How To Forgive a Human Being
I am a huge fan of Robin Sharma, he is such an amazing speaker and author. Every week he releases a podcast and video, as well as a transcript of his work. About a week ago, he released a video on how to forgive a human being. This is a powerful video about forgiveness. Too many of us are living in the past, holding onto grudges/anger, or events that took place so many years ago. Our very own Tata Mandela, taught us the importance of forgiveness. We need to learn how to forgive. Forgiveness is liberating, it frees your mind, heart and soul.
“Forgiveness isn’t just a blessing you deliver to another human being. Forgiveness is also a gift you give yourself.” Here is the transcript below, I’ve also posted the video at the bottom on the blog post.
How To Forgive a Human Being
We are going to go deep in this Mastery Session because it’s all about How to Forgive a Human Being.
A lot of people ask me, “Robin, someone wronged me. How do I handle it?” They say, “If I’m too nice and people walk over me, what do I do?” Other people come up to me as I crisscross the planet and say, “ I want to be an A-Player, but I’m stuck in the past, how do I live in the present moment?” Other people say, “You know, the people who have hurt me have drained my energy, so I cannot reach exponential productivity. What do I do?” Well, the reality is if you go through life, you’re going to be hurt. The reality is every single one of us as human beings has our weaknesses and we do the best that we can do based on where we are at in our level of consciousness and in our level of humanity.
If someone has hurt you, first of all, please just remember they were doing the best that they knew how to do based on where they are at in their journey through life. Forgiving them is something that not only they deserve, but also a gift you give yourself. I once heard someone say, “When you’re going through life not having forgiven someone that has really hurt you, it’s like you’re carrying that person through life on your back.”
How can you be creative? How can you optimize your productivity? How can you be a Leader Without a Title? How can you do iconic things in your marketplace if you are carrying another human being, metaphorically speaking, on your back. What I wanted to do in this Mastery Session to be of service to you is to offer you 4 ideas that will help you forgive other human beings:
1 – Feel vs Repress
Let’s say someone has really hurt you, betrayed you or has been dishonest to you and you’re really incredibly hurt by it.
What do most people do? They escape from the feeling.
They’re feeling pain. They’re feeling anger. Maybe you’re feeling rage and society says to us, “Don’t feel the feeling.” Well, here’s what it does. If you don’t feel the feeling, you will repress the feeling into your subconscious. Carl Jung called it the Vast Unconscious and the more you repress the anger, the more you repress the hurt, the pain, the shame, the guilt, the more you will operate under a condition that Psychologists call Projection.
Then you will go forward into your life, but you really won’t go forward, you will be stuck in the past. All the pain of the betrayal, all the anger from that person who hurt you that you haven’t forgiven, is still within you. You just repressed it and then you start seeing a reality born of pain. You start seeing your life not through the present moment, but through what Joseph Campbell called Your Stained Glass Window.
Again, it’s called Projection and here’s a very powerful idea. You’re not seeing the world as it is, you’re seeing the world as you are. You’re seeing the world through a filter and the filter is created by all the pain, all the shame, all the guilt, all the anger that you’ve repressed. We all do this, but the first insight I’m offering to you is when someone has hurt you, feel the feeling. How do you do that? Write about it in a journal. How do you do that? You talk about it with a close friend. How do you do that? You walk in the woods alone and you talk it out.
I remember meeting one person, she was a Native Elder and she had been very hurt by someone. She went out into the woods and she would take branches of trees and screaming the energy out of her system, she would hit the branches in the protection of solitude and nature. The first point is simply this. Feel the feeling, don’t repress it. You’ll release Projection, you’ll be very clear internally emotionally. You’ll be very clear internally intellectually. That will free you up to do amazing things.
2 – Understand vs Judge
The Native Americans say, “Never judge a person unless you have walked a mile in their moccasins.” That’s what I was suggesting to you. Don’t judge someone as bad. Bad is a label bred by judgment. If someone betrayed you, someone robbed you, someone hurt you in any way, whether it’s a personal relationship, whether it’s a business relationship, even if it’s someone who cut you off in traffic. Saying, “That’s a bad person is judging that person.” You don’t know who that person is.
Rather than judging them, why not try your best to understand them? Maybe that person who cut you off in traffic had a sick child in the backseat and they were rushing to the hospital. Maybe that person who cut you off in traffic just lost their mother or father. Maybe that person in traffic just received a phone call from their Physician telling them they have cancer. We don’t know what is going on within the interior orbit of the people who have wronged us.
Now here’s the real insight. Everyone alive today is behaving according to their own personal reality. I mean, if someone did something to you because they thought you were not being nice to them or they thought you were being dishonest to them or you thought you were not following through on your commitments to them, that person has created their own story, their own reality, their own narrative about the way the world is working. You just happen to fall into their perception.
I hope I’m making sense here, but it’s a really key idea. Every single person alive today is seeing the world according to their own personal reality. If they attacked you, it’s because they truly believe that you were doing something that deserved them to attack you. It might have been totally false or maybe some of what you were doing wasn’t really healthy behavior, but they reacted based on their best understanding of reality. They were stuck on their assumptions, they were stuck in their core beliefs, they were stuck in their own pain.
Why judge them? We really can’t say they were, “Bad people or dishonest people.” Let’s understand them.
3 – Communicate vs Condoning
The third element in bringing on forgiveness to those that need to be forgiven is communicating versus condoning. I mean, you never want to condone unhealthy behavior. What I’m suggesting to you is communicate with that person. Speak up. I once saw a car drive by with the bumper sticker, “Speak your truth even when your voice shakes.”
I mean it takes a lot of bravery to speak your truth when you’re upset, but actually that’s a sign of leadership. That’s a sign of good communication. That’s a sign of self-respect. The third thing you want to as someone has hurt you, you want to speak up and say, “You know, when you did this, this is how I felt. When you did this, you crossed a boundary that’s important to me. Don’t judge them, don’t attack them, but communicate.
The more you communicate, the more you’ll build intimacy or maybe you won’t build intimacy. Maybe they won’t understand it. Maybe they’ll feel upset and you’ll just realize that might not have been a person that you want to fill your life with. I’m just encouraging you on this third point. When you want to forgive someone, speak your truth. Tell them how you feel, tell them what you have observed and that communication is going to release the energy of maybe it’s anger, maybe it’s hurt.
It’s going to get it out of your system and it’s also going to teach someone how to treat you. Because through our words and our communication, we teach people how to treat us.
4 – Release vs Repress
You don’t want to live in the past. I mean, the present moment is where creativity, energy, peak health, exponential productivity and miracles live.
I mean, a lot of people what do they do? They live in the past. They say, “You know, I could be great, but I went through a divorce 15 years ago.” “I could be the most creative person at my office, but I had an accident 5 years ago.” There are so many people if you scratch the surface behind their happy interiors, you will find pain, you will find rage, you will find shame, you will find guilt, you will find sadness.
I mean, it is stunning to me how many people who walk around life, “Oh, everything is great.” They’re looking happy, they’ve got smiles on their faces. “How are you today?” “Oh, I’m fine. I’m fine,” and you go a little deeper and you get to know them. Then they start to cry. Why? Because they repressed, they didn’t release all of the sadness from all their hurts and so now they’re in the present moment, but they’re not in the present.
They’re living in 1944, figuratively speaking. They are living in their history versus living in the moment. Because if you live in the moment and you release what happened to you in the past, then you really are creating your future. That’s my great wish for you.
Here is the video on how to forgive a human being:
Love and light,