If you are presently facing money issues and your personal finances have become a major concern, then an issue like “forgiveness” may seem abstract and irrelevant. Aside from the issue of “debt forgiveness”, such as if you have a debt burden such as student debt, forgiveness in itself can seem like an unimportant side issue at best.
However, our attitude and our state of psychological well-being is closely linked with our ability to navigate through life, including how we navigate the financial landscape. The capacity to forgive others and to forgive ourselves (especially for past financial mistakes) can allow us to move ahead; when otherwise we would feel immobilized by bitterness, fear and recrimination.
Take for example a man who has made a significant mistake with his finances in the past. If he has not forgiven himself for his mistake he may feel waves of self judgement, self condemnation and self recriminations every time he thinks about what he did, and what the mistakes he made has cost him and those near and dear to him. The problem with such an unforgiving approach is that is does not allow the person to move on and move past their mistake. They become financially crippled to some degree as they become less able to traverse the financial landscape.
In order to learn wisdom from our experiences we need to be able to look at them in a clear-eyed, somewhat detached, perspective. If we are wracked with guilt and shame, or resentment and vengeful feelings, then we don’t have a clear-eyed perspective. We have a wound from the experience; not the wisdom from the experience.
When we make a mistake, we may bitterly assure ourselves, “I will certainly never do that again”. That will serve us in the short-term, but not in the longer-term as we need the wisdom that situation is offering us. Wisdom arises from our capacity to learn; not from our capacity to be embittered. Wisdom comes from our ability to evaluate what we did right in that situation as well as what we could have done better. Waves of bitter feelings and self blame get in the way of us making the necessary clear-eyed evaluation of what we got right and what we got wrong. The ability to forgive helps us to transform our wounds into wisdom. Learning to forgive enables us able to fully digest an experiences rather than it becoming an indigestible lump stuck somewhere inside us. Strange as it may seem, learning how to forgive can be an invaluable part of your financial plans.
If someone has made a significant financial mistake, either by their own direct actions or by placing trust in someone who was not trustworthy, their lack of forgiveness will likely make them feel contracted, fearful and less generous than they would be otherwise. They are therefore reduced in their character and in their self expression. However, if they forgive themselves, even if they don’t have more money to play with (thought that may change) their attitude will be more cheerful, warmer and more generous (at least in spirit, if not in cash). They will be more amenable to be around and opportunities will be presented to them which otherwise would be withheld if they stay in a curmudgeonly state of mind. They can then consider such opportunities in the light offered by the wisdom gained from carefully evaluated experience; not from the baleful glare of an embittered and unforgiving mind.
One of the major challenges of being able to forgive others and being able to forgive ourselves is that many of us simply don’t know how to forgive. Not long ago I was giving to a talk to a well-educated group which included entrepreneurs and middle-to-upper management of large organisations. I mentioned in passing that forgiveness is something that I work with. One of the participants asked, “Why is that we can’t forgive?”. I was relishing this question as I eagerly wanted to see how they would reacted to the answer. I told them, “The reason you can’t forgive is very simple. It’s because nobody has shown you how to do it!” The look of surprise and astonishment on people’s faces was a delight. (After all, dear reader, has anyone ever shown you how to forgive?) My questioner then asked, “Well, can you show us how?”, and with everyone’s agreement I walked them through The Four Steps to Forgiveness.
If you need to forgive someone, or need to forgive yourself, because of money issues, personal or business finances problems, or whatever. Whether it is because; you trusted someone untrustworthy, made an investment or trade which went wrong, took on debt which has become burdensome, and so on, you can let go of the emotional and psychological pain and move on. You can learn how to forgive by using the link to the free ebook, The Four Steps to Forgiveness, on this page (email address not required). Give yourself, and those nearest and dearest to you, the gift of you becoming your wisest, caring and most forgiving self. You may well find that forgiveness adds something invaluable and to your financial plans and becomes an essential part of your financial strategy.
Written by William Fergus Martin, Author: Forgiveness is Power.
Four Steps to Forgiveness
Four Steps to Forgiveness
A powerful way to freedom, happiness and success.
William Fergus Martin