The quickest path to Serenity
I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately. As many great minds have pointed out, it’s one of the most powerful things we can do to unburden ourselves of negativity and make room for joy and calm. But as we all know, it can be very hard to do — which is why I’d like to reflect on a few quotes about forgiveness that can help encourage us to let go.
Forgiveness is not about the other person or accepting their behavior. Forgiveness is learning to let go so we can be at peace with ourselves. It is taking the grander path and allowing an insult, abusing behavior, unfair treatment to go by us and not affect us. Sure, initially as humans we will react in anger, depression, denial… but as time goes on, we can get back to a state of equilibrium by forgiving our offender.
Here are a few quotes about forgiveness that can be of help as a first step in the art of forgiveness.
- “To err is human; to forgive, divine”. Alexander Pope. In fact who are we on this beautiful planet we call home? Are we god’s police? Certainly not! We might think that by holding a grudge we will eventually make the other person realize that what they did was wrong… But in fact… We are not! All we are doing is making ourselves sick with resentment and hatred when we should forgive and move on. As Oscar Wilde famously said : “Always forgive your enemies — nothing annoys them so much”.
- “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget”. Thomas Szasz. Forgiving does not mean that we will allow in the future a behavior that is not acceptable to us. Forgiving means that although we are not deserving of a “wrong treatment” we will let it pass and move on. We will feel betrayed, abused, taken advantage of… and still be able to let go of the emotion and get back to emotional balance. For that once… Not 20 times in a row😉.
- “Forgiveness is the economy of the heart. Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits”. Hannah More. Sure we will react very strongly to an offense. Any other reaction would be “non human” or extremely spiritually evolved. The secret though is to allow ourselves to feel the emotion totally and then let it go. Allowing the grace of forgiveness to free us from our primary emotionally charged human reaction to move on to calm and stillness.
- “We think that forgiveness is weakness, but it is absolutely not. It takes a very strong person to forgive”. T.D. Jakes. Indeed it takes a lot of self control and mastery to allow the grace of God to accompany us on the path to forgiveness. At times it seems impossible to do and that is why having a strong faith helps tremendously. As Joyce Meyer wisely said : “Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a decision we make because we want to do what’s right before God. It is a quality decision that won’t be easy and it may take time to go through the process, depending on the severity of the offense.” So forgiving is a very active process. We have to want it and work at it. The decision has to be taken and applied in our daily lives.
- “He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven”. Thomas Fuller. The beauty of forgiveness is that we all are in need of it. We might think that we are perfect and always respectful of others and doing the right thing at all times. I have news for you though… As hard as we try, we are not. We might not be aware of our words or attitudes and could be hurting others without even knowing it. That is why, it is so important to practice forgiveness on ourselves as well. We have to realize that we are not perfect. And it is a good thing! Life is a wonderful journey and our spiritual growth happens one step at a time. Forgiveness is probably the hardest lesson to learn but once you have mastered it… You are FREE. As said Lewis B. Smedes : “You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well”.
I hope this short message this morning helps you reflect on forgiveness and the true power of this decision in your life. Please feel free to comment below and add your own experience with forgiveness.
Have a great day!