12 Powerful Lessons to Help You Forgive

“He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.” ~ George Herbert

Let go of all the anger, all the toxicity and all the resentment that is poisoning your mind, body, soul and life and fill your heart with love. These 12 powerful lessons in forgiveness will help you do just that.

12 Powerful Lessons to Help You Forgive

1. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself.

“We have to remember, when we forgive we’re not doing it just for the other person, we’re doing it for our own good. When we hold on to unforgiveness and we live with grudges in our hearts, all we’re doing is building walls of separation.” ~ Joel Osteen

“All forgiveness is a gift to yourself.” ~A Course in Miracles

“Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself.” ~ Harriet Nelson

2. Unforgiveness does more damage to you than to the person at whom you are angry.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain

3. To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.

“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” ~ Catherine Ponder

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Louis B. Smedes

4. Forgiveness is the most powerful thing that you can do for your physiology and your spirituality.

“Forgiveness is the most powerful thing that you can do for your physiology and your spirituality. Yet, it remains one of the least attractive things to us, largely because our egos rule so unequivocally. To forgive is somehow associated with saying that it is all right, that we accept the evil deed. But this is not forgiveness. Forgiveness means that you fill yourself with love and you radiate that love outward and refuse to hang onto the venom or hatred that was engendered by the behaviors that caused the wounds.” ~Wayne Dyer

“Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim–letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.” ~ C.R. Strahan

5. It takes a very strong person to forgive.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“We think that forgiveness is weakness, but it’s absolutely not; it takes a very strong person to forgive.” ~ T. D. Jakes

“Only the brave know how to forgive. … A coward never forgave; it is not in his nature.” ~ Laurence Sterne

“The man who forgives is far stronger than the man who fights.” ~ Nathan Croall

6. There is no peace without forgiveness.

“Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” ~ Author Unknown

“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” ~ Marianne Williamson

7. Forgiveness is the final form of love.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain

“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.

“You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.” ~ Maya Angelou

“Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.” – Anonymous

8. To forgive is divine.

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” ~ Alexander Pope

“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.” ~ Cherie Carter-Scott

9. Forgiveness might not change the past, but it surely does enlarge the future.

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” Paul Boese quotes

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” ~ Steve Maraboli

10. Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.

“Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.” – George MacDonald

11. When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself.

“Keep in mind, hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome. The last thing they need is for you to make matters worse by responding angrily.” ~ Joel Osteen

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

12. What hurts you, blesses you.

What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.” ~ Rumi

“True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

“What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job? If you don’t understand this, you will get lost, however intelligent you are. It is the great secret.” ~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

What do you think, is forgiveness an act of strength or of weakness? It takes a strong person to forgive or not? You can share your comment in the comment section below :)

5 Ways to Start Pleasing Yourself Before Pleasing Others.

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. ~Mark Twain

Being a people pleaser has been a chronic issue for me for years, but I think I’ve finally nailed how to stop this self-effacing behavior. When I look back I could attribute it to many things. Maybe my tendency to please others stems from being the 3rd child, and having a brother who was ready to pounce on me at any moment. Or maybe it’s connected to the approval and love I endlessly sought from my neglecting parents. My selflessness may also be rooted in my deep fear of rejection and strong desire to be accepted.


This kind of “skill”, putting others needs before your own, can develop in a variety of contexts and life circumstances, and without your awareness. However, there is usually one common denominator that will help you get to the bottom of this issue without too much digging in your past.

Your need to please others is essentially a defense against the fear of abandonment.

If you are just nice enough, accommodating enough, easy enough, quiet enough, supportive enough, agreeable enough, and available enough, then the people in your life won’t leave.

Your ability to please others guarantees you a spot. Staying in their good graces, being on their good side, and acting obediently is an assurance that they won’t find a reason to discard you.

I know this sounds sad and pathetic, but it’s all in the name of love. You want and deserve to be loved, but not at the expense of yourself. This kind of love embodies an unconscious contract, and involves an exchange that never ends up being fair or even.

Being a people pleaser puts you at risk for becoming resentful, losing your sense of self, and for not being able to share your thoughts and feelings openly. You also can become a doormat by letting people walk all over you leading to a loss of self-respect and self-value. In your love relationships you will become exhausted and depleted, and you will wonder why it feels so empty.

I know it’s not pretty; I’ve been there. The good news is that there are some clear steps you can take to change.

Here are 5 ways to start pleasing yourself instead of others.

1. Uncover your fears

Before anything else you need to figure out what you are afraid of. Is it disappointing others? Losing love? Not being liked? Once you know what you are defending against you will be able to work through these issues, which most likely stem from your past.

2. Learn to say no

The word no has a negative connotation most of the time, but it’s actually a way to set a boundary. Even a toddler uses the word no to differentiate his sense of self. It’s hard to say no, and sometimes we can’t, but drawing the line in the sand when we need to is a healthy practice, and it lets other people know our limits.

3. Speak Up

People pleasers tend to have a hard time expressing themselves openly and honestly. It’s scary to share your feelings when you think they will cause conflict or drive the other person away. Rocking the boat, and upsetting the status quo is a natural and healthy part of growing in your relationships. You will need to work on speaking up for yourself and taking a stand if necessary. It will feel harsh at first, but you’ll get used to it soon enough.

4. Come from a place of desire (not obligation)

When you are trying to learn how to set boundaries and say no you will be forced to really ask yourself what you want and need. This may be something you have never considered before, so it will seem selfish and weird at first. Make choices as opposed to fulfilling obligations. There are always things you have to do, but you are always choosing.

5. Know who your dealing with

If you’ve been a pleaser for a while then the people in your life will be used to it. Some will automatically respect your new way of relating, but others will resist it. If there are people who simply cannot accept your limits and boundaries, then you might want to rethink these relationships. Some relationships work for a reason, but the reason isn’t always healthy.

Source: purpose fairy

Can science explain why I’m a pessimist?

_68637051_624_compMany of us categorise ourselves as either optimist or pessimist, but what can science tell us about how we got that way and can we change, asks Michael Mosley.

Debbie and Trudi are identical twins.

They have much in common, except that Trudi is cheerful and optimistic while Debbie is prone to bouts of profound depression.

It is likely that her depression was triggered by a major life event, though the twins have different views as to what that event might have been.

By studying a group of identical twins like Debbie and Trudi, Prof Tim Spector, based at St Thomas’ hospital in London, has been trying to answer fundamental questions about how our personality is formed. Why are some people more positive about life than others?

Spector has been able to identify a handful of genes which are switched on in one twin and not the other.

Twin studies suggest that, when it comes to personality, about half the differences between us are because of genetic factors. But Spector points out that throughout our lives, in response to environmental factors, our genes are constantly being dialled up and down as with a dimmer switch, a process known as epigenetics.

With twins like Trudi and Debbie they have found changes in just five genes in the brain’s hippocampus which they believe have triggered depression in Debbie.

Spector, who describes himself as an optimist, hopes that this research will lead to improved treatments for depression and anxiety.

“We used to say,” he told me, “that we can’t change our genes. We now know there are these mini mechanisms that can switch them on and off. We’re regaining control, if you like, of our genes.”

Even more surprising is research which has identified changes in the activity of genes caused by the presence or absence of maternal love.

  • Michael Mosley presents The Truth about Personality on BBC Two at 21:00 GMT on Wednesday 10 July
  • He explores what science can tell us about optimism and pessimism and whether we can change our outlook

Prof Michael Meaney, from McGill University in Canada, is investigating ways to measure how many glucocorticoid receptors are activated in someone’s brain.

The number of active glucocorticoid receptors is an indicator of that person’s ability to withstand stress. It may also be a measure of how well mothered they were at a young age – reflecting how anxious and stressed their mothers were, and how this impacted on the amount of affection they received in their early years.

I am one of a small handful of people who have done their test and had the results. I haven’t told my mother yet.

I see myself as being more at the pessimistic end of the spectrum but would like to change, so I went to visit psychologist and neuroscientist Prof Elaine Fox at her laboratory at Essex University.

Fox is interested in how our “affective mindset”, the way we view the world, shapes us. As well as using questionnaires she and her team look for specific patterns of brain activity.

They began by measuring the levels of electrical activity on the two sides of my brain with an electroencephalograph. It turns out I have more electrical activity in my right frontal cortex than my left. This, Fox explains, is associated with people who are prone to higher levels of pessimism and anxiety.

Then I did another test, designed to measure my “negative bias”. Still wired up I was asked to press a button whenever I saw dots flashing in a particular pattern behind faces being displayed on a computer screen. I was asked not to focus on the faces, just on the dots.

“Sometimes,” Fox says afterwards, “there was an angry face near the dots, sometimes a happy face. Your response time to the dots was faster when they appeared near the angry face.

10 quotes on optimism and pessimism

  • “A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” – Winston Churchill
  • “The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little” – Mark Twain
  • “The point of living, and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe that the best is yet to come” – Peter Ustinov
  • “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed” – Alexander Pope
  • “A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists” – Don Marquis
  • “An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?” Rene Descartes
  • “The basis of optimism is sheer terror” Oscar Wilde
  • “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit” – Helen Keller
  • “I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will” Antonio Gramsci
  • “I like pessimists. They’re always the ones who bring lifejackets for the boat” – Lisa Kleypas

Source: Goodreads, Brainyquote, Jimpoz

“The reason you were faster is because your attention had already been drawn to the angry face, even though you may not have been aware of that.”

The tests confirmed I have a fundamentally negative bias. To counter this, Elaine suggested I try a short course of CBM (cognitive bias modification) and mindfulness meditation.

Being a pessimist, constantly on the lookout for things that can go wrong, leads to increased stress and anxiety. And it’s more than just a state of mind. It’s powerfully connected to your health.

In one study, which started in 1975, scientists asked more than a thousand inhabitants of the town of Oxford, Ohio, to fill in a questionnaire about jobs, health, family and attitudes towards growing older.

Decades later Prof Becca Levy of Yale University tracked down what had happened. When Levy went through the death records she found that those who had felt the most optimistic about growing older had lived, on average, around seven and a half years longer than those who were more pessimistic.

It was a striking finding and took into account other possible explanations, such as the fact that people who were more pessimistic may have been influenced by prior sickness or depression.

Similar results emerged from a study of nuns done by Deborah Danner and others at the University of Kentucky. They looked at the diaries of 180 Catholic nuns, written when they had entered their nunneries in the 1930s.

They then rigorously scored these diaries for optimistic or pessimistic outlook. Nuns who live in a closed community are a good group to study because they live in the same environment for most of their lives, eating the same foods and having similar experiences.

When the researchers traced what had happened to the nuns they discovered that those who expressed the most positive emotions about life when they were in their early 20s lived up to 10 years longer than those who expressed the least.

As for me, after seven weeks of doing mindfulness meditation and CBM I felt much calmer and returned to Prof Fox’s lab for more tests. The results were extremely encouraging.

It seems that even later in life you can change your outlook. Even for the pessimists, that should be worth celebrating.

Source: BBC