The Power of Forgiveness

News The Power of Forgiveness
The Power of Forgiveness January 4, 2016

Every new year provides us with an amazing opportunity to renew, recharge, and refocus our life.  We set goals, we prioritize, and we let go of the past year.  This rhythm serves us well to achieve success but on our long list of resolutions, one action that is truly life-changing is the act of forgiveness.

Practicing forgiveness in all matters can propel us forward and transform our lives for the better.  Who has hurt you?

  • Your boss is arrogant and condescending.
  • Your co-worker talks badly about you behind your back.
  • Your family member chooses not to participate in events that are important to you.
  • Your competitor steals a valuable client.

Or you have failed someone you love, and you cannot forgive yourself.

Each of these situations evokes a negative feeling and triggers an emotion: anger, disappointment, frustration, hatred.  These emotions can consume us.  We either tell everyone how badly we were wronged, or we bury our feelings deep inside of us. Our very human reaction to those who cause us pain is to want to hurt them back.  This creates a cycle of negativity and constant dwelling in the past.  Forgiveness is the powerful action of choosing to move forward rather than remain a victim.

How many imaginary conversations have you had with others inside your head without ever actually conversing with the offender?  It’s ok to tell others that they have hurt you and why.  If they care about you and truly value the relationship, they will genuinely apologize. If they dismiss your feelings or continue the behavior, then they don’t value the relationship. In either situation, you have the power to forgive.  Forgiveness does not mean you need to forget or condone hurtful behavior; it simply frees you to move forward rather than suffer in a prison cell of negative emotions.

So while we tend to focus on the new year as a time for resolutions, actually each new day provides us with an opportunity to start anew. Don’t take your boss’ criticism personally. Be overly kind to the gossipy co-worker. Tell that family member you are hurt when they don’t support you but understand they may not value the same things as you. Focus not on your competitor, but rather play honest and fair to win back your client’s business.  Apologize to someone you have hurt, ask for their forgiveness and also forgive yourself.  Practice forgiveness daily. The more you give, the more you will receive. Forgiveness frees.

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