Resentment is an emotion which sometimes challenges me, so as a way to prevent myself from feeling this way I decided to go on a forgiveness diet. This means that whenever I notice myself feeling impatient, annoyed or irritated the first thing I do is forgive the other person and myself. Several times throughout the day I am mindful of the emotions I’m experiencing, particularly those ones that are so fleeting I often don’t notice them, and whenever I catch myself feeling even the tiniest bit resentful I forgive.
The last thing I do before sleep is write in my gratitude journal three things I am grateful for and then I forgive anyone who has ever annoyed me, past and present. One morning I woke in the middle of a dream about an incident that had happened a long time ago with a co-worker and I was surprised at how angry I felt. This wasn’t someone I socialised with outside of work, and she didn’t do anything that terrible to me, but obviously her actions made me angrier than I acknowledged at the time, so I started forgiving people I had employed, or worked with and I was surprised at how many little grievances I had held onto.
Now I think most people know that forgiveness is something that benefits us and there are countless studies to prove this. During one university study 71 volunteers were asked to remember a past hurt, and as they did this their blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension increased, when the same group forgave the people who had hurt them their blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension returned to normal. However, what most studies don’t show is the connection between forgiveness and struggle, or a person’s inability to achieve goals.
When I worked as a financial planner one of the things I noticed in clients who had money issues was that they were often resentful. Resentment is at the top of my list for emotions that prevent people from being prosperous. Resentment is an unattractive emotion and if you doubt this just try to capture in your mind an image of a resentful person. Notice their body language, their tightened features? Do they look happy to you? Would you offer them a job? Would you want to spend time with them?
Even when we suppress our emotions so they aren’t as obvious to others they can still impact our financial situation because resentment and trust don’t co-exist very well, and we need to trust ourselves at the very least, if we want to prosper.
Now an interesting thing has happened since I started forgiving others and that is enrolments in the courses I run have increased at a time of year when they normally decrease. Not only that I feel more loving and so incredibly peaceful. I am finding it easier to extend love to all people. My daily practice as I walk into my office is to imagine love encompassing the room and everyone who comes in contact with us. That includes people who study with us, send us an email, read this blog, or even just looks up my web page. Not only does forgiveness increase your capacity to attract prosperity, it makes you feel good about you and allows you to experience more joy.
The dictionary defines forgiveness as ‘letting go of resentment’, and that is true, but I like to think of forgiveness as taking back my power to be all that I can be.