What he said was horrible.
You were shocked by what she did.
It hurt … still does.
Intensified with each re-play, resentment and frustration flourish. Anger and bitterness find a foothold as they claim your heart. Suggestions of payback penetrate your mind.
Like a backpack filled with rocks, the load is heavy.
Forgiveness seems impossible.
Two Options. Two Outcomes.
Holding onto an offense is like trying to cuddle a porcupine. It’s painful. The prick of resentment, anger, and bitterness remind you of what happened. Your focus on the offense produces anxiety, anger, resentment, frustration, impatience, and irritation.
You experienced a loss. But are stuck.
Only forgiveness can heal the pain. The act of forgiveness restores your ability to release. Letting it go invites peace, joy, appreciation, compassion, kindness, gratitude, gentleness, trust and love.
You experienced a loss. But are free.
Why the misunderstanding?
Some misunderstand forgiveness.
“If I forgive he will think I condone what he did.”
“If I forgive she will think I’m letting her off the hook.”
To forgive is about the release of debt. Yes, it happened (the debt) and cannot be undone. Now what?
Forgiveness allows you to experience grief over the loss and grace to release the debtor. Forgiveness allows you to release the resentment and begin moving forward. Forgiveness is an unselfish gift you give yourself.
What are some of the benefits of forgiveness? It leads to …
- Healthier relationships
- Increased capacity for compassion, kindness, and peace
- Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
- Less anxiety, stress, and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Lower risk of alcohol or substance abuse
- Freedom to move forward
Build your capacity to forgive
Tim wanted to explore forgiveness.
“I understand the idea of forgiveness. I know there is an inward and outward aspect of letting it go.”
“I see the value … but how do I get there?”
Here are four ideas that may help you reflect on the Story so you can cancel the debt and let it go.
- Determine your desired outcome
- What do you want, control or influence?
- What do you want for the other person?
- What do you want for the relationship?
- What do you want — freedom or bondage?
- Expand your perspective
- What’s their story? What’s their viewpoint?
- What are you accepting as true?
- What “benefit of the doubt” are you giving yourself?
- What do you believe happened? Is it true? How do you know that?
- Recognize your disposition
- How does your behavior style influence your response?
- How did you contribute to the situation?
- Forgive until it isn’t necessary
- The greater the offense the more times you may have to let it go before it is no longer necessary.
Yes, it happened. But why carry such an unnecessary load?
Here’s to your Next Level,