In my attempts to forgive, I try to respond with empathy and compassion to the one who hurt me. Is it possible to have such deep empathy and compassion that these qualities just abide in a person and are there, to be appropriated, any time and any place for any person and for any reason?

Yes, it is possible to carefully cultivate the qualities of empathy and compassion so that they are part of who you are as a person.  I call it becoming “forgivingly fit.”  It takes practice and then even more practice over years to develop such a deep, abiding sense of these qualities.  As a motivation for you to so cultivate these, I have a chapter in the book, The Forgiving Life, in which I challenge the reader to leave a legacy of love in this world.  To do so requires conscious effort and time so that you leave more love than anger in this challenging world when you die.  If you have this legacy as a goal, it may be easier to stay at the task of practicing daily the qualities of empathy and compassion.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness


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