The other day, one of my clients was talking about her relationship with her son. He has made great strides in his behavior over the last year, due in no small part to her determined intervention. She was mad at herself because she had reprimanded him for something, and she was feeling remorseful because she knew that he had made a lot of changes and that she was focusing on what he hadn’t done. She feared she was passing the wrong message, the message that he just wasn’t good enough. And then she said, “Even though I was mean to him, he still gave me hugs and kisses when I took him to school.”

Forgiveness. My client’s son has learned this skill at an early age. What a life skill to master! I think about my own 18-year old son struggling with calculus and how important it seems to pass that class, when in fact, he is unlikely to ever need the skill of knowing calculus. Of what greater value would it be to take a course in forgiveness and to learn that amazing skill? How much easier and lighter life would be if we could all master it!

It seems to me that forgiveness is an important component of compassion, that without it, it is difficult to get into the heart and mind of another of someone who has hurt you or who has been hurtful to others.

What things in your life would benefit from offering forgiveness to someone or even to yourself? Who and what are you missing out on while you allow the dead weight of anger and hurt take up your energy and drain your vitality? How could you put that same energy to different use if you just put. it. down?