There are few things as challenging as forgiving someone; fewer still if the offender has not directly asked for our forgiveness. We often hold onto our anger over being hurt (or disrespected, offended, overlooked, you filll in the blank) believing somehow that we are punishing the offender for his or her actions.
We revise the narrative of what they did wrong to us over and over again – sometimes out loud, and often in our heads - where the most damage is done. This dramatic habit grows untold resentments.
Carrying anger around as a testament to you “being right” or as an indication of someone else “being wrong” is a misguided use of energy. It doesn’t change the facts of what happened. Whether carried 12 years, 12 months or 12 days, in the end anger only cost the one holding it, not the one it is projected onto. With whom are you angry? How much of your energy does that anger consume? Is it worth all the brilliant opportunities to experience joy that are being missed because of your unwillingness to forgive? Even yourself for those things you are not proud of?
Perhaps the biggest challenge we face regarding forgiveness is not getting over what people have done to hurt us. Rather it is accepting the exasperating fact that people, even those we love, have the potential to hurt us deeply by doing really stupid things. To live is to screw up somewhere, with someone over something hardly worth it. We’ve all done it, and yet life moves on. Have you?
To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can absorb the flawed nature of human beings. Confucius said “to be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” Every year I witness scores of clients and those who attend my workshops experience radical transformation with the simple act of choosing to forgive. Make no mistake about it, the act of forgiving is a conscious choice we make and it literally raises the vibration of our lives one decision at a time.
YOUR CROSSFADE TIP:
Choose to forgive someone today. It is a gift that will perhaps relieve them, but certainly release you.
To begin rocking forgiveness in your own life, I offer you a recipe based on The Fourfold Path of Forgiveness
outlined in Desmond TuTu’s new book, The Book of Forgiving. There are four steps necessary:
1. Tell the Story
2. Name the Hurt
3. Grant Forgiveness
4. Renew or Release the Relationship
I encourage you to learn more about these four powerful steps and consider joining me this week for Desmond Tutu’s awesome 30-Day Journey of Forgiveness Challenge.