“Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”—Unknown
Are you a good forgiver? As a therapist for fifteen years in both Los Angeles and New York City, I have found forgiveness to be one of the most misunderstood concepts from coast to coast.
When I encourage clients to forgive a grievance, many of them feel I do not really comprehend their situation. They believe my advice should be to never talk to the person again, NOT to forgive them. This is a common reaction due to the misunderstanding of what forgiveness is all about.
The most common misconception about forgiveness is that two people are required for it to work. This is not true. You can forgive people who are no longer here, or with whom you no longer have contact. Forgiving is all about you. Deciding whether to hold anger or release it occurs in your mind. How do you want to feel? What do you want taking up space in your brain and body? It’s your choice. Forgiveness is not condoning the actions of the other party. It is not rolling over and giving up. It is not giving in or losing anything. Forgiveness frees YOU from resentment prison.
Need another reason to give up your grudge-holding habit? Consider this: not forgiving also creates feelings of constriction and those feelings (which are energy and attract like energy) block the flow of your abundance.
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”—Paul Boese
(Your future, that is.)
I have a short exercise I would like you to try:
Make a mental list of all the people in your life you are holding a grudge against, close your eyes, and visualize a negative cord of energy (active resentment) attaching you to that person. Next take a deep breath and see that cord being cut with both of you gently floating apart, releasing the negative energetic bind. Continue to do this until you feel you have released the experience. If you are still struggling, write an unedited letter to the offender expressing all of your feelings. Read the letter to a trusted friend or simply aloud and then burn it someplace safe. Visualize the energetic cord being cut while you are burning the letter and silently repeat, I am FREE. Repeat the releasing process as needed and watch what shifts in your life.
Ultimately, forgiveness is for the forgiver—I am positively positive about that!
I would love to hear your thoughts, answer your questions, know if this tip resonates, and what the visualization or writing exercise produces.
Here is a video to guide you through the Exercise In Forgiveness:
PS There is a guided Forgiveness to Freedom meditation on my Meditation Transformation CD if you need a little help getting started ❤
Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. For almost two decades, Terri has empowered companies, celebrities, professional athletes, and individuals to Live Fearless and Free. Currently, Terri is wrapping up her first solo book project, “Flip Over and Float—8 Steps to Sustainable Change,” filming “The Conversation” for the Lifetime Network, executive produced by Demi Moore, set to launch February 2012. Terri can also be seen as the guest transformation expert on A&E’s Monster In-Laws. In addition to her website, Terri can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.