Several years ago, I had a tremendous learning experience regarding forgiveness.My mentor, a consultant hired by our corporate office specifically to mentor me for one year, leveraged the difficulty in the relationship I had with our division general manager to his advantage. By indicating that he was still needed beyond his contract (due to the strained relationship between the division general manager and me), he prolonged his lucrative consultant income for another two years.I was eventually relieved of my managerial role and the consultant continued his monthly visits to manage and lead my department. I was hurt and resentful. I became exhausted carrying this load of pain and then I finally realized that holding this anger was not honoring or serving anyone, least of all, me.After reconnecting with my spirit, I knew that I had to forgive him. The next time he was in town, I apologized for my behavior and told him that I forgave him for his part in reinforcing the wedge between the divisional general manager and me.The immediate sensation I had was lightness. I could hardly believe how physically light I felt, and I remember holding on to the edge of the desk as it felt like I was going to float away. I was nearly giddy with delight and wondered what had taken me so long to get there.What is keeping you from forgiving someone or yourself? The weight and burden are only hurting you. Free yourself with the amazing gift of forgiveness.Better late, than never…With love,Maria
Because forgiveness is a state of being, action is required to move into that place or that state. Like so many other lessons, avoiding forgiveness is not static. Anger leads to judgment. (He is so mean, disrespectful, or vindictive when he did that to me. She is so arrogant that she didn’t even realize she hurt me.)Judgment leads to blame, and blame leads to resentment. Resentment is unresolved anger and resentment hurts us, manifesting in stress-related illness, anxiety, or depression. Resentment hardens our hearts paving a path of vengeance. We can lose ourselves in judgment, condemnation, and conflict, all the while wondering why we are not happy and content.Forgiveness is a choice. We take responsibility for our peace of mind and happiness when we choose to forgive. Many leaders think if we forgive, it is for the benefit of others. The primary advantage is that forgiveness benefits ourselves, and the primary function is removing ego separation bringing us back into our right mind with God. To make this choice, we experience a miracle.The process of experiencing the miracle of forgiveness is perception shifting. The change in attitude comes to us through grace. Cultivating a practice of forgiveness first begins with self-forgiveness. Dr. Robin Casarjian describes six steps to practice self-forgiveness in her book, Forgiveness:
- Acknowledge the truth.
- Take responsibility for what you have done.
- Learn from the experience by acknowledging the deeper feelings that motivated the behaviors and thoughts for which you now feel guilty and hold yourself in judgment.
- Open your heart to yourself and compassionately listen to the fears and calls for help and acknowledgment deep within.
- Heal emotional wounds by heeding the calls in healthy, loving, and responsible ways.
- Align with your Self and affirm your fundamental innocence.
By practicing self-forgiveness, always remember to be gentle with yourself, suspending judgment, allowing and receiving miracles in this holy space. The miracle and shift in perception and attitude gives us insight about others and ourselves.Practice self-forgiveness…why? The reason is just as the old L’Oréal commercial said, “Because I’m worth it!”With love,MariaP.S. This is an excerpt from my book, “Love-Based Leadership: Transform Your Life with Meaning and Abundance” to purchase or read another excerpt, click HERE.
“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” ~ Robert Muller
Forgiveness is a challenging concept for many leaders. While we understand the idea and we know forgiveness when it happens, the vagueness surrounding forgiveness is illusive. The ambiguity enfolding forgiveness stems from our questions of how to bring about forgiveness and understanding, and from where it actually originated. To begin, let’s take a dive into the word itself.For implies intention to someone, for the benefit of or on behalf of someone or something. Give is to pass on, to gift, or convey something to someone. Ness, is a suffix that implies a state of being. For-give-ness therefore, is a state of benefiting someone by giving something to him or her.How did we even get here—the need or desire to forgive?We look to practice forgiveness when we are angry, wronged, or hurt. Tormentors come in the form of resentment, guilt, or even shame. Oftentimes we hold on to anger as a form of power. We feel in control and ultimately powerful when we hold onto our anger, justified in our feelings and hoping that the person we believe hurt us may feel guilty or remorseful for what we perceive they have done to us. Avoiding forgiveness allows us to fuel our anger, feeling justified and entitled in our anger or pain as victims.This practice of avoidance may manifest through not communicating with the person who harmed us, furthering the growth of our anger. Avoiding forgiveness is avoiding responsibility. We are victims because we believe we have no power. Playing the victim role deepens the feelings of pain and anger justification. Each time we replay the event that caused us pain is another attempt to regain respect, acknowledgment, hope, and love.With a loving heart,MariaP.S. This is an excerpt from my book, “Love-Based Leadership: Transform Your Life With Meaning And Abundance” to purchase or read another excerpt, click HERE.