INTRODUCTION

  • “Forgiveness will change your life and change our world.”

    -Desmond Tutu

  • “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

    - Martin Luther King Jr.

  • "Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom."

    -Hannah Arendt

  • “Nonviolence and forgiveness are not just an idea, but a way of life for me."

    -Congressman John Lewis

  • “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

    -Matthew 4:44

  • “If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness. If you let go completely, you will be free.”

    -Ajahn Chah

  • “If you want to see the heroic, look at those who can love in return for hatred. If you want to see the brave, look at those who can forgive.”

    -Bhagavad Gita

  • "What power has love but forgiveness?"

    -William Carlos Williams

  • "If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive."

    - Mother Teresa

  • “I learned a long time ago that some people would rather die than forgive. It’s a strange truth, but forgiveness is a painful and difficult process. It’s not something that happens overnight. It’s an evolution of the heart.”

    -Sue Monk Kidd

  • “Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is ceased. This is an ancient and eternal law.”

    -attributed to the Buddha

  • “Forgiveness is about healing suffering for ourselves and others. Until we develop compassion within ourselves and a concern about the welfare of others, we cannot truly forgive.”

    -his holiness the Dalai Lama

INTRODUCTION

This book is an invitation to stand in the light of forgiveness and feel its power to inspire you. The gift I hope to give readers is the possibility of simply resetting your compass toward forgiveness, a little at a time. No grand gesture is needed. A new perspective is no small thing, quite grand enough. Forgiveness asks us to open our hearts to those who have wounded us, offering the chance to them and to ourselves to begin again. It is a process, often a slow one, of trial and error, requiring practice and great patience. Yet with even the smallest shift in how we look at the offense or the offender, our orientation can change and leave us standing in a new place, with the heavy burden of blame and grudge-holding lightened—what the mindfulness teacher Jack Kornfield calls “not carrying the hatred in your heart.” As writer and life coach Marianne Glaeser says, “Forgiving requires a counterintuitive response to the hurtful experience: relaxing clenched fists—letting go, and feeling the hurt while resisting the pull of armoring up.” The effects of this shift can spread into all areas of our lives. It is this shift that can offer a path out of anger, blame, and the desire for revenge. A forgiving person creates a forgiving family and a forgiving community — and opens the possibility of a more forgiving world.