Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Soothing words on Forgiveness

Found this Henri Nouwen quotation in two different places recently. Maybe that's 'a sign' nudging me to share...


"Forgiving does not mean forgetting. When we forgive a person, the memory of the wound might stay with us for a long time, even throughout our lives. Sometimes we carry the memory in our bodies as a visible sign. But forgiveness changes the way we remember. It converts the curse into a blessing. When we forgive our parents for their divorce, our children for their lack of attention, our friends for their unfaithfulness in crisis, our doctors for their ill advice, we no longer have to experience ourselves as the victims of events we had no control over.

Forgiveness allows us to claim our own power and not let these events destroy us; it enables them to become events that deepen the wisdom of our hearts. Forgiveness indeed heals memories."


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Your thoughts?

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12 comments:

Pamela D. Hart said...

Susannah: That’s a lovely way to explain “forgiveness”.

I’ve often said that since I couldn’t change my past, I had to learn to accept it, which doesn’t mean I will ever forget or approve, it just means I no longer allow the bitterness to eat me alive, therefore my “path” to forgiveness saved me.

Susannah said...

Pam, you're so right to point out 'bitterness.' That gets us every time, right?

So glad you stopped by. Thanks for commenting.

A Forign Anonymous Poster said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fuzzys dad said...

A Great Post thank-You

Susannah said...

Fuzz~ Henri Nouwen was a brilliant man w/ a keen understanding of spiritual things. I think maybe I'll read more of him...(And you're welcome!)

Joe said...

Forgiveness is the most difficult of all human interactions. It took Jesus' example of God's forgiveness to show us what it really looks like.

Z said...

The important thing is we don't have to forget, that's something people who want to forgive get tripped up on "but I can't forget that!"

I'll try to find a quote someone mentioned at Bible study today, it fit this exactly and is hilarious...wish me luck!

Z said...

Got it..the phrase has to do with resentment, which I think dovetails unforgiveness..it cracked me up but it has a good message:

"hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent free in your head" :-)

Susannah said...

Z~ I wonder why it is that we believe 'forgetting' is part of forgiveness. Is it b/c we'd rather the event/person didn't exist? Maybe, but impossible. And then, that's the miracle of forgiveness - that we don't have to forget, just allow God to help us 'remember differently.'

Love your quote, btw! Talk soon, dear!

Always On Watch said...

I can forgive my husband very easily -- for the most part, anyway.

But I have had trouble forgiving a former employer, who tanked my teaching career.

Barry O said...

Wow- and so much of what I do has been called unforgivable...

Susannah said...

Hey Joe! didn't meant to skip over your comment. Sorry~

You're right. Forgiveness is "the most difficult of all human interactions" , which is why we just can't seem to do it on our own.

AOW~ I find it easier to forgive those I love, too. Somehow it's easier to 'get' that forgiving is in my best interest as well as theirs...But forgiving someone who isn't even sorry? Now that's sticky, and something that I have to repeatedly put at God's feet.

BarryO!! Welcome back! So glad to see you; been a while...

"and so much of what I do has been called unforgivable"
By whom? Not by God.