In this series of blogs, we discussed a difficult emotional challenge that everyone deals with at some point in their life. Forgiveness is a process, one of growth and awareness. But, like most things in life, it is a unique journey that each person has to experience on their own. The younger we start being aware of what forgiveness is and how to approach it, the better prepared we will be to take the journey.
Although we can't take the journey for our children, or completely remove all the pain of the process, we can demonstrate how it feels to forgive and give them the tools they need to do their best.
We wanted to know how forgiveness feels to others so we asked our followers, How did you feel when you were forgiven or forgave someone? The interesting thing is, the most common answer we received from both children and adults was that they felt happy or love when they experienced forgiveness. Forgiveness can't change the past, but it can open us up to love and happiness that transforms our present and future.
Looking back on all we have learned this month, we visit our first blog where we defined forgiveness, discussed how being able to forgive will open our hearts to love, and included a great article on Huffpost Parents by Sherrie Campbell, PhD, discussing five ways you can teach your children forgiveness.
In our second blog, we wanted to focus on self-forgiveness because without opening our hearts and forgiving ourselves, it is very difficult to forgive others. We included some great exercises, activities and tools from Brilliant Star and Lee & Low Books to help aide children with learning forgiveness. We were also reminded by author Don Miguel Ruiz that "the supreme act of forgiveness is when you can forgive yourself for all the wounds you've created in your own life. Forgiveness is an act of self-love. When you forgive yourself, self-acceptance begins and self-love grows."
Our third blog focused on forgiving others, describing how teaching children to forgive themselves can help develop empathy, which in turn can help them forgive others. We shared a great article on PsychCentral by Jamie Perillo, LPC, which included seven ways to teach your child to forgive, as well as informative exercises and a visualization. We also wanted to share Joy Sun Bear's experience with forgiving others, along with a video by Singapore Kindness Movement that they could relate to and see forgiveness in action.
In the end, it is important to let our children know that forgiveness is a journey we all take to learn to let go and love ourselves more, enabling us to do the same for others.
"There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love."
-Bryant H. McGill
We hope this helps you and your little ones on your journey of forgiveness in life, leading to happiness, love and peace!
Did any of the exercises or resources in our Forgiveness blogs help you and your family or classroom? Please comment below and share with us!
Have a wonderful week!
-Joy Sun Bear Family