Forgive that person and you can slam the cell door shut behind you for good.
Forgiveness is an exercise of consciously freeing ourselves from resentment and anger. It is often difficult to begin the process of forgiveness, but the result is usually freeing and enormously gratifying. Do you and I have a process for engaging in real forgiveness?
Most of us feel that we have been hurt or wronged by someone. Often that person is in our workplace. After all, most of us spend most of our time in the work environment.
ACTION: Do the following modified version of the 9-Step Exercise recommended by the Stanford Forgiveness Project. Do it now; 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.
Marelisa Fabrega has a superb blog entitled Abundance Blog at Marelisa on-line. She recently posted a blog on forgiveness that is very comprehensive. I strongly urge you to read this entire blog. Much of this blog is a subset of her thorough work. She notes, and I really agree with her,
“One of the things you and I should consider doing is forgiving those who have wronged us—whether we’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 we hurt the most by holding on to resentment and anger is ourselves. Forgiving someone who has mistreated or wronged us is hard, isn’t it? So, how do we forgive someone who has hurt us.”
Marelisa focuses on five ways to embark upon the journey of forgiveness in order to release ourselves from past hurts and rid ourselves of any emotional baggage which may be weighing us down and holding us back. The areas include:
- 1. Rethink Your Definition of Forgiveness
- 2. If This Hadn’t Happened, Would My Life Would Be Perfect?
- 3. What if You Don’t Want to Forgive?
- 4. Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Forgive
- 5. Nine-Step Forgiveness Exercise
I know of so many people at work (and of course in life outside of work) who have been dragging resentment and hostility towards one or more people. If I could give them a gift this holiday season, it would be the act of forgiveness. Perhaps this blog, along with Marelisa’s excellent work, and the resources she provides will provide an inspiration and process for doing so.
ACTION: start the process of forgiveness with at least one person now. Actively commit to it!
Forgive in the Triangle to better Live in the Triangle,