What Forgiveness Is Not
Is a grudge-laden heart sabotaging your success in business and in life?
Much has been written over the ages about the value of forgiveness. And yet so many people continue to resist the idea of forgiving their transgressors. Why is this?
I believe there are a couple of factors at play.
First, although people might want to forgive, they don't want the culprit to "get off scot-free."
Let's examine this more closely. There are many misconceptions about forgiveness, so I would like to point out what forgiveness does NOT do. (We shall refer to the transgressor as X.)
~ Forgiveness does NOT condone the actions of your perpetrator X. ~
By forgiving X, you are not saying that what X did was okay. You're just willing to quit stewing about it. Chances are, it wasn't okay, but there's not much you can do to change history. It happened, it's over, get over it. Don't let it ruin your peace of mind a moment longer.
~ Forgiveness does NOT diminish the severity of the transgression. ~
By forgiving X, you are not saying that the harm he caused you was of no consequence. Indeed, you may still be dealing with the negative results of his actions. But by being willing to forgive X, you are allowing yourself to quit wasting precious energy on anger and put it to good use building yourself up instead. You survived the transgression. Now it's time for you to thrive.
~ Forgiveness does NOT absolve X of his guilt. ~
Even if you were willing to, you could not clear X's conscience for him. He will have to appeal to a higher celestial court for absolution. That is between X and his conscience; it is not your affair.
So you see, forgiveness does not let the other guy off the hook. It lets YOU off the hook.
By refusing to forgive the other person, you are condemning yourself to being stuck. And this "being stuck" tends to infiltrate and poison every area of one's life. It's a bit like trying to drive your car with the brakes on.
Consider forgiveness as a gift you give to yourself.
Now let's look at another nearly opposite reaction. Some people are quick to claim blanket forgiveness for everyone and everything, without even knowing what it is they are pardoning.
This is a fine gesture, but it is hardly effective. Why? Because you cannot forgive a transgression which has never been acknowledged.
You can't just leapfrog over all the buried pain and expect relief. You must first acknowledge the harm that was done.
The acknowledgement consists of:
- Admitting the harmful nature of what was done to you.
- Feeling the pain that you've struggled unconsciously for years to keep down.
- Expressing the anger that accompanies these realizations (by writing, exercising, beating a pillow, wailing, thrashing about, etc.)
- Mourning your loss. (Sadness, unlike depression, is a healing force and it will pass.)
- Forgiving your transgressor.
- Experiencing a new vitality as you reclaim formerly disowned parts of your being.
Important: You don't need to confront anyone or involve anyone else in this process. This is done in privacy and purely for your own release and relief.
Some people try to dismiss the need for this process by saying such things as, "Well, it doesn't matter now. That was so long ago." Or maybe, "Things were different back in the old country. None of that makes any difference anymore."
When dealing with profound harm sustained in the past, we need to be aware of the inconsequential nature of distance and time. In other words, a serious emotional injury sustained long ago and maybe even far away does NOT just wither away into nothingness if you ignore it.
The damage is very real and it has serious ongoing repercussions if it is not squarely faced and dealt with. People fear that acknowledging great harm done will unleash hateful and violent acts. Quite the contrary. It is these "unconscious grudges" that we carry in our hearts that result in cruelty. Often this escapes our conscious awareness.
It is also these unacknowledged wounds, waiting like frightened children at the "Lost and Found" that result in depression.
It takes tremendous psychic energy to keep stuffing those strong, raw emotions down and keep them in check, especially when we're not even aware of exactly what it is we are hiding from!
I would like to stress once again, suppressed pain and stifled anger will not go away just because you ignore them. They will dissipate only in the face of acknowledgement.
By following the steps outlined above, you will naturally arrive at a place where you are ready to exercise forgiveness. You will have reached a place where you are sick and tired of wasting mental and psychic energy on nursing painful grudges.
You will no longer wish to tolerate any nasty pangs of resentment. It will become unacceptable to send your thoughts into a mental sewer just so that you can keep your offender in his place.
An act of pardon will evolve naturally as we honor our true feelings. This does not mean that we have to go and broadcast what we find to the world. It simply means that we ourselves have to be willing to look at and see the Truth.
As a parting note, let us strive to remember that forgiveness is not a self-righteous act of virtue or altruism. It is not cause for arrogance or fanfare or a holier-than-thou attitude.
The decision to forgive is supremely practical and self-affirming. Self-affirmation is what people need most. And only we can do this for ourselves.
Rosella Aranda, international marketer, editor and author, helps entrepreneurs escape their limitations. See her newest ebook at http://www.SabotageThyselfNoMore.com/
For exceptional business tools, please visit:http://www.FinancialFreedomWorld.com/
For kind encouragement and solid motivation, please visit:http://www.Calling-All-Entrepreneurs.com/
Motivational Posters - A Source Of Inspiration?
What Inspires You? What motivates you to get up in the morning? Are you one of those people who have a burning desire to achieve something or are you drifting along doing your daily routine? This is something you may not have put much attention on or even any at all but, if you look closely, you may find that there may have been one or more people who have inspired you in your life.
The Spectacular You
I recently received a letter addressed to Spectacular Rachelle Lee. At first I thought it was a joke. Who would write such a thing? I then thought maybe it was a mistake. Whatever it was, I knew it did not feel comfortable. It turned out to be an advertisement, for what I am not even sure. What I am sure of is that the way it was addressed caught my attention, and I realized how difficult it can be to own just how spectacular I am.
Everyone Has Been Hurt... Part 4
What Life is All About?
When we look at lives in any places in this world, we may come to the similar red line. Those lives consist of phases that take living creature from a step to a further one. Be it human or plants or animals, their lives are all the same. It's a growth from youth to old then die.
Night of the Living Dead
For many people, life has become as dull and despairing as death. We suffer from spiritual inertia. We have allowed ourselves to be paralyzed by shallow beliefs and shackled by the strong chains of discouragement. We have permitted the sacred and holy to be eclipsed by the secular and profane. Hearts that were once gay have suddenly become heavy. Men who were once optimistic have become pessimistic. Many who were once willing to greet tomorrow with a cheer, now regard the future with nervous anxiety.
5 Simple Tips For A Better Life
How can we enjoy a better lifestyle?
Does Introspection Assist in Self Progression?
Why would we need to examine our lives? What benefit does ityield? Isn't it just rehashing the past?
Follow Your Dreams: Believe In You
What you believe in the inside, to a large extent determines how your life turns out. If you believe you cant, chances are, you are right.
Love the Opportunity
Somebody said you have to love what you do, but that's not necessarily true. What is true is that you have to love the opportunity. The opportunity to build life, future, health, success and fortune.
The Power of Inspiration
INSPIRATION can be a powerful thing. It can keep you going when all around you cries out "quit!" It is even more powerful than motivation,as motivation gives you your basic reasons to keepgoing--it tells you why you want to do what you do, because motivation is based on goals. These, in turn, may be based on necessity want or desire. But inspiration fills those reasons with hope, possibil-ity and enjoyment and keeps the "grind" from becomingtoo grindy. But just what does inspiration consist of? Iposit two elements: vision and mission. Proverbs29:18 says 'Where there is no vision, the peopleperish." A vision is the first step toward turningyour motivation into inspiration. A person with a vision sees down the road. He can sense what itwill be like six weeks, six months, a year, twoyears, five years and more ahead. But how do you get a vision?, you ask. Firstof all, you need to narrow your perspective. You can't attempt to "ride off in all directions at once,"so to speak. Try to decide what it is you arelooking for, so you'll know it when you see it.In other words, try to have in mind some generalgoals as to where you want to be six months a year,etc. from now. These goals will not only form thebasis of your motivation but should also serve to limit to an extent the scope of your activity. Next, try to locate and choose an opportunity(buisness, career or job) which you feel is right for you.This may be easier said then done, as there are many choiceswhich sound good. You may come upon an outstanding oneright away, purely by chance. If so, latch onto it. Butyou will probably have to pick several at first andstudy the things which each one offers and try to evaluate the potential of each one as you see it.Settle on the one which you feel has the mostpotential with the least amount of hassle (preferablyone that is totally Internet driven as opposed to one where you have to spend time calling potential prospects by phone). Once you have chosen your company, stand behindit in every way and don't quit or change your mind.B.C. Forbes said "Without loyalty, nothing can beaccomplished in any sphere..." Think of yourself as being in it for the long haul, no matter what. And try to envision, based on what you know, how things will be down the road. Keep that picture before yourmind, and never doubt. Napoleon Hill said "What themind can conceive and believe it can achieve,"and the Bible says, in Hebrews 11:1 "Faith isthe substance of things hoped for, the evidenceof things not seen." Once the vision is firmly implanted in your mind,let it become your driving force. Let the vision exciteyou with the possibility of its fulfillment and you willautomatically begin the next step--you are on a mission. Your mission is to bring about the realization of thevision. If you keep the vision in mind, you will moveforward in the mission, accomplishing enthusiasticallystep by step that which is necessary to bring the visioninto reality. You will have developed a sense of excite-ment, importance and urgency which will keep the fires ofinspiration burning in your heart and moving you ever onwardand upward.
Michael Vick is Average
Michael Vick can do wonders on a football field, but don't think of him as an anomaly. He is just like you and me. Average.
Most people, when they have to complete a creative endeavour, often tend to wait for inspiration. It is not unusual to find, therefore, that most people take inordinately long to complete projects or never finish them at all. Look at the infinite number of people with half-finished first-drafts under their bed. This reveals a lack of understanding of how the mind and creativity work, for the best way to find a bucket-load of inspiration is to force it out.
Listening to Your Inner Voice May Save Your Life
"I was washing my breakfast dishes one morning when it occurred to me to go visit a friend who lived several miles away. I did my work and started to dress for my journey, when there came over me such a feeling of depression, or despondency, or gloom, that I could not understand. I kept on getting ready, all the time trying to reason away the feeling. But it would not go. Finally, I got my hat on and one glove and started for the door, when such a heaviness came over me that I turned back into my room and sat down saying, 'God, I want to know what the meaning is of all this?' The answer came loud, strong, and firm, 'Stay at home.' I stayed, and taking off my hat, gloves and cape I felt so light I seemed to walk on air. At the time I supposed the voice (I call it voice for want of a more definite term) had told me to stay at home because someone was coming to me for help. This was my first year as a teacher and healer. But not a soul came that day, nor that night, and the thought flitted through my mind that perhaps it was all nonsense after all and I might as well have gone.
Over the years I've learned to challenge my audiences to turn their response to the ideas and information they receive into results. According to the Christian story, the first couple, Adam and Eve, was instructed to be fruitful - produce some results.
Beautiful Day Blues
The massive orb dominates the aqua crystalline backdrop of its own making, floods its rays on everything below. The sky devoid of a single cloud seems as empty as I feel and the beach looks like an arid desert, molded by tireless wind and blazing heat. I picture myself atop an Arabian camel, parched with thirst, crossing an unforgiving series of never-ending dunes, up one and down the next, no rhyme nor reason, only the nose of the animal in front of me.
More Than I Can Bare
One of my long time best friends called me the other night with a horrible pain in her heart. She needed someone to talk to. Rumor had it her daughter might be suicidal and she was trapped on a business trip until the next evening. Her husband was home handling the situation, but she wasn't going to be okay until she could hold her daughter close. She needed to look deep into her daughter's eyes to get a 'read' on what was really going on inside her mind. Until she could really sit down and talk to her daughter, she could at least pick my brain as to what to do. We talked a bit about when we were seventeen, and I tried to commit suicide. Now, all these years later, what could I say to my friend or to her daughter to make it all better?
What in the World are You Doing?
Here is the typical life ? typical, though not everybody does it this way. But for the most part, lives generally go something like this:
Resistance to Change
All of us are resistant to change, whether it's in using a different tool, a technique a choice in partners, or lifestyle.
Voices Inside My Head
Have you ever wanted to do something really major-something stupendous-something totally different and so down right incredible that the fact that you created the idea has you stimulated and excited?
To Thine Own Self
Direct Answers - Column for the week of December 6, 2004
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