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Forgiveness: What It Is and What It Isn’t

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. And today I'd like to talk about forgiveness. So his holiness, the Dalai Lama once said, all major religious traditions carry basically the same message that is that love, compassion and forgiveness are the most important thing. And they should be a part of our daily lives. So love and compassion.

I think many of us can find that fairly easy, but forgiveness that can be tricky. We often have a little bit of resistance to forgiveness. And, you know, I think this is partially because we don't feel safe to forgive. We worry that we might condone someone's behavior, that it may weaken us or do us more harm than good. But I think when we fully understand what forgiveness is and what it really isn't, it's much easier to know that it's safe, empowering, and healthy to let our grievances go and free our minds and hearts.

So forgiveness is generally defined as a deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment, anger, or ill will towards a person or a group who harmed or wronged you in some way. But here's what forgiveness is not. First of all, contrary to the old saying, forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing any harmful behavior. And although forgiveness can be an incredible source of healing in relationships, often paving the way for repair and reconnection, it doesn't obligate you in any way to reconcile with the person who wronged you or have them in your life. Now, it also does not mean releasing a person from accountability for their actions.

So we don't need to be concerned that if we forgive, we just give people a free pass for their behavior. Forgiveness can walk hand in hand with pursuing justice. What forgiveness does is it allows us to loosen and release the knots of bitterness, anger, and negativity within us. It involves letting go of deeply held negative feelings, gives us back our own freedom and peace of mind. Forgiving heals you and empowers you.

It allows you to fully recognize the pain that you've been through without letting it defeat you or define you. Paul Boese put it nicely when he said, "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." Little by little, as you let go of your animosity, you set yourself free, you unlock more of your potential and you allow more inner space for happiness and meaning to emerge in your life. So today's invitation, even though it's not easy, is to make forgiveness an intention. Just knowing that it's safe to do so and that it's a gift that you deserve to give to yourself. As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Forgiveness: What It Is and What It Isn’t

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. And today I'd like to talk about forgiveness. So his holiness, the Dalai Lama once said, all major religious traditions carry basically the same message that is that love, compassion and forgiveness are the most important thing. And they should be a part of our daily lives. So love and compassion.

I think many of us can find that fairly easy, but forgiveness that can be tricky. We often have a little bit of resistance to forgiveness. And, you know, I think this is partially because we don't feel safe to forgive. We worry that we might condone someone's behavior, that it may weaken us or do us more harm than good. But I think when we fully understand what forgiveness is and what it really isn't, it's much easier to know that it's safe, empowering, and healthy to let our grievances go and free our minds and hearts.

So forgiveness is generally defined as a deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment, anger, or ill will towards a person or a group who harmed or wronged you in some way. But here's what forgiveness is not. First of all, contrary to the old saying, forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing any harmful behavior. And although forgiveness can be an incredible source of healing in relationships, often paving the way for repair and reconnection, it doesn't obligate you in any way to reconcile with the person who wronged you or have them in your life. Now, it also does not mean releasing a person from accountability for their actions.

So we don't need to be concerned that if we forgive, we just give people a free pass for their behavior. Forgiveness can walk hand in hand with pursuing justice. What forgiveness does is it allows us to loosen and release the knots of bitterness, anger, and negativity within us. It involves letting go of deeply held negative feelings, gives us back our own freedom and peace of mind. Forgiving heals you and empowers you.

It allows you to fully recognize the pain that you've been through without letting it defeat you or define you. Paul Boese put it nicely when he said, "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." Little by little, as you let go of your animosity, you set yourself free, you unlock more of your potential and you allow more inner space for happiness and meaning to emerge in your life. So today's invitation, even though it's not easy, is to make forgiveness an intention. Just knowing that it's safe to do so and that it's a gift that you deserve to give to yourself. As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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