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How to get SMARTER about FORGIVENESS

Someone once said: “To not FORGIVE someone who hurt you, is like you drinking the poison and hoping the other person would die.”

The first letters of the following seven steps spells “forgive”.  

  • Forget about your obsession of how you have been wronged. The word forgiveness comes from the Greek term “aphiemi” which means to let go, to send something away, to give up. Being human is to be, at some time, on the receiving end of injury and betrayal. Who among us have not been wronged by another person at some time? This is true, but should we not rather ask ourselves, how have I also done something hurtful to someone, intentionally or unintentionally?
  • Open your heart to what the other person might have experienced that lead to him/her hurting you. If you can learn to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and have empathy for him or her, it might start to make sense to you that what he or she did was the best option open to him or her at the time that they did it. And I am not saying what was done to you is right; I am saying, if you look at circumstances in an empathic way, it can make sense.
  • Remember… to harbour resentment is like drinking poison but hoping the person who wronged you dies. To forgive is a repetitive process and a choice, you have to continuously choose to let go of resentment. This however, cannot be done in an instant; you have to work through the pain and anger – it takes time.
  • Grace. Have grace and mercy with yourself; many a time it is necessary to forgive yourself the foolish things you have done in your past. You are much more than your past, much more than just one chapter of your life story.
  • Intentionality. Choose intentionally to focus on yourself and not on the person whom you should forgive. Focus on what is best for you – Forgiveness sets the forgiver free!
  • Value what you have learned through your journey of forgiveness. Pain is growth trying to happen! Your growth has value.
  • Error. To err is human, to forgive is Devine. Forgiveness is finding the Devine in all of us.

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