08 May How to Forgive and Make It Stick Like Glue
Forgiving is a decision – not a feeling.
How long does it take to make a decision? I’m not talking about following through on the decision and acting on talking about just in your mind how long does it take to actually make a decision? Your right literally seconds!
So what if you were able to make a decision to forgive someone, and then make it impossible
to go back on the agreement…….
You see it’s very easy to break promises with ourselves. There’s no one to hold our butts accountable. It’s just between me, myself and I.
No accountability to anyone else just ourselves, and how many times that we told ourselves forgiving do something for made an agreement to do something and broken that agreement with ourselves?
Here’s the answer.
Once the last time you used the restroom…
I’m not kidding!!
We always make decisions, and make commitments to do something, and we always for whatever reason don’t get it done.
Because forgiving is a decision, and we can easily make a decision to forgive, how about making a decision that we not only hold ourselves accountable, but to make sure that it happens we choose one or 2 other people to hold us accountable.
I’m going to explain this to you in a more detail.
I go into prisons as a volunteer, and I work with inmates some of whom have been in jail for 25+ years.
A lot of these people are in because of armed robbery, murder rape, you name it.
It’s easy for an inmate to say hey I feel bad about the person’s family who I killed, or I feel bad about beating up my wife for taking my son that of the house at 15 years of age you name and I’ve heard a lot of stories out there that would make you cringe.
And in 95% of the cases the 1st person on the list of forgiveness is themselves, from the shit that they’ve done to screwup other people’s lives.
So were together a group of 15 to 25 of us and I will ask is a group how many of you have made promises to yourselves that you have never kept.
Guess how many hands go up?
You know the answer.
The inmates than spend 45 minutes to an hour to completing what I call their truth letter.
It’s a four-page questionnaire that goes really really deep into what they’ve done in their lives that needs to be forgiven.
Once this is complete I ask whoever is ready to stand up to the center of the circle and read their letter. One of the questions and the truth letter is what feelings are you willing to take ownership of right now, when it comes to either forgiving yourself or others, and how long do you think if you take a guess you been living with these feelings for.
It’s common for me to hear people admitting to these feelings beginning at a very young age, so were talking about owning these feelings for decades in many cases.
One of the very last questions on this questionnaire is when is enough enough?
In those who answer now is enough, I tell them to walk around the circle and look at each man in the eye without saying a word in choosing at least 2 men who they trust enough, that will hold the person who just read the letter, accountable for whatever decision they decide to make in the next few minutes.
The inmate chooses to 34 people and then I will ask those people are they willing to hold this inmate accountable for whatever decision he makes.
When the answer yes then I turned to the inmate and I asked him if he’s going to make a commitment that if he ever has doubt over whatever decision he makes in the next couple of minutes and he will go to those men standing beside him, and tell him that he has doubt or uncertainty about the commitment that he made to forgive so that those men can remind him of whatever decision he makes.
This is a game changer. Here’s why:
It’s so easy to break agreements when it’s just about ourselves
it’s a totally different ballgame, when we are accountable to others for our decision,
Too often mineralized we do not allow others to give us they can support and accountability that we need to follow through on our own commitments and intentions.
So if you really want to forgive someone, including yourself, write your own truth letter regarding what happened, what can feelings that you been living with which have prevented you from being emotionally free, and then be willing to allow other people to both support you and hold you accountable.