When I met Dr. Barton, I knew he was truly brilliant. It turns out he is a “pathologist.”
OK, Dr. Rob, what’s that?
Pathology is simply “the study of sickness or disease.”
Basically, all the other smart doctors who know something is going on with their patients… but they don’t know what it is…they send Dr. Barton their blood tests, etc.. He begins to figure it out, sometimes he can figure out exactly what it is, but he can always point them in the right direction.
So, the best “pathologists” are incredibly good at figuring out what is really going on with this your “sickness or disease.” That is what a pathologist does.
That’s pathology. What about “psychopathology.”
Psychopathology is from the words “Psycho,” or mental, and “pathology” for sickness. So psychopathology is a mental illness.
Do you have a psychopathology? According to the best research out there, most of us do. We struggle with mental illness in one specific area: “carrying a grudge” or “not forgiving someone for something they did.”
***So, let’s be careful here to be crystal clear here. ***Somebody else did something wrong to us… and now WE are the ones “carrying the grudge,” or “carrying the burden.”
That means you and I would be running the race of life while we are carrying extra weight. That’s bad. But it gets worse when we already know that it is someone else’s fault.
That OTHER PERSON did something HURTFUL.
And now I AM PAYING THE PRICE for their sin.
That is my “psychopathology.”
So, I am not quite as joyful, or not able to trust quite as much, or I am a little more jaded… but I I don’t even notice it. I think I’m fine.
Others see how I am, but they don’t know I’m not at my best. They just know that they might not promote me, or they decide they don’t want me on their team.
And I’m left to wonder why someone else gets promoted instead of me, when I have better numbers or more experience.
If it was a physical illness, I would notice. But it’s a mental illness —most people who are mentally ill don’t know they are mentally ill. And it’s all because of something that someone else did.
That is not fair! That is not right!
Correct! It isn’t fair, and it isn’t right, but it IS reality!!!
And it remains my new reality… until I have the courage to forgive.
And even if I do have the courage to forgive, I have to know how to forgive. Most of us get that part wrong.
Forgiving is not forgetting.Forgiving is not saying, “Don’t worry about it… it’s OK.”
Nooo! It’s not OK! It was horrible and wrong.
So, if I can’t forget about it… and if what happened to me was horribly wrong… how can I forgive???
That, my friend, is the perfect question!
Now, I’ll give you the perfect answer (but you are not going to like it).
Instead of them having to pay the price for their sin, you choose to pay the price for their sin.
“Yeah, Dr. Rob, umm, that is not going to happen!”
No problem. Just continue to be weighed down. Go through life at less than your best. You won’t be as good of a parent, or a friend, or a boss. But you’ll make it through life. Good luck with that.
Friend, I am truly, truly sorry for the unfairness inflicted on you. But the research reveals that you and I need to forgive. That is why Harvard Business Review published the data.
I know you hate to hear it—I just love you enough to say something.
Forgiveness isn’t necessarily something spiritual or religious. You can be the most secular person in the world and learn to forgive others.
You do this for your own mental wellbeing. You don’t do it for the other person… you do it for yourself!!! If you want to be more joyful, less burdened, and free to be yourself again, YOU MUST STOP CARRYING THE GRUDGE OR CARRYING THE BURDEN.
IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO GET RID OF THAT EXTRA WEIGHT. You can once again live the more joyful life.
Here is what you need to do. I’m giving you two options:
Both work equally well, but Option A is easier for the people who recognize “I want need to be forgiven for all of my own sin, and in the same way, I choose to forgive others.”
Pray slowly, not just saying the words, but meaning them in your heart.
Say, “God, I know that I have a ton of sin over my lifetime. There is so much that I wanted to be forgiven for. In the same way that I’m asking You to forgive me, I now choose to forgive _______.
God, I’ll probably still remember it in my mind, and I’m not saying that it was not OK for them to have done it. You and I both know it was wrong. But I forgive them. I’ll pay the price for what they did to me.
I lay down that burden and, as of today, I’m not holding that against them anymore. They are off the hook with me. I release them from any obligation towards me.
God, I fully recognize that they are not off the hook with You! You are the final and ultimate judge. But they are off the hook with me. I forgive them.
Sometimes I’ll have to pray that same prayer every single day for a couple of weeks—until my “feelings” catch up with the reality of a decision that I have made. They eventually do.
Friends, I DO NOT CARRY those burdens any longer. I’ve forgiven the people who hurt me. They are going to have to deal with God, but they don’t have to deal with me. From my perspective, they are100% forgiven.
In your mind, you make a very personal and yet a very definite decision:
I would encourage you to do something concrete, to reinforce the internal, mental decision that you have made. The more of our “senses” that we get involved, the more “real” it feels to us.
Wow. This is my longest blog ever. But I’m so passionate about this area!
I imagine that a bunch of people will unsubscribe from my blog after reading this. But others will forward this email to others, and people will be set free. And a few of them will sign up for my blog at LeaderTribe.com.
Either way, I’m 100% good. My blogs are not for everybody.
But they are for those who are vulnerable, authentic, real, and want to remain lifelong learners. I hope that is you!
Much love… I’m out!
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