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Massage Today
January, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 01

Forgive for Gain

By Cary Bayer

In the past, when I've forgiven someone against whom I'd been holding a grudge, my income grew, sometimes quite dramatically. In some cases, my relationships also became enriched and my health improved.

This column will present a method to "complete" with someone with whom you are still incomplete, so that you can become freer and more successful.

Some years ago, a close relative of mine stopped talking to me and would return all of my letters to her children unopened. Even though I felt deeply wronged by her actions, I chose to forgive her, broke the silence, and communicated to complete the upset that precipitated our breakup. Within days, I landed the largest account I'd ever had and also signed two additional clients. It usually took six months to sign three clients; this time it took six days. I also lost seven pounds in seven days without changing my diet or workout schedule.

The forgiveness process I recommend involves writing three letters, which ultimately will lead to one "completion letter." The completion letter isn't intended to let this person off the hook; it's intended to free you of the negativity that poisons you daily, and attract the prosperity you deserve. The problem with holding anger toward another is that it's you doing the holding and you carrying the stress in your body. This upset might have happened many years earlier, but the toxic emotions still are live inside you now.

Let's suppose the target of your anger is another massage therapist who said bad things about your work, or perhaps a former client. Let's call him John. Begin the process by writing letter number one, which is not to be sent. In it, you tell John, in no uncertain terms, how you feel about all the horrible things he did or said. Tell him what a terrible lowlife he is. Let it rip; hold nothing back and don't be nice. Blame him for everything bad that's ever happened between you. Blame him for things that have happened to you that might have resulted from the damage he did. (If you have a punching bag, give it a workout, too, to augment the release of this negative energy in your body.) Remember - you're not sending this letter. Its purpose is to purge and blame, not to be rational. It's also OK to sound like a victim. By the time you've finished writing this letter, you'll feel lighter, as if you've released a great weight from your shoulders, because you have.

In letter number two, which also won't be sent, isolate the things you were angry at John about in the first letter. This time, put your attention on what you learned, or how you grew from these things that made you so angry. The great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said it beautifully, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Obviously, whatever John did to you didn't kill you; therefore, it made you stronger. Communicate the ways in which you've become stronger, and what you learned that made you wiser as well. These things are an outgrowth or byproduct of what he did.

In the first letter, you focused on the pain; in the second letter, you focused on the lessons. This brings you to letter number three, which integrates the first two. This letter should be sent. The first letter is about your pain; the second is about your lessons. The third communicates your completion, and discusses the pain and the lessons. It should have the following four parts:

  1. Communicate what John did that made you upset. Don't express any opinions about what he did; simply say what happened. This is easy because it's all there in your first letter. Eliminate any judgments.
  2. Tell him how you felt about what he said or did. This also is in the first letter. Again, keep out anything negative.
  3. Express what you learned and how you grew from what he did or said. You have access to this from your second letter.
  4. This is the final and most liberating piece of the entire process. You've recognized how John's actions and words, directly or indirectly, played a major role in helping you learn and grow. Thank him for that growth. That's right - you're thanking the guy whose eyes you wanted to scratch out merely two letters ago. You're not thanking him for being mean or cruel; you're thanking him for the indirect part he played in your growth and learning.

You may have to write the first (purging) letter more than once; three or more cracks at it isn't unusual. It takes movie stars several takes to get a scene right, and some of them are paid in the tens of millions of dollars.

If you think you have a third letter that honestly captures the four points described above, show it to someone with an objective point of view. I strongly recommend you have your coach, therapist, or at least a close friend look at the letter to make certain that it's ready to mail. This isn't because you're attached to John's reaction to your letter; it's because you want to insure that you're "complete" with him, and aren't communicating latent hostility.

Such letters have brought relationships virtually back from the dead. (In fact, it's fine to send this letter to a deceased person, too. Just address it to the departed care of Heaven - give him the benefit of the doubt, and don't include a return address. Let the Post Office sort it out.) Miracles have come out of such communications, principally because Nature abhors a vacuum. In other words, Spirit seeks to fill the void. One way it does that is to enrich the love with people already in your life; another way is to bring new love into your life. Sometimes even money miracles arrive as well.

Click here for previous articles by Cary Bayer.


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