How to Forgive the Unforgivable

“I’ll never forgive them for as long as they live!”

An understandable response to a totally lame situation…

But how does being so angry about it make you feel?

What if I could show you a completely different way of viewing everything, like looking through a pair of magic, pink binoculars?

What if that new way of seeing things made you feel nice and fuzzy on the inside?

What if I stopped asking patronising questions?

Forgiving means letting go of anger or hatred directed at a person. It’s usually the last thing anyone feels like doing, even after their own death. But there is good news.

It is possible to forgive a complete A-hole.

That’s because forgiveness doesn’t excuse behaviour that was wrong or unfair. It doesn’t make it okay to commit murder, genocide or steal biscuits.

It just gives you the distance, presence, power and mojo to move on.

Learning how to forgive has taken me on a journey to hell and back, even passing through South Croydon! This is a photo of me taken just a few years ago.

after

I wasn’t quite myself and if I’m honest it even had some effect on my physical appearance. But look at me now!

after

Still not 100% but doing so much better than ever before!

The truth is that I’m not a guru or expert on this subject, far from it.

I actually decided to write about forgiveness because I really sucked at letting go and I wanted to figure out what I could do about that.

I’ve gone from being “absolutely terrible” to “not particularly special” and I consider that to be an enormous achievement. And I already know that I will reach mediocre before too long. Way to go me, the sky’s the limit!

So if you’re looking for the world champion of forgiveness you’ve come to wrong place. Mediocrity is the next level I’m aiming for. If I took part in a “mediocrity competition” right now I’d probably come about half-way in the rankings.

It may seem odd but it can be strangely useful to learn from a hypocrite who still gets it wrong sometimes. And that’s why I am quietly confident that I’m not wasting your time here.

One thing I’ve learnt is that forgiveness becomes easier when you’re willing to learn how to do it, when you’re willing to enrol in the School of Cool.

I’ve written a series of long, tedious articles that I believe will lead you to that place.

My approach is a bit like learning a sport. When someone says “Stop being angry” or “Just forgive” it’s a bit like saying “Stop being bad at football” or “Just play like a pro”. Not great advice.

A more useful approach is to break everything down into key areas that you can work on improving, such as passing, tackling, goal scoring and fouling.

Here are some key tips that I hope to explore in this blog:

  • Forgive yourself for being angry and allow yourself to release anger
  • Start seeing through anger as little more than a kind of self-punishment
  • Recognise what can’t be changed and let it be instead of trying to change it
  • Take things less personally by looking at human behaviour in a more detached way
  • Take greater care of your needs and avoid relying on the wrong people
  • Let go of idealisation by recognising and letting go of what isn’t good for you
  • Develop a “win some, lose some” attitude by seeing life as a series of games
  • Think of the world as a marketplace where you can still go out and get a good deal
  • Allow people to misunderstand you and your particular needs and sensitivities
  • Change your focus by developing healthy interests and healthy disinterests

Here’s a great place to start: How to Forgive By Embracing Anger Release

How to Forgive site image

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