A very close friend of mine lost his wife several years ago. He's quite sure her death was due to a mistake in her medical treatment for a non-life-threatening ailment. All this happened before I knew him. He told me that he'd considered suing the medical people he considered responsible.
In telling me about this a few years after the fact he said, "After some reflection I decided, 'JoAnn is gone, and a lawsuit won't bring her back. I'd rather have my positive memories of her, unblemished by all the negativity of a long drawn out legal action, than to try to get some money from her doctors." In my estimation this was an excellent choice. I hold my friend in high regard for his recognition of the importance of moving forward positively, rather than dwelling on someone's mistake which can't be changed.
A couple of weeks ago
about the destructive effects of anger and hate. We looked at the value of forgiving people, whether or not you tell them you've forgiven them. No sooner had I written that than I received
from Ashley Stahl, a recent new LinkedIn connection. Ashley is an international business and life coach. She has wonderful insight into what helps people function effectively in life and work.
Ashley offers us some great advice on forgiving, and tells us we should start by forgiving ourselves...for whatever is bothering us about ourselves. Her embedded audio
(<2 minutes) in the linked document can be opened with Windows Media Player (Mac users: I'm advised you should use the
Flip4Mac QuickTime plug-in available from Flip4Mac.com) and is definitely worth a listen.
Are You Blaming Yourself?
Holding a grudge...
These are all pretty similar and, as I mentioned in
my earlier message
, they eat at your insides. Meanwhile the object of your negative feelings goes on doing whatever he, she or it is doing and is mostly untroubled by your feelings.
Most often, when you are angry with someone or something external, your anger stems from something within you that troubles you. Identifying that, and forgiving yourself for whatever you've done, felt, or thought is an important first step in forgiving others. And please continue to remember, forgiving others is effective whether you tell them or not - the important part of this process is
, and give all this some thought, especially if you're one who's inclined to harbor feelings of blame toward yourself and/or others - for anything! What's happened usually can't be changed (If it can be, by all means get on with carrying out or promoting the appropriate change!). Assuming it can't be changed, continuing to beat yourself, or others, up about it will only keep you from getting on to other things with a positive attitude.
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Have you had the experience of forgiving yourself? How did (or does) it feel? Want to talk about forgiveness? I'm all ears!
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Reply to this message or go here if you'd like to talk.
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