Going through a crappy breakup years ago that left me in debt sucked.
Having to deal with people messing with my body and scamming me out of more money while giving birth sucked.
However, I’ve forgiven the people that were directly attributed to both those situations. Without breaking the cycle of hurt and learning to forgive, I wouldn’t have been able to thrive in all areas of my life, especially my finances.
I have a feeling some of you are thinking I’m absolutely bonkers. I’ve been so knee-deep in using spirituality and personal development principles in order to better my finances I take it for granted. In fact, when recording a podcast episode on the very topic of forgiveness with my co-host Garrett, I knew that it would probably seem really far fetched to you.
However, if you’ve signed up for my free five day e-course, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, here’s a quick recap.
When you learn to forgive people or situations, you release those negative feelings around it. Once you do that, it clears your mind to focus on what you need to do to move forward. Sounds weird, but it’s totally true.
Let’s say you feel really ashamed at the way you managed to rack up credit card debt buying clothes and handbags. That feeling of shame will either lead you go down the same course again or maybe even letting you believe you’re not worthy. This in turn leads to you do things like accept a lower salary or go shopping to mask the pain.
What Forgiveness Is and Isn’t
If you’re here, I’m sure you’re smart enough to know that forgiving someone or something isn’t about forgetting the situation. It’s merely releasing the negative charge from a situation.
When you forgive, you release some sort of expectation you about the situation when it happened, or the behavior from someone or even after an event happened.
For example, when I forgave the hospital I gave birth in, I had to release the expectation that the hospital staff should be there to advocate on my behalf. Yeah, that’s a hard one to grasp, but it’s the truth. I can certainly expect the hospital to act ethically and to take care of its patients, but in the end they were profit-hungry, at any cost.
For months I held onto to that expectation that the doctors, nurses and hospital staff shouldn’t have done this to me. That I shouldn’t have had to worry about what was being to my body. That I shouldn’t have had to fight as hard as I did to leave the hospital. As I’m sure you can tell, it made it really hard to go through the forgiveness process because I couldn’t let all of that go.
Once I did, many of the negative feelings disappeared. Don’t get me wrong, I still get really triggered by the whole event. But I’m learning that forgiving the doctors the hospital means that I can move on, that it’s for my benefit. Why should I continue to let them hurt me years after it happened? I refuse to let anyone or any situation have control over me like that.
All this to say, forgiving isn’t about forgetting. It’s also not about the other person. It’s for you, so that you can go on and live your best life.
How do you start to forgive? I wish I could tell you it’s easy, but is anything worth doing in life easy?
The first thing to do is to be super honest about the situation or person you’re angry or shameful towards. Without getting clear on what it is that you want to forgive, you can’t move forward. I like to do this in a journal in order to write a stream of consciousness. I set a timer for about 10 minutes and just let the thoughts go to town.
Once I’ve done that, then I look at what I expectations I have or had. Is it that I’m hoping the other person would apologize to me? Did I expect one kind of gift and the person got me another? Did I expect that person to understand my feeling of hurt and feel remorse?
Oh yeah friend, you need to get real here.
When you bring those expectations to light, see how you feel. Why did you have this expectation? What’s the reality here? How can you release this expectation?
After you do that, bring that person or situation to mind and bring up all those negative feelings. Say I forgive you out loud. Write it down. Do whatever it is you need to do to release it. This can take a while, but keep doing it. Whenever you feel anger thinking about, just keep saying “I forgive you” over and over again.
Like I said, this is not an easy process. It’s going to get uncomfortable. But I believe in you. The emails I receive from y’all on a daily inspires me so much. Know you that you’re capable of greatness.