The Most Important Lesson You Need To Learn About Forgiveness

Forgiving someone who has hurt you–especially when that someone is a former spouse–can be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do. It will also be one of the best things you’ll ever do for yourself. In the process, you’ll learn the most important lesson you need to learn about forgiveness.

The lesson is that forgiveness isn’t about the other person; it’s all about you. As much as you might like to think that holding a grudge and thinking badly about another person will them, that’s not usually the case.

You hold on to hurt and the anger, plotting your revenge, having imaginary conversations with them in your head, and writing scripts of how those discussions will go. You want to lash out and make the other person understand how profoundly hurt you are. You hold all that pain inside, and as it turns out, the only person you’re hurting by refusing to forgive and let go is yourself.

That’s right; the one paying the price is YOU. The other person isn’t feeling your anger and pain. Chances are they aren’t even thinking about what happened that hurt you so much. They’ve moved on, are living their life, and they’re happily oblivious of the pain they are causing you.

Yet you feel like you have to hang on to that pain, hold the grudge–all so the other person doesn’t “win.” Somehow, forgiveness feels weak. You think that if you forgive and move on, you’re giving the other person a pass–but here’s the thing. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re letting the person who hurt you get away with something. It doesn’t mean what happened didn’t happen, and the slate is wiped clean. It certainly doesn’t mean you condone their behavior.

When I divorced my first husband, I was consumed with rage and feelings of betrayal at how the marriage had ended. Not only had he been physically violent with me, but I also found out as our divorce progressed that there had been other betrayals. I raged and had many conversations with him in my head in which he begged my forgiveness, and I refused to give it. In my imagination, I turned on my heel and flounced away, leaving him desolate on the floor, weeping because I would not forgive him.

I didn’t understand that I could forgive him without appearing weak, without somehow giving him the idea that what he had done to me was okay and that I had forgotten the pain he caused me.

I spent years consumed by my anger, wondering why he couldn’t understand how much he had hurt me and wouldn’t tell me he was sorry. But he wasn’t suffering. He ultimately remarried and presumably went on to live a life he designed for himself, not giving me another thought, while I was still fuming.

So, who was suffering? ME. Until one day I typed a question into my search engine bar: how can I forgive my ex?

I started on a journey to learn about forgiveness–how to give it and how to receive it–and it changed my life. It enabled me to move on, move beyond events I thought would define me forever.

Forgiving my ex doesn’t mean that what he did to me will ever be acceptable under any circumstances, nor does it mean that I will ever forget how he hurt me.

Forgiveness simply means that you are ready to move on, as I was ready to move on, and build a life without anger and pain defining you.

You need to forgive so you can start to heal. You need to forgive so you can get beyond whatever hurt was done. You forgive the other person so that you are no longer bound to them. You forgive so you can become happy again and focus on the rest of your life.

It’s not going to be easy; forgiveness never is. The greater your pain, the harder the act of forgiving will be, but it is worth it–not because it makes you a better person (although it does) or because it’s the right thing to do (even though it is)–but because in the long run, forgiveness will free you and help you much more than the other person.

Be the stronger person, do the right thing, and practice forgiveness. You’ll be glad you did when that weight lifts off your shoulders, the wounds start to heal, and you get to experience the sweetest revenge of all–living a long and happy life without wasting another thought on the person who hurt you or what they did.

I know I am stronger and happier for having put forgiveness for my ex out into the universe.

Are you ready to forgive someone who has hurt you?

What Exactly Is Forgiveness?

“Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Let’s talk about forgiveness and exactly what it is. If you look up the definition of forgiveness, you will learn that it is the act of forgiving someone or the state of being forgiven by someone. That doesn’t tell you much, though, does it?

The Jonathan Lockwood Huie quote at the top of this post is a lot more telling than the dictionary definition. Forgiveness involves two or more people, and there is usually a previous incident that requires or deserves forgiveness. What is fascinating is how many people think forgiveness is all about the person who hurt or wronged them.

Perhaps you’re mad, angry, disappointed, or sad about something that someone said or did to you. Eventually, you may get to the point where you forgive that person, but more likely than not it will be a time-consuming process.

However, when you do get to the point where you can forgive and move on with your life, something truly amazing happens. You realize that the only person you were hurting by hanging on to that anger was you.

You might not believe me now, amid the hurt and anger, but forgiveness is much more about you than it is the other person involved. We need to see the act of forgiveness as a journey of coming to terms with an unpleasant or painful experience. Once you’re able to do that, you will realize the only person you were hurting with your anger and resentment was you.

Forgiveness then, while a noble act on the outside, is really all about you. It’s about giving yourself permission to let go and move on.

That’s easier said than done, though, am I right?

Forgiveness is both a singular act and an on-going process. It begins with the deliberate act of deciding to let go of the resentment you’re feeling. Once you make that conscious decision, then you can begin the process of forgiving. The way you make that happen is to forgive (and possibly) forget continually until you are genuinely over the anger, hurt, and pain.

Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you condone what they did that hurt or angered you, nor does it mean that you agree with their behavior or share their point of view. Instead, forgiveness is about achieving the peace of mind necessary to move on with your life.

While forgiveness may involve reconciliation with the person you’ve forgiven, that isn’t necessary. Forgiveness really is all about you and coming to terms with a bad experience so you can get past it. Forgiveness is a potent ability and one well worth exploring.

10 Benefits of Calm

The so-called fight or flight reaction is an excellent one to have in life or death situations, but in our modern life, the stress reaction is not usually accompanied by the need for heightened physical response.

Unfortunately, many of us are so consistently stressed that our bodies are continuously and needlessly flooded with adrenaline and other hormones, which taxes our nervous systems and drains our immune systems, thereby making us susceptible to a range of physical and psychological ailments. Insomnia, heart disease, anxiety, depression; all have links to constant and unchecked stress.

Cultivating deliberate calm in your life can make an appreciable difference to your emotional and physical well being. There are many ways to cultivate more calm, but no matter how you do it, the benefits are huge and can make a real difference in your life.

Here are the ten biggest benefits of having more calm in your life:

1. Calm makes you feel happier in general.

2. Calm helps restore both good health and energy levels.

3. Calm raises mental acuity and increases concentration.

4. Calm inspires you to create and to enjoy yourself.

5. Calm helps you develop your intuition or learn to listen to it again.

6. Calm slows down the physical and mental aging processes.

7. Calm helps you connect with yourself and build better relationships with others.

8. Calm enables you to relax, let go, and rejuvenate.

9. Calm increases your capacity for hope, forgiveness, and compassion.

10. Calm allows you to spend more time on what is important to you.

So spend some time cultivating calm – emotional brain training, cognitive behavioral therapy, yoga, mediation, whatever is best for you – and make a real difference in your life.

Don’t Dwell on the Past

To the Brig!

It’s January 1, so there must be a new project in the offing.

This year will be different, however, because the stress of not getting anything done, not achieving the goals I set for myself, and not making any appreciable change in my life, is beginning to affect my physical health. Something needs to change, and I’m determined that this is going to be the year because I can no longer accept feeling the weight of it all on my shoulders.

I’m not making resolutions, just a promise to myself to clear something, to write something, each and every day for the next 365 days.

My husband has decided the time has come to move towards minimalism, so I’m cautiously optimistic that this may actually be the year we get the house and garage cleared out, after watching my space get more cluttered and feeling progressively more blocked each day for the last many years.

From the day we moved in together, my space and our shared space has become more cluttered, and my stress levels have risen as the walls of detritus have closed in around me. It’s laughable at this point; my friends know that we’re always in the middle of a big cleaning or organization project.

My friends don’t care, but as a suffocated neat freak, my cheeks get hot and I want to hide under the floorboards whenI allow myself to think about it.

Our son is beginning to pick up his father’s habit of collecting things and I have to stop it. I can’t move forward in any appreciable manner with the clutter and stuff all around me.  I’ve been struggling to get my coaching business off the ground and I’ve finally realized that where there is clutter, there is stagnant thought and energy. I sometimes find myself not caring about the mess, which is a huge red flag to me that I’m entering into some state of Stockholm syndrome.

I don’t want to be that person.

When I was on a call with my coach in December, she asked me what I wanted for 2018, what one word I would pick. Immediately I said clarity.

So, today begins my journey to clarity: clarity of space in my home, clarity of mind and direction , clarity of purpose and movement in my business, and balance resulting from that clarity.

Today’s project is clearing out the downstairs office. Pictures will be posted.

Until then.

Trust Your Instincts

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Sometimes you just need to stop over-thinking and trust your instincts.

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving with my son.  Nearing home, I depressed the brake pedal and pulled the steering wheel toward the right as our car approached a turn.

Nothing happened.  The car kept going.  Shit, shit, shit.
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Hibernation

I’ve been absent from this space for the last couple of months because I’ve been hibernating.

One of the definitions of “hibernation” is “to withdraw or be in seclusion.”   Every January, I try to remove myself from the daily insanity of connectedness to discourse with myself and ensure that my life is proceeding in the direction I want and need.  I intended this year to be just the same, but as I moved through the holidays and January to jump back into my routine, I realized I needed to make it different. Read more

Truth

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Truth.

It’s a loaded word.  The concept seems simple, but there is nothing easy about it.  Even speaking the truth can be fraught with triggers and uncertainty.

What if I speak my truth and somebody doesn’t agree with me?  What if speaking my truth makes somebody else angry, or makes them feel betrayed, hurt?   What if it makes other people uncomfortable?

News flash… Read more

The Desire Map

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Let’s talk about your life.

Do you feel free? Joyful? Connected?

Most importantly, does your life feel the way you want it to feel?

When I read The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte for the first time, my life was not feeling the way I wanted it to.

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Transformation, Mile Marker 1.2

TheChakrasLearningBlog

Here I begin part two of my exploration of the body’s chakra energy system. As previously mentioned, my review is cursory and greatly abbreviated. Although I’m hoping for some clarity and “self-improvement,” I’m just curious to see what happens as I make my way through all the self-help and life coaching books I’ve got cluttering my bedroom reading area. Read more