Letting Yourself Off The Hook

A Great Idea …

“Forgiveness is the blessing we bestow on not just those who have hurt us, but upon ourselves. Forgiveness knocks down the walls around love that hate can build….Forgiveness isn’t forgetting. It’s just leaving behind your own hate and rising to the next level of life. It’s not about letting the other guy off the hook-it’s about letting yourself off the hook.” (Dan Baker and Cameron Stauth, in their book, What Happy People Know, pp. 106-107)

In Other Words …

Often we feel compelled to hold people accountable. We refuse to forgive because we think that by doing so we are excusing what the person has done. That is a mistake. Forgiveness is more about allowing ourselves to let go of the hate and anger that hold us hostage. It allows us to move on with our lives.

How this Applies to You …

Are there people you need to forgive? Do you have any anger or resentment tucked away? Choose to forgive and set yourself free to live a happier, fuller life.

To Find Out More …

For more great ideas (or to share your ideas), check out our Navigating Life’s Journey blog

For excellent (and free!) programs on improving your personal well being, check out The Personal Journey and Managing Stress at To further explore The Personal Journey, look for sets of questions for each site along The Personal Journey. Those questions together with the journaling pages can give you greater gratification in life.

For more information, we recommend What Happy People Know by Dan Baker and Cameron Stauth.

3 replies on “Letting Yourself Off The Hook”

I learned a principle last week that goes along with this. It’s called anticipated forgiveness. Before anyone came to Earth, Heavenly Father put in place the means to forgive us. We can do the same. Those closest to us know how to push our buttons, and they often do. Because we do live in family laboratories of learning, we can anticipate the mistakes of those closest to us and choose to forgive them in advance. Choosing to forgive in advance takes some of the sting out of the thoughtless things others say and do–even if they are not family. It enables us to be more like our Father in Heaven.

I have found that when I am taken aback by someone’s words or deeds that seem to be designed to “offend” me, I can ask myself “why would a reasonable, rational, kind person do or say that?” That allows me some space to examine the facts behind the situation and allows me to move forward in a more positive fashion. I believe that there is much less to forgive than we initially think there is.

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