Forgiveness is a common theme in my office.

Forgiveness of ourselves.

And, forgiveness of our loved ones.

Much like the art of letting go, forgiveness can be one of life’s trickiest bitches.

We must learn to forgive

I believe the people hurting the most on this earth are the ones who are holding onto to things that simply cannot be changed; past hurts, betrayals and disappointments. Especially the ones committed by our loved ones against us. The ones we really don’t have control over.

When we hold onto these past hurts they very easily eat us from the inside out and don’t move us to being who we are truly meant to be.

When we hold onto these past hurts we live our lives from fear and not love.

When we hold onto these past hurts we are the only ones holding ourselves back from moving forward.

The art of forgiveness

As Desmond Tutu writes, “Forgiveness opens the door to peace between people and opens the space for peace within each person. The victim cannot have peace without forgiving…”

As Matthew B. James writes, “Flow love to the other person. Release the hurt, retain the learning.”

The hard work of forgiveness

And, as I wrote to one of my friends in a text message,

“You work on forgiving her for yourself, for your own well being and sanity. Not because she deserves it or because she will change.

And, you work on loving the parts of her that you do appreciate and continually work on accepting her limitations (practicing loving compassion).

It’s sucks, it’s hard and feels impossible.

But, that’s what I’m continuously working on with the forgiveness of my past hurts.

For myself.

And you attempt to move forward with an open heart but with a nice privacy fence of boundaries not a brick wall. Because that isn’t who we are or who we want to be.

Move forward with a protected heart with boundaries and not a guarded heart with brick walls. It may look the same from the outside but your intentions on the inside are very different.”

We forgive for ourselves

We forgive to find peace.

We forgive to live from a place of love and not fear.

We forgive for ourselves.

We forgive now because there may never be anything that can be done to make up for the hurt. And, it definitely cannot be taken back or erased. But, holding onto it and withholding forgiveness only keeps us stuck in the hurt, reliving it every single day.

As with just about everything I work with my clients on, write about and practice myself, it is much easier said than done.

Simple but not easy.

I am figuring out this life is more of an art.

An art of faith. An art of practice. An art of forgiveness. An art of hard work. An art of letting go. An art of love. An art of acceptance. An art of redefining. An art of courage.

An art of ever upward.

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If you found this post enjoyable, inspiring, helpful, hopeful, interesting or even infuriating 😉, please take the time and the chance to share it through your social media! More shares means more eyes, means more people helped and the message heard on a wider scale. Thank you! Justine

12 thoughts on “The Hard Work (and Art) of Forgiveness

  1. Forgiveness doesn’t mean letting down those boundaries though – right?

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    1. Exactly! Means we let go of the power they have over us. But we still have those boundaries in place, that privacy fence.

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    2. I hope it helps some, I’ve forgiven my sister for her words but doesn’t mean there aren’t major boundaries…

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  2. One of my favorite quotes on forgiveness is by Mark Twain, “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” ❤

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    1. Oooohhh, that one is deep! I like it! Thank you! Justine

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  3. Reblogged this on Autism And Christianity and commented:
    This is my newest follow (and quite delightful read). Follow her.

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    1. Thank you so much for this reblog! Justine

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  4. Jane says:

    That is just beautiful. Sometimes I just need it explained. I will forgive for what it does for me. As well as for the other person.

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    1. Jane, Thank you so much for reading and for this amazing comment. So glad you found it helpful! Justine

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  5. What a beautiful reminder for all of us on the true purpose of forgiveness and a great way to reframe the situation by focusing on what you do like about someone instead of what bothers you.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and leaving this great comment. I am happy you liked the concept and writing. Thanks again! Justine

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