One of the most difficult things to do, but is essential to our well being, is to be able to forgive those who have hurt us and to forgive ourselves for our shortcomings and the hurt we have caused others.

Jack Kornfield  has written a great deal on this subject including his own and his family’s horrendous experience with an extremely abusive father. It took him many years of meditation, therapy and forgiveness practices to be able to be with his father when he was near death and ultimately forgive him.

Kornfield quotes a dialogue between 2 former prisoners of war:
“Have you forgiven your captors yet?’
“NO, Never!”
“Well, then they still have you in prison don’t they?”

Kornfield adds: We begin the work of forgiveness primarily for ourselves. It is painful to hate. In forgiveness we let go and find relief in our hearts.


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