Kindness Challenge Day 12: Forgive Someone

This is Day 12 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge for Nov 2012 where hundreds of participants from around the world get together in spirit to do 14 acts of kindness over 14 days. The challenge is now over, but you can still do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Kindness Challenge tasks and posts.

Join the Kindness Challenge!

Hello everyone! :D Welcome to Day 12 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge! ;)

11 Tasks so Far, and Two More Days To Go!!

Do the tasks which you have not completed yet and be sure to share your progress in the comments section!

Day 12: Forgiveness

Forgive

What is forgiveness?

It means “to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.)” and “to cease to feel resentment against”.

I’m no saint. There are some people whom I feel harbor negative sentiments towards. It’s not common, but it happens. Usually it’s because they violated some of my personal values.

For example, when this somewhat prominent speaker in the training circuit tried to befriend me several years ago to get a business contact. I saw through the ruse later on and was disgusted by the way he would use friendships to further his business objective. I later learned from fellow trainers that this person had a reputation for such antics. The reason why I was so disgusted by this person was because his approach violated my personal value of authenticity, which is about being upfront and sincere with your communication.

Another example is this “friend” whom I mentioned in part 2 of my anger series. She was unruly in the way she handled the conflict and displayed an extremely ugly side of her persona during the argument. I could not help but feel hurt by how callous she had been in the final moments of the friendship, before I realized that this is not a person I would ever want to communicate with anymore.

Like me, I’m sure you have people whom you harbor resentment towards. People whom you feel aggrieved by.

Well, today’s task is about forgiveness. Part of kindness is about forgiving other people, even when it doesn’t seem like there is a reason to do so. I have deliberately scheduled this task for Day 12 as it is mentally more “challenging” than a task like say, hugging, giving a compliment, or picking up litter.

I’m ready to take up the challenge and forgive the people I just mentioned above (plus more). Are you?

Your Task: Forgive Someone

Level 1: Forgive one person

  1. Identify a person whom you resent or bear grievances towards. The grievance can be over one small action he/she did or something serious (such as breaking a promise or cheating on you).
  2. Why do you bear grievances towards him/her? Write down the reasons on a piece of paper, for your personal reflection.
  3. Work on letting go of these grievances today.

Level 2: Forgive at least three people

Do the exercise above to at least three people. The more people you can forgive today, the better. I’m planning to identify more people  (on top of the three people I have mentioned) to forgive later today.

Remember that Forgiving Others = Forgiving Yourself

There are some pretty amazing forgiveness quotes at PE Quotes which I’d like to invite you to check out: Forgiveness Quotes

One of my favorite ones:

Inspirational Quote: “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ~ Lewis Smedes

Isn’t that true?

Here’s another one:

Inspirational Quote: “The past can't be changed, can it? It can just be forgiven.” ~ Elizabeth George

(For those of you who own Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, check out Day 25: Forgive Yourself while you’re at it. The task is about forgiving yourself (which I see as interrelated with forgiving others) and includes a step-by-step exercise on how you can go about doing it. Many participants achieve breakthroughs when doing that exercise.)

Share Your Results!

How many people have you forgiven today? Who are they and what did you used to resent them for? How have you forgiven them?

Check out the responses of other participants in the comments section!

After you are done, proceed to Day 13: Give Someone a Treat!

Image: Gabriela Camerotti

  • Ken

    I’m going to try hard on this challenge as well. There is one person who I should forgive, but I’m not ready yet.

    It’s my ex-wife. We are officially divorced now, she has moved away and I’m rebuilding my life. She cheated on me, several years ago, and we worked on it. But in the end we drifted apart and we finally divorced.

    I forgave her back then, but the resentment came back. Mainly due to the fights we had since June/July of 2011, then the comparisons started to go through my mind, then finally she started to accuse me that I had cheated/wanted to cheat/was going to cheat.

    Eventually I had enough and I filed the divorce. That’s the very short story.

    I want to forgive her, but I think it’s still going to take time. She really upset me Saturday morning and I lost my temper and said some things that I’m not proud of. I did say I’m sorry I lost my temper that evening.

    I don’t hate my ex-wife, I love her but I’m not in love with her. She want’s to be friends, but right now I really don’t think it’s going to add any value to my life. Maybe once I forgive her, that might be a possibility, but even thinking about being friends with her right now, makes me want to bite all of my nails off. (Yes that is a bad habit I have but, I’m getting better).

    Anyway this will be the person I will mark as someone I will forgive, but right now is not the time.

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Ken, the desire to forgive her is a start. The healing journey will begin soon after. Remember what we covered in Day 25 of 30BBM, which is that when we’re unable to forgive someone (yet), it’s tied to the fact that we are not able to forgive ourselves. Perhaps this will be something you want to explore further during our next 30BBM run. With that said, there’s no need to rush the journey. Just do it at a pace you are ready to. We’ll always be here for you. :heart:

      • Ken

        Thank you Celes. I re-read my day 25 post. I think you are right. I think I could forgive myself because the guilt is still there that I did uproot her life with the divorce. I really don’t want to make forgiving myself a conditional forgiveness, but if she would just move on with her life, with the settlement we agreed to, I think it will be easier.

        I mean right now she still does not have a job, she is struggling to find one, she says she doesn’t need more money yet she references that she misses the things we use to do. (Which in my mind says money does matter). She kept saying she wanted to be closer to her family and now she is, but then she says there is only so much I can take from them… She doesn’t know what she wants.

        She keeps telling me she will never find someone else, (I’m sure she is trying to make me feel guilty). Then the completely 180 when she says with anger, “good luck finding a woman who will deal with you.” I keep thinking if you have to “deal” with me, then go… find someone you don’t have to “deal” with….

    • Michael

      Ken, I wish you the best in rebuilding your life. I can only imagine how tough the situation is for you, so I also wish you the best in forgiving your ex-wife.

      Sometimes short-term wishes like staying in touch can be very tough on you. I can only say please try to focus on what is better 1 year or 3 years down the road. And focus on the betterment of yourself first. And then perhaps for the long term betterment of her – after you have re-established your well-being. Good luck!

  • http://readinganalysis.com Clara

    There must be a limit of forgiving someone. Is there any? how many times we should forgive the same person again and again? Being in a relationship since so many years and forgiving the other person repeatedly…Does this make sense to anyone? I always try not to forgive him but circumstances pressurized me to do so. Sometimes it feels that you are nobody :(

  • http://www.cheap-cell-phones-guide.com wanxuan

    I have a person in mind I had been wanting to forgive. He is a neighborhood minimart owner who operates opposite my house. I used to buy my foodstuff frequently there. I had approached him for a modern agricultural interview (for a school group project) and I said it would just be 5 minutes and he agreed happily to do it and said anytime was fine. I told him a date my groupmate and I would pop by and he agreed. However, when my friend and I went there, he took a long time to meet us (He lived above his shophouse), had a very black face and told us to shorten the interview to 1 minute. He said he had a business to run. What could we possibly get out of such a short interview? We were appalled by his attitude and hurriedly asked our questions before we left. The incident left a bad impression on me. To him, we may just be students. But I told myself that he had just lost a regular customer forever. When I passed by his minimart today, I stopped and told myself to step inside again and mentally forgive the owner (I didn’t catch him there today). When I got home, I felt a huge burden lift off me. :heart:

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Wanxuan, sorry to hear about the bad encounter with him. Expecting the interview to be done in 1 minute seemed quite unreasonable—I wonder if he had a really bad day that day. It’s great that you have found it in your heart to forgive him. I’m really happy for you. :hug: Are you planning to visit his minimart on a separate day to catch him? I think it would be interesting to see how things go when you see him again and if he takes to you more kindly then.

      • http://www.cheap-cell-phones-guide.com wanxuan

        He could have had a bad day. Or he could have been napping upstairs and his sweet dreams got interrupted. :sweat: I will be planning to visit his minimart another day to catch him there. Hope to keep you guys posted during the Kindness Challenge itself (though it is coming to an end soon awww :() Come to think, I have not stepped into his minimart once in the past four years. That is probably how long I had been keeping this resentment. Oh my. I’m glad I have found somewhere in my heart to forgive him hehe. Thank you Celes for today’s task. :)

  • hendro

    For me, I have decided to forgive 2 people who directly or indirectly hurted me. At the same time, I would like to forgive myself for any wrong doings towards those people as well as to people who I negligently or unintentionally hurted them. Let us start moving on and live a better and meaning full life from today :bow:

    Cheers

    Hendro

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Hendro, I’m sorry to hear that there have been two people who have directly or indirectly hurt you. That’s also very kind that you are extending the forgiveness to yourself for any wrongdoings towards others, for forgiveness is tied two ways—forgiving others is linked to forgiving ourselves, and vice versa. Day 12 is not a one-off thing. It is meant to get us started on embracing forgiveness in our lives. Let’s embrace forgiveness wholly starting from today onwards. :)

      • hendro

        Yeah! Totally agree Celes. Let us get started on embracing forgiveness in our lives :D

  • Jo

    Hi Celes

    I have a question, it’s something I’ve been pondering over for a long time. What does forgiveness actually entail? Is it just letting go of resentment or does it mean you ignore the actions of the other person.

    My cousin’s husband acted inappropriately, while I have no clear cut offense I can accuse him off, he makes me uncomfortable. I was angry for so many months, and he acts like everything is normal. So does forgiving mean I have to pretend everything is fine and go back to interacting the way it was before? I can let go of my resentment as long as I can keep my distance, the problem is I am expected (family obligations) to keep in touch with my cousin and her family.

    So does forgiveness mean you also have to let go of your dislike?

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      I have a question, it’s something I’ve been pondering over for a long time. What does forgiveness actually entail? Is it just letting go of resentment or does it mean you ignore the actions of the other person.

      Hey Jo! Definitely the former. The latter is just ignoring the issue; it’s not real forgiveness.

      I can let go of my resentment as long as I can keep my distance, the problem is I am expected (family obligations) to keep in touch with my cousin and her family.

      It’s a start that you do not feel the resentment when you keep your distance! At the same time, true forgiveness and true letting go is when you do not feel *any* resentment regardless of whether you are near the person or not. For resentment to surface when the person is near you, it suggests that there are some unresolved feelings hidden underneath. Keep working through those embedded feelings until they eventually dissolve away and you are left with nothing but feelings of neutrality towards the person.

      On a related note, the Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program actually covers a lot of inner work exercises which help to remove mental clutter and embedded grievances we never knew we were there. Many participants have achieved tremendous breakthroughs and revelations taking the program and gained insights on things they never even knew were there. You might want to check it out!

  • Elton

    I wish to forgive the person who has made me injured early this year and made me out for almost 3 months as his conversation made me fell into the drain and injured my bone in the foot. I have taken wheelchair and almost gone to surgery on my foot which could have make me immobile for period up to 6 months and not able to effectively work to earn my income.

    Personally, I really have big grievance as I couldnt do so many things, with 1 leg disabled and prompted me to think of what he did every single moment of the pain and things I couldnt do.

    As I did phone call with him recently, he always voice his regrets (though I admit now its not totally his fault too) and although our business relationship has ended due to many reasons that lead prior to this incident, we have moved on respectively with other things and send good regards to each other in life (with positive attitude ahead). Yet, this injury prompted me to strongly remember value of kindness as mishap will often tell you which is your best friend and which is not.

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hi Elton! Wow, I’m sorry that your foot injury earlier this year was indirectly linked to an individual. I’m glad that you have pledged the intention to forgive this individual. Even if you may not be able to do that (forgive him) immediately, the fact that you wish to forgive him is already a start. (Like what I mentioned to Ken above.)

      On the other hand, if we focus on the positives of the situation, the injury has allowed you to gain many reflections and revelations (I’m sure) about life and what you want out of it. Also, while the injury was extremely bad (I would never wish this upon anyone and I would never want to be in that situation myself), it could have been much worse like permanent loss of mobility, which would have been disastrous. I’m just happy for you that you are safe and well now and doing well with your business ventures. :hug:

      • Elton

        It takes me lots of courage to do so, as my ego refused to forgive him, but realizing that what I did in the past to others,and this could be karma to me, it has changed my perception of forgiveness.

  • Hetal_S

    On the basis of previous day task….I forgave the same person i disliked :rolleyes:

    This person said something about me and I was very much hurt :cry: and decided not to talk to him and was very angry on him as well :angry:

    Experiencing the Peace of mind…lets see how it goes :)

  • http://www.mindset-coaching.com Dolly Yeo

    Celes, I just read your heartbreak stories in your previous blogs, that was very courageous of you and I am sure it has helped many people. And also gave courage to me to share more about myself.

    I have gone through 3 counsellors and seek one to one professional coaching twice over the last 10 years or so and attended tons of self-development courses, people call me ‘seminar junkie’.

    I did that to find myself. I lost myself over the years trying to be a good mother, a good spouse, and a good sister, a good daughter.

    My ex-spouse does not want to listen to his own family, close friends, nor us. He went into dubious partnership in businesses and inappropriate relationships and lost everything. It was tormenting :cry:
    I went through an arduous decision making, the process of whether I would live a pretentious life – a tai tai or get out of comfort zone to live a life true to myself and pretend that it was OK to be betrayed. I have three children so I can’t just walked off to find my real self. It was eating me from inside out.

    Relationship is very important to me, as our relationship spiral down, slowly and surely, we lost the assets we had built over the years, 3 private properties, two cars, two maids. From being driven everywhere by a chauffeur to taking bus and mrt.

    Finally to protect the children from being homeless, I had to make that crucial decision to end the marriage, and let go of a relationship after 35 years.

    Apart from that, the most devastating feeling was guilt. We have 3 children and their sense of wellbeing was utmost important to me.

    I cried buckets of tears, but no one can help me make the most difficult decision in my life, except me :( . I have also learnt that forgiving him does not mean I have to be with him. I set a goal to be his friend and each time there is disagreement, I just remind myself that I accept him as a friend and focus on accepting a friend for who he is. Gradually, I let go of judging myself and him. I found peace amidst chaos. That was most powerful for me.

    I do so by actively listening to my thoughts and intentions, focus on my goal and not attached to it. I also learnt to trust the Universe as long as I live my values. Soon, many angels :angel: came into my live to support me mentally and emotionally.

    That helped me a lot to live in the moment and choose to be happy :D . I also learnt ‘ It’s what you do with what happened to you and not why me?’ I know I have a choice to do something with what happened to me or let what happened destroy me.

    I am happy to say that I let go of the resentments towards my ex-spouse for the deep hurt and betrayal for the past 15 years.

    I chose to make the effort to let go of judgement and accept what life present itself and take it one step at a time; As a result, during the last few months we have become cordial friends. It was a long and very painful process, took a lot of effort and you are right Celes, it is about forgiving myelf. ‘Forgive self to forgive others.’ I read from many spiritual gurus too that when you hate someone, it is like ‘Drinking poison and expecting others to die.’ :(

    My journey of recovering from all that was when I started to love myself. To do the ‘inner work’. To focus on being grateful and count my blessings that I have good health. To focus on being grateful with all that he has provided for the family out of working very hard in the past.

    To kick my own butt and take actions on living a meaningful and purposeful life.

    I realised that I value and love :heart: myself, I let go of playing victim and chose to be a victor :D . I learnt through a long and arduous journey. Today, my pain is not wasted for I am on a journey to empower women to be self-leaders as a Professional Coach. I hope my real life story can help others let go of hurt, forgive and remember to love themselves.

    • Elton

      Hi Dolly,

      Its so brave of you to share your sharing here, and really appreciate your presence as angel to me too :)

      • http://www.mindset-coaching.com Dolly Yeo

        Thank you Elton for your kind words. Appreciate your friendship. Now we know why we like to laugh and play full out during Halloween. :D

  • Celi

    Wow, that is true indeed. If you hold resentment towards someone, you become a prisoner of your own emotions and theat person!

    I forgive my rude co-worker for his behaviour, because I understand that he is acting from a place of insecurities. It is good to know that I do not become a prisoner of my own and his feelings. It cannot affect me negatively, but by blessing him, I send positive energy instead. Now is that liberating?

    I also forgive my superior, who on one hand tries to put me down by giving detailed instructions on mundane tasks and on the other hand patronises me by overly complimenting me for my performance. I know my own abilities and will not allow another’s quest for control to imprison who I am :clap:

    I forgive myself for sometimes being the nasty person and will challenge myself continuously to learn from my own need to control and find ways to free myself from this insecutiry. I need to bless myself also and free myself from these needs. Bless myself!

  • JadePenguin

    I’ve actually tried to be a forgiving person for a long time (might have to do with that Lewis Smedes quote). As I posted for yesterday’s task, I have even forgiven my ex-housemates. I don’t resent any people from my past either (if I do ever happen to think of them, I stay calm and feel no resentment). I don’t have any grievances with myself either – everything I may have done wrong in the past has been corrected now and I’m moving on :)

    So the only thing left to forgive is the world, human society. So many atrocities that people cause to each other and to the ecosystem, how billions have to live in poverty while a select few swindlers get to live in luxury; hateful bigots who discriminate based on gender, race, sexuality (just heard today how Uganda is trying to pass a bill to make homosexuality punishable by law…grrrrrr!); careless apathetic people who watch it all happen and do not lift a finger to attempt to change things; cowards who dare not speak up against injustice; etc etc.

    How to forgive this? I do not know, I do not know… I feel as if forgiving would be akin to condoning everything that’s happening and that I would be less likely to do anything about it if I were to accept it. How would it be kind to forgive such atrocities? Yet, how is it different from forgiving single persons? If I can understand and forgive the actions of a single person, surely I can do the same for a group of people?

    Maybe, maybe…

  • Fufu

    In my timeline it’s still 12:22 am on day 12′s task..today was super hard to be forgiving as all my family members kept passing insult pass insult pass insult but you know what..? I’m not satisfied at how I’ve been unable to deal with this deep issues of fine with my family. I’m purely conscious on how deep this “wound is” so..for day 13..I’ll re-do day 11, day 12 and of course do day 13.

    And by the way what I was able to do today was that while my mom and sister were mad for random things I hugged them both and they both looked at me surprised and stayed quiet..even though it was small gesture I really hugged them from the heart and felt how much I love them. For day 14 I want to go full out with my kindness, forgiveness and treating..and I’ll open my heart and be vulnerable..very vulnerable..and see where this goes :)

    The reason why I want to open my heart on Day 13 is for 2 main reasons:

    #1. One year ago on day 13 I accepted I had a crush on my current girlfriend to myself. I, literally, thought “I love this girl. If I want it to lead to something..I have to take the first step” so that day I hugged her(rare for me due to my old issues of seeing hugs as rude) and told her “You’re me best friend”. Exactly one year later she’s the love of my life and that would had never happened if I had not opened my heart, been vulnerable and taken the risk knowing it was an unknown world.

    #2. It’s kindness day which makes this day even more meaningful to me.

    So on day 13…I want to do the same as I did last year..soften my heart..and end the coldness and grudge I hold towards my family..forgive..and let go..

    I’ll update on today’s task tomorrow and let you guys know how it goes! :)

    • Fufu

      Today’s update as promised!! :)

      A. Day 11: Kind to somebody else

      I choose to be kind to my elder brother(again) by opening my heart to him and speaking to him bout the shows he likes and this time it worked. Heck he was kind to me since the start. One thing I did notice is that what makes me dislike him is the fact of how the way he says things are said in a rude tone and it makes me think “You don’t have to be so mean to me..” or “You don’t have to say it in that way”. Basic things that hurt my feelings but even so I offered him the kindness through out the day. What I will try to do from now on as to be able to work without him bothering me (which are 99% the times I feel frustrated as I think it’s disrespectful to bother me while I’m working/studying/etc.) is do it at the early mornings in which he’s sleeping!

      And if he wakes up early I’ll be very strict during that specific hour, lock my door, leave my house to go to park, blah blah. I’ll be super strict and make it clear that unless it’s an emergency I will NOT care ANYTHING about what he tells me during my work. If I lock the door it’s for a reason.

      I might not be able to control my actions but being kind doesn’t equal allowing him to disrespect me when everybody has a right to be respected.

      Day 12:Forgive

      I actually spent 3 days on this task because to me “forgiving” is something you only do when somebody does something terrible to you and then they ask you for your forgiveness. All I had to do was read some self development articles to widen my perspective and understand that forgiving is an act in which you forgive yourself and forgive the others. I was curious at a fact that said “You don’t know what the other person is going through right now to be mad at them”.

      We might know and think we understand but we can never truly 100% know all that’s going on in another person’s life. I analyzed all of family and it’s understandable for them to be angry a lot since they lead stressful and unfulfilled lives. Even if I were to offer them help(which I have) they would never listen. So the most I can do is offer them comfort when I can and kindness. With this I can say that my process of forgiveness towards my family is starting..not completely..but it is.

      Though the person who I most needed to forgive…was myself…do I forgive myself? Yes? No? Yes…because the things I regret where all things that made me grow..so it’s ok to let go and be forgiven. That’s what makes us humans. Without pain and errors life would be very boring without the growth and maturity in our system.

      • Fufu

        I was finally able to finish this task. Personally, I found today’s task to be hard. So much it’s taken me a long time to achieve this task. Why? Because sometimes the inner thorns are deep and hard to detach but it’s only if we remove each thorn that comfort can be found. There’s another reason as well– in my current state I can be a hot-tempered person sometimes because I’m hiding my own insecurities and thus I don’t share my emotions as much. But as the quote on my image suggests…it’s the people who can’t forgive that are the weakest and the people that do forgive the strongest.

        Sometimes we can make a million excuses as to not forgive someone..and it’s probably one of the hardest things to do in certain situations but saying an “I’m sorry” and an “I forgive you” is more than just a treasure. it’s a lifestyle and a liberating process.

        I was able to forgive 9 people today. I forgave them because I realized that the reason I was mad at them was not because they had wronged me…it was only because of my lack of understanding for others needs at times and my own selfishness led to me blaming them when in reality..the person who I most couldn’t forgive was myself. I was frustrated at my own failures and when I saw my failures mirrored in another person I couldn’t help but feel a restraint and like second nature become cold and mean when all that was happening was that I felt unsatisfied in myself. I wasn’t satisfied in myself. I was holding on to expectations.

        Expectations are the worst we can hold on to. I was unsure what exactly it meant to forgive (To me forgiving used to be something you’d only do if somebody asked you to forgive them for doing a wrong to you) So I read various articles to further my perspective on forgiveness and what I read was eye-opening. One of the articles I read said:

        “Who I am to be angry at somebody else, when I’m not feeling what they are going through.”

        In some way, this is true. Even if it’s somebody close to you and you think you can understand what they feel–the truth is we can’t 100% understand and live in the flesh what others are doing, what problems come up in their daily lives, what stresses, what feelings their lives events trigger in their hearts, etc.

        Sometimes, the reason others are rude/mean to you aren’t directly related to you, but instead, many factors in their life. By the time they are rude to you they’d had already built in many bottled up stresses and angers–so after realizing that fact I no longer take insults that personally anymore. :)

        After various days of battling with forgiving I learned that forgiving isn’t a goal–it’s lifestyle. Sometimes it takes a while to truly forgive..but it’s possible..and it’s worth it.. I forgive my family, my girlfriend, my bff and myself. :’)

  • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

    Wow. What powerful sharing here for our forgiveness task for Day 12. Guys, thank you so much for opening yourselves and your hearts to all of us out here. I really appreciate it. I’ve always known that there is a reason for me to open my heart here (relentlessly) on PE and you guys just affirmed to me the reason why. :hug:

  • Netta

    This was one of the hardest challenges for me. I had to put a lot of thought into it and challenge myself to do this.
    One person I resent very much is my cousin’s wife. She has lied and caused so much problems for the family since they married. I resent her the most for calling child protective services on me in 2007. She done it out of spite and pure anger. The complaint was unfounded and put on record for 3 years that my children were fine. I had confrontations with her over this and she had me arrested for verbal assault. Again, spite was the root of this. I have since stayed away from her and my cousin. I thought long and hard today. I decided though what she done was horrible, that her childhood was very rough and she does have problems. I gave her a call and spoke to her after all this time. We talked about what happened and I accepted her apology without reservation. I honestly meant it when I told her I forgave her and wished her no harm. It lifted a burden from me in my heart. Though I cannot forget and will maintain my distance, it felt good to let go of my anger.
    The second person that came to mind was my mother who is now deceased. She didn’t raise me and was very much a negative part of my life. As I listed reasons I resented her, I begin to see that I had held onto a lot of hurt and realized she actually done the best she could for me by letting my grandparents raise me. So in my heart I forgive her and I am working on forgiving myself because I feel guilt that I never told her I forgave while she was alive.
    The third person is myself. I have done things I am not proud of and hold a lot of anger and guilt toward myself. I listed a lot of main reasons. I will have to work on letting this go because although I know I am a much better person than I once was, it’s still hard to let go of the past. I am doing kind things in my life for others, with this challenge and before this challenge. I will take it one day at a time and I feel like forgiveness will come.
    Thank you Celes.

  • Michael

    Such a deep diving task was rightfully chosen for a Sunday :D

    A bit late, but today’s task is all about depth for me as there is only one person I wish to forgive: My father.

    He has done wrongdoings to mom, my brother and I, our relatives and friends that was hurtful and possibly even illegal (non-crimminal). He continue to live with habits that exemplifies ignorance which continues to pain him. He is also unwilling to accept others’ ideas or attempt to help.

    The past year returning to my birth city and living with him gave me a chance to learn and observe him more. In a way it was great b/c I get to try understand him and why he behave in such ways. I used to think he somehow became another person due to circumstances. What I learned was that it was bad habits accumulating over time.

    I use to wish he wasn’t like this. I wished that he could be a great father who I can look up to, a great mentor, a loving husband and a positive contributor to society. However, life comes in different forms. What I learned from my father and this experience was the opposite. I didn’t learn what not to do (the wrongdoings were obvious enough). What I learned was that life is not always easy or straight-forward. That I have to choose to become the person I want to be. That I have to keep learning and fight distractions and bad habits. I’m coming to realize that he is my motivation to be a better person.

    These days, we even found a way to communicate with each other that we can both live with. So perhaps this task happens to be about time I put a lid on any resentment I still have of him. (Mom’s still got much resentment. I’m continuing to help her.)

    爹D, 我原諒了你啦

  • http://onmymind.areavoices.com/ Qin Tang

    Yes, it’s important to forgive. We do it primarily for ourselves. Our forgiveness of others is forgiveness for us and is freedom for us.

    What does it take to forgive?

    In his article Four Elements of Forgiveness, Dr. Ryan Howes talks about the following four common elements that effective forgiveness attempts tend to share:
    •Express the emotion
    •Understand why
    •Rebuild safety
    •Let go

    Forgiveness does not happen immediate. It’s a slow process. Feelings of anger, sadness and hurt do not go away easily. They will come back from time to time, but it will be less intense.

    Getting negative emotions out is really the first step in the process. Having an honest talk, sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone or writing down your thoughts and feelings are all effective ways to express your emotions.

    There were few people in my life I needed to forgive. Once I truly understood the importance of forgiveness, I did.

    I also have a few people in my life I needed to ask for forgiveness. I have hurt people with my choices and actions when I was younger. I did ask for forgiveness at the time.

    My thoughts and prayer for today is I have forgiven everyone I need to forgive, and I have asked for and received forgiveness from everyone I should have asked.

  • Bob

    Forgiveness is a step in making me whole again. Understanding why I feel resentment, to understand the other side, their goals and intentions, to drain away the pain drop by drop until it is has disappeared. The pain will disappear and the memory will fade away.
    I ask for forgiveness for any pain I have caused to various people, I am forgiving some people step by step as I try to understand why they behaved and acted as they did. Finally I am forgiving myself little by little.

  • May

    I find this to be something very very hard for me to do. I have not seen my father for seven years and he just came for a visit. There was not another person happier than I staying up until midnight to greet him. However, he came at the wrong time, I was busy at school and wasn’t home until 9 to 10pm at night everyday for two weeks. On Saturday, I had a volunteer activity to go to, and I accidentally told him (he was driving my friend and I) to go straight instead of turning right. He (I believe he has anger management) blew up at me, and dropped us off finally at the right place.
    We learned soon that it was the wrong park (I’d blame the organizers who were not organized and gave my friend and I the wrong address) so we took 1 hour to walk to the right one.
    At around 9pm, my father picked my friend and I up and started scolding me. Naturally, I hate being scolded so I just blocked off my hearing with my hands. He got even more pissed off at me and after my friend was dropped off, he drove to the elementary school near our house, and told me to get out.
    Never would I forget the first night I had being kicked out. That was 3 days ago.

    I seeked refuge at my ex best friend’s house because there was no one else I could turn to. I think our friendship isn’t broken, it just wasn’t as close as it was before (I have a hard time forgiving her too, but I think the hate has been gradually decreasing). But I had a nice time at her house, and I went home the next day to face the wrath of my father. I managed to avoid him, we are still having a cold war right now. He will be leaving next week, I want to forgive him, but I find it so hard to. I don’t exactly have good childhood memories with him (but yet I was happy to see him after all those years).

    If I can gather my courage, I will find the time to talk to him. He did eat the dinner I cooked last night so I hope that’s a step. :shy:

    • May

      Just an update that things did not get better. It got into an even more downward spiral when I approached him yesterday and he kicked me out of the house once again. The only reason why I came back to the house was because of my mother.

      I endured another 30 minute world record nonstop trumpet loud yelling at me, and did not get any work done.

      I think this challenge is a bit too much for me right now. Perhaps my heart is too shallow to see the reason for forgiving him. Hopefully I will one day, but my resentment is too great as of this moment.

  • Bette

    The sharing on forgiveness is awesome. Thank you everyone! :hug:

    I’ve had a bunch of grievances and really “justified” ones, if you know what I mean. They hurt me, and I wanted them to hurt. Neglect or just outward meanness or acts of deliberately hurting or stealing or talking very selfishly or mean. What to do?

    Well, I have learned through many examples of life situations that no anger or resentment is really at all “justified.” I do not want to be a prisoner or tied to the perpetrator’s greed or deceit. I rise above the messy dark cauldron of deceit and lies, and into the safe and blessed territory of TRUTH. The best thing about the truth is that the truth is the truth, and it does not need anyone to believe in the truth in order for it to be true. :angel: :heart:

  • Robin

    I feel in my heart that I have forgiven everyone in my life thanks to the many challenges I’ve participated in here at PE and extensive self-development efforts. I’ve “purged” many people from my life in the past year or so because their values are so different from mine and I felt like continuing those relationships would prevent me from becoming the best me possible. I don’t wish any of them harm anymore. I’m so much happier now focusing my energy on the good things in the present and future, instead of negative past experiences.

    • Bette

      Hi Robin,
      I just want to agree with everything you just wrote here…and all of your words apply to me too. :D
      That is really a mouthful to agree with too, but I have done so much work in this area, I just do not feel angry or bitter anymore at past injustices, unintentional or intentional. Wow, HUGE progress in my journey…and I am SO grateful.

      Today I have a deeper understanding of the whole picture, and I am looking at the good things in the moment, not the horrors of the past. I too am directed and focused on being the best me possible. I visit and gather with positive people of like mind, and we spend our time together wisely with respect and greater meaning. SO vastly more wonderful than “settling” and being without true friends or direction.

      I ask myself and others….”At the end of the day, how would you view your experience in this glorious day? What would you like to put your attention on this day, right now!?” Anger and resentment are energy drains to say the least), so, instead, I use my energy in a beautiful, productive, useful way…focus on that, and the ickies will either shrivel up due to lack of attention, or they will dissolve in their own way.

      Om shanti shanti Om…

    • Ken

      I am one of those people she forgave, and I’m so lucky she forgave me. Robin as been helping me with my personal struggles, and she is has always been there for me when I need it. She is my guardian angel, protecting me and guiding me to be the best me.

      Everyone in her circle of friends have one amazing person looking after them. I don’t think the kindness challenge was really a challenge for her.

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