The Payoff of Forgiveness:Filling Up Your Emotional Bank Account

Everything in our lives- every thought we have, every action we take-requires some energy.  How much energy are you putting into holding onto the pain, anger and shame in your life?

Consider energy as a financial allowance equal to one hundred dollars a day.  Your task is to learn how to invest this money wisely, because your investments will either earn you interest or put you in debt.

When you have gratitude (higher energy) for your life moments, you make a deposit into your EBA, your emotional bank account.  You create an energy surplus.  When you hold onto lower energies, such as fear, shame, doubt, anger, and worry, you are negatively investing, which creates debt.  And just think, if your debt becomes more than your daily allowance, you will have to borrow “money”, or in this case, “energy.”  And, guess what this energy borrowing results in? Illness.

Those of you who keep an eye on your EBA will notice whether you are in the black more often than in the red.  Many of you, even though you know you are in the “red” emotionally, don’t know how to get back in black.  And truth be told, some of you really don’t want to give up your pain; you like being in the red because there is a payoff by staying in a negative place.

When you hold onto your pain, and any of the lower energies- self-pity, shame, doubt, fear, anxiety, to name a few, you can experience “rich rewards.”  You get the attention of others who want to care for you, who want to fix you, and who want to collude with you.  That’s the pay off of your best friend called “pain.”

There are other ways to get others to love you that don’t involve sticky papering people into caring about you under the guise of neediness.  You can just as easily, and to be honest, more richly, gain love and connection from others when you let go of your pain and tap into joy and gratitude.

The single most important way you can change your life is to let go of your pain through forgiveness.

For many, forgiveness is something that furrows your brow; something that is unthinkable; something impossible to do.  It’s this enigmatic concept that is unrelatable.

“How do I forgive?  What does forgiveness mean?  Who do I forgive? Isn’t forgiveness giving my approval of the behavior of that person who hurt me?  If I forgive them, then what do I have to protect me from future pain?”

These are just a few questions that I have been asked over the years about the art of forgiveness.  It is an art, something to be practiced over time, to become a master forgiver.

What I can tell you about forgiveness is that it isn’t at all about giving permission or approval to someone who has hurt you.  And, it isn’t about giving up or giving in.  It is entirely about assuming your power, taking control of your pain, and transposing it into emotional currency; filling your EBA back up with the type of energy that earns interest on your investment.

Here’s how you do that.

1. Find your “forgiveness focus.”  Your forgiveness focus is on you, not anyone else or what they have done to you.  Forgiveness begins and ends with you.  Understand that you are the only one who carries your pain, anger and shame.  You are the only one who suffers from the weight of the back pack of pain that you haul around every day.  You are the only one who can liberate yourself from your past and you are fully equipped to do just that!  When you find your forgiveness focus, you are placing your attention on yourself with kindness and compassion while you release the need to hold onto your injury.

2. Re-commit to self. The “trick” to forgiveness is to assume the position of self-protector, reminding your injured self that holding onto your pain doesn’t make deposits into your joyful bank account.  When you forgive yourself, you re-commit to believing in your value and worth; you live in integrity and truth.

And, when you come from THIS place, you will never be injured again because you won’t allow yourself to put yourself in harm’s way.  You re-commit to being there for yourself, listening to your inner voice, and trusting your intuition about people and circumstances with brutal honesty.

Trusting your intuition about people and circumstances isn’t about viewing your world through the lens of a painful past.  If you are doing that and you think that is forgiveness of self, you are missing the mark.

Trusting your intuition is about viewing the world as it really is; where you see people as who they are the first time they show you themselves, and then, you base your next move on whether having that person in your life feels light, bright, and easy.  You can ask yourself, “Is this person, place, or thing adding to my life or subtracting from it?”

3. Practice. Practice. Practice.  This isn’t an easy process until you are fully ready to give yourself to it.  You may find that the first time you try on forgiveness  that you panic yourself back into your safely guarded place.

Try again- because going back to this place means that you are still angry at the perpetrator and you are missing your mark.

Focus on YOU; where you become your best friend; where you learn to talk to yourself about and acknowledge all of your feelings.  Oh, and by the way, if you ignore the messages that your inner self is trying to send you about your lower energy feelings, worry not!  Your inner voice will turn up the volume, higher and higher, until you pay attention!  Now, how nice is that!?

Learn to talk to “Little ____ (your name)” about what he/she is thinking, feeling, wondering and then practice connecting with the fear around your trust in yourself to protect yourself from pain.

When you sense of “lack of safety”, or fear based feeling, this is your cue to remind yourself that you, as your adult self, will not allow future pain to enter your life; that the choices you make are in your best interest and no matter what, you will always listen to your inner voice, putting your safety first.

Forgiveness can seem daunting and confusing, but only if you focus on everything else but yourself.  When you focus on where forgiveness begins and ends, you learn that you are the master of your domain, the key to your heart, and the healer of any hurt in your life.  You are in full control of your emotional bank account.

You decide if you want to invest in yourself for profit or if you want to let your “joy account” have a negative balance.  You can’t afford to carry this pain anymore.  So, let it go.

Let it go.

In love and light,

Janis
www.cohenfamilycounseling.com

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