Forgiveness Perspective

My business attorney told me one time, “Everybody has self-interests, and other people’s self-interests may not be the same as your self-interests.” I thought that was great. Strive to be proactive the next time someone trespasses against you. Expecting the best in people doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also accept the worst-case scenario. To recognize that others’ self-interests may not be the same as your self-interests helps take the emotion out of a situation that you feel you were crossed with. Not everyone has one hundred percent integrity. Many times what is perceived as an attack against you is that person’s process of becoming a better person. The person that crossed you may still be learning the fundamentals of the Big Six: Honesty, Respect, Loyalty, Faith, Courage, and Love. It is totally out of your control. If you act with one hundred percent integrity, then most of the time, others will also when dealing with you.

So who did what to you? What are you still upset about? How is carrying that around going for you? I understand that forgiving Johnny for stealing your lunch money may be much, much easier than forgiving your spouse for adultery. I understand that forgiving that stranger that door dinged your car may be much, much easier than forgiving the man that molested your child. There are certainly various degrees of how easy or difficult the process of forgiveness is. My hope is that regardless of the circumstance you need to forgive, it is becoming more clear that resentment will not get you to your greatness. Resentment is continuing to swallow that poisonous pill, expecting the other person to die. Resentment and unforgiveness steals your light, not theirs. Are you going to let them hurt you twice? Once with the action they performed against you and now for the rest of your life? Elevate! It’s hard but worth it.

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Forgive or Forget?

Forgive Or Forget

We have all heard forgive and forget, and many times this is very valid. We need to expand on this one a little. Depending on the severity of the action we were resentful about, sometimes we need to forgive and not be so fast to forget. For example, if you left your purse out next to a coworker and that coworker stole your purse, then even though everything was forgiven and made right, don’t leave your purse out around them again. I know there are varying degrees of this; however, there is a difference between unconditional love and being naive. There is a difference between being blindly positive and being cautiously optimistic. If a convicted child molester has sought forgiveness and paid his dues, it doesn’t mean I am going to let my children spend the night at his house. This is called being smart.

Forgive

Don’t confuse this with “never trust others.” We should always expect the best in others unless they give us a reason not to. If you have been burned before from someone, let it go, move forward with a clean slate.

Expect the best in others and at the same time it is okay to be prepared for the worst. It is okay to trust and verify. The worst thing we can do is generalize all people because we were treated a certain way by one person. For example, “I don’t trust men because I was physically abused by my first boyfriend.” or “I don’t trust women because I was cheated on in college.” This will not serve you. Forgive, forgive, forgive, and YES, forget in those situations. When I say forgive and be slow to forget, I am referring to a particular person, not a generalization of people. Yes, we should forgive our enemies but do not forget their names. Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me.

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