How to Leverage the Power of Forgiveness in Difficult Moments
In this week’s issue of the Golden Path Newsletter, we will be exploring a pretty personal concept, forgiveness, in a professional context.
It is often tempting when we go into the work world to act like it’s all professional and not personal but at the end of the day we are human, and feelings get hurt and people get crossed.
I also believe the more we acknowledge our own humanity moment to moment, the more we can acknowledge that of others in general.
Let’s set some context here. You have a new colleague or work friend — in a very loose sense, you are in the forming phase, developing a new relationship. During this phase you’re feeling each other out, there may be some excitement present and a little bit of nervousness.
Either way, you’re developing a flow of communication, cultivating a level of professional trust.
Then something weird happens.
The Awkward Moment
The vibe is thrown off. Maybe you know exactly what threw it off, maybe you can’t quite place your finger on it but for whatever reason, you know something is off.
I call this the awkward moment.
Can you think of a time when you’ve been there?
Depending on how awkward the moment(s) or new the relationship is – this can be a make or break moment.
If things continue to go awry and you can’t quite get back on track – it can go off the rails. Sometimes swiftly, sometimes slowly like the weekend 4 train from Brooklyn uptown.
On the other side of the coin – the make side – the gift of friction coupled with the power of forgiveness might just get things moving quite serendipitously.
Friction in relationships can be uncomfortable on any level. In a professional sense adding factors that can impact your livelihood or mission come into play – it can feel very intense.
However, friction often poses the opportunity for expansion – which can show up in many ways.
Deepening connection and understanding, increased clarity and self-awareness, improved flow and/or functionality of whatever is at hand, or shifting directions – just to name a few.
Enter The Gap
There is often this murky thing in the middle, the in-between, once it’s gotten awkward and it hasn’t quite worked itself out yet.
What do you do?
This is where the Power of Forgiveness gets to work its magic.
In the gap, it is important to work to stay open to the unknown which requires shifting your energy towards forgiveness and compassion where necessary to allow new energy to unfold.
Let me be clear, forgiving does not at all look like letting things slide. Communicate, set boundaries, check in with your intuition, and move accordingly from a place of love.
Work to stay in the frequency of love.
This is possible through forgiveness or as Oprah puts it, “giving up the hope that the past could be any different…and letting go, so that the past does not hold you hostage.”
Some of you may be thinking, that sounds like a punk move, but let me explain.
It might seem counterintuitive but setting the intention to shift towards the energy of love and forgiveness helps put you in a position to respond from a place of inner power.
Research shows that when we cultivate feelings of love, and compassion (as opposed to anxiety and fear) our heart oscillations become coherent or more consistent in the pattern. It also shows that these oscillations also create coherence or resonant frequency with the brain oscillations.
It has been shown that when we achieve coherence – we think more clearly, are more productive, and effectively manage stressful situations just to name a few benefits.
This is often colluded with false positivity and jumping over the emotions.
I see it as cultivating the mindfulness and self-awareness to be with uncomfortable feelings of anger, hurt, or pain and processing them so you can let go.
Cultivating a Practice of Forgiveness
Facing the uncomfortable feelings and cultivating a practice of forgiveness is anything but a punk move – it requires extreme courage, presence, and emotional intelligence.
Shifting towards the space of forgiveness and compassion creates the space for you to stay in a coherent state more and more.
It isn’t always easy especially when you feel very convicted and even resentful of being wronged.
And honestly, you may have every right to be.
However, staying in that rightness doesn’t serve you.
And you may already have the resilience to handle high levels of stress such that these moments don’t impact you so quickly.
How are you cultivating this resilience? Is it just the ability to handle more, which can be quite exhausting over time?
Or is it the ability to process and let go?
Imagine the space, creativity, and energy you could free up if you didn’t allow these moments to pile on top of each other.
That is why I believe an emotional self-care routine is so imperative.
A Few Steps
Here are a few easy steps to shift into a space of forgiveness, especially when you don’t want to:
1. Pause, take 3 deep breaths (inhaling for 4 counts, holding for 4 counts, and exhaling for 4 counts)
2. On the breath imagine a golden sphere of light at the center of your chest shining outwards.
Allow this golden sphere to lighten the load, burning away anger and heartache.
Breathe into this space. Take 3 more breaths and with each inhale allow the light and love in your heart to expand, at the top when you hold to allow the light and love to permeate your cells and soften your resolve, and as you exhale release all that the light has dissolved.
3. Return to your natural breath and observe. Be with the light in the center of your chest and feel the love in and around you. Stay with this feeling until you are ready to return to your day.
If you like, keep this golden ball of light in your chest and stay connected to your breath as you return to your day.
Sometimes situations and people can be sucky. Sometimes there’s just some murkiness that needs to be worked through. Sometimes both are true.
Staying in your heart space will allow you to navigate any situation with more discernment, clarity, and power.
Allow love to lead the way and either way you’ll be ok.