Archive for March, 2021

As a follow-up to my question about growing in our humanity when we forgive, do you think that our forgiving others can help them grow in their humanity?

The philosophy of virtue-ethics has as one of its major premises that all people have free will. This is the case because, without our free choices in life, we cannot willingly decide, for example, to be just or fair to others. When you forgive someone for unjust behavior, you are giving that person the opportunity to examine that behavior and to change. Yet, because of the premise of free will, it now is up to that person how to grow in fairness. The person will need insight (I did wrong), have inner sorrow (remorse), apologize (repent), and amend the ways that are unfair. Your forgiving will not automatically lead to all of this, but again, you are offering an important opportunity in that direction for the one who offended.

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I have anger left over after having gone though your forgiveness process. Does this mean that I have not forgiven?

The answer depends on how much anger you still have.  As you know, when a person has a sports injury and seeks medical help, there often is a chart in the doctor’s office with a 1-to-10 scale showing different levels of pain and the patient’s task is to place a number on the pain. I now ask you to take that 1-to-10 chart and turn it into a measure of anger.  How much anger is in your heart, most of the time, when you think back to the person who hurt you? Let us say that 1 equals very minimal anger and 10 equals almost unbearable anger.  Where do you place your anger on this 1-to-10 scale?  If the level of anger is in the 1-4 range this is quite typical. Many people do have some residual anger left over after they have forgiven.

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In your book, Forgiveness Is a Choice, you talk about finding meaning in suffering. You talk about growing beyond yourself. What does this mean?

When people find meaning in suffering they often develop a deeper sense of what it means to be a person.  You may begin to see, for example, that your suffering has shown you that all people suffer, all people are emotionally wounded to one degree or another.  You begin to realize that your suffering is making you a more sensitive person to other people.  In other words, your world expands as you see humanity more deeply.

 

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I was hurt in a 5-year relationship and now I am hesitant to get into any other relationship. Does this lack of courage on my part suggest that I have not forgiven the one who hurt me?

The issue here seems to be one of a lack of trust.  You may or may not have forgiven the one with whom you were in a relationship for the 5 years.  Even if you have completely forgiven, you still may lack trust and this is not a sign of unforgiveness.  It is a sign that you know hurt is possible when you commit to others.  Forgiveness can help with taking the risk and at the same time your using common sense in the new relationship, along with sincere acts of trustworthiness by the other, should help to slowly create a trust with the new person

Learn more at Forgiveness for Couples.

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The Road to a Healthier Life in Your Golden Years

Exercise, get adequate sleep, eat right, reduce stress — you’ve probably been told to do all of these things to manage your health. All those actions contribute to a healthy lifestyle, and failing to follow them could lead you down a path of health issues and serious medical conditions. The risk of health problems due to poor lifestyle choices is even greater when you’re older.

The International Forgiveness Institute wants you to thrive throughout your life.  If you’re a senior who hasn’t begun prioritizing your physical and mental health, here are some ways to get it under control.

Nourish Yourself

Photo Credit: Pexels

Eating healthy is not only important to keep your systems working smoothly, but according to Verywell Fit, it’s also important for weight management. Younger people might struggle to lose weight and stay thin, but older adults have different concerns.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics explains that being underweight is unhealthy for seniors, and many seniors fall into this category. Conversely, obesity is not a good place to be either. To keep your health under control, stick to a diet that hits all of your caloric and nutritional needs. A healthy, well-fed body is at a lower risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and kidney disease.

Sleep Well

Most adults under-sleep, but it’s also possible to over-sleep. Family Doctor notes it’s important to get the right amount of sleep, specifically between seven and eight hours per night. If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or staying awake, then it’s time to adjust your sleep patterns to get on a regular schedule. Ample sleep will bring you energy, mental clarity, better moods, and relaxation from the chaos of daily life.

Healthline suggests you should turn off your electronics at least an hour before bedtime, take a relaxing bath, read a book, and meditate for a few minutes. Make sure to avoid caffeine after lunch or chocolate close to bedtime. If you suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome or sleep apnea, be sure to get the problem treated by a doctor so you can finally rest at night.

Why You Should Start a Business Instead of Retiring

Retirement often seems like the last step after years of working but it usually leads to an unfulfilling and boring period of our lives. According to the AARP, many seniors are looking to entrepreneurship as a way to stay busy and motivate themselves in an exciting way.

There are plenty of reasons why seniors are starting new businesses too. Aside from the work being much more enjoyable than the typical 9 to 5 grind, it also lets us turn our hobbies into a career and create our own dream jobs.

And once you’ve decided to start your own business, the next step is just to get it off the ground and get going. After a basic plan is established and you learn how to start a business, all that’s left to do is start working your dream job and, who knows, maybe one day you’ll even be hiring employees!

Stress Less

Stress doesn’t show obvious signs like some medical conditions, but it can lead to serious complications if you let it get out of control. Besides leading to depression and anxiety, which the APA explains can result in poor quality of life, stress can actually cause death through cardiovascular disease. Reign in your stress by practicing meditation, developing hobbies that promote well-being, exercising, building relationships and community, and seeking help from a mental health professional when the stress feels like too much.

Get Outside

As we rely more and more on technology, we ultimately spend more time indoors. However, Psychology Today explains this isn’t healthy for us, either mentally or physically. So, whenever possible, spend some time in nature, whether that’s grabbing some new gear and hitting the trails or simply biking through a local park, hanging out in the sunshine and breathing plenty of fresh air can work wonders on your overall well-being.

Be Forgiving

Speaking of stress, when we hold on to resentment and anger, it builds up and eats away at us emotionally, contributing to our stress. Retirement is a time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and the life you’ve built. This is an especially good time to consider forgiveness. Whether it’s among family, friends or even forgiving yourself. Forgiveness allows you to let go of those pent up feelings holding you back from living your best life. And while forgiveness can feel like a challenge, when we learn to forgive, we are reinvesting in our loved ones and ourselves. For additional information on  forgiveness for senior citizens, check out more of this International Forgiveness Institute website.

Your senior years are the time to reclaim your body and your mind, to preserve them as long as possible, and to reverse the damage done over the years. You can’t age backward, but you can control your quality of life so that aging forward is a positive experience. Put your health and happiness first to make the most of your golden years.


This article was written for the International Forgiveness Institute by Jason Lewis, a certified personal trainer who became the primary caretaker for his mother following her surgery in 2002. As he helped her with her recovery, he realized there is a growing need for trainers who can assist seniors in their own homes and communities. With a degree in Health Science and Human Performance, Jason works with medical professionals and other personal trainers to create programs that are customized to the special health needs of those over the age of 65. Visit his website, packed with health information for seniors and their caregivers, at strongwell.org.

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