Mojo Monday ~ Forgiveness

The dictionary defines forgiveness as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. 
Author Don Miguel Ruiz wrote The Four Agreements, The Fifth Agreement, The Mastery of Love and The Voice of Knowledge.  One of Don Miguel Ruiz’s thoughts on forgiveness is featured in the image above.  The art and writing is from one of the cards from his Mastery of Love deck.  One of his other quotes about forgiveness is as follows: 

The supreme act of forgiveness is when
you can forgive yourself for 

all the wounds you’ve created in your own life.
Forgiveness is an act of self-love.
When you forgive yourself, 
self-acceptance begins and self-love grows. 

Ruiz was even recognized by an organization called The Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance.  Many of his training courses incorporate the act of forgiveness as one of the tools that teach people how to overcome their destructive behaviors and move to higher, more effective levels of consciousness.  

You can learn more about the inspiring Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance and their brilliant mission by visiting this web site:

Ann Frank is another individual who exhibited an amazing ability to forgive and perhaps see a bigger picture.  This excerpt from her diary is especially inspiring:

    It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. 

Another organization that is doing amazing work regarding forgiveness is The Forgiveness ProjectFounder Marina Cantacuzino shares that “Forgiveness is an inspiring, complex, exasperating subject, which provokes strong feeling in just about everyone. Having spent all of 2003 collecting stories of reconciliation and forgiveness for an exhibition of words and images which I created with the photographer, Brian Moody, I began to see that for many people forgiveness is no soft option, but  rather the ultimate revenge. For many it is a liberating route out of victimhood; a choice, a process, the final victory over those who have done you harm. As Mariane Pearl, the wife of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, said of her husband’s killers, ‘The only way to oppose them is by demonstrating the strength that they think they have taken from you.'”

The exhibition tells some extraordinary stories – stories of victims who have become friends with perpetrators, murderers who have turned their mind to peace building.  I read in awe the story about Linda and Peter Biehl and how they found it within their hearts to forgive and befriend the young men who murdered their daughter Amy, an American Fulbright scholar working in South Africa against apartheid.  They started a foundation in their daughter’s name and two of the young men even went to work for the foundation.  Linda shares how she came to “believe passionately in restorative justice. It’s what Desmond Tutu calls ‘ubuntu’: to choose to forgive rather than demand retribution, a belief that “my humanity is inextricably caught up in yours.”

Within our lifetimes we will all need to ask for forgiveness or find it within ourselves to forgive another.  Sometimes you forgive people simply because you still want them in your life.
Consider creating an art piece about forgiveness and what it means to you.   
Here is a beautiful rendition I found on-line by a woman named Ramona.  She combined a Scrap Therapy Layout on Self-forgiveness with a Hopes for the New Year Layout and created a beautiful journaling art piece.  Here is the journaling excerpt from the image: 
For this new year, I would like to be free.   Free from feeling bad or obsessing about when the next time the blackness will come.  Free from feeling like I am never good enough. Not smart enough, thin enough, nice enough, whatever enough. I would like to be free from feeling like a bad mother when I am simply too tired to cook, or clean, or check homework.   I want to honor the light within me that longs to shine brightly.  For the whole world to see that I am good enough.  Simply because I am me.  To do this, I need to begin to practice forgiveness, and change my internal dialogue.  To a dialogue of love, light truth and peace.
What are your thoughts about forgiveness?
Do you have any stories of forgiveness to share?  
If you create an art piece or write a poem about forgiveness please share it.
To the right is a simple art piece I did for forgiveness.

Looking for more inspiration regarding forgiveness?  Here is a video on the subject.

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