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Syndicated Columns

Forgiveness has power

Posted December 2, 2006

Q. I am trying to forgive someone, but I can't forget what they did to me. Please help. -- J.C., Boca Raton

A. "I can forgive but not forget" is another way of saying, "I will not forgive."

When we think of ourselves as having been wronged, no matter how hard we try to forgive, it turns into a struggle between conflicting desires: the need to condemn and the willingness to forgive.

Colin Tipping, author and founder of the Radical Forgiveness Institute, writes, "We have lived for eons with the belief that others victimize us. Jesus was the embodiment of forgiveness, yet we have even made him a victim -- the ultimate victim, in fact."

Yet the power and importance of forgiveness is central to every religion, and it is known to offer liberation.

Forgiveness is vital for our mental health and is a highly effective adjunct treatment for cancer and other immune deficiency diseases.

C.S. Lewis said: "What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are."

When standing as a victim, ordinary forgiveness won't help, because you still believe you have been wronged.

When you recognize that there are no mistakes, you will experience a shift in perception and come to understand that everything is divinely guided, purposeful and designed for your spiritual growth.

Open yourself to the possibility that everything happens for a reason. You will find you are not a victim, simply a student of life.

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