“Many of us stubbornly hold on to bitterness and resentment about our life and work not because we are bad or unloving people but because we do not know how to forgive. . .to forgive is to release trapped energy that could be doing good elsewhere.” –Executive EQ: Emotional Intelligence in Leadership & Organizations by Cooper & Sawaf
Forgiveness Tip 1:
If you are angry or upset with someone, the first forgiveness should be, “I forgive myself for every time I have treated someone the same way or done the same thing.” Sometimes you can’t see how you are not that different from the person who has wronged you.
A pastoral counselor I was seated next to on a plane told me what her occupation was and I responded by telling her I do emotional healing with an emphasis on forgiveness. I was eager to talk to her about her own work with forgiveness. She agreed that it was the ultimate goal and then proceeded to give me her marriage history which included a cheating husband of twenty plus years. She told me their divorce was final five years before. I asked her if she had forgiven him. She said she was trying but it was hard because she had done everything right in their marriage while he totally betrayed her without her even knowing until the end.
I said, “So I guess he made some bad choices that really hurt you?” She nodded in firm agreement. I then said, “Have you ever made a bad choice that really hurt you. . .like choosing him for a husband?” Tears immediately filled her eyes. She thanked me.
Helpful Forgiveness Statements:
I forgive myself for every time I have caused hurt knowingly or unknowingly to myself or someone I love.
I forgive myself for believing I’m better/superior to the one who hurt me.
I forgive myself for believing I have right to be unloving or unkind when another person has hurt me.
I forgive myself for believing the hurtful action of another person gives me permission to be hurtful without any accountability to what I may do.
I forgive myself for every time I have been mean, unkind or unloving to another person.