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Excerpted from Forgiveness: The Greatest Healer of All by Jerry Jampolsky. Copyright 1999 by Jerry Jampolsky. Excerpted by permission of Beyond Words Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 

"She will forever remain a most powerful model of forgiveness for both Diane and me."

  Jerry Jampolsky, Forgiveness, Part 4

We learned that following her husband's death, several years before, Andrea had become a bitter, crotchety old woman. She was difficult to get along with, frequently provocative, and extremely argumentative. At the age of eighty-five, a friend gave her a copy of Love Is Letting Go of Fear.

This book became Andrea's daily reading. Soon she began forgiving all the people in her life who she felt had hurt her. She forgave herself for behavior she knew had caused pain or had been unloving. Miraculously, her life changed. No longer crotchety and angry at the world, she became more carefree and joyful than she'd ever been in her life. To celebrate her transformation, she changed her name to Happy.

Without my ever knowing it until I met Happy, she had been responsible for getting Love Is Letting Go of Fear translated and published in French many years before.

When I heard the story of Happy's transformation, Diane and I decided to visit her, combining our trip with one I already had scheduled for the Middle East. Upon our arrival, we met this most extraordinary woman. She showed us a French magazine with her picture on the cover-of her flying in a hang glider high over the French countryside! She was eighty-eight at the time. And as if that weren't enough, she had gone stunt flying in a biplane at the age of ninety-one.

We spent three wonderful days with Happy at her home in Geneva, Switzerland. I have to say that she lived up to her new name in every way imaginable. She was one of the happiest, most peaceful, and most loving people I have ever met.

When we asked Happy what she had done to bring about all these positive changes in her life, she replied, "Oh, I just gave up all my judgments."

We left Happy's home just after the first of the year, having celebrated the New Year with her. Diane took the painting she had given us back to California while I went on to my meeting with some friends in the Middle East. Three weeks later, we received a phone call that Happy had died peacefully in her sleep as she had predicted.

To this day I think about Happy's story of how her life was transformed through forgiveness. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to meet this delightful woman. She will forever remain a most powerful model of forgiveness for both Diane and me, and a reminder to us all that we are never too old to change.

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