Resentment of our self or others is like growing a spreading cancer in our bodies that we have the choice to cure, and yet some of us refuse to do it. We all know that resentment truly is like us drinking poison and expecting the other person to get hurt. It is just not a productive emotion to get what you want. Leaders forgive. Winners forgive. They move forward. Winners learn from the action. Carrying resentment around with you is like growing your fortune with tons of bad debt. It is very difficult and does not serve us for the better.
As an entrepreneur, I have done several deals. Some of them turned out well, others not so well, and one scandalous. In my mid-twenties I wired ninety thousand dollars to an investor I had never met, to invest in a private placement memorandum for an up-and-coming national coffee shop. I thought I had done my due diligence, but apparently not enough. I had been burned, along with many others, by a professional scam artist. He checked out on everything I knew to check. After the lawsuit, it was obvious that I was not going to see a dime of my money. Have you heard that good judgment comes from experience? Well, bad judgment comes from lack of experience. I certainly suffered from lack of experience on this one.
I was angry; ninety thousand dollars is a huge amount of money. The scam artist never went to jail, and many years later I received a call from an investigator that was reviewing him and his background to allow him to take over a family trust. After my conversation with the investigator, I hope they had enough information to obviously not put him in that position of authority.
This happened over ten years ago. I did forgive him. I blamed myself and took responsibility for making the poor decision. I thought I was over it; however, I was recently clearing out my filing cabinet, and I came across all of the legal papers and original documents regarding that deal. I admit that I had a small burst of revenge shoot through my veins, “It’s been ten years. No one would ever expect me to be the cause of his untimely beating while he comes home from the grocery store. Muhuhahahaha!” Needless to say, I had the opportunity to put my forgiveness to the test once again. I took a deep breathe, forgave him and myself again, and shredded all evidence of his existence.
What has happened to you? What’s your forgiveness story?