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Forgiveness is about YOU

Forgiveness is about YOU!

A lot of clients have questioned me about forgiveness, acceptance and letting go. They often believe it means “letting someone off the hook for hurting you or someone you love.” Here is what it really means:

First: it means you acknowledge what has happened and accept it to be true. Acceptance DOES NOT, I repeat DOES NOT mean approval of any sort. It is living in reality versus denial. Then: it means releasing the negative emotional and mental state(s) occurring within you because it is no longer effective for you.

Hanging on to the negative puts you at risk, physically and mentally. It affects how you live your life, the experiences you have (and don’t have) and the type of people you pull into your experience. It is a big deal. People who don’t forgive end up bitter, resentful and negative about life and they often have an endless list of things they are angry about or things that haven’t worked out or people who have done them wrong. They end up blaming life for what has happened to them and close up to the many wonderful experiences’ life has to offer to a person with an open heart.

Forgiveness never means saying it is ok what happened to you or that it was acceptable that someone hurt you. This is where people often get confused.

You forgive someone for you, not for the other person.

You forgive them as you don’t want to be impacted physically or have it cloud your judgment throughout life. The other person may have no idea how it has impacted you or may not care what has happened, so it often doesn’t affect them at all. This is why you do it for you and you alone.

Letting go is where you should end up at the end of the forgiveness process. You let go of any attachment to negativity about the event, to resentment about the event and to the event itself. In other words, you can think about it without getting overly emotional or having big reactions. You can think and talk about it like you were telling a story about someone else because you have healed it not because you are detached from it or numb to it.

How do you know you are still holding on to things?

  • Look for judgments about the other person. Look at how you react when even thinking about the person.

  • Observe your overall interactions and see if you are just generally angry or unhappy

  • Ask yourself, “Have I moved on?”

  • Ask yourself, “Do I want to or am I ready to let go?”

    • Go through the pros and cons of acceptance and forgiveness versus holding onto it

Make a list and start with something small first. This is hard to do. So, be ready for some resistance and perhaps be ready to ask for help with it.

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