I want you to know that forgiveness is for you. Yes, you – the one reading these words right now. You’re entitled to know and gain value from the concepts, ideas and answers discussed here. You can benefit from understanding and practicing forgiveness more fully.
As a human you’re subject to experiencing hurtful or painful incidents in your life. You’re prone to making negative, limiting, lasting meanings and beliefs about yourself and the world as a result. Unless you’re a forgiveness ninja and you faithfully absolve yourself and others of every transgression large or small each day, you’ve got something to forgive.
Don’t believe me? Okay. If you can relate to or admit to any of the following symptoms, then this is for you. If:
- You’re holding onto any degree of regret, remorse, sorrow, guilt or shame about your actions, decisions or circumstances past or present.
- You still carry – however well hidden – anger, resentment, blame or righteous indignation toward any person, group or organization.
- There are people in your life who you hate, strongly dislike or feel any kind of animosity toward.
- The mere thought of being with a specific person or group makes you feel uncomfortable, irritated, queasy or upset.
- You feel righteously superior to or better than any other person or group of people.
- You find yourself needing to be right and defend your opinions at all costs or being argumentative, dismissive and resistant with others.
- You lack self-confidence, feel inherently shameful, bad or like there’s something wrong with you.
- You often feel suspicious of people’s motives or that you can’t trust anyone at all.
- You experience an on-going negative, judgmental shaming or blaming internal dialog.
- You have fantasies of revenge or retribution toward any person or organization due to some past hurt.
- You habitually put the wants, needs and desires of others ahead of your own well-being.
- You find yourself continually not following through with plans and commitments, being self-destructive or self-sabotaging in any way.
Do you recognize any of the conditions above? Everything on that list is an indication that you have something past or present that needs to be forgiven. These are symptoms of deep – often unconscious – negative judgments about yourself, others or some circumstance or event. The judgments hold in place undigested and unresolved negative emotions and beliefs. The list above is a partial list by the way. There are many, many more that could have gone on this list – these are some of the more common.
Through going deeper into the exploration of forgiveness in recent years, I’ve learned a lot about non-forgiveness as well. I’ve realized how subtle, yet pervasive the signs of non-forgiveness can be. Any little judgment, any little emotional twinge, pang or flutter, any little arrogant, righteous or defensive thought, word or action gives notice. They’re flags for discovering a hidden hurt, a buried resentment, some long forgotten shame or guilt which can be revealed, compassionately examined, and then forgiven. Consider how you feel when you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed. Do you feel:
- Good about yourself?
- Productive, creative and contributive?
- Open, joyful and connected?
- Energized, vital, alive and motivated to go after your dreams?
The answer is ‘probably not’. When you’re in the grip of any unresolved, undigested incident from the past, you’re unable to be the kind of person that you really want to be. I also need to point out the high cost of neglecting or declining to forgive. There is unhappiness, dissatisfaction and a nagging sense of regret.
There are many other costs too affecting all realms of your life: mental, emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual. Non-forgiveness comes with price of broken relationships, shattered self-esteem, wasted time and energy, divided families, crushed dreams, depression, stress, worry, fear and so much more. If you’re committed to having more success, happiness and fulfillment in your life, then holding onto grievances is a cost that you can no longer afford.
If you’re now convinced of the high cost of non-forgiveness, then you may also acknowledge the rewards of forgiving. There are benefits of peace of mind, clarity of purpose, an open heart, love and connection. You gain a renewed sense of motivation and desire, enhanced levels of energy, creativity and joy, as well as so much more!
But perhaps most important is that forgiveness equates to freedom. Forgiveness grants you freedom from the burden of emotions and beliefs of the past. It gives you freedom to be more fully the unique, complete and unbridled expression of yourself that you were meant to be!
Forgiveness is for everyone who has suffered painful, wounding or upsetting events and experiences of any sort. Forgiveness Club is here to answer questions about what forgiveness is or why you should extend yourself mentally, emotionally or spiritually to forgive. You can come here for ideas, reminders and perspectives on forgiving. It’s here to expound the benefits of embracing simple practices and concepts of forgiveness. Our purpose is to inspire, motivate, encourage and cajole you into adopting and maintaining a daily habit of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a crucial part of living a life that’s productive, successful, pleasurable and filled with new opportunities. Choosing to forgive is choosing to love yourself and others more fully. So explore Forgiveness Club and give the perspectives, suggestions and exercises a try. You deserve to enjoy more freedom, joy and success in your life. Forgiveness holds the key. You decide!
Thanks for reading. As always I welcome your feedback, comments and questions. Please let me know what you think in the “Leave a Reply” box just below. Also, be sure to join “The Forgiveness Club“, using the form in the right hand side bar, and get your free “Forgiveness Jump Start Kit.”