Tomorrow night is Yom Kippur and Jews all over the world will be directing their hearts, minds and prayers towards Gd with a united thought; “FORGIVE ME!”

We know that they way we deal with other people is the way that Gd will deal with us. When we live the concept of forgiveness and put it into practice in our daily lives, then we can look to Gd and expect him to act towards us with forgiveness too.

I think of forgiveness as one of the most essential skills in marriage, and it is a skill because it is something that we have to learn. The natural reaction is to wallow in our self pity when we are hurt or to get angry and then get even, so we have to learn the skill of forgiving.

Inevitably you have been hurt in the last year by your partner in some way big or small and probably even in the last week. It may have been by accident or on purpose, it may have been as the result of forgetfulness, laziness, negligence or down right selfishness, it doesn’t matter, your job is to forgive.

So what is forgiveness, it can best me summed as; letting go. You know you have let go when you no longer feel negatively towards the other person because of what happened. If you are bearing a grudge you have not forgiven and if you are keep score and planning on getting your own back you have not forgiven, even if you have told them that you accept their apology.

Forgiving is not forgetting, we can all remember unpleasant things that happened to us when we were kids but we don’t care any more. Forgiving is never mentioning it again! Yes, they have to apologize and try to repair the damage they caused, but even if they don’t you have to work on letting go.

Some ways to help us to get into a place where we can forgive are:

be aware that they didn’t do it to hurt you
consider there side of the situation and listen to their explanation
give the benefit of the doubt
remember that we all make mistakes.

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