From Toni Bernhard:
According to the dictionary, to forgive is to stop feeling angry or resentful toward yourself or others for some perceived offense, flaw, or mistake. Keeping that definition in mind, forgiveness becomes a form of compassion. This is because compassion is the act of reaching out to yourself and others to help alleviate suffering. Forgiving yourself and forgiving others has just that effect.
To inspire you to work on cultivating forgiveness for yourselves and others, I’ve provided commentary on ten carefully gathered quotations. I hope some of them will resonate strongly enough with you that you’ll jot them down on a piece of paper as a reminder you can refer to now and then.
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
In my own life, I’ve found this to be true: peace comes when I’m feeling good-will toward others and not contending with them. Both of these require that I forgive those who may not have acted as I’d hoped they would. This can be a challenge.
Many of us find it hard to forgive. We’ve been conditioned from childhood to think of forgiving as a sign of weakness. But we can change our habits. That’s one of the most wondrous characteristics of the mind: it’s malleable. Each time we forgive ourselves or others, it becomes easier to do so the next time. This means that we are gradually changing a habit in a way that will bring us peace of mind.
It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. —Maya Angelou
This is a tall order—not only to forgive ourselves and some people, but to forgive everybody. The best way for me to get a handle on this is to remember that we can “forgive but not forget.” And so, if someone has treated me badly, I can work on generating compassion for how much they must have been suffering to have behaved the way they did. That can lead to forgiveness. But forgiveness doesn’t mean I should forget, meaning that I may need to take steps to protect myself in the future from this person. Our minds should be forgiving…but they also should be wise!