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Signs of forgiveness

December 19, 2012

Here’s a great idea…

In her book, The How of Happiness,Sonja Lyubomirsky says,
“How do you know if you’ve forgiven someone? It’s when you have experienced a shift in thinking, such that your desire to harm that person has decreased and your desire to do him good (or to benefit your relationship) has increased” (p. 171).

 In other words…

When we have not forgiven someone, we wish that person ill. We want to punish him or her, and the impact on the relationship is predictable. The victim of our anger is likely to feel misunderstood and likely to develop resentment for us. Accusation grows and the relationship wilts.

There are times when a relationship must end because it is so destructive, but most of the time forgiveness is the key to sustaining healthy relationships. We will hurt and offend each other. But, as we forgive each other, we learn to be both more compassionate and wise.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…

Who do you need to forgive in your life? Find ways to let go of past hurts and forgive the person who hurt you. This might be easier if you can find something good that came of the hurtful experience. Maybe the pain you went through made you stronger or changed the way you look at things. Maybe it will help you forgive the person if you can try to understand the life story of the person who hurt you.

To Find Out More…

about personal well-being, check out The Personal Journey or Managing Stress programs at, like us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You might also enjoy reading The How of Happiness.

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