What if Forgiveness was Essential for Living Whole-Heartedly?

As I have been meditating, reading and reflecting the past few days, a question that has come up for me has been – What if Forgiveness was Essential for Living Whole-Heartedly? 

What if through practising forgiveness we found the freedom to be who we really are and reconnect with love?

Disconnection from who we are causes us pain and suffering. When we think we are disconnected, we think we need more as we are not enough or don’t have enough.

For example – have you ever noticed how you feel when you are judging, blaming or shaming something or someone in the outside world? If so, you know what I mean! If not, next time you notice yourself doing this, check in and notice how you feel.

The idea or subject of forgiveness can be a tough one (well it has been for me anyway). Subsequently in this post I am going to share –

Let’s get started!


Definitions of Forgiveness –

During my research, I found the following definitions of forgiveness –

  • “Forgiveness is the path to happiness”, “Forgiveness is the healing of the perception of separation”  ~ A Course in Miracles
  • “the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven” ~ Google
  • “the act of forgiving; pardon” ~ The Free Dictionary
  • “the act of forgiving or the willingness to forgive.” ~ Cambridge Dictionary
  • “the act of forgiving or the state of being forgiven” or “the willingness to forgive.” ~ Collins Dictionary

Is there anything you would add to these definitions?


What is Forgiveness?

As you can see by the above definitions of forgiveness, there are a number of ways to define forgiveness. Following are two videos that explore more deeply what forgiveness is. The first one is Fred Luskin sharing his insight in to forgiveness “wanting yes and getting no”.

In the following clip, Jack Cornfield talks about what forgiveness means to him.

5 Quotes on Forgiveness

The following 5 quotes on forgiveness have helped me understand or embody my way in to forgiveness. I hope they can support you as well –

  1. “Forgiveness is an act of creation. You can choose from many ways to do it. You can forgive for now, forgive till then, forgive till the next time, forgive but give no more chances it’s a whole new game if there is another incident. You can give one more chance, give several more chances, give many chances, give chances only if. You can forgive part, all, or half of the offence. You can devise a blanket of forgiveness. You decide.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés
  2. “He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is devoid of the power to love.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  3. “When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” ~ Catherine Ponder
  4. “True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
  5. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Do you have a favourite quote on forgiveness? If so, feel free to share it. There are also some more forgiveness quotes here.


12 Principles for Forgiveness

Jack Kornfield (a respected author and teacher) refers to the 12 Principles of Forgiveness are –

  1. Understanding what forgiveness is and what it is not.
  2. Sense the suffering that comes with the inability to forgive.
  3. Reflect on the benefits of a loving heart.
  4. Discover (in relation to your identity), you don’t have to be loyal to your suffering.
  5. Understand that forgiveness is a process, not a single action.
  6. You have to set your intention for forgiveness.
  7. Learn the inner and outer forms of forgiveness.
  8. Start with the easiest thing that can open your heart.
  9. Be willing to grief and let go.
  10. Sometimes trauma is stored in our physical bodies.
  11. Shift of identity.
  12. Perspective.

If you your like to hear Jack discuss these 12 principles in more detail, click here.

How Does One Know If She Has Forgiven?

I love the following quote by Clarissa Pinkola Estés who sums this up nicely –

“How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.”


Over to You…

What do you think, is forgiveness essential for living whole-heartedly? For me, I think it is and the more I practice forgiveness the freer I am feeling. Feel free to share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards opening your heart, why not join the Toolkit (it’s free)?


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