To Forgive or Not?
It's In My Best Interest - So They Say #129
Several years ago, the actions of colleagues caused me considerable stress and sadness. Although common wisdom said forgive - I couldn’t. I thought we were friends and I was a valued employee.
Two incidents caused confusion and regret: the company changed course without including me and questioned my integrity, professionalism, and honesty.
From time to time, I came back to the idea of forgiveness because “forgiving someone is for your benefit, not theirs,” - they say.
But they also say
To forgive would be saying what happened was acceptable.
It wasn’t acceptable. I understood my part: I ignored red flags in my desire to make a place for myself and made a mistake, but their response was less than supportive.
You can't forgive someone until they apologize.
There was no apology.
When you forgive someone, you must also reconcile with them.
I wanted nothing to do with them.
To forgive, you must be completely free of your hurt and pain.
I was distressed for a long time and didn’t understand what happened.
Recently, I accepted that even though they could have handled the situation differently, they were making the best decisions they could at the time. So, I let it go.
But what about forgiving myself for my part in the situation? Because forgiving might allow healing to replace resentment - it might support my life and well-being.
For that reason, I decided to revisit the anger at me for not paying attention to the red flags that I saw.
The next step was self-forgiveness. The cartoon illustrates my path.
I accepted my role, released the guilt, apologized for my mistake, and learned to listen to my intuition - but it took a long time.
I don’t want negative emotions to rob me of energy and take a toll on my body, mind, and spirit. So my new plan is to
That’s the message from a new study in which people who practiced an assigned task of forgiving felt less anxiety and fewer symptoms of depression compared to a control group, as initially reported in The New York Times.
I found a way to set aside my anger and resentment regarding the situation. So important for people wishing to age well.
The Hour of Decision - “We must stop postponing our futures. We must become unstuck and act in the present moment.”
Surprise - “Shake up your routine. Step back for a moment. Zoom out. Take a break. Give yourself permission to break your own rules + change your schedule.It just might stir up your creative juices.”
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