Forgiveness is a choice: choose freedom!
Fail Frequently – Part 3 of 6
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. “– Paul Boese
“I chose forgiveness because I did not want to be destroyed by bitterness. What happened was out of my control, but how I respond is within my control.” – Denise Green
Failure to forgive is a guaranteed recipe for disaster – personally, physically, and professionally. When you fail to forgive you are mired in the past – a place that exists only in your mind – isolating you from the very real current joys and relationships open to you when you are fully present. When you fail to forgive you experience real, physical, negative consequences. And when you fail to forgive you fail professionally because energy you could devote towards creativity, innovation, and focus is instead directed towards anger, bitterness, victimization, or thoughts of revenge. In other words, failure to forgive gives away your power and guarantees that sooner or later you will fail. The awesome thing is – you choose!
An article in Harvard Women’s Health Watch lists the following five positive health effects of forgiving that have been scientifically studied:
Reduced stress. Researchers found that when you hold a grudge you subject your body to the same strains as a major stressful event: your muscles tense, your blood pressure rises, and sweating increases.
Better heart health. You can decrease the workload for your heart by forgiving someone for a betrayal; studies show forgiveness results in improvements in blood pressure and heart rate.
Stronger relationships. Data confirms you can resolve conflicts more effectively when you are able to forgive your spouse and feel benevolent toward them.
Reduced pain. Meditate and focus on converting anger to compassion; A small study on people with chronic back pain found that those who did so felt less pain and anxiety than those who received regular care.
Greater happiness. When you forgive someone, you make yourself—rather than the person who hurt you—responsible for your happiness. You take your power back and you use it for your benefit and your future.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. “
– Lewis B. Smedes
Here’s the good news about forgiveness: Like proper nutrition and exercise, researchers say forgiveness appears to be a behavior that you can learn, exercise, and repeat as needed to prevent disease, preserve health, and start over on a path to your success. I have selected some books, websites, and people to follow that will help you learn and practice forgiveness.
Eckart Tolle – The Power of Now
Philip Yancey – What’s so Amazing About Grace
TD Jakes – Let It Go Forgive so You Can Be Forgiven
Colin Tipping – Radical Forgiveness
Sandy Walker – Freedom Through Forgiveness: The Power of Forgiveness Can Change Your Life
This amazing project exists to provide Awareness, Education, and Transformation: Exploring the possibilities of forgiveness through real stories. It has received support from Anita Roddick, Desmond Tutu, and many other individuals and foundations for its powerful impact in prisons, schools, and on people around the world.
This groundbreaking approach offers insights into the healing powers and medical benefits of forgiveness. Dr. Fred Luskin, a senior consultant in health promotion at Stanford University and director of The Stanford Forgiveness Project, writes that people who learn to forgive become more hopeful, optimistic and compassionate and report improvements in energy and general wellbeing. He offers a powerful method in which the emphasis is of letting go of hurt, helplessness and anger while increasing confidence, hope and happiness.
• The Daily Love thedailylove.com and look for Mastin Kipp on Facebook
• Project Forgive projectforgive.com and look for Project Forgive on Facebook
• The Positivity Blog positivityblog.com and look for the Positivity Blog on Facebook
• Marc and Angel Hack Life marcandangel.com and look for Marc and Angel Hack Life on Facebook
• Happiness Quotations – look for this on Facebook
In summary, failure to forgive usurps your energy, causes stress, increases blood pressure, increases anxiety and hostility, contributes to depression, increases your risk of alcohol and substance abuse, increases pain, disrupts sleep, focuses you on the past, decreases your sense of autonomy and control, destroys relationships, depletes your life of meaning and purpose, and isolates you. Ugh! Who wants to invite all that into your day? Instead, starting today, make way for compassion, kindness and peace. Open your future to success, forgive now, and enjoy greater spiritual and psychological wellbeing. To be successful in business and life, you must first be a whole, healthy, accountable person. You alone can choose to forgive. Choose freedom: Forgive now, and propel yourself beyond failure today and everyday!
“The process of forgiveness is very often the key that unlocks that obstacle or removes it.” – Sandy Walker
“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.” – Cherie Carter-Scott
Beaufort resident Jamie Wolf is the author of ‘Start Over! Start Now! Ten Keys to SUCCESS in Business and Life’ and ten accompanying guidebooks. If you’re ready to be Master of your Fate and Captain of your Soul, she invites you to come on board! Jamie offers online courses and coaching for entrepreneurs and people interested in starting over or in starting their own business. Visit her at http://www.thestartover.com