What's In It For Me? After someone has "done you wrong" and profoundly hurt you
Anne Presuel, Rev.
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After someone has "done you wrong" and profoundly hurt you, why should you forgive them? Why should you spend all the time and effort letting it go? And should you let it go? And if you forgive them, what does this mean? Does it mean you go back for more?
I have gotten these questions a lot from clients through the years and I believe I have some answers not only because of my own experiences (yes, I've had to forgive big-time!), but also because I've spent years studying what forgiveness does for you. (Did you hear that? What it does for you.)
Tom, a client of mine, is a favorite example of how your life can open up when you forgive someone else. Several years ago, Tom came to my office to work through some challenges he was having at his job. As we worked together, a very traumatic story came out.
Fifteen years earlier, Tom and his then-wife had triplets. One day, when the babies were just a few months old, Tom came home at lunchtime as a surprise for his wife. It turned out that he was the one who got a surprise. He discovered his wife in bed with his best friend.
The next thing that happened was no surprise -- they divorced. Then his former wife married the former best friend. And shortly afterwards, she asked Tom to allow the new step-dad to adopt the babies. "You can stay involved in their lives, but it will be better for them to be part of a whole family," she said After much consideration, Tom acquiesced.
Not long after Tom signed the papers relinquishing his parental rights, he and his former wife got into an argument and she said, "Go away. You have no rights here."
Through the next 12 years, even though Tom sent his children gifts at Christmas and on their birthday to stay in contact, he was not allowed to be a part of their lives. He hadn't seen his kids in all that time, and he had a whole lot of (very understandable) anger toward his former wife.
We began to work on the feelings he had about this experience, one by one, using EFT to shift the underlying emotions. After we had softened the anger a bit, I offered a statement to him, just to check in with how he was feeling: "I forgive her for taking my kids away from me."
Nope. Not happenin'.
We then tried, "I'm willing to consider forgiving her for taking my kids away from me." There was much less resistance to this, and as we tapped through it, I could feel his anger really releasing.
We tried again: "I forgive her for taking my kids away from me." This time, the resistance was gone; we were successful.
Next, we worked on forgiving his former best friend. This took some time, as you can imagine. As we walked all around his anger at this man, Tom found places he could really begin to let it go. And as he let it go, he forgave.
Last, we tackled his anger at himself for relinquishing his parental rights. As the releasing shifted his feelings, his whole being softened, and he was finally at peace.
He had forgiven himself.
Several weeks later, he called me. "You won't believe what happened!" he told me, breathless with excitement. "My daughter contacted me and she wants to meet! We're meeting next week for the first time!"
"You know how this happened, don't you?" I asked him.
"How?" he responded. "You forgave. You changed your energy. You changed how you feel about what happened. You raised your vibration to the level of love and compassion instead of anger and blame. And when you did, she responded. She heard you."
Tom's daughter was 14 years old when she saw her daddy for what really amounted to the first time. It was a tearful meeting.
After that, she and her two siblings all got re-connected with their dad. Their mother also reconnected with him, and they had the first of many profound conversations. When his former wife welcomed Tom back into their lives, he got to be his kids' dad. It was a dream he'd longed for for so many years.
Several years later I heard from Tom again. Two of the triplets were living with him while going to college and he shared with me how challenging parenthood was at times! I laughed as I heard how they were living and loving one another as any normal family.
So... why forgive? What's in it for you? You forgive because your life will show up in a whole new way when you do. In a way you cannot even imagine right now.
You don't know what's possible when you let go of your anger and your blame. You don't know what's available when you lighten your being. You don't know who's waiting to meet you, to dance with you, to love you, to give to you, to share with you, to play with you, when you release that blocked energy.
You just don't know. And you don't know what you don't know. And because the freedom and the love and the abundance and the opportunities and the joy are all in the realm of you-don't-know-what-you-don't-know, your job is to step out in faith and Let It Go.
By the way, Tom still had to work through some issues -- and we did, through the course of several months. But his original anger and bitterness and deep shame never, ever returned. (That's the power of EFT, my friends.)
Your Action Steps:
1. Decide right here, right now, that you are willing to forgive.
2. Decide which steps you need to take to forgive, then take them. (I highly recommend the book "Radical Forgiveness", by Colin C. Tipping. This book will have you look at forgiveness in a whole new - and very beautiful - light.) By the way, choosing to forgive doesn't mean you have to forget. It just means you're going to let the past go so that you are free now.
3. Get help if you cannot figure out how to forgive on your own. Get help. Get help. Get help. (Did you hear that? Get help. There are many good therapists who can help you, but I highly recommend finding a good EFT practitioner. With EFT, you will be releasing the blocked energy in your body and it is the blocked energy that causes all of the anger, shame, guilt, fear, and other negative emotions.)
Now, watch and see how your life changes. It will change. It will become unrecognizable. And that's a very good thing.
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Rev. Anne Presuel, Interfaith Minister, Divine Intuitive, and master energy therapist, coaches conscious, heart-centered (and often overwhelmed) entrepreneurs to tune into their own 6th sense while building 6-figure businesses. Her approach uses Law of Attraction principles, affirmations, and subtle energy techniques (EFT). Sign up for your free "Activate Your Intuition Now!" Kit at http://DivinelyIntuitiveBusiness.com.
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