Loving and Forgiving

For anyone having difficulty in the forgiveness department, here’s a lovely non-denominational site brought to my attention by my friend Kristin.  From the Fetzer Institute, it is called The Campaign for Love and Forgiveness, and offers ideas and inspiration on such things as practicing, teaching, and starting conversations.  Its mission is to “combine public television programming, community activities and events to encourage contemplation and conversation about how love and forgiveness can effect meaningful change in individuals and society.”

I can’t vouch for everything on this site (you’ll see quotes in the sidebar from everyone from Thomas Merton and St. Teresa of Avila to Cher and Lana Turner!), but it appears to be a place of quiet reflection and encouragement.  Click on the “Create a Garden” link for example and scroll down; I think you’ll find some great ideas. 

Have a wonderful day, and don’t forget the famous words of Lao Tzu:

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”  :) 

10 thoughts on “Loving and Forgiving

  1. Thank you for the recommendation, I’ll venture over sometime soon. There are always opportunities for course corrections . . . life is never a straight trajectory to anywhere! Pray all is well in your world, Gabrielle!!

  2. This is the week for me to find “direction.” Wherever I visit I find another source of wonderful “guides.” Hey, “[i]f [I] do not change direction, [I] may end up where [I’m] heading.” In one way that can be frightening, especially if I think I’m moving in the right direction…but then why else would I be sent guides to gently move me to where I am meant to be? Thanks for your direction!

  3. Sometimes people forgive but still have difficulty forgetting, and I think this is understandable and acceptable as long as we don’t let our remembering get in the way of our moving forwards. I like the qoute at the end!
    I’ll visit the mentioned site later, Gabrielle.

  4. Gabrielle: what a surprise…and kind of “humbling” too, that you would choose to post (to the “whole world”) something that I shared w/you (yes, I AM smiling…again). 🙂

    Thought you would like to know that I actually caught part of the PBS (Public Broadcasting System) program on this same subject, just last nite (ironically) on TV. It was simply amazing & profound. It’s the kind of documentary that I consider important enough to add to our “home video library”. Here is the link to the special, and to the video of the program itself: http://www.journeyfilms.com/content.asp?contentid=814

    IMHO, this is an important reminder for all of us, no matter where we are at, or what our basic “nature” is like…..I have often thought that I am, basically, a fairly “forgiving” person….but can become incredibly angry and frustrated with MYSELF, sometimes over the smallest of things.

    Thank you, Gabrielle, for the ways that you reach out and “connect” with so many people, by means of “reaching in” (beyond those “invisible barriers”) thru our God-given spiritual connections. Speaking for myself, you have certainly been a “conduit” to a deeper understanding & sensitivity. And, I am genuinely grateful. 🙂

  5. (I sent a reply earlier today, but the internet went down, and it appears that it never made it to your blog!) 😦

    Gabrielle, thank you for being so gracious as to share the info that I shared w/you! I am humbled that you should choose to share it w/the “whole world”, by posting it on your blog (yes, I AM smiling – again). 🙂 IMHO, it seems to be that forgiveness is something that EVERYONE, everywhere can benefit from, to some degree, large or small. For instance, I always (well almost always) have considered myself to be a fairly patient & forgiving person….but have recently learned just how intolerant I can be with my own self (over the past 6 – 8 wks since the accident).

    Ironically, just last nite, I came across the PBS program, entitled “The Power of Forgiveness”, and it was truly wonderful. It was so good, that I consider it worth adding to our “video library” collection (as well as purchasing a 2nd copy to donate to our local public library). Here is the link to the video of the program, in the event that you would like to share it with your readers: http://www.journeyfilms.com/store_product.asp?prodid=204

    It seems to me, that no matter what a person’s basic character/nature is…..no matter what they have experienced in their lives…..or what stage of growth, maturity, insight they may be in, that forgiveness is crucial to walking in His Light of Love & Truth….to living in His Heart, to reflecting the Gospel message. This is often not “easy”, simple, painless or uncomplicated….but, one of those efforts where the “journey” makes it all worthwhile….even as you are still in the process of “getting there”.

    Gabrielle, thank you again for sharing so much, with so many….for reaching out – and reaching in…..for making that connection – soul to soul….looking beyond the barriers and facades that are (sadly) resurrected everywhere, to find that mysterious place of understanding, so that we can all do just what today’s Bible Verse (in your side bar) says: “encourage one another and build each other up, just as, in fact, you ARE doing”!! Speaking for myself, I am genuinely grateful.

  6. Kristin, it was my pleasure to share the forgiveness site with others; thank you for letting me know about it. The only reason for the delay in your comment appearing was because it contained a link, and I now have to moderate any comment with a link (unfortunate, I know, but necessary now). Anyway, I left both of your comments up (hope you don’t mind) because there were some things in the second that weren’t in the first. I’ll check the link to the documentary over the weekend I hope; that’s so generous of you to have donated a second copy to the library – what a great idea! Excellent reminder you have given us, about the importance of self-forgiveness. Unforgiveness does nothing but poison us, be it towards others or towards ourselves.

    Thanks to all of you for your comments; the Lao Tzu quote was taken right off the forgiveness site, and was said/written with a little grin on my face – I do believe you’re all headed in the right direction…like bees to the honeycomb…

  7. Gab, my eyes nearly popped out when I read this! Just last weekend I had the most beautiful experience which proved to me that even the most horrid experiences can be forgiven, and yes, Ann, even “forgotten”. Forgetting doesn’t mean you no longer recognize that you’ve been harmed, but simply that you don’t let it poison you anymore, like you said above. It can be set aside and entrusted to Another to do with what He wishes. And you can go on with life and even be in the presence of someone who hurt you so deeply, and love can shine through – This renews hope, not only in the person who’s been forgiven, but even in your own heart. God is so good!

  8. Pia, I just came from reading your post about this experience you had, and I’m so happy for you and grateful to God. Your words, “I am free” – oh, what joy there is and will be in this freedom! Do you remember, maybe last year, I don’t remember where (maybe at kt’s), I was trying to explain how contemplative prayer heals, over time, past traumas, even to the point where they are no longer a part of our memory – but it is a difficult thing to explain – it’s not that it’s erased from the memory, but the pain of it no longer exists. I feel that this miracle of forgiveness you have received is very, very similar.

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