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Talk with the Doc: Considering the art of forgiveness

Dr. Jim Surrell, Journal columnist

As you may know from my previous columns, I highly respect the noted author and newspaper journalist, Mr. Wilferd A. Peterson. Clearly, one of my all time favorite motivational books is Mr. Peterson’s monumental best selling book, entitled, “The Art of Living”. I was very impressed with his profound comments about the subject of forgiveness in this book. Let me now share some of Mr. Peterson’s thoughts about forgiveness that I believe can be very enlightening for all of us.

The following is some wisdom about forgiveness from Wilferd A. Peterson:

The art of forgiveness begins when you forgive someone. It is having a humble spirit and being done with pride and self-pity. It is taking a step toward the practice of forgiveness. Hate is death, forgiveness is life. Forgiveness works the miracle of change. When President Abraham Lincoln was asked why he did not destroy his enemies he replied: “If I make my enemies my friends, don’t I then destroy them?” When you forgive, you change others and you change yourself. You change discord to harmony.

Forgiveness should span the years. You should first forgive yourself for the wrongs you’ve done to yourself and others, for the mistakes you’ve made. Then you should forgive and bless all those who have wronged you during your lifetime. Thus you release others and you release yourself. You break the chains of regret and remorse that bind you. You free your mind from the burdens of the past so you may walk victoriously into the future.

Let me now share some additional very meaningful quotes from others about forgiveness.

“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” – Tony Robbins

“A broken friendship that is mended through forgiveness can be even stronger than it once was.”

Stephen Richards

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

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

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” – Bryant H. McGill

“How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself.” – Publilius Syrus

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

“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” – Marianne Williamson

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

“To forgive is wisdom, to forget is genius.” – Joyce Cary

The bottom line is that if we do not forgive others for any perceived wrong-doing toward us, this will continue to have a much more negative impact on our emotions then it will have on the one whom we choose not to forgive. “Forgive and Forget” is very profound wisdom for all of us.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do” and the “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet” books.Contact Dr. Surrell by email at sosdietdoc@gmail.com.

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