I had a client here the other day who, before we even started the reading, spent a solid 15 minutes railing about all the injustices done to her by her dead father.  Then she switched gears and bitched about the years of verbal abuse she’d gotten from her ex husband.  These two guys had given her self-esteem a serious beatdown.  I couldn’t blame her for offloading all this anger and resentment.

When we moved to the subject of forgiveness, she shut down on me.  Her mouth tightened up and she said, “I just….can’t.  If I do, its like they win.”

Whoa – how many times have we heard THAT before?  Forgiveness is one of the thorniest issues we deal with.  Because it DOES feel like, by forgiving someone, they win the argument.  Or it means they’re “right.”

I really think we need a different name for “forgiveness,” something that doesn’t sound so kumbaya-ish and is a bit more badass:  purging, scrubbing, kicking them to the curb.  I’m taking suggestions.

Because  when you insist on carrying grudges and hurts around, it does nothing but slow you down.  It stands in the way of you getting what you really want.  If that’s not letting someone else “win,” I don’t know what is.

Forgiveness does not mean you condone what they did.  It does not mean they were right.  You observe what they said or did, acknowledge that it sucked and then….kick it to the curb with all the other trash you no longer need. Just like you have no connection to a garbage bag filled with coffee grounds, egg shells and used paper towels, you no longer need to have a connection to the trash from your past.  Observe it.  Let it go.

Are ya really happy wallowing in this crap?
Are ya really happy wallowing in this crap?

Look at forgiving someone as the most radical, in-your-face thing you can do.  They’ll never see it coming, and by the time they digest your new behavior, you’re well down the road to your future.  Freer.  Fiercer.

Grudges and old baggage have no chance against this babe....
Grudges and old baggage have no chance against this babe….

I wrote about a technique for letting things go in this earlier post.  And if the idea that they’ve somehow gotten away with something still chaps your hide, check this out.

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  1. I totally agree but here’s a question: how do you forgive yourself? I can forgive another (in time) for what was done to me…but I find it very very very hard to forgive myself…..

    1. I think you take a similar tactic: look at whatever mistakes you made as just that, a mistake. Recognize that you learned from it. Detach emotionally because you knew what you knew when you knew it. Now you know better. No judgement.

      1. My problem is I am too emotional of or for myself, if that makes sense. I find it harder to detach, because I live with myself everyday. I look in the mirror and see the mistake starring back at me. Hard to do. Very hard to not apply judgement to myself.

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