When was the last time someone betrayed you?
Can you remember how you felt?
Of course, you can.
We’ve all felt the sting of someone else’s misdeeds.
Story by Sandy Gallagher….CEO Proctor Gallagher Institute:
This is how I responded
It happened to me not long after I attended my first Bob Proctor seminar.
I was working very hard on creating the Thinking Into Results program. I was working closely with a business associate that I really trusted, and he stole my ideas.
I don’t need to tell you how I felt about it.
I found a way to forgive him. Otherwise, my anger and pain could have turned into feelings of bitterness.
Bitterness is like an acid that eats away at whatever is holding it. It will do more harm to you than the person who hurt you, so I knew I had to let it go.
What’s really at the root of our pain
My situation wasn’t unique.
We all feel hurt by other people’s words and actions from time to time.
And sometimes we cause our own pain by thinking bad things about ourselves.
But here’s what you must understand…
Any feelings of bitterness, resentment, frustration, and guilt you may have are never created by what someone did to you or what you did to yourself or someone else.
They’re created by your thoughts, your thinking, about the situation.
In other words, it’s your thoughts that keep the hurt, anger, guilt, and bitterness alive, not the actual incident.
The single most freeing thing you can do
So how do you change your thoughts about the incident?
What is forgiveness?
It is letting go of it completely.
If someone has done something to you, forgive them. Don’t hold any resentment.
And if you’ve done something wrong, forgive yourself. Even if you did something wrong deliberately, you can’t change what you did, so let it go.
Until you do that, you’re chained to the person who hurt you, the incident, or what you did to someone else or yourself.
It’s all about you
I am not, by any means, saying you should open yourself up to those who hurt you or give them an opportunity to do it again. You may decide it’s best to cut them out of your life.
Forgiveness has nothing to do with the person(s) who harmed or hurt you. It’s all about what you’re thinking and feeling.
You see, you cannot hold bad thoughts in your mind and move in a positive direction. And in life, you are either growing or disintegrating, moving forward or moving backward.
So let all those negative thoughts and feelings go.
However, when you do, consciously replace the bad thought with a beautiful idea.
This powerful exercise helps
It is so important that you let go of negative thoughts about yourself and others that I recommend doing the following exercise every morning:
Start by making a list of ten things you are grateful for. I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance and benefits of practicing gratitude each day.
While you’re writing your list, really feel grateful for each item. Then, I suggest that you take those loving thoughts one step further.
When you finish your list, continue to sit quietly and send love to three people who bother you. It’s an easy way to practice forgiveness daily.
Although I must admit, at first…
I was horrible at it!
It wasn’t pretty the first time I did this exercise.
While it was easy for me to complete my gratitude list, sending love to the people who were bothering me proved to be far more challenging.
I really tried to send love to them. However, instead of seeing waves of loving energy going out to them, I just saw daggers that looked like flames heading out. I was obviously on the wrong track.
So, I told Mary Morrissey about my experience, and she had a wonderful suggestion for me.
I used to have a big black Labrador that I called Sam the Man. I loved him so much. So Mary said, “Since you’re having trouble, picture Sam the Man and send him love. And then slowly let the person who’s bothering you creep into the picture and keep sending love.”
Imagining my dog first made it a lot easier for me. If you have trouble with this exercise, you can try something like that or find another image or strategy that helps you.
For instance, you could picture them as an innocent child in diapers to send love to. Or you could not picture the person at all and just send a loving feeling out to them. Whatever works for you.
Doing this exercise is incredibly powerful. That’s because it’s not about the other person; it’s about what you’re putting out.
If you’re putting out anger, revenge or resentment, or any negative vibration feelings, you’ll get it back instantly. It’s like trying to poison someone else, and then you drink the poison. It will bury you.
However, the minute you put loving energy out that’s what you’ll get back.
This is a short exercise, but if you do it every morning, it will have an enormous impact on your life.
Be good to yourself
Forgiveness can do more good things for you than anything else I know of.
Make it a practice to love and respect yourself enough not to carry bad thoughts about anyone (including yourself) or anything.
Let it all go and replace feelings of frustration, bitterness, and guilt with thoughts of beauty, love and abundance.
It will leave you open so something beautiful can grow there.
To more and better,