1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples
Ripples #1056: The Freedom of Forgiveness.
Aug 19, 2019
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
―Lewis B. Smedes, shared by Julie in Missoula, MT
If I may I leave you with this, forgiveness is not about saying what the other person did was okay. It simply means that you choose to no longer suffer when you think about the memory of it. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Forgiveness is freedom.
-Leigh Morgan Koechner, shared by D in San Diego, CA
A few months back, I had a meaningful exchange with a fellow rippler (and fellow Cincinnatian!), Ron Meyer, who shared with me his definition of forgiveness as a quote submission: “The act of freeing yourself of the pain, hurt, isolation, hatred, anger or resentment caused by the words or actions of yourself or another person so that you can increase your capacity to love.”
I learned that he had developed this definition of forgiveness while designing a spiritual growth retreat. Using a great analogy, Ron explained that just as sink drains can build up gunk and reduce the flow of water, there are times when pain, anger and resentment can build up in our relationships, which in turn reduces the flow of communication and love. Forgiveness, then, can be a form of “spiritual Drano,” unclogging our lines of communication, and reducing the barriers to a freer flow of love.
Importantly, Ron also stressed that forgiveness can be a powerful tool for our own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing. He wrote, “People tend to miss the point that forgiveness is mostly for us and our own freedom. Forgiveness is not saying that what was done or said was OK. Instead, it is about acknowledging it for what it was and having the courage to let it go so that it does not impact us in a negative way anymore. And forgiveness is not about being weak and giving in, it’s about taking back our power and owning our joy.”
If you’d like to take more ownership of the joy in your life, it could be useful to spend some time considering past hurts to see if you’re ready to experience the freedom of forgiveness.
The Ripples Guy
P.S. Remember that an invitation isn’t a command…if this topic doesn’t feel ripe for exploration right now, just set it aside or hit delete!