Archive for July, 2013
We sometimes think that those who hurt us have far more control over us than they actually do. We often measure our happiness or unhappiness by what has happened in the past.
My challenges to you today are these: Your response of forgiveness now to the one who hurt you can set you free from a past influence that has been toxic. Try to measure your happiness by what you will do next (not by what is past). Your next move can be this–to love regardless of what others do to you.
While surfing the web yesterday, I came across this idea on legacy: “…. legacy counts for little: the vast majority of us will be forgotten and our works with us.”
That quotation got me to think about each of our legacies. Legacy is what we leave behind when we die. Even if we are forgotten and our work along with us, legacy remains. You see, legacy is not just how we are remembered. In addition, and most importantly, legacy is what actually remains from our actions here on earth—whether what is left is attributed to us or not.
In a recent blog post we discussed anger in Northern Ireland, an anger that has lasted since the late 17th century. No one today can pinpoint who it was that started all of this anger that lives on. Yet, it lives on. It is real and it was started by some who left it here on this earth when they died.
I think love shares this with anger: It, too, can be our legacy that lives on long after we are gone, and it can exist apart from anyone ever connecting our love back to us.
Does legacy count for little? Look at the legacy of anger in countries torn by strife for centuries. Even though we cannot name the originators, the legacy is profound and not in a good way.
Does legacy count for little? Think of even one time in which one of your parents gave you legitimate love that stayed in your heart. If you can pass that to even one other heart and then it is passed on to another heart, does this count for little?
Do not be concerned if your name is not in lights 200 years from now. Be very concerned that you have the opportunity today to start a pattern of love that goes from heart to heart to heart…even if you and your works are long forgotten.
Legacy can be profound and in a very positive way. Start your legacy today. Love someone deeply enough that the love abides in that heart….and lives on.
My husband has a bad temper. He is in therapy for this. His father abandoned the family when the children were young, which is part of why my husband now has his temper. Should I start with forgiving my husband or his father? I find that I am angrier with the father for what he did.
Perhaps you should begin forgiving your husband. There are two reasons for this: 1) It is easier to forgive those at whom we have less anger. Starting here will strengthen you for the bigger issue of forgiving your father-in-law; 2) You are in a direct relationship with your husband and so your beginning a forgiveness process now may help you to reduce your anger with him, thus improving your relationship. With you being less angry with him, then you can be a support for him as he changes.
891 ABC News, Adelaide, Australia – Imagine being locked in prison, being beaten daily and suffering in inhumane conditions in a cell with 49 other people. Imagine coming out of this living hell after 13 years, being diagnosed with cancer but having found forgiveness, happiness, and even peace.
Reon Schutte, a former South African elite Special Forces solider, was captured in 1992 and imprisoned in the notoriously brutal Chikurubi prison in Zimbabwe. To give you an idea of how bad that prison is, in 2009 there were 1300 inmates and 700 of them died while imprisoned there! Schutte was pardoned and released in 2004, and has since shared his incredible story of survival to more than one million people around the world through speaking engagements and his book, “Set Yourself Free.”
While incarcerated, Schutte subsisted on a half cup of rice and cabbage leaves a day, endured inhumane conditions and daily beatings and learned forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance of circumstances and the ability to reprogram his mind for ultimate freedom. The key, Schutte says, is choice, “a powerful tool to which every human has access at every moment and that is our ticket to freedom, regardless of the situation. We may not be able to choose our circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond.”
When Schutte shares his life journey with audiences, he holds listeners spellbound with his incredible story of survival and overcoming inconceivable odds. At the same time, he inspires his audience members to break out of the “personal prisons” they have created for themselves through fear, hate, anger, blame, lack of forgiveness, self-doubt and attachment to material possessions or status. In his book, Set Yourself Free, Schutte shares 10 Principles–lessons he learned the very hard way–and provides simple exercises to immediately put the Principles into practice.
The 10 Principles to Break Out of Your Personal Prison
- Forgive. Not as a favor to others or because you’re holy, but to set yourself free. As long as you hate or hold a grudge against someone, you are their prisoner. They are in control of your life and you’ve given them that power. They may be long gone, have forgotten about you, or even be dead, but if they can still make you think of them in anger, you are their prisoner. Forgive and set yourself free.
- Be a victor, not a victim
- Failure only exists when YOU choose to give up
- Accept Your Circumstances
- Choose your response
- Lead by Example
- Serve others
- Understand There is no “There”
- Don’t ask “Why”‘ but ask “What for?”
- The Power of Choice Resides in Each of Us
Read the full story: “The Power of Choice – Reon Schutte”
Is it possible that as a person forgives that she can actually become a better person? If so, what does this “better person” look like?
Forgiveness is a moral virtue and thus centers on goodness. The specific goodness expressed in forgiveness are mercy and even love toward those who have been unjust and even cruel to us. As a person forgives, he practices what is called seeing the inherent worth in the one or ones who have been unfair. As the person practices inherent worth, there is a tendency for this to generalize so that she now sees all people as possessing inherent worth. So, as a person forgives and keeps practicing forgiveness, he can grow in being a more merciful and loving person who see the built-in worth of all.