Personal Development

Forgiveness and Emotional Intelligence

happy dayIf I was to tell you that you will never experience peace of mind until you were able to forgive, what would you say to that. I would not be telling you the truth if I said that I found forgiveness to be an easy thing to practice all the time. What I can tell you though, is that next to an attitude of gratitude, forgiveness is the most important step you can take toward peace of mind and emotional intelligence.

Throughout your life, you certainly would have had opportunities that have made you simmer with justified anger, feelings of resentment, playing the victim and even times of betrayal. These are all strong emotions that can consume us totally if we let them.

There have been times in my life when somebody has hurt me and in my constant replaying of the drama, I have been the victim, and they have been the villain. If you think of yourself as a nice person, you simply long for others to back down and see things your way. If you don’t think of yourself as a nice person, you may just want to kill them! But please don’t.

It has taken me quite some time, and I still have some forgiving to do, especially forgiving myself – yes, you got it – forgiving oneself is the most difficult to do, but I can tell you that releasing anger and hurt and those feelings of being a victim have certainly made my life a lot less complicated. The only person who suffers is you if you will not let those feelings go. Nobody else feels your pain, and the more you hold onto the emotions that make you feel that pain, the more damage you do to yourself.

Of course you will find it hard, sometimes even impossible to do this at first. How long you let it go on of course is up to you. Being such strong emotions, you may want to hold onto them. That’s not unusual. Some people even fall into the trap of playing victim all their lives! Do you really want to live like that. Do you really want to wallow in self pity because someone did something wrong to you. Someone took advantage of you. Someone stole a precious item of yours. Someone bullied you at school or at work. Someone got that promotion at work that was meant to be your promotion. Your parents loved your baby sister more than you. These are all valid reasons, and still, you CAN let them go.

If you decide to free yourself of these feelings, simply saying words of forgiveness will have no immediate emotional impact, but if you initiate the practice of forgiveness, it has the power to wipe away that pain.

I learned a simple process from a friend of mine just recently, that has helped me to overcome many of the feelings which I have been telling you about. Think of it as an inner ritual of forgiveness.

Sit quietly alone and imagine a stage. Keep your eyes closed while you are in this process. Then, imagine putting the person you need to forgive on that stage. Say the words, I forgive X for all the wrong X has done against me, real or imaginary, in this life or any other. Imagine the person disappearing into the light. Then place yourself on that stage and say, I forgive myself for all sins against X , whether real or imaginary, in this life or any other. Repeat this process with each individual who in your eyes, has wronged you. I find doing this process is having a great effect on my emotional intelligence.

Some of you may even like to use the Lord’s Prayer. It doesn’t matter what our spiritual tradition is, forgiveness is expected of all of us. It is all part of our personal development. Developing your emotional intelligence can only be a benefit to your happiness and living a fulfilling life.

We can practice forgiveness on a daily basis because we’re often wronged, even in small ways. For instance, we may get cut off in traffic, or someone says something hurtful over the phone, or someone may be rude to us in a shopping mall. It could be any number of things that set us off. Instead of being enraged by these occurrences, imagine the person being surrounded with light, and mentally say, I forgive you and I will release you. Even imagine blowing them a kiss perhaps – lightening the moment with some humour is a very good idea. Then move on.

Without forgiveness, I can tell you from experience what happens. It is not the un-forgiven who suffers, rather, it is the person who cannot forgive who will carry the hurt. That person is the one whose mind and body are in danger of being permanently damaged by pain and bitterness, and resentment. You guessed it. It is YOU who will suffer.

Life is way too short to suffer due to not letting go of the past in this way. The practice of forgiveness – even when the wrongdoer continues to do wrong – is the only way to freedom and peace.

Dedicated to Success.

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29 comments to “Forgiveness and Emotional Intelligence”

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  1. One of my favorite Bible stories was about a man who was forgiven by the king, but then went and put a fellow citizen in jail because of an outstanding debt.

    When the king found out, he threw the guy whom he had forgiven into jail as well.

    My take on this story is that unforgiveness puts both parties into a prison from which there is no escape!

    Which in turn comes back to your point Ange, it’s the person who carries the grudge who hurts!

    A great, well written article Ange, and one that needs to be shared, especially when it comes to forgiving yourself!

    Have a great week!

    Allan Cockerill’s last blog post..December 6 In History

  2. Hi! My first response was “Truer words have never been spoken” but they have. I think back to some people, who have had family members seriously assaulted or murdered, that have openly spoken out about their forgiveness towards offenders. I believe they act this way in order to move on. I would find that a hard thing to do myself. But as you say “life is too short” to carry on a feeling that may destroy you in the end. I wish you a Happy Day every day!

    Peter McCartney’s last blog post..Proudest Moment of My Life

  3. @Allan, the bible has some great stories and I know the one you refer to. Holding grudges just makes you suffer and isn’t any good for your health. I couldn’t agree more with your analogy of keeping yourself in a prison by not forgiving. Forgiveness is such a liberating feeling and helps you be in a state of gratitude which then opens up opportunities for you. Thanks for sharing and I will catch up with you during the week ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Peter, I guess you may have seen in your place of work, some of these people who have had family members seriously hurt. To forgive would not be an easy thing for them, but in order to move on, it is the only way. A little practice every day… it only takes a few moments and can lead to a most outstanding day!

    Happy Days ahead gentlemen!!

  4. Ange, thanks for sharing. Forgiveness is so important within families as well because we all make mistakes and if we teach our kids to hold grudges they teach theirs and so on….

    Besides it affecting your attitude by being bitter and angry, not letting go of past hurts can also affect your health.

    I like Allan’s take on it as well that being unforgiving causes you to imprison yourself.

  5. We are huge fans of EQ as opposed to IQ Ange and forgiveness isa key part of that where its best to let the ego’s drop and move on..

    Great thought provoking post, thanks for sharing!

    Jim & Em, Dubai.

  6. Hey Sandra! How wonderful that you stopped by.

    Our children do learn from our actions and as parents, we have quite a responsibility to ensure that we give them the opportunity of awareness and knowing how to deal with circumstances that might otherwise not be beneficial to their spiritual growth, and development into understanding and peaceful adults.

    What they learn from us is passed on, so let’s give them the chance to know how to forgive. I totally agree ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Jim & Em, well said. It’s all well and good to have an IQ but without the EQ, you might as well live away from the rest of the world. The ego has a lot to answer for and when we “drop it,” it’s possible to move on.

    I enjoy your input… thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hey Charlotte!

    So glad you stopped by ๐Ÿ™‚

    All too often we choose to believe in our story and we have to be RIGHT. It doesn’t matter whether anyone else thinks so… our stories are worse than reality. I like that quote from Byron Katie.

    Playing the victim is too easy and snapping out of it, taking the time to sit quietly and forgive is such a relief. How we choose to deal with the circumstances is whether or not we keep ourselves in prison, as Allan said, or we free ourselves and live in the NOW which is what will help us grow and become a better example for those around us.

  9. That is so true, Ange…
    In my work with stepfamilies you can imagine that forgiving yourself and your ex-partner is often the first big step to happiness & harmony.

    We often choose to believe in our own story, but as Byron Katie says: the story is always worse than reality ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks so much for sharing, I will send my coachees over here to read your ponderings!

    charlotte’s last blog post..How your thoughts define your worldโ€ฆ

  10. Hiya Ange

    Great post: EQ is the way to go.

    To many are like the Architect in The Matrix Reloaded film who says to Neo:

    โ€˜Already I can see the chain reaction, the chemical precursors that signal an onset of an emotion, designed specifically to overwhelm logic and reason.โ€™

    and see emotions as only negative when actiually the word emotion comes from the same Latin root as motive. It means to move forward. Emotions are our inner motive power, they help move us to action.

    As for forgiveness. I agree. It’s hard but the only way to free yourself from past hurt.

    Mike French’s last blog post..Mike Interviews: Helen Corner. Part3

  11. Hey… it’s my buddy Mike!!

    Great insight… I love the Matrix Reloaded.

    Move forward, let it go and get on with life… it’s too short to live with negative feelings… we can easily get wrapped up in our emotions for the wrong reasons…

    … thanks for checking in ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I don’t know how many times I have heard about forgiving yourself and etc, I even preach the same thing, but from experience I know its hard. You must be a saint to be able to just move on like that. I try so hard to move on but the same thing I try so hard to forget always haunts me (it drives me crazy) especially if you have to live with the person that hurt you the most. Anyway, time is a healer – wish me luck. Thank you for the post, it was insightful

    Tondy’s last blog post..Anger Management!

  13. Welcome Tondy!

    By what you say, I think it is the TRYING that is holding you back. It is hard, of course it is, but by using this simple process when you are ready to let go of the thing that is holding you back from moving forwards, you will be amazed at how wonderful it can make you feel. Your whole world changes for the better.

    Believe me … I know about the thing that drives you crazy. I don’t know your circumstances, so I will not assume, but let me tell you about me.

    I have been in a relationship for 15 years and after many ups and downs, I am happy to say that we are still together. We have two beautiful daughters who are our proudest achievements.

    There was a time though that I thought he didn’t love me and that I meant nothing to him. Guess what? That was my story as Charlotte mentions above. We make up our own story and when Chris and I started to talk things through, we found that we were both thinking something that was completely untrue about each other. There was no communication and so we kept our thoughts to ourselves, just assuming the other had no commitment at all for the relationship.

    Then, just when we thought it was all over and I was heading out the door, one of my angels caught me and worked with me and Chris to get us to communicate effectively and make requests of one another in order to get to where we are today… happy and falling in love again… and when we chose to forgive one another, it opened up a whole new world.

    Of course there are still moments where we feel like saying “that’s enough” but we have the tools now to move forward and enjoy each other.

    I hope this helps in some way with you letting go of the thing that is holding you back from living an extraordinary life… I know your daughter would benefit too.

    May you be blessed.

  14. Hey Tondy!
    I agree with Ange…
    I had to forgive somebody who really really hurt me when I was a kid, and that was really hard.
    I only managed to forgive him, when I started to realize that I was only hurting myself by clinging to the memory and the emotion.
    Somehow I managed to forgive him, I used a technique called EFT (it’s free, you can find it on http://emofree.com), it helped me release the old anger, and I can tell you, that is an amazing feeling, like a backpacker with 40 pounds which fall from your shoulders.
    About the one you need to forgive, if it is your buddy, please don’t take going away too easy. My husband and I had relationship therapy for years, we thought we had done everything when we decided to divorce, and after 2 years I realized it was the biggest mistake we had made. Our daughter lives with the reality of missing her Dad everyday, and if i see what we have done to her, I would never ever repeat it.
    And, like Ange said, your angel guides are ready to help you (and When I divorced, I did not recognize their voices, I was too “rational” for that… see Mike’s post too!!!)

    Love

    Charlotte

    charlotte’s last blog post..Effects of Divorce – Basic assumption 3 of successful people

  15. Forgive but don’t forget is the saying I always heard as a child.
    It has it’s sense.

    Sometimes forgive AND forget is also a good idea as you clear out lot’s of stuff.

    However, I feel that sometimes NOT forgetting in certain cases is a wise decision just so you don’t get caught a second or even a tenth time by the same story. Sort of like headlights that help you avoid big rocks in the road.

    What do you guys think?

    George Kedourie’s last blog post..Before the story really startsโ€ฆthere is of course a storyโ€ฆ

  16. Hi Ange,
    This post is a must for teachers or anyone involved with teaching. Students nowadays are a different lot. Need a lot of patience to handle them. And lots of understanding. Emotional balance has to come in to keep us sane. Very informative stuff in here. Thanks.

    http://www.limeehai.com

    Lim Ee Hai’s last blog post..Math Symbol ?!?

  17. Hey Lim!

    Glad you enjoyed the post. Share it around and see if some of those teachers can get an understanding of Emotional Intelligence to help with their students… thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Hi! Ange, I really enjoy your post. I for one also advise everyone I know to practice forgiveness and live a happy life. In my job as a Branch Manager and handling a lot of people, I always make a point to be honest and sincere in dealing with them. When I reprimand them, it is their performance and not their personality that I am Mad at. I give them honest praise as well.
    At first it hard to forgive people who have wronged you, I leave it up to God, forget the incident (but the lesson learned remain) and go on with my life.

    pmonchet’s last blog post..Accidental Hero

  19. Hi pmonchet… hmmmm… your job as a Branch Manager… I used to do that once to! I’m glad it’s you and not me still in that role and I can totally understand where you are coming from.

    We all want to be right and have to hold onto that feeling in order for us to relish in the fact that someone did something wrong to us. It’s all too easy, but once you let go, it is an even better feeling. Freedom is for those who choose to be free. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Thank you for the message Ange and Charlotte. I think it was George who said that sometimes forgetting is not good idea just in case you get burnt again , I kind of beleive that. Just thinking about the whole process of forgiveness makes me anxious….I know I have too. Thank you for your story, I have one that I tell myself too.

    Tondy’s last blog post..Anger Management!

  21. I’m glad you made it back Tondy ๐Ÿ™‚ Being anxious is normal. Once you are ready to let it go, it will be the most magical process! You are in my thoughts.

  22. forgiveness through emotional means a way to move on building confidence to stay on and releasing the so called emotional stride. We need to release our emotional freedom I’ve also seen a site which can be benefited from that kind of problem. I think that is eft training you can check it out.

  23. We are huge fans of EQ as opposed to IQ Ange and forgiveness isa key part of that where its best to let the egoโ€™s drop and move on..

    Great thought provoking post, thanks for sharing!