I offer you two day forgiveness course in Cape Town, Johannesburg, New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Chicago, Ontario, ‎Dublin and Auckland. Develop gratitude with grace and change your life with a universal truth.

Category: Forgiveness (Page 1 of 7)

Forgiving Means Letting Go of Your Resentment

Forgiving means a lot more than the simple act of saying “I forgive you.” It is much more than resuming a lost relationship. It means even more than forgetting the action that caused us sorrow at some point in our lives.

When we truly forgive someone, we make peace with our own ego. We feel fulfilled, at ease and free, because resentment has disappeared forever.

Sincerely forgiving someone who has harmed you is one of the most difficult things a person can do. Forgiveness requires great emotional strength and bravery that not many possess.

When we have been hurt, be it physically or emotionally, we go into a state of rage. Anger can be a useful emotion if we want to defend ourselves from a threat. Yet, it is meaningless when the threat is no longer present.
Prolonged anger poisons us slowly. It fills us with rage and hatred, a thirst for vengeance, which are all completely useless negative emotions. They will not erase the past and also serve no purpose in the present or future.

Forgiving in a rational way

In order to free ourselves of negative emotions, such as rage, we can use the power of our thoughts and ideas. This way, we take control of our mind. Thus, we rip the control of our mind away from these emotions. Thinking in a rational manner implies not letting yourself get carried away by impulses, by our imagination. It means not exaggerating or dramatizing the facts and, above all, abandoning the so-called “you should have“s.

When we are being guided by our rage, we are assuming that other people should have behaved in a certain way. Thus, we aren’t capable of forgiving them sincerely.

The truth is that everyone is free to behave according to their own criteria, not our own, whether we like it or not. Accepting this reality and being able to bear it without too much negativity will allow us to finally forgive those who have hurt us.

Therefore, in order to free ourselves of this heavy feeling of resentment, vengeance or sadness, we should keep in mind that no one is perfect. Not the people who have hurt us, nor us. It is natural for humans to make mistakes, to become confused, to behave in a visceral manner. That’s why our emotional side comes from the most primitive part of our brain.

Although the damage affects us, rage wont change this fact. We’ll only end up with two problems. First, the damage suffered due to the other person’s actions. Secondly, the rage that we impose on ourselves, which just generates even more pain.

Another rational thought that may help us is the idea that nobody can make us suffer without our consent. This may sound weird but, it’s the truth. If you know who you are, you have a balanced self-esteem and a good head on your shoulders, it’ll be impossible for someone to harm you. At least not through words or deeds that don’t involve physical harm.

An insult can only harm me if I tell myself that that person shouldn’t ever insult me. Or, on the other hand, if I “buy” that person’s insult. If I end up believing the insult and accepting it as my own. That’s when I’m opening the door to that which causes me pain.

You may think that this an extremely hard thing to achieve, and you would be right to think that way. Nobody teaches us how to think this way. Instead, they teach us how to protect our dignity with all of our strengths, to make our ego shine as if each one of us were the most important being on the planet.

In the end, this will work against us, because we are the ones who suffer on an emotional level. And, if we stop and think about it, we’ll see that it’s not worth it at all, because we will never obtain anything from it. The anger towards the other person never has any practical use.

How can I know if I have truly forgiven?

Although forgiving is a truly difficult act that requires a great deal of bravery, we can all do it. The rational thoughts that we described previously are only the beginning, but it doesn’t stop there. In order to forgive, one needs to grow and connect with the things we tell ourselves.

You have been able to forgive if you feel within you each one or at least one of these points:

  • You don’t think that the other person is a bad person. To you, they are simply confused. You know that human beings are good by nature. They want to cooperate and not compete, but these societies, as artificial as they are, they teach us other things. And this may confuse us. Everyone can fail at some point in their life, because this is the normal order of things. When you are capable of acknowledging this, you have definitely forgiven the other person. Also, that has now eliminated the negative emotion.
  • You have accepted what the other person did. You tolerate, accept and are aware that life is not perfect and that people are even less perfect. Therefore, you must accept that there are situations, actions, facts that are not going to be of your liking. In fact, they may even go against what you believe in. This is a part of life, and if we see it and feel it as such, it will not cause as much harm. It is unpleasant when everything doesn’t go the way we want it to, but it is not the end of the world.
  • You don’t feel anger or rage when you see the other person. Instead, you would like to help them or wish them good luck in life.
  • If your feelings are more about compassion than about rage, then you have managed to forgive for good. You only wish that person the best. You truly want them to have a good life and for them to fix their behavior. In fact, you consider it’s nothing more than a sign of the misfortune they are surely carrying on their shoulders.

Forgiving is not an easy mental task. Oftentimes it emerges as a form of your triumph in a hard battle against negative emotions. However, by doing so, you will be the first one to be benefited.

Now you can stop suffering mentally over something that already happened. By doing so, you are letting go of useless weight that we all carry around for no good reason.

Forgiveness is very important but also will be the most difficult thing you will ever do.

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

Another definition (Merriam-Webster) is forgive: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone).

So why is it so hard sometimes to forgive? And do these definitions really align with what most of us think about when we hear the forgiveness?

To most of us, forgiveness is a really loaded word. Often, we consider forgiving someone as condoning or ignoring their bad behavior, sort of giving them a free pass. There could be an underlying fear that forgiving someone who has wronged us will simply send a message that they can get away with this kind of behavior. It can make us feel weak and spineless, as if we are giving up our power to the perpetrator. But take a look at the definitions above. Could it really be that the act of forgiveness can actually be both powerful and healing? I think so.

When another person hurts us, anger and vengefulness are in full force. Often, it can be all-consuming. These negative feelings can literally take over your entire outlook and send you into a gloom and desperation that can destroy friendships, and more. Anger towards a boss that wronged you can hold back your efforts to move on in your career. Vengefulness towards your ex-girlfriend can hinder you from having a new romantic relationship. Holding on to anger often turns to depression and even rage, neither of which are good for you physically or emotionally.

Rather than holding on to your faulty beliefs about what forgiveness really is, what if you could reframe your ideas about that, and focus on it actually being about you. Forgiveness does NOT mean you condone or accept the wrongs that were done unto you. Rather, it means you want to move on with your life and put these negative acts into the past, where they belong. It means you are ready to stop letting anger control you and your life, and take back some power and control over your own emotions and your life.

It’s the idea that you can forgive, but not forget.

As a matter of fact, it is extremely important that you DON’T forget the wrongs that have been done to you, even when you are ready to forgive. You must learn from these events, and know how to best protect yourself from getting hurt this way again. Learn what to look for, what the signs are, how you might have passively encouraged or tolerated the behavior by looking the other way. Of course, to fully engage in life, you will have to allow some vulnerability, but you will learn to protect yourself as best as you can.

Sometimes, it is helpful to see the perpetrator as flawed. Since we all do have flaws, and we all carry around the baggage of our own personal lives, ask yourself what might have been going on with this person that they chose to hurt you in this way. Perhaps he or she was in so much pain himself or herself that the only thing they knew how to do was send that pain to you by hurting you. Look deep inside to find empathy towards the person who hurt you. Do not condone their actions, but it’s okay to try to understand why they did what they did.

When you choose to forgive, you are choosing to heal yourself, your soul, and even a relationship. You are choosing happiness over holding on to anger. You are telling the other person that they no longer have control over your life and your emotions, that what they did to you was horrible, but you will not allow it to define you. They made a bad decision and must live with the consequences of that. If you’re forgiving your partner for something, then the burden is on them to prove that they’re actually worthy of your forgiveness. If they fail, you can choose to leave. After all, trust is the foundation of all healthy relationships.

At the end of the day, holding on to anger and being unwilling to forgive really can hinder your life. You deserve to be happy and not held captive by the things that have happened to you.

We offer you a full day forgiveness course in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Kimberley, Johannesburg and Stellenbosch. Develop gratitude with grace and change your life with a universal truth.

Take back control. Try your best to let go of thoughts and feelings that are holding you back from enjoying your life to the fullest.

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I offer you two day forgiveness course in Cape Town, Johannesburg, New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Chicago, Ontario, ‎Dublin and Auckland.