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  • SuePattonThoele

Opting for Frequent Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a liberating habit to embrace. Although forgiveness seems like something we give others, it’s actually a gift of freedom we bestow upon ourselves.

A few years ago, I took a series of classes studying the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, the language in which Jesus taught it. To this day, in my mangled version of Aramaic, I recite or sing the prayer to comfort or uplift myself. One of the things that struck me about the original prayer was how softly, yet powerfully, kind and understanding it was. For instance, the Aramaic word for forgive is cancel and forgiveness is defined as canceling all demands, conditions, and expectations that prevent the mind from maintaining an attitude of love.

As I understand this definition, forgiving, or canceling, allows the flow of love and positive regard to move freely through us even when we’re hurt or angry. In a close relationship—with another or ourselves—instead of blaming, shaming, or withdrawing, we accept the fact that we’re human and are going to make mistakes, while still honoring our feelings in the moment. With that openhearted and accepting attitude, we can honestly say something akin to “I’m hurt and not feeling warm and fuzzy toward you right now, but I forgive you, and we’ll be okay.”

To be clear, canceling isn’t the same as condoning or approving. It doesn’t negate or deny wrongdoing. But it does remove the requirement that you, or another, must perform in a certain way in order to be deserving of love. Of course, while forgiving is always freeing for the forgiver, it doesn’t mean you need to maintain relationships with those whom you forgive. You can forgive impersonally and for the purpose of keeping your life force flowing. You can wish others well and choose never to see them again.

Because nonforgiveness acts as a freezing agent, locked in its

judgmental jaws, nothing can change. Because forgiveness flows, in its

presence, love grows and miracles can occur.

During your day...

  • Forgive yourself for everything, big and small.

  • Know that accountability and forgiveness do not cancel

  • We are human and will need to forgive and be forgiven

True forgiveness is when you can say,

“Thank you for that experience.”

—Oprah Winfrey

Excerpted from The Woman's Book of Strength by Sue Patton Thoele. Available on Mango and Amazon.


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