Monday, July 30, 2007

Forgiving families belong together, are unstoppable

This story demonstrates the importance of introducing the ideas of forgiveness in any society. If people a shown a different way, one based in love not fear, people will respond to the love that they have received. We all want to be forgiven for things we have done and when we do experience that forgiveness it does leave an impression. If we can support that kind of thinking in our societies then we are creating cultures which become predisposed to the ideas of forgiveness. This can begin a very powerful healing process that can ultimately not only save this tribe but the world.

Dr. Eileen Borris
Author of Finding Forgiveness

A Victim's Forgiveness that is Inspiring

I recently read a story in the Hearld (UK) about a young man in Edinburgh who went out with a friend to a nightclub one evening to go drinking. At three in the morning the two men walked to the George IV Bridge. They were laughing anc carrying on when one of them picked up a traffic cone and threw it over a railing of the bridge falling to the street below. A young Irish woman was on that street visiting with a friend when her life dramatically changed in an instant. The cone knocked her unconscious and paralyzed her. She ended up with a broken leg, a fractured skull and three broken vertebrae. The doctors feared that she would never walk again.

The case did go to court. The man did not go to jail but was ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service. One may ask "why did the judge not jail him?" It was because of the injured woman's plea to spare this man of prison. She also said that"I have forgiven this man and decided in the first few days that I wasn't going to be angry with him and was going to focus my energies on getting better." She showed great courage.

What can we learn from this woman? Research has shown us that when we hold on to anger and hate it can affect our bodies in a very negative way sending hormones in our body which raise our blood pressure and affect our cardiovascular system and other systems negatively as well. When we chose to forgive the opposite is true. In such cases forgiveness is a very pragmatic approach to life and one that this woman chose to take. On a deeper level this woman transcended her bitterness and handed this man a second chance to make a better life. What an incredible act of grace that only someone who has experienced the power of forgiveness can do.

Eileen Borris
author of Finding Forgiveness

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Revisiting the Shootings in an Amish Community

I have been reading a lot articles lately about forgiveness and began thinking about what took place in the aftermath of last year’s shootings in Nickel Mines, Pa. The lessons we can learn from this event are so profound and perhaps lost because of their depth. Forgiveness is a voluntary act in which you make a decision to see a situation differently. You chose not to see the situation through the lens of anger, guilt or fear but through the eyes of compassion and understanding. So instead of getting stuck in your own emotional baggage you can now see the situation differently with greater wisdom and understanding. That is forgiveness.

The Amish have an enormous capacity to see things differently. This is because forgiveness is woven into the fabric of the Amish way of life and the more we are willing to entertain the thought of forgiveness, the more we too can experience it. What makes what the Amish did so remarkable is that they never lost sight of the fact that above all else Roberts was a human being, like all of us. They where able to see past Robert’s actions and recognize his humanity. I call this seeing with spiritual sight. This gave the Amish the ability to sympathize with his family for their loss and move forward with compassion and not vengeful hate. This is one of the keys to learning how to forgive. It is seeing past the outer behavior to the light that is within all of us. Another way of saying this is that the Amish never lost touch of the essence of who we are as human beings. For some this is expressed as our spiritual essence or the divinity within us. Forgiveness is about bringing us closer to that beautiful essence within us and as we do, we will experience a greater joy and love in all aspects of our lives and truly know divine presence.

Dr. Eileen Borris
Author of Finding Forgiveness

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Price of Forgiveness

In a recent article in the Houston Chronicle the question was asked about the price of forgiveness. Turning on the news these days we hear so many stories of politicians, celebrities, and famous athletes to name a few being forgiven for the "sins" they have committed. It does have to make us wonder what is forgiveness really about? Whitney Casey who wrote "How much is the price of forgiveness" rightly asks is the willingness to forgive directly propotional to the negative consequences of not forgiving?" It is true that forgiveness is a voluntary act in which you make a decision to see a situation differently. Forgiveness helps us change the way we think so instead of seeing a situation through the lens of anger, guilt or fear we see it through the eyes of compassion and understanding. Instead of getting stuck in your own emotional baggage you can now see the situation differently with greater wisdom and understanding. That is forgiveness.

I think that the next time we hear public stories of people asking for forgiveness we may want to ask ourselves has there been an inner change within the person who is forgiving. Has the way this person perceives the world changed? If the answer is no then we are only cheapening forgiveness. We live in a fast food society where we want everything to be quick. Unfortunately for forgiveness to be healing there is no quick fix.

Dr. Eileen Borris
Author of Finding Forgiveness

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Forgiveness and the Dalai Lama

Forgiveness and The Dalai Lama

I have had the good fortune to have met the Dalai Lama and interview him for my book on Finding Forgiveness. If anyone knows the history of His Holiness and what he has done for the Tibetan people, it becomes very clear that he is the embodiment of compassion and forgiveness. Living in exile, His Holiness who has suffered himself has campaigned for forgiveness and taking social responsibility for our actions. He teaches us that in order to forgive we need to become aware of our thinking. He teaches us the importance of looking at our anger and analyzing it. By doing this we realize that our anger is not getting us what we want. He teaches about patience as being a very important component of forgiveness, something all of us need to develop.

Dr. Eileen Borris
Author of "Finding Forgiveness: A 7 Step Appraoch to Letting Go of Anger and Bitterness"
Labels: borris, compassion, Dalai Lama, finding forgiveness, forgiveness, reconciliation, relationships, Tibet

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"To Forgive is not always easy"

There has been a lot written in the past few days concerning Senator David Vitter who has admitted embarrassing details of his past. It is very easy to get caught up in this story yet there may be a more important story concerning finding forgiveness which Wendy Vitter expressed. She reminds us that "To forgive is not always an easy choice." It is important not to judge why she has made that choice. What is important that she did make that choice. As she has already commented, it is not easy to forgive which says to me that she has gone through her own process of dealing with the difficult emotions and has recognized that none of us are perfect and that all of us are capable of prostituting ourselves in different ways. This is something very difficult to look at within ourselves but if we can, we have taken a step in our own inner healing as well as grown in the capacity to show compassion for others. In doing this we have demonstrated true forgiveness.

Eileen R. Borris
Author of "Finding Forgiveness"

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Healing and the Virginia Tech Massacre

On Monday this country witnessed a horrific massacre at Virginia Tech where 33 individuals were killed and 15 injured when a young Korean went on a shooting spree. It caught all of our attention as this country grieves for the loss of life and witnesses the pain so many families and loved ones are enduring. When anything like this occurs we need to pay attention to it and raise our consciousness in order to make the needed changes our society needs to grapple with.

There are few meaningful words that can be said when a tragedy like this occurs. Our natural instinct is to think about and pray for the victims and their families and the friends and loved ones who have been deeply touched by this act of murder. Our thoughts should go here. And at the same time we should not be so shocked since this violence is only the latest in a long list of such tragedies in the United States. We only need to look to last October when shootings took place at the Amish schoolhouse and in 1999 the killings at Columbine High School. Although each attack is different there is a common thread. Those doing the killing wanted to kill as many people as possible before taking their own lives.

The question that we all need to ask is have such incidents become part of the fabric of our society and is there a deep strain of violence in our culture? What in our society is promoting such violence? Why do we allow ourselves to be bombarded with violence on our TV’s, movies video games, all of which we know entices more violence? Should we have tighter gun control? The truth is we are supporting a culture of violence within our society which is reflected in our thinking and in our actions. This violence if not addressed will only grow like a cancer eventually destroying everything in its wake.

All those touched by the tragedy that took place at Virginia Tech will began a healing process unique to each individual. Not to allow people time to experience their natural and noble instincts to feel rage and grief actually deprives them of the ability to heal in the long run. After the shock wears off there will be lots of anger. This should be expected and in order to heal completely no one can skip any steps. Those touched by grief need to mourn to get past this painful time. It is my hope that for all those that who are suffering and want to be freed from their emotional pain that when ready will consider the possibility of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not about letting the shooter off the hook which is what so many people think it means. Forgiveness is about being willing to let go of your own pain by releasing the past. Holding on to anger and possibly hatred will not give you what you want or bring back your loved one. It will only perpetuate more cycles of violence. Forgiveness can not change what happened, only possibly the way you view what has happened, and by having the willingness to see the situation differently you can bring inner peace to your soul.

Dr. Eileen R. Borris
Author Finding Forgiveness: A Seven Step Program for Letting Go of Anger and Bitterness

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Meaning of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a voluntary act in which you make a decision to see a situation differently. Forgiveness helps us change the way we think so instead of seeing a situation through the lens of anger, guilt or fear we see it through the eyes of compassion and understanding. Instead of getting stuck in your own emotional baggage you can now see the situation differently with greater wisdom and understanding. That is forgiveness.

I like to think of forgiveness as the science of the heart, a discipline of discovering all the ways of being that will extend your love to the world and discarding all the ways that do not. It is the accomplishment of mastery over a wound. Forgiveness is a process through which an injured person first fights off, then embraces, then conquers a situation that has nearly destroyed him or her.

On a deeper level forgiveness is about changing the way we think which includes embracing our humanity and spiritual nature and the humanity and spiritual nature of all human beings.

Dr. Eileen Borris, Ph.D.

For further information on Finding Forgiveness go to