Part One-Forgive and Open Your Heart

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In 2016, we had a Word of the Month series that coincided with Joy's travel adventures. In addition to exploring a different country and culture every month, we also wanted to share a discussion about different emotions with parents, caregivers, teachers and kids. Read on to learn more on about the topic of forgiveness.


Forgive & Open Your Heart

One of the most challenging lessons parents have to teach their children is the reality that life isn't fair. The reality that they will get hurt and hurt others as well can be a hard one to swallow. However, the sooner they are aware of this truth, the better they can embrace a healthier approach to life.

Being honest and teaching them to trust themselves through the process, so they can reach a point where they can forgive themselves or others when they are ready, is crucial to their development and wellbeing.

Photo By BenteBoe [CC0 1.0] via Pixabay

To forgive someone is to let go of anger or resentment that you feel towards them and ultimately accepting the incident that occurred. Some may think that forgiveness is a sign of weakness, believing that if you forgive someone for hurting you, it condones their behavior. Although it may take time to get past that feeling, the truth is forgiving someone isn't accepting their behavior or action. Instead, forgiveness allows us to see that holding on to the pain and anger can't change what happened and only makes it harder to move on and find peace.

A popular television show's main character once said, "Forgiveness can't change the past, but it can change the future."

Veteran and licensed Psychologist, Sherrie Campbell, PhD, says it best in an article she wrote for Huffpost Parents, "Forgiveness is many things -- but we also must teach that forgiveness doesn't always mean reconciliation. It is not about condoning harms which have been done. Forgiveness is about taking power back."  Her article titled, "5 Ways Parents Can Teach Their Kids to Forgive" is a great resource with simple yet thorough steps to help your child understand and practice the act of forgiveness.

The act of forgiving someone actually takes a lot of strength. Most of the time it is very hard to let go and forgive, but once you are ready, it is the most liberating feeling you will ever feel!

Forgiveness helps open your heart for love and inner growth. It is when you decide to no longer be burdened by the past.

"Forgiveness is the final form of love."  

-Reinhold Niebuhr

Reading stories is a great way to see things from someone else's perspective. Here are some books to help your kids and students understand forgiveness. 


A Question for You and Your Kids

We have a great question for you and your kids and would love to hear from you:

How did you feel when you were forgiven or forgave someone?

You can your response with us in two ways:

  1. Comment on the post below.

  2. Post your answer(s) on our Facebook page, Joy Sun Bear , or tag us on Twitter, @JoySunBear, and use the hashtag #forgiveness.

It's hard to forgive when a scar runs deep. But through self compassion, patience, love and time, you can reach a place where you are ready to take the step into forgiveness, and free yourself from the past. We wish you all the best on your journey of forgiveness!

Have a good day!

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