Self-Sabotage Behavior and the Power of Forgiveness

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By Troyann

There are many things in life that separate us and make us unique, however, over the years I have seen one consistent common denominator; our need to forgive. Regardless of our upbringing, our cultural similarities or differences, or any other circumstances of our lives, we have each held onto one or more hurt, pain, sadness or injustice.

On a regular basis I work with clients from all over the globe who have used their harbored hurts, pains, sadness, and memories of injustices as a secret hidden weapon for sabotaging their own success, their relationships, or both. These are good people who would not intentionally hurt anyone, but the harbored inner pain has a strong hold on them that they cannot totally control.

A few years ago I coached a woman, Tammy (not her real name), who had a very difficult childhood. Her mother left the family when Tammy was just 13 years old and because Tammy was the oldest female child, her father immediately became dependent upon her to take on all the duties and responsibilities of the absent mother. Tammy was a child so she did not know how, and did not want, to be the adult mother of the family, but she loved her siblings and knew they needed her, so she allowed herself to be pushed into the role of mother of the family.

Tammy's father harbored hurt and resentment toward his wife for leaving the family and for having to work very long hours to bring in enough money to support his family as a single parent. Tammy says that she knew her father loved her and her siblings, but it was very hurtful that he was always so angry and critical of her. He seemed to expect her to already know how to do all the things an adult mother would do such as cooking, cleaning, putting the children to bed, laundry, grocery shopping, etc., along with going to school and keeping her grades up. When she did things that did not meet his level of expectation, he would scold her and accuse her of letting him down.