Learning the value of forgiveness, learning how to let go of past hurts and anguish and forgive those who hurt us has been a cornerstone in my Life Coaching education. Learning this particular lesson has been a challenge. In fact, it has been a been a large-scale challenge. I continually think – why?
This person hurt me? This person was mean and cruel to me? Why? Why exactly should I forgive them? I like being angry with them because they should know they were wrong and make it up to me. They owe me an apology. And so I would (and in some cases will is the right verb tense – hey – I’m a work in progress) sit with my anger and resentment until they make it right.
And, I can think of many examples where I was, indeed, wronged. I’m sure you can, too.
And, I can think of many stunning examples where the bastards didn’t even have the good grace and courage to apologize. I’m sure you can, too. You know what? Some really egregious bastards hurt me deeply and profoundly and in hurting me hurt other people I love dearly. Their bullsh!t changed and strained key relationships in my life – and they got off scott free, because they still haven’t apologized. I can no longer view them as I once did and that part is ok. As my Grandma says “Turn the other cheek and keep the eye on that side of your face on ’em.”
So, I went to my first Life Coach training workshop with a big bag of hurt and resentment.
Forgiveness came up as an early topic and all around me my peers – my very bright, very articulate, very capable peers – they shared my view! Why? Why they asked should we forgive them?
Our very articulate, very capable instructor (himself a Life Coach, who I will now paraphrase) said “Because not forgiving someone who hurt you is like drinking poison and waiting for them to die while you feel sicker every day.”
That single statement was so very profound I began to forgive right on the spot. Some folks were easy to forgive – the transgression really was petty or misguided and it was easy to let go. AS I forgave I felt lighter, free and cheerful. If you’ll notice, I say began because I still have work to do, some of those hurts are entwined with old scripts and negative thinking. Those hurts run deep and will take some doing on my part to forgive; I will do the work and forgive for me, so I can feel lighter and more cheerful.
So, there will be more musings on forgiveness. The esoteric and the nuts and bolts because I am committed to forgiving the egregious bastards for me so that each day I can and will feel happier.