“Life is too short to waste another day angry, offended, in self-pity…The pain of letting go is less than the pain of holding on and missing your destiny.” – Joel Osteen 

Everyone has been wronged at some time in their life – either intentionally or unintentionally.   It’s human nature to feel wounded, even devastated, by another’s betrayal or injustice. But once you get over the initial shock and sadness, it’s entirely up to YOU what happens next. You can choose to nurture your emotional wounds, or to let it go so you can thrive and prosper.

The Law of Attraction states that “energy attracts like energy.” Whatever you focus on and send energy toward will expand and grow stronger. Therefore, if you nurse a grudge, you are doing self-inflicted damage by sending out negative energy to draw back to you MORE opportunities to be mistreated and hurt.   My favorite quote on the subject of forgiveness is this: “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.”

In her wonderful book, The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity, Master Manifester Edwene Gaines asserts that all debt is caused by unforgiveness. She says that debt is the last remaining socially-acceptable way of punishing ourselves. If you have significant debt you want to eliminate, Edwene suggests creating a “forgiveness inventory” that lists every last person you need to forgive in your life and then “get about forgiving them.”

Thanks to the Great Recession, my husband and I have personally experienced what it is to face seemingly-insurmountable debt. I took Edwene’s teachings to heart, and worked diligently over time to release all old resentments and blame. I emotionally released all the “debtors” in my life and eventually, many of our own debts were forgiven and our financial opportunities improved greatly. Today, we are debt-free, and I believe that learning to forgive myself and others played a significant role in our financial recovery.

Nevertheless, resentment and blame still try to come calling from time to time. I wrote about my most recent forgiveness challenge in Blog 201, where a client of mine lashed out at me verbally after I tried to hold him accountable for his lack of personal integrity toward working on his goals and keeping his agreements.

I came to what turned out to be our final coaching call ready to clear the air and get back on track. But he came to the call to tell me in detail how awful my treatment of him had been and what a bad coach I was. Even though I realized that he lacked the emotional maturity to openly admit and take personal responsibility for his mistakes, I was caught off guard by his anger. To keep from losing my own emotional control and possibly saying something I would regret, all I could do in that moment was to hang up on him in mid-sentence. That definitely is NOT something I am proud of, so I knew that I had to forgive both myself AND my client.

I quickly wrote him as calm and professional a “goodbye” email as I could muster. While I was still smarting emotionally, my honest intention was not to castigate him, but to give him some productive parting advice. I wrote, in part:

“I had a list of tools I was going to suggest to help you be more successful from here on out, but I didn’t get the chance to share them. First and foremost, I recommend you read The Four Agreements. Secondly, I highly recommend you enroll in the Landmark Forum, which is a weekend-long coaching course that changes lives. You will learn about your ‘stories’ (limiting beliefs about yourself and others), how to forgive yourself and others for the past, how to take 100% responsibility for yourself and how to be your word. I believe the cost is about two months of coaching, but I believe it is PRICELESS.” 

He never responded. Nevertheless, to help me release all negative feelings about him so that I could continue to thrive in my OWN life, I added him to my daily prayers for several people I know who are facing serious challenges that are beyond my personal ability to help them with.

Each day that I prayed for my former client’s success and happiness, my hurt feelings softened a bit.   After a few weeks, the day finally came when I realized that I didn’t harbor ANY negative feelings, and I knew that I had forgiven him. Then I was able to release him completely to God, trusting that he was being guided on his personal growth journey and that all would be well for him.

Just when I had finally stopped thinking about him at all, he sent me a text out of the blue. It was short and sweet: “Tomorrow is my completion evening for the Landmark Forum. As the person who invited me to take it, I would like you to be there as my guest.”

I was stunned. I hadn’t imagined he would take any further advice from me, let alone invite ME to see him complete a course that obviously shifted his mindset and will likely change his life for the better in many ways!  I responded warmly that I would have been honored to come, but had a family birthday celebration to attend that evening. I congratulated him and wished him well in all his future endeavors. He responded that he wished me the same and hoped I had a lovely time at my event.

Learning to forgive him certainly has helped me to thrive in my life, and I believe that his forgiveness towards me will help him to prosper, too. One thing is for sure: Neither of us will be chugging any poison!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

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To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.