If you’re honest with yourself, does the idea of forgiving someone feel like you might be condoning their bad behavior or like they are getting one over on you?
If forgiveness feels complicated (and it is!), this episode is for you. You’ll learn about what I’m calling the new forgiveness, which is about releasing resentment that might be holding you back- not about letting someone off the hook.
Plus, inside this week’s guide, you’ll get a powerful 4-step process to release yourself from the prison that prolonged resentment can become so you can begin your healing process.
Forgiving can be hard to do. In my experience as a psychotherapist for 25 years, many of my clients have complicated feelings regarding forgiveness- almost like they’re losing something or enabling crappy behavior.
There are so many misconceptions around what forgiveness really is and who it’s actually for. It is not about whether the other person deserves forgiveness. It is about you deserving the freedom and lightness that comes from honoring and releasing the injury. It is about learning how to allow yourself to process that experience, learn from it, and move on with your life.
Forgiveness is for the forgiver. When we forgive, it liberates us. It doesn’t mean we’re giving someone who hurt us a pass. It means releasing any stuck painful emotions that might be interfering with creating the life we want. Stuck resentment and pain have the power to block future happiness.
If you are holding onto things from the past, I want to invite you to reframe forgiveness as a gift you are giving yourself. When you can learn to process and let go of pain and resentment, it frees up so much internal space.
Think about how valuable the real estate in your mind is. If it’s crowded with constant ruminations over the past or obsessing over what you did or didn’t say, your ability to be present in your life is compromised.
The new forgiveness isn’t about forgetting or sweeping things under the rug. It is about freeing your heart and mind from resentment. There are things you can do so you can get clarity around the truth of what you experienced, learn something from it, and heal.
We all heal at our own pace. I know a lot of you identify as highly sensitive and empathic (like me), and we can tend to hold onto painful interactions and experiences because things touch us very deeply.
While being an empath can be a superpower, our tender hearts and nervous systems can also bring us down with incredibly exhausting, painful memories if we don’t commit to releasing them in a healthy way.
Everything I teach is with the goal of moving you towards self-mastery, and if you are holding onto resentment, I promise you, taking the time to free your mind is a valuable endeavor. We can spend hours, days, weeks- even our entire lives- negatively ruminating on injuries from the past.
We can’t shame ourselves or will ourselves to just let these things go. I’ve created a way to help you honor and integrate your experiences. I do this step-by-step process with anything that is sucking away my precious psychological and mental bandwidth.
I want to be clear that this process is not to minimize the pain you have experienced or to try to find a silver lining in what happened to you. It is not about spiritually bypassing or being hyper-positive.
There is something very powerful, consciously and unconsciously, when we decide to take action- it’s like putting the universe on notice that this crap has taken up too much space and it’s time to be done with it.
Inside this week’s guide, you’ll learn a 4-step process to put your stake in the ground and finally let go of resentment from the past. You can download it right here.
Again, healing is different for everyone, so be compassionate and patient with yourself. It can take time. If you need to seek out professional mental health support, please do so.
There is no magic pill to this, but my hope is this reframe on forgiveness will give you access to releasing yourself from resentment prison. If you’ve been holding onto things and feel like there’s something wrong with you – there’s not! Forget forgiveness in the traditional sense.
The new forgiveness is about your liberation. It is appropriate and healthy to release resentment, to become self-determined and empowered to re-train your thoughts so they don’t continue to be dominated by a painful situation that is over.
I’ve met hundreds, probably thousands of people at this point in my life and in my career that let one unforgivable action define them for the rest of their lives. This doesn’t have to be you. You can make a different choice.
When you release this, you get access to your own strength. You can celebrate your resilience and everything you’ve survived- because the new forgiveness is all about YOU.
I hope this process helps you and I would love to hear from you as we celebrate National Forgiveness Week (or National Release Resentment Week!) together with this reframe. Please drop me a comment here or connect with me over on Instagram @terricole and let me know how this goes for you!
You deserve to be free of lingering resentment. I hope you have an amazing week liberating yourself, and as always, take care of you.