Don’t be too quick or too slow to forgive

We’re told that it’s compassionate to forgive ourselves and other people.

It’s a great principle, sorely lacking in detail.

When, for example, is the time to forgive? And how do we do it?

By rushing to forgive we risk pushing legitimate feelings underground. On the other hand refusing to forgive is a lost opportunity for deeper connection and means that we carry unnecessary pain.

People react along the continuum of fast to slow depending on who they are and the situation, some things have a greater impact than others.

But at the extremes are:

  • Those who never forgive.
  • Those who forgive instantaneously.

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What jealousy can teach you

We’re told that jealousy is bad and we should rise above it so people deny or suppress the feeling.

The problem? They are still jealous but now feel guilty and ashamed too and are no closer to understanding why the jealousy emerged or what they can do to manage the discomfort.

But if you really want to know what you value, then jealousy is a merciless guide.

Nothing cuts through the theoretical idea of what you think you value to what you actually value faster. Learning to read it is invaluable.

For example, tell me about a runner who broke the world record for the 100 meters and while I am glad for them I am otherwise unmoved. The same can be said for the Oscar winners, Grand Prix drivers, math geniuses, amazing business people or International Most Fabulous Persons Of All Time.

But mention a 20-year old novelist who has managed to shortcut the tortuous path to publishing and create an immediate best seller and that gets the heart pumping.

Why? Because my path to publishing has been long and at times tortuous. Apart from the published works I have 11 unpublished novels, umpteen plays and short stories in the drawer (of my Mac that is).

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