Why Is It So Hard to Forgive Others?
Where in your life is a lack of forgiveness holding you back? Forgiveness can be a difficult gift to give. Why is it so hard to forgive others? What I’ve found is that when we realize that forgiveness is not about the other person, it becomes easier to forgive.
Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things to do for many of us. It’s been something that I have been working on for many years. We’ve all heard the saying that when we choose not to forgive someone, it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. How many times have you held on to anger or frustration against someone else, only to realize that they had let it go long before you?
Forgiveness in Business
My mentor Leanne is really amazing at forgiveness. Years ago, I decided to leave the USANA business that she and I had been building together. I thought that the grass was greener on the other side, with a different network marketing company. Leanne chose to not hang on to any anger or frustration, instead she chose forgiveness. And a month after I’d left the business, she advanced to the next leadership level.
We remained friends during the two years when we were working with different businesses, however I hadn’t let go of some of the feelings of disappointment and anger from my departure. When I finally asked her for forgiveness, I realized that it hadn’t been about her. I needed to forgive myself for what I had ‘done to her’ in my mind. She quickly accepted my apology and offered me a spot to return to her team. I am forever grateful that we were able to forgive and move forward.
As I mentioned above, forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about ourselves. Often we wait until we receive an apology to forgive. What is most important to realize is that an apology is not required for forgiveness. This was a difficult lesson that I needed to learn. Forgiveness is about being able to let go and love no matter what the other person has done. If you’re a Christian, this is central to the teachings of Jesus. He gave forgiveness freely and to the most marginalized and destitute people he met.
When you choose not to forgive, it’s not serving you or anyone else. On an energetic level, carrying around anger, blame or resentment are all on the downward spiral of emotional energy. And the longer we carry around this negative energy, the more it affects how we feel on a day to day basis.
Forgiveness and Faith
Once again, I was reminded for the need to forgive others. Someone I look up to, a leader who had deeply influenced my faith, made some decisions that I didn’t agree with. In my mind, he had fallen from grace. After speaking with him and hearing about the motivation behind his actions, I could understand why he made those choices. Yet I found it hard to forgive him.
This was strange because the situation didn’t even directly involve me. However I continued to let it bother me and had a hard time forgiving him for his actions after he had asked me for forgiveness. And although I had said that I accepted the apology, insides I wasn’t clear on whether I did or not.
What it took me some time to realize is that I had chosen to put him on a pedestal. I made the mistake of thinking he would never make such a big mistake. The truth is, we are all human and we all make mistakes – sometimes really big ones. When I dug deep inside and looked at my faith, I realized that I was judging him for his actions. And that’s not my place.
So I chose to let go and forgive him, privately in my own heart. I am grateful for this lesson again. Forgiveness will never be the easiest virtue we have to follow, but what I’ve found is that it can be the most rewarding.
Who do you need to forgive today?
I encourage you to take some time right now to let go of any anger or resentment you are holding towards another human being. A great exercise that can help with this is to write a letter to them, getting all of your feelings out on paper. Rather than send it; tear it up or burn it. Let me know how you feel after you’ve done this.
Soulful Sunday, Sept 10th, 2017. Please join me for this once-in-a-lifetime event with some of the most amazingly successful and financially savvy women I have ever met. Keynote speakers are Kate Northrup Watts, author of Money, A Love Story; Leanne Jacobs, author of Beautiful Money and Elisa Graci, multiple 6-figure earner in USANA and soulful entrepreneur.
Message me for complimentary guest tickets.