Reflecting on Forgiveness in the Season of Renewal

Reflecting on Forgiveness in the Season of Renewal

I’ve just finished writing a new book on anger (stay tuned for more details).

And as I’ve been doing so, I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness.

I’ve been reminded that there are few things more important in life, in so many situations, than forgiveness (for oneself and for others).

Not forgiving eats away at us, like a poison, and it can, if left unchecked, literally kill us.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is healing, and healthy, and crucial for living a good and happy life.

Check out this article by Arianna Huffington from Thrive …

The week between Western Easter and Orthodox Easter, which I was brought up to observe growing up in Greece, got me thinking of the power of forgiveness. The world isn’t united by much, but this year the holidays of Passover, Ramadan and Easter all landed at the same time. The ceremonies are different, but they’re all celebrations of rebirth, renewal and reflecting on something larger than ourselves. And the ancient wisdom and traditions put me in mind of our modern paradox: we’re at a crossroads of long overdue reckonings on racial injustice and gender inequities. At the same time, we’ve seldom been more divided, polarized and paralyzed. So in this ecumenical — or at least calendar-driven — season of renewal, how can we reorient our focus away from hatred and vilification and toward transformation and impact? This is a question not just for us collectively, but also for the individual journeys we’re all on.

We’re just emerging from a searing collective shared experience, and yet we’re as apart as ever — inhabiting different worlds with very little shared reality, and no shared values. As the Franciscan priest and spiritual teacher Father Richard Rohr, wrote recently, “Western civilization appears to be in a state of spiritual emergency.” It’s a state in which not only are people increasingly consumed with demonizing each other, they are doing their demonizing in the name of “holy and noble” virtues, like God, religion, truth, morality, their children, or love of country.

I had just read Father Rohr when I happened to listen to Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast with Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman on the theme of loving our enemies. Salzberg and Thurman are both renowned Buddhist teachers and writers — and literally co-wrote the book on the subject: Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier

… keep reading the full & original article HERE