December 6, 2012

Experience the Freedom of Forgiveness

We all get hurt sometimes. It’s just part of life. And we all carry hurt with us from the past. Whether it was a father who didn’t protect us, a […]

We all get hurt sometimes. It’s just part of life. And we all carry hurt with us from the past. Whether it was a father who didn’t protect us, a mother who abandoned us, a brother who bullied us, a sister who wasn’t there for us. Maybe it was a friend who stabbed us in the back. A classmate who made fun of us on the playground in the first grade. A teacher who told us we could never become successful. A spouse who doesn’t support us. A co-worker who gossiped about us. A boss who treats us unfairly.

No matter what – or who – hurts us, we must make a decision. But it takes a certain level of maturity to make this decision.

You see, it’s never the circumstances that determine your success in life, in business, or in your family. It’s how you choose to deal with those circumstances that makes all the difference.

And sure, forgiveness may seem like a great idea. But the reality is, most people never activate it. It’s easy to talk about, but actually doing it can be a whole different story.

Unforgiveness will keep you in bondage. It will keep you from taking risks. It will limit your earning power. It will keep you stuck in a rut for the rest of your life. My friend, unforgiveness will rob you of your destiny.

But forgiveness… Forgiveness will set you free!

I am here today because of forgiveness. The only reason I have authority to talk to you about forgiveness today is because I have experienced it. I have made the decision to forgive the people in my life who have hurt me.

I have to tell you this story. See, I was raised in a violently abusive home, where I was physically, emotionally, verbally, and sexually abused on a daily basis. My parents were total drug addicts. I was molested from the time I was 3 until I was 16. I was held up against the wall by my throat while my father called me every vile, disgusting, horrible name in the book. I was harshly judged and criticized. I had everything stolen from me when my husband left me for another woman, and I ended up homeless with $2.03 to my name and a $35,000 debt.

So you see, I had all this anger and bitterness built up in me as a young person, and I trusted no one. That is, until I was confronted with the topic of forgiveness.

Before you get your chonies in a wad, you have to understand that forgiveness is not a ‘churchy’ thing or a religious thing. In fact, I was in a business setting the first time I was confronted with the issue of forgiveness. And what I learned is that forgiveness is essential if you want to succeed.

When I was confronted with forgiveness, I had a choice to make. I could continue with my anger, rage, judgment, and distrust, which was not helping me to become what I wanted to be. Or I could choose to forgive.

I did not want to be like my family – I did not want to be a financial failure or a relationship failure. But my anger and rage caused me to live my life in a way that was totally unhealthy. It was not beneficial to anybody that was around me. And most importantly, it was very hurtful to me. It was as though my insides were rotting out. It was like this open wound that had nasty, green pus in it, and it was oozing every day. It was oozing out of my mouth through the hateful things I would say about my family and about all the men and women around me.

I so desperately wanted to succeed, but the reality is, if you’ve got a lot of issues with judgment and pain, bitterness and resentment, it comes out of you. It causes you to not be able to work with people effectively. It even causes you to do stupid things, like going into debt for stuff you don’t need.

I know what you’re thinking – "How in the world could being hurt cause you to go into debt?" It’s because you’ve got this big gaping hole, and you’re constantly looking for ways to fill that hole.

I have worked with tens of thousands of people, and I have seen the things that have stopped them from achieving the financial success they want. And one of the major things that have stopped them dead in their tracks is the pain from their past.

Actually, I recently talked about this very topic on my nationally syndicated radio show. I had several callers who shared their stories about the incredible pain they had faced in their lives, and how that pain impacted them physically, emotionally, mentally, socially. They shared how bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness had robbed them for years, until they were face-to-face with the decision of forgiveness.

I’m telling you, this was such a powerful show! The stories of forgiveness and redemption we heard that night were so inspiring and so heartfelt.

And the truth is, it was proof that forgiveness has the power to set a person free.

I know it, because I’ve seen it tens of thousands of times. I’ve experienced it for myself.

And today, I want you to know it and experience it as well. Forgiveness is a choice. You can choose to hang on to bitterness and resentment, or you can choose to forgive and free yourself from the pain of your past.

Like I said earlier, it takes a high level of maturity to choose forgiveness. It takes a high level of maturity to release the anger, bitterness and resentment so that you can move forward in your own life.

My friend, I believe in you. I am so excited to watch you move forward and exceed even your own expectations and fulfill your destiny. It starts here, and it starts today.

 

In great faith,

 

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Categories: Hard Won Wisdom   

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