What Forgiveness Is NotWritten by Rosella Aranda
Is a grudge-laden heart sabotaging your success in business and in life? Much has been written over ages about value of forgiveness. And yet so many people continue to resist idea of forgiving their transgressors. Why is this? I believe there are a couple of factors at play. First, although people might want to forgive, they donít want culprit to ďget off scot-free.Ē Letís examine this more closely. There are many misconceptions about forgiveness, so I would like to point out what forgiveness does NOT do. (We shall refer to transgressor as X.) ~ Forgiveness does NOT condone actions of your perpetrator X. ~ By forgiving X, you are not saying that what X did was okay. Youíre just willing to quit stewing about it. Chances are, it wasnít okay, but thereís not much you can do to change history. It happened, itís over, get over it. Donít let it ruin your peace of mind a moment longer. ~ Forgiveness does NOT diminish severity of transgression. ~ By forgiving X, you are not saying that harm he caused you was of no consequence. Indeed, you may still be dealing with negative results of his actions. But by being willing to forgive X, you are allowing yourself to quit wasting precious energy on anger and put it to good use building yourself up instead. You survived transgression. Now itís time for you to thrive. ~ Forgiveness does NOT absolve X of his guilt. ~ Even if you were willing to, you could not clear Xís conscience for him. He will have to appeal to a higher celestial court for absolution. That is between X and his conscience; it is not your affair. So you see, forgiveness does not let other guy off hook. It lets YOU off hook. By refusing to forgive other person, you are condemning yourself to being stuck. And this ďbeing stuckĒ tends to infiltrate and poison every area of oneís life. Itís a bit like trying to drive your car with brakes on. Consider forgiveness as a gift you give to yourself. Now letís look at another nearly opposite reaction. Some people are quick to claim blanket forgiveness for everyone and everything, without even knowing what it is they are pardoning. This is a fine gesture, but it is hardly effective. Why? Because you cannot forgive a transgression which has never been acknowledged. You canít just leapfrog over all buried pain and expect relief. You must first acknowledge harm that was done.
The acknowledgement consists of: - Admitting harmful nature of what was done to you.
- Feeling pain that youíve struggled unconsciously for years to keep down. - Expressing anger that accompanies these realizations (by writing, exercising, beating a pillow, wailing, thrashing about, etc.)
How Do You Habitually Treat Yourself? Written by Rosella Aranda
In order to learn how to relieve ourselves of self-defeating patterns, obvious first step is to become aware of what these patterns are. The easiest way to do this is simply to become a casual observer of your own behavior and to take stock of how you treat yourself. Note both negative and positive aspects. Don't make a big chore of this. Simply intend to "hear" what you tell yourself as you go about your business. Notice how you "look" at yourself. Do you ever smile at yourself in mirror? Do you ever greet yourself as someone you're glad to see? After youíve monitored yourself for a day or two, ask yourself which one of these categories you fall into. 1) You always look at yourself with a hypercritical eye and you often mentally refer to yourself as stupid, lazy, clumsy, ugly, gross, or other demeaning terms. You constantly require outside validation in order to feel even halfway decent about yourself. 2) You maintain a ďneutralĒ approach to your own person, hardly even noticing anything in particular about yourself. You just take yourself, your appearance, and your performance for granted. Itís almost as if you were a non-entity whose job it is to just keep showing up, but you certainly donít take any real pleasure in your own company. You base your worth primarily on how others react to you. 3) You make a point of it to treat yourself with utmost respect. You speak to yourself in only most courteous and encouraging tones. You actively note and register appreciation for your most likeable qualities and you enjoy your own company. You maintain this outlook despite what othersí opinions of you may be. After all, it is your opinion and validation that matter to you most. Clearly, this last option is what we are striving for. Contrary to what some may think, this is not vanity or egotism. It is self-affirmation. It is creating a friendly ďallianceĒ with someone who will be with you rest of your days. Other people come and go, and among ones who stay, they are primarily focused on their own lives. It is no oneís responsibility but your own to validate your existence. You are only one who can provide yourself