How much time have you spent analyzing, questioning, and playing out scenarios in order to justify your anger and hurt?
It’s exhausting. You’re consumed with negative energy that keeps you in a dark place. And you’re sending toxic energy into the world.
You’ve read endless books on how you can solve problems by igniting your creativity.
You’ve been told that you can work your way through the cycle of non-forgiveness.
You spend your life in a vicious cycle of hurt/anger/ judgment. I’ve had plenty of experience with it. For years I got hurt when I felt slighted or misunderstood.
Once in a while I was able to voice my hurt…which often came out as anger. Most of the time I said nothing and felt wounded.
How I respond today when someone refuses to forgive me has changed. Recently I had a chance to see it in action. This is what happened.
Jason, my son, got married last June in Israel. Only my closest friends from the United States were invited. By some fluke, a friend of mine, Robert, never received an invitation. Although he and his wife weren’t planning to come to the wedding, I told him that Jason would send out another one.
Well guess what? Jason had no extra invitations. I wrote Robert, made a joke about it, and apologized. I heard nothing back….which wasn’t like him.
When I wrote him 3 three months later to send him wishes for the Jewish New Year and didn’t receive a response, I knew something wasn’t right. My first thought was that he might be sick. But a friend mentioned that she had just seen him and he looked great.
don’t be sabotaged by critical thoughts
My heart dropped. The old feelings of ‘what I have done wrong?’, ‘I’m not good enough’ and dozens of other negative thoughts tried to sabotage my hard earned spiritual muscles. I quickly deflected them, sat down, breathed, and reflected.
My inner wisdom took charge and talked me through how to silently forgive Robert for cutting off our 35 year old relationship.
- Don’t blame yourself. No one is void of making mistakes and hurting others unintentionally. It’s inevitable that you’ll hurt even the people you love most in your life.
- Go into your heart to feel compassion. If you’re not experiencing hurt or anger, it’s not difficult to do. If you are having negative feelings, breathe deeply and try to open your heart.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Whatever your story line is doesn’t matter. Imagine what you might feel if the same thing had happened to you.
- Work on self forgiveness. Get to know your critical and judgmental voice. Whenever you have a punitive thought about yourself, replace it with a positive one. You can’t forgive another person from a soul place until you’ve forgiven yourself.
- Search for the gift in the situation. It may not be visible immediately. But if you keep an open heart, it’ll show up.
- Look outside your immediate situation to the bigger picture. Even if a few million people are able to generate feelings of love and compassion when someone in the world is unable to forgive, imagine the powerful rippling effect their emotions have on the world.
- Take note of how far you’ve come on your spiritual journey. All of the risk taking, fear, and uncertainty you’ve encountered is paying off…..Big Time!
Now it’s your turn. Have you ever not been forgiven? Or have you been unable to forgive someone? Share your story with us.