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When Forgiving Helps To Heal and Improves Emotional Intelligence

Forgiveness quote by James E Faust

 

Update 27 January 2019 – When I wrote this post back in 2013, my focus was on sharing my experience with the reader and how forgiving others benefits us mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The tools I shared were of a metaphysical nature.

There is another benefit of learning to forgive – improving our Emotional Intelligence and raising our Emotional Quotient (EQ). I address this further in the post but first the journey of forgiving unknown people.

In my post How to break free of limiting beliefs created by others without cutting off relationships, I mentioned the nightmare that ensued after my website had been hacked. I also mentioned the support that I received and recognized the role of the Universe and Gratitude in my life.

What I did not mention was a tweet that caught my eye on Bucket Lists and my on the spur reply that my Bucket List included someday forgiving the Hacker who made a mess of things for me. I needed the power of forgiving to heal. My reply was favourited by the Tweep.

Since then, I have ticked off that item from my list and forgiven the hacker. I also pray that it does not happen again and affirm that All Is Well. I have taken control of my situation and am doing what is required to keep myself and restore the sanctity of my website/blog.

On a Good Friday afternoon, I started to reflect on what had happened and remembered a book I had read by Johann Christoph Arnold about a year ago titled Why Forgive?’ which makes a lot more sense now, whether it is how I felt or how any reader who has ever found themselves in a place where they have to forgive a wrong done to them.

 

What Forgiving has taught me

In forgiving, we are not belittling the hurt and pain that has been inflicted on us

 

By forgiving, I have opened the door to peace and can focus on things and people that matter more to me. I have time to be grateful for the friends and colleagues who helped me, the internet friends who shared their stories and gave me priceless tips.

In forgiving, we are not belittling the hurt and pain that has been inflicted on us, but rather, we are shielding ourselves from being drawn into the dark place where bitterness resides.

It allows us to acknowledge and accept the fact that a wrong has been done to us without the need to retaliate or take out our frustrations on other people.  We rise above ourselves and from a place of objectivity, try to restore what is ours and if it cannot be restored, then accept and move on.

We also take the first step to healing. Such is the power of forgiving.

It is easy, so very easy to give in to bitterness. Maintain a calm countenance and then let a small unrelated incident make us erupt like a volcano. And if we get away with it because family and friends understand, we might fall into the false sense that we can get away with it as and when we please.

It would not be too long before we would spiral into self-destructive behavior instead of stopping to smell the flowers and count the things that are good in life.

There may also be moments when our anger turns inwards on ourselves with the mind- game of reruns of how we allowed ourselves to be hurt.  When these thoughts start to invade, forgive yourself.

Use an affirmation that acknowledges that you have been hurt and proceed to forgive the perpetrator of the hurt and yourself. It does not have to be very complicated. Just a simple “In forgiving you, I forgive myself” can also work.

The book I referred to has a passage where it quotes the Gospel and the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus Christ says to bless our enemies and those who persecute us.  Who does not remember the famous words– “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”?

From a coaching perspective, my suggestion is to focus on those actions that are in your control. If it is anger or frustration at events or people, then acknowledge your hurt or pain and take the steps within your control to protect yourself. Use the powerful tool of forgiveness to retain your dignity and control of your life.

 

Emotional Intelligence and Forgiving

Nowadays Emotional Intelligence is being valued as much if not higher than knowledge, skills or even IQ.  People with high Emotional Intelligence have certain traits and skills.

 

Checklist - do your colleagues think you are emotionally intelligent?

 

One’s social skills are important and the level of competence in this affects our level of Emotional Intelligence.

Forgiveness is one such social skill the lack of which, as pointed out by psychologists is an indication of low Emotional Intelligence.

Forgiveness is not only good for your health but it also helps us to avoid release frustration, anger and resentment. Internalize these and I can guarantee your blood pressure will shoot up which is definitely not good for your heart.

The way I see it, having high Emotional Intelligence helps us to forgive easily BUT, when we learn to forgive, we raise our EI too!

It comes down to the first quadrant of Daniel Coleman’s Emotional Intelligence Model – Self Awareness that I showed in my post on empathy and EI.

Self-Awareness starts with knowing yourself and the triggers that lead to an action or reaction.

Coming back to my story, it meant I accepted and acknowledged that I had been hurt and even gave myself permission to cry and feel my pain and shock at the sight of a messed up website.

Once the emotions were out of the way, I accepted the situation and explored how I wanted to deal with it.

I knew I had a choice. I could have shut down the website and wallowed in misery or I could choose to clear myself of resentment and anger at an unknown person or persons by forgiving them and then do what was required to bring my website back in order.

The deed was done and even though I chose the latter course of action, it was not easy working once again with my website developer to fix things and then employing another expert to check for back-doors and plug potential loopholes while also servicing clients and a workshop that I was running at the time.

It wasn’t just the unnecessary expenditure but the time crunch and having to wear a hat that I need not have but for an event that I later learned was part of a brute force attack at the time and I wasn’t the only person who got affected.

Yet something good came out of this harrowing experience – I developed empathy for other business owners who in later years have had similar experiences and was in a position to use my experience to help them cope with the indignation and outrage they were experiencing on the desecration of their online home where visitors are welcome but not intruders who mess up the home.

Forgiving helps to lessen the impact of the action that has hurt us and enables to move ahead. We never forget what has happened but we remember it as a simple chapter in our life as we write new and better chapters.

Have you ever needed to forgive someone you did not know but who had caused you pain? How did you cope with it? Did you demonstrate emotionally intelligent traits?

 

Additional Resources for embracing Forgiveness and Self-Awareness

 

Karmic Ally Coaching Self Awareness ebook and journal bundle

 

 

 

The book ‘Why Forgive?‘ by the famous author Johann Christoph Arnold is available on Amazon in both paper back and Kindle form. The edition that I am referring to is 2009 which has since been updated in May 2014. I’m providing a preview below of this must read book. Please remember to view my Privacy Policy should you choose to purchase this book.

 

 

Written by: Vatsala Shukla

 

 

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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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