We will truly have more peaceful relationships when we stop telling others how to live and start practicing love and forgiveness.
"After 25 years and more than 30,000 guests, it was one man's definition of forgiveness that changed Oprah's life."
That man is our Founder, Gerald Jampolsky, M.D. Watch Oprah's Aha! moment and listen to her reflect on "what it truly means to forgive."
Gerald Jampolsky, M.D. and Diane Cirincione-Jampolsky, Ph.D. are guests of Georgia Shakti-Hill on "Living in Balance." In this interview they are focusing on forgiveness and the Principles of Attitudinal Healing.
Filmed at the International Meeting on Forgiveness at Findhorn, Scotland, this 5 part video covers fully the subject of forgiveness and its role as the necessary key to health and happiness. To view the remaining four videos, please visit our YouTube Channel.
To forgive is to feel the compassion, gentleness, tenderness, and caring that is always within our hearts, no matter how the world may seem at the moment. Forgiveness is the way to a place of inner peace and happiness, the way to our soul. That place of peace is always available to us, always ready to welcome us in. if, for the moment, we don’t see the welcome sign, it is because it is hidden by our own attachment to anger.
Somehow, there is a part of us that believes we can get the peace of mind we seek by holding to hatred, or anger, or pain.
There’s a part which says that we must protect ourselves and that we can achieve happiness and peace of mind by being attached to hatred and seeking revenge. There’s a part of us that says we must withdraw and withhold our love and our joy because we have been hurt in the past.
We can look upon forgiveness as a journey across an imaginary bridge from a world where we are always recycling our anger to a place of peace. That journey takes us into our own spiritual essence and the heart of God. It takes us into a new world of expanding, unconditional love.
Through forgiveness, we receive all that our hearts could ever want. We are released from our fear, anger, and pain to experience oneness with each other and our spiritual Source. Forgiveness is the way out of darkness and into the light. It is our function here on earth, allowing us to recognize ourselves as the light of the world. It allows us to escape the shadow of the past, whether that shadow is our own or another person’s. Forgiveness can free us from the imprisonment of fear and anger that we have imposed on our minds. It releases us from our need and hope to change the past. When we forgive, our wounds of past grievances are cleansed and healed. Suddenly we experience the reality of God’s love. In that reality, there is only love, nothing else. In that reality, there is never anything to forgive.
Portraits of Reconciliation - The New York Times Magazine
Last month, the photographer Pieter Hugo went to southern Rwanda, two decades after nearly a million people were killed during the country’s genocide, and captured a series of unlikely, almost unthinkable tableaus. In one, a woman rests her hand on the shoulder of the man who killed her father and brothers. In another, a woman poses with a casually reclining man who looted her property and whose father helped murder her husband and children.
In many of these photos, there is little evident warmth between the pairs, and yet there they are, together. In each, the perpetrator is a Hutu who was granted pardon by the Tutsi survivor of his crime.
The people who agreed to be photographed are part of a continuing national effort toward reconciliation and worked closely with AMI (Association Modeste et Innocent), a nonprofit organization. In AMI’s program, small groups of Hutus and Tutsis are counseled over many months, culminating in the perpetrator’s formal request for forgiveness. Click here to read the full article.
The Unforgiving Mind
Most of us would avoid taking drugs that we know have detrimental side effects. Yet much of the time we are not very selective about the thoughts that we put in our minds—nor are we aware of the toxic effects these thoughts can have on our bodies.
There is a part of outselves which sees us only a body and a personality. It is the part which tells us that our happiness is found in the external world through the accumulation of things. It is the part which tells us that if we could only find the right relationship to be in, everything in our lives would be perfect. And it is the part which believes that when things go wrong, the only reasonable thing to do is to find someone or some situation to blame. We called this part of us ego.
It can be helpful to think of the ego as having a belief system of its own. If we want, we can accept its beliefs or seek other ways of looking at the world. Of course, we have to remember that our egos are part of who we are. The greater our ability to recognize our fearful ego, the freer we are to choose a more loving and peaceful life.
Think of the ego’s thought system as being based on fear, guilt, and blame. If we were to choose only to follow its guiding principles, we would always be in a state of conflict, and any peace or happiness that we might have will completely elude us. Given that this is the way the ego works, it should come as no surprise that it does not believe in forgiveness. In fact, it will do everything it can to convince us that nobody in the world deserves our forgiveness. It even goes a step further than this and says that we do not deserve forgiveness ourselves! It clings fiercely to the belief that people do things for which they must never be forgiven.
The ego does, however, believe that we must constantly defend ourselves. It communicates this to us in feelings that we can easily recognize. For example, the unforgiving mind of the ego would try to convince us that only way to protect ourselves from further harm is to punish the other person with our anger and our hatred, withdrawing from them so that they will feel bad for what they have done.
Our egos show up for us in the feeling that we would be foolish, stupid, or just plain insane to forgive this person whose actions have in some way hurt or threatened us. And if that were not enough, our egos remind us that there are people in our lives who are quite willing to nudge us and say that such-and-such a person hurt us and deserves our anger, not our forgiveness. Of course, our egos are very clever. They know how to pick and choose their witnesses. And you can be sure that they have a good eye for selecting only those who totally agree with them.
The ego is filled with contradictions. It has to hide from us, for example, the fact that when we hold on to our anger to punish others, we imprison ourselves. Another secret it has to keep is that our unforgiving thoughts create a hole in our hearts, not only causing a sense of loss and sadness but keeping us from experiencing inner peace and love. That hole separates us from each other and from our spiritual connection with each other.
"Decide to Forgive" was written by an old friend and supporter of Attitudinal Healing. Now, with so much turmoil going on in the nation and in the world, its sentiments are particularly relevant.
Decide To Forgive
Decide to forgive
For resentment is negative
Resentment is poisonous
Resentment diminishes and devours the self.
Be the first to forgive,
To smile and to take the first step
And you will see happiness bloom
On the face of your human brother or sister.
Be always the first
Do not wait for others to forgive
For by forgiving
You become the master of fate
The fashioner of life
A doer of miracles.
To forgive is the highest,
Most beautiful form of love.
In return you will receive
Untold peace and happiness.
And here is the program for achieving a truly forgiving heart:
Sunday: Forgive yourself.
Monday: Forgive your family.
Tuesday: Forgive your friends and associates.
Wednesday: Forgive across economic lines within your own nation.
Thursday: Forgive across cultural lines within your own nation.
Friday: Forgive across political lines within your own nation.
Saturday: Forgive other nations.
Only the brave know how to forgive.
by Robert Muller, the late former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.