Forgiveness is a heavy word, heavy because of the implications. When I think of forgiveness I think of acceptance; acceptance of what someone has said or done towards me, that at the end of the day whatever they did to harm me was alright because I have moved on. Who would ever be worthy of forgiveness? Societal discrimination of the fuller figure and the socially acceptable level of bashing and ridicule doesn’t deserve our forgiveness right? Who are they to forgive? We should be accepting some apologies first right? We do need to have some serious changes when it comes to size discrimination in fashion, the work place and every facet of our lives. Until that day comes, what do we do with all the hurt feelings? If we never get an apology how do we move on?
The first step believe it or not is FORGIVENESS. Forgive for Good.com has laid out some steps we all can take to achieve forgiveness. Let’s explore a few of them.
Know exactly how you feel about what happened and be able to articulate what about the situation is not OK. Then, tell a trusted couple of people about your experience. It is so important to identify why you are hurt, It may not even be about the fact that the sales person in the store ignored you, it could just be the frustration in the selection of clothes in the store or lack thereof. It would be ok to be upset at both situations. No one has the right to treat you less than you feel you deserve to be treated and we should have more retailers that speak to our needs. Find someone that is willing to listen so that you can release some of your frustration. A little letter to the corporate offices perhaps?
Make a commitment to yourself to do what you have to do to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and not for anyone else. Forgiveness is always for you. Once you forgive, you no longer have to wait for someone else to acknowledge your feelings were hurt. You already have and that is all the acknowledgment you need. As my mother would say ” Stop running toward problems” . When you identify places where you are disrespected, chose another place to frequent.
Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with the person that hurt you, or condoning of their action. What you are after is to find peace. Forgiveness can be defined as the “peace and understanding that come from blaming that which has hurt you less, taking the life experience less personally, and changing your grievance story.” This statement was so life changing for me! Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to embrace those that don’t want your embrace. You certainly don’t have to accept the negativity that may be thrown your way. The salesperson in the store that didn’t acknowledge you wasn’t rejecting you personally, they don’t know you. They weren’t acknowledging the fact that you have every right to have the same treatment as others. Seeing that makes their actions less hurtful.
Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts and physical upset you are suffering now, not what offended you or hurt you two minutes – or ten years – ago. Forgiveness helps to heal those hurt feelings. The fact that you are so hurt by what seems like a small instance maybe because of other feelings that you have piled underneath this most recent situation. Don’t punish someone else for others mistakes.
At the moment you feel upset practice a simple stress management technique to soothe your body’s flight or fight response. Although your blood is boiling and your ready to fight, take a deep breath and walk away. Showing out when there is no need to puts more emphasis on your actions than theirs.
It may be difficult to do but there is power in forgiveness. Once you start to forgive you can move forward to your fullest potential!
Part 2: Steps 6 thru 9-Stop expecting things from others that they are not willing to give.