Last week I mentioned that my website had been hacked and the nightmare that ensued. 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 favorited 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
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 behaviour 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 that 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.
Have you ever needed to forgive someone you did not know but who had caused you pain? How did you cope with it?
Written by: Vatsala Shukla
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