their lifetimes – some have been wounded terribly.  In previous posts I have reminded individuals that forgiveness does not mean forgetting our pasts.  Forgiveness means releasing the stranglehold that our pasts may have on our present lives.  Forgiveness is not for the person we are forgiving, it is for ourselves.

That said, there are also moments when we need to forgive ourselves for mistakes we have made and in those moments we must find the personal strength to truly make amends for the pain we may have caused others.  This can be a challenge – and, of course, we cannot make someone else be sorry, or force someone else to have the courage to be honest in the face of mistakes and pain.

I think it is important for us to be willing to approach people we have hurt (intentionally or unintentionally) and find ways to work through the situation.  This molds us into stronger, more sensitive, individuals.

Today, 149 days ’til 40, I and thankful that I live a life where I can forgive others and ask for forgiveness when I make mistakes.



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22 responses to “149 Days ’til 40: Forgiveness

  1. fransiweinstein

    September 25, 2012 at 00:17

    So well said.

  2. The Quiet Borderline (back in hospital)

    September 25, 2012 at 02:22

    Gmar chatima tova and tzom kal!

  3. memoricprism

    September 25, 2012 at 04:50

    Thank you, I needed to read this. 🙂
    I need to forgive myself mostly, hopefully this post will help me to do just that. 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      September 25, 2012 at 23:40

      You are welcome – yes, we all need to be able to forgive ourselves!

  4. viveka

    September 25, 2012 at 13:57

    To forgive and to be forgiven … big issues in life. I’m totally with you – there is people that forgive at once and there is people that carry it with them forever. We have to be able to forgive otherwise we can’t live a full life. Hate doesn’t give anything back .. it only takes.
    Sorry, is one of the most difficult words .. we have – but it better to misuse than not use at all. It’s just to hold up the hands and say … sorry. It’s very easy … and it’s very easy to forgive someone too … life is too short for living with all unforgiving deposits in our memory bank. Love this post.

    • 400daystil40

      September 25, 2012 at 23:40

      Yes, very big issues – also, if we can forgive, we are emotionally and physically healthier.

  5. Mari

    September 25, 2012 at 15:22

    I love that you included a quote by Marianne Williamson. I am currently reading A Return to Love and I am so glad that I decided to read it because it definitely does put into perspective how forgiveness heals us as individuals so that in return we may allow love to heal the world.

    Thanks for sharing such an inspiring post!

    • 400daystil40

      September 25, 2012 at 23:29

      My partner loves Marianne Williamson….. 🙂

      • Mari

        September 25, 2012 at 23:39

        I love how well she conveys her idea of what love is! (:

  6. simon7banks

    September 25, 2012 at 16:06

    I really like the Lewis B Smedes quote. Who was he?

    “Love your enemy” – Jesus.

  7. saymber

    September 25, 2012 at 18:39

    I feel like I’ve been writing this quote a lot lately — Oprah described foregiveness in a way that really resonated withe me: “Forgiveness is giving up the hope of changing the past.”

    • 400daystil40

      September 25, 2012 at 23:28

      Wow, what a GREAT quote – and so very true. I had not thought about it that way, but I see how it could apply perfectly in many areas of my own past.

  8. Another Thousand Words

    September 25, 2012 at 22:21

    Marvelously thought-provoking post, 400! So much wisdom, backed up with the finest quotes…I wish more people would read this; we might have a much better world if they did!

  9. Katherine Checkley

    September 26, 2012 at 15:34

    Love this post. The Mark Twain quote is great! I’ve struggled with forgiveness myself. Your post has helped cleared up the meaning for me. I agree…being stuck in stagnant anger does more damage to me than it does to the person I’m angry with. The release can be difficult, but once it’s achieved, it makes you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

    • 400daystil40

      September 26, 2012 at 23:22

      Thanks, yes I LOVE the quote too – have loved it since I was in high school! It is true, anger does hurt us more, but as you say, it can be difficult to allow the release – but when we do, it is so good for us!

  10. The White Pumpkin

    September 27, 2012 at 01:43

    a very good reminder. Sometimes I find it hard to approach people when I have made a mistake and hurt them, not because I am unwilling but they wont let the subject be broached and turn away. its hard and I find myself forced to move on

    • 400daystil40

      September 27, 2012 at 21:14

      Yes, that is a good (and sad) point…..


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