Until A Smile Spreads

Forgiving someone for a wrong that they have done to you is not easy. However, seeing this person and the action with a new perspective is much easier, and a feeling of forgiveness follows automatically. This is something that, with a little bit of willingness and a little bit of work, anyone can do. The beauty is that it’s actually in our own hands. Whenever we take our power back, it feels good. Whenever we decide to see with our big eyes, and not only our small ego-driven ones, it feels like healing.

From time to time I color in the coloring book that was put out by Manwol Dae Sunsa Nim, the beloved spiritual leader of Sun Tao, entitled, “Healing Hearts, A Coloring Book for Letting Go and Starting Over.”

Not only are the abstract images that she has created for us to color very beautiful, but the messages she invites us to meditate on as we color are filled with simple and yet profound wisdom. Today I would like to share one of my favorites. It’s called: I’ll Forgive You…Until a Smile Spreads.

Not everyone is meant to be exactly like you. Acknowledge that the other person is different from you.

Don’t try to force them to fit standards you have created, thinking, ‘You must be this kind of person.’ Just see them for who they are. Acknowledge that they are an imperfect human being who can sometimes make mistakes, who is sometimes controlled by emotions and desires. There are no perfect people in this world, are there?

After you let go of all your hatred and resentment, peace and compassion will fill your heart, and a gentle smile will spread across your face. It would be great if you could even bless that person, enabling them to live a life for healing others.

While coloring, repeat to yourself, ‘ I’ll forgive you,’ as you exhale until a smile spreads from your heart to your face.

Even for those of you who cannot see the picture in the book to color, I still think it is a powerful message that could be applied to anyone. You may want to draw or color your own picture, or simply sit quietly and breathe and practice the art of forgiveness.

5 Thoughts.

  1. Dear Danielle,
    It always astounds me how often the subjects and feelings you write about are at that exact moment also the things which I am struggling with or learning from in my own life. With time, it becomes more and more clear to me what belangs to me and what belongs to the other, slowly I learn and try not to react and act on feelings that don’t belong to me. And even when there is still a mist of unclarity and mixed feelings and thoughts in my head, there are moments of a cloudless and clear sky, where I can see the other person for what they are and where they came from. More importantly, I can see that they are struggling as much as I am with life, descisions, feelings, wishes and longings. My consciense and my mind understand it in an knowing way, even my soul knows that it is the only way. But deep down there is a scared and shaken little child that wants to be loved, understood and protected. And that little child doesn’t want to truely feel and understand it. I am still finding a way in letting that little girl in me feel save and protected, but also learning her to trust that by letting go there will be less pain in the end. But that little girl still has the tendency to run and hide and keep silent instead of learning to trust. I don’t know how to learn myself to trust, to stop myself from running and hiding. How to learn to trust myself.

    • Dear Yvonne, it’s great to hear from you. Thank you for your sharing. I feel that your comment makes me want to write an entire blog post in reply! Perhaps I will, but the short of it is that I want to say that the feeling of not trusting yourself is also just a feeling. It’s not a truth. So you need to practice to just observe that feeling without reaction like all the others. NOT EASY, I know, because the belief is so deep. But start but telling yourself, when you feel lost in lack of self-trust “You are not me, you are just my feeling. Just a feeling, not a truth”…keep trying to separate from it. Don’t try to solve your lack of self-trust. It will be solved when you realize that it’s just a “ghost”. I hope you know what I mean ;)…..On another note I want to tell you that I read your beautiful blog posts today but was unable to reply when I tried. I’m not sure why. But I wanted to make sure to give you a shout out for your beautiful, thoughtful contemplations. I’m sending love to you!

  2. “I’ll forgive you…till a smile spreads.”
    That’s truly a powerful message.

    Indeed, there is no greater poison than hate, and no greater power than forgiveness. And humanizing others when they hurt you, rather than demonizing them – that surely isn’t an easy thing to do, but definitely worth it.

    I personally love the “bless those who hurt you” part.

    In Jan 2018, I made a small change in my daily prayers that has changed my life for the better. Every morning and evening when I light the lamp in my home temple, I fold my hands in front of the Deities (Perks of Being a Hindu 😉), close my eyes to begin my conversation with them and I take the names of those who hurt me in the same breath as I take the names of those who love me, and I pray for their overall well-being.

    And the experience has been life-changing. Because now when my path crosses with the ones who hurt me, there are no uncomfortable small-talks or hard feelings, just genuinely good conversations. I guess somewhere I feel the moment they became part of my prayers, they became part of me.

    Constantly judging them, hating them didn’t help me heal; but Praying for them surely did.

    The burden of hate is just too heavy and life’s a long journey. Unburden to live freely, happily. 👍🏼

  3. Ok. The whole time I have been reading the last handful of posts I have been thinking of my friend Eva Kor and how so many of the themes you have mentioned have resonated so deep within me and correlate to her story. Eva Is a survivor of medical experiments at Auschwitz and has since chosen to no longer live her life as a victim of her tragic past, but rather to spread a message of hope, acceptance, and forgiveness.
    Eva has three life lessons
    1) Never give up
    2) Stand up against prejudice
    3) By forgiving you can set your self free

    Eva taught me a new way of looking at forgiveness; as a way of self- empowerment, self-liberation, and self-healing. That by forgiving we take back the power that anyone had over us and we choose not to live our lives as victims. You touched on all of these things in “Letting Go”, “People of Light”, “BETV”, “Never Give”, this post, and so many of your others. I felt I just had to introduce you to Eva. Below are some links with more information on her story and journey to forgiveness if you are interested


    • Thank you so much. I will check them out. She sounds very powerful and brave. I completely agree with her approach to forgiveness. One of my sayings these days is “I forgive myself, and I am free.”

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