Monday, August 18, 2008

Forgiveness Starts With A Decision

From the book "Dare To Forgive" written by Edward M. Hallowell, M. D. in 2004, pages 17-18:

"But habitual, active forgiveness, the kind of forgiveness that elevates your life and makes you a healthier, happier, more effective person, does not happen by accident, by revelation or by the mere passage of time.

Forgiveness comes from a decision you made long ago to live in a certain way. You don't have to be religious; indeed, many religious people can't forgive anything. You don't have to be a goody-goody; indeed, many goody-goodies are secretly nasty. You don't have to become a saint, take special vows, undergo therapy or get on some medication.

All you really have to do is look for the best in others and in yourself. When you try to do that, you set forgiveness in motion."

Forgiveness isn't easy when you have been deeply hurt or betrayed by someone that you love. Forgiveness isn't immediate. It takes time and effort to let go of the hurt and anger. Forgiveness isn't a one-time event and it is done. It is something that you have to face over and over again until finally all or at least most of the hurt is gone. Then you are free of the pain. You still remember; it just doesn't hurt as much as it once did.

Is forgiveness worth the time and effort? Sure it is. So much of your life can be affected by holding in the anger and hurt. Once you can finally release those strong emotions, you feel better mentally, emotionally and physically. Forgiveness can make you a better person.

Related articles:

Forgiveness, Done In Layers ---

Prelude To Forgiveness ---

Forgiveness Is For You, Not The Other Person ---


Sam said...

Have you ever tried radical forgiveness by Colin Tipping?
I'd be interested in a comparison...

Patricia Singleton said...

Sam, I haven't heard of it. Can you briefly tell us about it in a comment?

Jenny said...


This is a very important post to me. There are things that some close friends have done to me that have taken me a while to forgive. Do they necessarily know that I have forgiven them, no, but it's ok, I know that I forgive them and that makes me happy. I don't know if I'll ever get the chance to let them know they are forgiven, but somehow I don't think they realize they needed to be.

Patricia Singleton said...

Jenny, when you forgive someone else, you are the main person who benefits from the forgiveness. If it was important to the other person, they would probably say something to you about being forgiven. The other person doesn't have to know.

Sam said...

Colin Tippings website or book can explain it way better than I:

In short it is a step by step way to radically forgive stuff that bothers you a lot, and that you might even think you will not be able to forgive.

Patricia Singleton said...

Sam, thanks for sharing this link? Have you used this method yourself with good results? I will check it out.

Sam said...

I used it with good results - additionally it gave me a lot of helpful views to think about forgiveness.


Slade | Shift Your Spirits said...


I believe that forgiveness is for yourself, not the people who hurt you. They don't even have to know about it. It may be more powerful to forgive privately, silently, internally. (Some people want to communicate their forgiveness, as a form of more power and drama.)


Patricia Singleton said...

Sam, thank you for this information. I will check it out.

Patricia Singleton said...

Slade, I agree with you. The forgiveness work that I have always done has definitely been for me. With my dad who was still a practicing alcoholic, most of my words were to his higher self.