03 Aug A Few Words About Forgiveness From Our President, Jeff Russell
I think a lot about forgiveness and what it means. It’s one of those things that might mean different things for different people, but for me, it’s the release of resentment or anger. When I forgive someone, it doesn’t mean that I will go back to being pals or having dinner with them, but it does mean that I have forgiven them in my own way. So, all this thinking about forgiveness led me to do some research.
One of the most amazing things that I came across was this Hawaiian word: Hoʻoponopono. It comes from ho’o (“to make”) and pono (“right”). Repeating the word “pono” means being right with both yourself and others.
The exercise (or mantra) tied to it is simply to say: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” This should be done anytime that forgiveness towards yourself or others is needed.
This is so important because when you hold onto anger and grudges, I believe that you can’t grab onto the awesome things that are right in front of you. Personally, I’ve added this to my daily forgiveness meditation because I know how important it is.
I’ve also started using it throughout the day too. Earlier this week, I was driving and someone cut me off. I yelled, “Son of a ……” Immediately after those words came spewing out of my mouth, I realized that I needed to forgive that person for cutting me off and myself for reacting the way I did. So I said, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”
So, why is forgiveness so important?
Life is too short to hold grudges against people we feel have wronged us. They have their own issues and reasons for doing and saying what they did. And I’ll bet those people that we feel have wronged us are not spending time thinking about us while we waste all of this time thinking about how they’ve wronged us.
Forgiveness is also important for our own growth and happiness. When we hold onto resentment and anger, it hurts us way more than the offender. We give up our power and hand it over to the other person. But, when we forgive, it frees us up to live in the present and experience all of the good that’s around us.
As you go into this new week, consider this quote by Les Brown: “Don’t let someone else’s opinion become your reality.” And, think about the person in your life that needs to be forgiven and forgive them. Realize that they are doing the best that they can, and that you need to get your power back.
Life is good. — Jeff
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