One day over lunch the accountant at a company I worked for said she spent the morning writing off bad debt. “What exactly does that mean,” I asked.
“Well, for taxes it means we had a loss, but for day to day purposes, it means a group of people owe us, and after many attempts to try and collect, our company is no longer going to spend resources (my time or money) to try and collect those debts. They still owe us, but we are closing their accounts, and as a company, we will focus our resources elsewhere, on things that make us money, like more training for our sales staff.”
Ugh… More training… I couldn’t help but notice a similarity between writing off bad debt and the concept of forgiveness.
You see, when we feel others have wronged us, we open a credit account in our mind and create a debt for them. They wronged us, so they owe us some kind of reparation. In reality, there are no reparations possible for the most harmful things done to us, but we still hold on. Like an open bank account, regardless of whether there is activity or not, there is a fee for keeping it open—in this case, emotional energy.
I don’t believe in the concept of forgive and forget the way most people present it. Forgive, maybe in the way I will describe below but forget? No way. It would be unwise to forget that someone who wronged you is capable of certain behavior.
By “forgive,” I don’t mean what they did was ok. In some cases, that wouldn’t be applicable, but what I am saying is… (Oh please, don’t let this put that song in my head) “Let it go.” Release YOURSELF from the situation. Choose to no longer focus your valuable emotional energy on what happened and get past the idea that someone else can EVER make it right. Shift your energy and efforts into moving forward and creating the life you want—making more money to make up for what was lost, finding new relationships to replace the ones where you were betrayed, but most importantly, closing the books on what happened. Not to forget, but to let go of the weight of that bad debt.
The part most people never talk about when discussing the idea of forgiveness is that usually the person we most need to forgive is ourselves. In most cases, almost everyone tells me there was some part of the negative exchange they wish they had done differently, something that could have prevented what happened.
“I should have locked the door.”
“I shouldn’t have broken up with him a long time ago.”
“I had a bad feeling about this person, and I ignored it.”
Start by forgiving yourself and releasing yourself from any part you feel you might have played. I like to do this by imagining a conversation with the other person involved, and I release him/her from the situation so we are both free to go in peace. You can also do this by journaling and/or writing a letter to the person that you never send.
You may need to close the account by deciding you will no longer be friends with this person. If he/she is family, you may decide not to spend as much time with him/her or develop other boundaries.
Don’t think this is about them or that you are doing anything for them by taking steps to let go. If you do it right, they won’t even know. This is about YOU, freeing yourself from all the bad feelings you are holding onto about what happened, so that you can recycle that energy and use it to create truly amazing things with it.
Love yourself enough to do the hard work of healing so you can truly have the life you want.
Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis
Author of the book “Feed Your Real Hunger” & “30 day weight loss Jumpstart” Hypnosis CD
For more information and free hypnosis meditations visit www.healthyhabitshypnosis.com