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Publication: Fifty & Furthermore
Forgiveness, Gratitude and Joy.

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FIFTY & FURTHERMORE - Monday, November 27, 2006

"I'm Dr. Dorree Lynn, founder of FiftyandFurthermore.com. 
Growing older can be a time for creative and passionate 
living, and I will apply my years as a psychologist to help 
you with the challenges and wonders that come with this new 
life stage."
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Hello and welcome to FIFTY & FURTHERMORE! 

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. With the winter 
holidays approaching, I wanted to share with you an article 
I wrote LAST season about forgiveness, gratitude and joy. 
It rings just as true this year. If you would like to make 
a comment or ask me a question, please email me at the 
address below and as always, I will do all I can to provide 
you with the advice you seek.

As I always say, "life is too hard to do alone - reach out!"

Dr. Dorree Lynn, Psychologist

Please send questions and comments to: email Dr. Lynn


FORGIVENEsS, GRATITUDE AND JOY

I have often written about life's shadow side, the dark 
shadow that people so often don't want to face. I have 
written about life's underbelly, not because I live there, 
but rather because I believe that one of the best ways to 
experience happiness is to be able to deal with those life 
issues and events that cause unhappiness. When we acknow-
ledge our own "truths" and accept responsibility for our 
actions, we become fuller and more potent individuals. The 
more personal power each of us has, the better we can feel 
about ourselves and the more knowledgeably we can negotiate 
the downs and appreciate the ups of our personal journeys. 

I write the above reflectively because this is a special 
holiday season for me, as it is for you, filled with past 
memories and wishes for the future. I think that one of 
the secrets to Saging well is developing the capacity to 
go with the flow and especially the capacity to forgive, 
to be grateful for what we have and to embrace joy when 
it exists. Far too many people fifty and furthermore tend 
to believe that (as the saying goes) they are like old 
dogs who can't learn new tricks. This simply is not so. 
We are capable of learning and changing until our final 
moments of life. Innumerable studies show that with a 
positive attitude and willingness to learn, Sages develop 
increasingly more adaptive coping mechanisms. Those who 
worry less about aches and pains and spreading waistlines 
and more about developing qualities of forgiveness and 
gratitude have more joy in their lives. These individuals 
tend to have more community, better relationships and more 
fulfilling marriages. They also keep on growing, changing 
and "learning new tricks." 

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Gratitude is not some airy-fairy concept. It is a sense 
of appreciating what one feels in response to a gift, 
including the gift of a long life. Gratitude may be viewed 
as an emotion, a quality of character that gives one a 
positive perspective on life, a coping response or even a 
skill. However one may define it, it helps one experience 
the world and drink from life's cup as half full rather 
than half empty. Life through a prism of fullness is always 
easier than life as bleak. Life's issues can be difficult. 
But one's attitude can make even the hard times easier. 

Fostering the quality of forgiveness can also help one 
experience a good life. Forgiveness requires giving up 
long held resentment, constant negative judgment of oneself 
and others and sometimes even the ability to "love thine 
enemy." However, forgiveness does not necessarily mean a 
saccharine sweet other world concept. It doesn't mean being 
an unrealistic "goody two shoes" who never sees real evil 
or genuine harm. Forgiveness does not mean condoning bad 
behavior or ignoring hurts. Developing the quality of for-
giveness does require giving up grudges and when relevant, 
working towards reconciliation. It also necessitates the 
ability to make choices and to proactively try to do one’s 
best to make one's own life, one's relationships, one's 
community and even the world at large better.

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I write these thoughts during the holidays as these days 
can be times of joy. So many people get lost in minutia 
of negativity and forget to forgive and appreciate –to be 
grateful for what they have. During this holiday season, 
let yourself experience joy. Joy is infectious and has a 
ripple effect. Whatever your religious or even non-religious 
beliefs, bring joy to the world. You and those whose lives 
you touch will ultimately benefit. 

Wishing you a joyous holiday season.


**I welcome your responses as to how you have been touched 
by forgiveness, gratitude and joy in your own lives.

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     For more insight and advice from Dr. Lynn visit: 
            http://www.fiftyandfurthermore.com
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          GopherCentral's Question of the Week: 

    WIll Nancy Pelosi make a good Speaker of the House?

 Please share your opinion, visit: The Question of the Week
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