The Art of Forgiveness

The Art of Forgiveness

The Art of Forgiveness

I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase… “The most influential person in your life is the one you haven’t forgiven” and along with it a statement that it carries profound wisdom. I wanted to take a moment to explore this concept.

Forgiveness is a powerful act that transcends mere words. When we harbor resentment and withhold forgiveness, we inadvertently allow that person to maintain influence over our emotions, thoughts, and well-being. Our Big Book teaches us that resentment is the number one offender. Here are some reflections on this idea:

1.) The Weight of Unforgiveness:

  • Holding onto grudges burdens our hearts and minds. It’s like carrying a heavy backpack filled with stones. The person we haven’t forgiven becomes an invisible weight, affecting our choices, relationships, and overall happiness.
  • Refusing to forgive is like drinking rat poison and expecting the rat to die. In reality, it only poisons our own soul.

2.) The Freedom of Forgiveness:

  • Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the other person’s actions; it liberates us from their grip. It’s a gift we give ourselves, allowing healing and growth.
  • By forgiving, we break free from the chains that bind us to hurtful memories. We regain control over our emotions and reclaim our power.
  • What’s that old saying, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?”

3.) The Challenge of Letting Go:

  • Sometimes, the person we struggle to forgive intentionally makes our lives difficult. It could be a family member, a coworker, or an old friend.
  • But refusing to forgive doesn’t ease our pain; it perpetuates it. We are reminded that this person—despite their actions—is profoundly influential in our lives. To move forward, we must release the burden.

4.) Love, Forgiveness, and a Higher Power:

Here are some words that beautifully encapsulate three challenges for enriching our spiritual journey:

  • Love Deeply: Cultivate intense love for others, even those who annoy us. it’s been said our love for one another would reveal the real truth of our journey.
  • Forgive Unreservedly: Despite past hurts, forgiveness lightens our load. Letting go allows us to heal and move forward.
  • Savor God’s Direction: Immerse ourselves in the words found in our literature, allowing it to guide our spiritual path. As we do, love and forgiveness become easier.

In summary, I have found it interesting that nowhere in our BB (first 164 page) does it use the word surrender in this context, but I have learned that forgiveness isn’t weakness; it’s strength. By asking God to remove our defects and help us to release the chain of unforgiveness, we reclaim influence over our own lives.

So, let us choose to forgive, not for their sake, but for ours. 🌟

In love & service,


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