Posted by: Walt Curtis | March 13, 2011

Forgiveness is Becoming

The Corpus of Contemporary American English lists “forgive” as the 3629th most frequently used word in the language. It’s not exactly in our top ten. And it probably does not show up in many word clouds either.

If we look up “forgiveness” in the dictionary, we get some idea of the interesting history (etymology) of this word. The prefix for- here is related to the German ver- prefix, and implies “becoming.” So, something that is forgiven is becoming-given or given away. This leads to the idea that “forgiveness” is related to the Native American spiritual idea of giveaway.*

The action for forgiveness in Anchored Living™ is to exercise it. And exercise is probably what most of us need to do with this infrequently used word. Like so many other principles, forgiveness begins with us ourselves. To the extent that we can exercise giveaway in this manner, we become more able to do so with others.

There is a lot more to exercising forgiveness, and we will take it up many times in this blog, but for now let me just suggest one more idea.—If you feel that there is someone whom you could never forgive for whatever, there is likely something about yourself that you need to give away first. Once you can do that, forgiveness of the other will become possible.

Lastly, even though all of the anchor principles are related to and build on each other, I feel that there is a special connection between forgiveness and love, which we touch on in the next post.

* Click on the link and enter “Anchored Living” into the Search Listmania field to see the list of related publications.


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