Forgive and Remember to Celebrate Who You Are Today

originally posted at SmoothSale

Jo Ann Rotermund


I grew up in a poor, but happy, loving home. I married a good man and we had 2 wonderful children. By all appearances, I had a happy, loving life. What no one knew, including me, is that I was living as a total victim. I stuffed all my anger and kept a happy smile on my face, as I had been taught to do growing up. Eventually, though, I began to express my anger. Slowly, over the years, I started to scream and rage uncontrollably at anyone who upset me–at home, on the phone, even in public.

I’d promise my family I wouldn’t scream in public, but I always did. I couldn’t help it. Forty plus years of stuffed anger could no longer be held in.


In 2001, at age 59, I started studying forgiveness—from books, on the internet, and attending workshops. It radically changed my life, so much so that I formed a non-profit organization, World Forgiveness Initiative, and started speaking and leading workshops. I wanted to share what I had learned with all the many other angry people in the world.


Although I enjoyed speaking and leading the workshops, I loved my career as a social science researcher and I wasn’t willing to give it up. Instead, I continued to study forgiveness intensely, speaking only occasionally, while searching for ways to make forgiveness a natural part of life. To my great joy, God gave me the answers and told me to write a book. Two years later, in 2008, I finished it, got Desmond Tutu to write the foreword for me, and published it in August, 2009.

The book is titled THE FORGIVENESS HABIT: an Action Plan for Healing Ourselves and Our Planet. In it I teach how to make forgiveness a way of living each moment rather than an action after the fact. Since I do not consider myself a writer, I am very proud of that accomplishment.

I am extremely happy with one other accomplishment: my 49 year marriage. It had not been really bad or abusive, just very empty, more of an agreeable endurance. I can now say with great joy, we are each happier than we have ever been. We love being together every day and have a lot of fun together. Truly, one thing made all the difference: forgiveness as a habit.

Forgiveness Habit


In August I’ll be 73, my husband, 81. I no longer have a non-profit. I speak and teach only in the Houston area. My workshops are now taught at the Lone Star College system’s Academy for Life Long Learning which is for people 50 and older. I’ll be teaching at five of the Colleges this fall. All I have to do is show up with my books and teach. The Academy takes care of everything else. It’s perfect!

My dream for the future is to revise my book and get it published by Hay House!

For more information, visit:

Sales Tips:

  1. All forms of communication combined form your personal brand
  2. Your personal brand will either detract or attract clientele
  3. Use your personal brand to convert into your business brand
  4. Take mental breaks daily to focus on you and your thoughts
  5. Whatever you choose to believe will prove to be true
  6. Focus on the positive so that you may experience increased positive results
  7. As you change from negative to positive thought, associate with those who do the same
  8. Write about the increased energy and motivation felt as positive thought is embraced
  9. Share with your audience results seen from releasing the negative to embrace the positive
  10. Inspire your audience wherever you may be

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