Learning To Forgive

It’s time to consider letting go of the things that don’t serve you well to make room for good things to come into your life. Forgiveness allows us to let go of the pain in the memory and if we let go of the pain in the memory we can have the memory but it does not control us. When memory controls us we are then the puppets of the past.  

One of the things you should consider doing is forgiving those who have wronged you—whether you’ve experienced rejection, ridicule, deception, or abuse–, and clearing out the mental clutter that comes from holding on to grudges and resentments. After all, the person that you hurt the most by holding on to resentment and anger is yourself.

Forgiving someone who has mistreated or wronged you is hard, isn’t it? So, how do you forgive someone who has hurt you? You can embark upon the journey of forgiveness in order to release yourself from past hurts and rid yourself of any emotional baggage which may be weighing you down and holding you back.

Try to rethink your definition of forgiveness. You might think that forgiveness is about the following:
  • Condoning what the other person did.
  • Giving in.
  • Turning the other cheek.
  • Pretending that nothing happened or that it really wasn’t such a big deal.
  • Admitting that your anger isn’t justified or that you’re not entitled to it.
  • Forcing yourself to get along with someone who you feel may hurt you again.
If so, then you’re probably going to be very reluctant to forgive and with good reason. Instead, try changing your definition of forgiveness to the following:
  • Forgiveness is about freeing up and putting to better use the energy that is being consumed by holding on to grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing old wounds.
  • Forgiveness is about moving on.
  • Forgiveness is about choosing serenity and happiness over righteous anger.
  • Forgiveness is about refusing to replay past hurts in your mind over and over again, like a broken record.
  • Forgiveness is about realizing that anger and resentment don’t serve you well.
  • Forgiveness is about giving yourself a clean slate.
Have you ever thought, “My life would be perfect if this never happened.”  For many people, not forgiving provides them with an excuse for everything that is wrong in their life. That is, they use the fact that so-and-so did this-or-that to them to explain why they can’t achieve certain life goals. If only that hadn’t happened to them, their life would be much better than it is. That is, they use the hurt that they experienced to get off the hook. If they forgive and heal, then they’re out of an excuse.

Stop telling yourself that because certain things happened to you in the past, you can’t have what you want in the present or in the future. Instead, take responsibility for getting on with your life, in spite of anything that anyone may have done to you. You can do this by shifting from a Victim mentality, to a Creator mentality.

What if you don’t want to forgive? Is forgiving the only way to heal the hurt that someone else has caused you? What if the person who hurt you won’t admit what they did, or they just won’t show any remorse? Or what if you simply can’t get yourself to genuinely forgive the other person? You can heal yourself and clear your head of emotional clutter—such as anger, resentment, and thoughts of getting even—without forgiving. You’re free to decide who you will, and who you won’t, forgive.
So you basically have two options:
  1. Forgive, and release yourself from the hurt.
  2. Refuse to forgive, and be forever trapped in a prison of your own poisonous thoughts.
But there’s another option. It’s called acceptance. Acceptance helps you do the following:
  • Clear your head of emotional poison.
  • Be true to yourself.
  • Forgive yourself for any of your own failings which led you to allow yourself to be placed in harm’s way.
  • Choose to get along with the person who hurt you—even if you don’t love or even like them—if it’s in your best interest to do so.
Acceptance involves the following:
  • Honor the full sweep of your emotions.
  • Give up the need for revenge, while continuing to seek a just resolution.
  • Stop obsessing about the injury. You can do this by challenging your negative thoughts, using relaxation and meditation, and implementing a program of self-care.
  • Frame the offender’s behavior in terms of their own personal struggles.
  • Look honestly at your own contribution to what happened.
  • Take any necessary steps to protect yourself from further abuse.
  • Decide what kind of a relationship—if any—you want with the offender.

Here are a few methods to help people forgive. They integrate not only effective thinking and emotional processes of psychology, but also time-proven spiritual methods and perspectives.

One way is talking with the person who hurt you directly, if it would help you come to a better understanding of what happened. In particular, what happened from their perspective? Also, what’s their emotional intelligence?  Is there something in their background that led them to take this action?
Also, you can turn the situation around and ask yourself the following questions:
  • How would an impartial observer see this?
  • Have I done the same thing to another or to myself?
  • Is this similar to a pattern in my family?
  • Has something like this happened to me before? Am I reliving a situation I’ve gone through before, but with different players?
  • What can I learn from this?
  • Can anything positive come from this? Am I stronger or more resourceful as a result of this having happened?
  • What do I get by holding on to this resentment? Who benefits and how?
  • Am I keeping the situation alive by refusing to let go?

Try this Forgiveness Exercise. Here are the steps:
1. Make a list of all the people you feel have wronged you in some way; write down what each one did and why it’s not OK.
2. Acknowledge that those things did happen, and that they did hurt you.
3. Make a commitment to yourself to do what you need to do in order to feel better.
4. Recognize that your distress is coming not from what happened, but from the thoughts that you have about what happened. Your thoughts are within your control.
5. When you feel yourself getting upset over what happened, practice stress reduction techniques to calm your body’s fight or flight response.
6. Another thing you can try when you start getting upset about a past experience is to ask yourself, “What am I thankful for?” Ask this repeatedly until you feel better.
7. Put your energy into looking for ways to achieve your goals, instead of wasting your energy by continuously reliving the negative experiences in your mind.
8. Know that the best revenge is a life well lived. Forgiveness is about taking back your power.
9. Amend your grievance story to include how you moved on.

When you refuse to let go of hurts from your past, you’re keeping yourself imprisoned. The truth is, unless you let go, forgive yourself, forgive the situation and realize it is over, you cannot move forward. The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Inner peace can only be reached when we practice forgiveness.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Expand your knowledge and enlighten your mind with the tools you need to excel in your life! Work with a Business and Life Management Coach with over 20 years’ experience empowering people to attain self-defined success in their professional and personal lives. Book a free session at www.denisedema.com today.

Making and Keeping Commitments.

A commitment is a really serious agreement to do something. It means putting the full force of personal integrity behind an action. Keeping commitments, even when difficult, creates positive power in the world. It's all a question of priorities.

We all make commitments every day. Some seem small and insignificant-agreed upon time to meet, a promise to run an errand or a promise to follow-up. Others are ostensibly bigger and more important-a formal contract or legal document, etc. It is important to consider all commitments equally important, because this is the way trust is built and maintained. A person's reputation is built upon their ability to make and keep commitments. Your life will work better when commitments are carefully made and diligently kept.

There are five key factors in making and keeping commitments.

All Commitments Are Important: When you agree to do something-do it as agreed. When you agree to meet someone, be there on time. When you fail to keep a commitment you fail yourself first and the other person second.

Be Careful What You Agree To: Many people find it easier to say yes instead of no. It is far better to agree to what you can do, than saying yes to please someone at the moment and later fail your commitment because of being over-committed or because you have difficulty saying no.

Manage Your Commitments: Keep a log of your commitments-Write them down. You may have great intentions, but if you forget to do what you agreed to do, the result is the same as your 'Choosing' not to keep your commitment.

Renegotiate When You Are Unable to Keep Your Commitment: When you discover you are unable or unwilling to complete an agreement, go to the other party/parties and renegotiate.

Manage By Agreement: Instead of telling someone to do something, ask if they would agree to doing it and by when. You have a greater chance it will get done if you ask rather than tell.

By paying careful attention to the commitments you make, tracking them and developing the habit of keeping all your commitments you will be known as a person of integrity. Your life and the world around you work in direct proportion to the quality of your commitments.

Do you honor your commitments? Are you always making commitments to people or yourself that you don’t want to make or have no intention of following thru on? Pay attention to what you’re committing to and to whom you’re making those commitments.

Making commitments, keeping commitments, and repeating this cycle will increase trust. You need to do what you say you are going to do. However, this can also be difficult if you over-compromise and do not deliver. If you do this repeatedly, you may not have a second or third chance to regain the trust of professional and personal people in your life because you will lose all credibility.

Now, do not let this scare you, you cannot be afraid to make commitments because commitments are part of everyday life and business. Making commitments builds hope; keeping commitments builds trust.

Your integrity to the commitments you make is one of the most important factors in achieving a consistent level of joy and happiness. Although you may not be aware of it consciously, if you have a bunch of broken commitments over the last day/week/month/year/decade, you’re energetically drowning in the weight of that lack of integrity.

You know when you’re not doing the stuff you say you’re going to do—whether it was getting up at a certain time this morning, working out, going somewhere, helping a friend or colleague or following a certain routine, whatever it is. To the extent you’re not honoring those commitments; you are not be true to yourself and others, Simple as that.

Until you find a way to somehow increase your willpower or self-discipline, you will still keep failing to keep your commitments. Discipline requires time, effort and respect within yourself.  Every kept promise to others and yourself creates more self-trust which builds the foundations of more discipline in the future. 

Disciplined people have created a high degree of self-trust between their various states of mind. This self-trust allows them to carry out orders made in the past even when they don’t feel like it. When you find yourself continually failing to keep a commitment then you either need to start smaller or add more leverage. Either the law you enacted is too strict to be upheld or the punishments and rewards you have in place aren’t enticing enough to follow it.

The good news is the solution is simple and you can change everything by starting right now to honor your commitments.… Taking an inventory of your commitments today is the beginning of reconnecting your energy to them and taking action.

Make a list on paper of all the commitments you have outstanding right now. What you made in past that you haven’t done. You have the choice of now deciding which ones you are no longer committed to honoring and decide which ones you will re-commit to honoring. Get completion with these and start to honor them so you can move forward with integrity to do what you committed yourself to do. 

Fulfill on your commitment. Take pride in doing what you agreed to do. Realize that being acknowledged as a person of integrity will ultimately make your personal and professional life better.

 “The commitments we make to ourselves and to others, and our integrity to those commitments, is the essence and clearest manifestation of our proactivity.” ~ Stephen R. Covey 

Expand your knowledge and enlighten your mind with the tools you need to excel in your life! Work with a Business and Life Management Coach with over 20 years’ experience empowering people to attain self-defined success in their professional and personal lives. Book a free session at www.denisedema.com today.