Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your copy of “Manifest Holistic Health” from Sherry’s Enrich Your Life Series. Contact Sherry at sherry@sgabatherapy.com for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements.

A friend of mine recently celebrated her 70th birthday, and her family threw her a really nice party. Her son, who is a professional chef, cooked an amazing dinner at his home. All her children and grandchildren were there to celebrate with her. And they all chipped in to buy her an ergonomically designed desk chair for her computer desk.

When she told me about it, she sounded really happy—until she got to the part about the chair. “That was a really thoughtful choice, because I have a bad back,” she said. “I made sure to tell them how much I liked it . . . not like my mother. She never liked anything we ever gave her. She’d always say, ‘This is nice, but,’ and she always had a ‘but.’ Nothing we gave her was ever good enough for her.” There was so much anger and bitterness and pain in her voice.

I reminded her of what a great party she’d just had, and asked her why she wanted to let all that negativity ruin such a nice experience. Her mother died 15 years ago. Why was she focusing on something that hurt her so long ago and letting it suck away the joy from what was happening right now?

So, who needs forgiveness? You do! That reservoir of hurt and anger and resentment is crowding out your joy. The only way to bust the dam is with forgiveness. If my friend could only forgive her mother, she wouldn’t be filled with bitter memories at even the most happy times of her life.

Forgiveness isn’t easy; your hurt is genuine and your anger is justified. But in the end, forgiveness is the only thing that will heal you. It’s the only way pure joy can come into your life.

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