Tag Archives: forgiveness

Do You Know What is Wrong With You? (YouTube video)

Have you ever had someone who you didn’t know tell you EXACTLY what was wrong with you? I have! Sometimes you can’t avoid The Law of the Garbage Truck.


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Do You Know What is Wrong With You?

Do You Know What is Wrong With You?

By Terence Cole @talesfromterry

Click here to watch the video of this story on YouTube

Have you ever had someone who you didn’t know tell you EXACTLY what was wrong with you?

I have!

It was a Sunday morning in January, and Tonya and I were enjoying the beautiful Auckland weather. It was 70 degrees, a cool breeze was blowing, and I was with a gorgeous lady.

Life was good!

After about 40 minutes of leisurely walking around, we decided to return home to eat breakfast. The sun was shining and birds were chirping…

And then I met Papa New Guinea Guy.

As we were walking, we passed a rough looking gentleman who was waiting at a bus stop. He looked at us and waved us over. Wanting to be friendly, we walked to him and had this conversation:

Papa New Guinea Guy: “Where are you from?”

Me: “America.”

Papa New Guinea Guy: “Ah, America.”

Tonya: “Are you from Papa New Guinea?”

Papa New Guinea Guy: “Yes.”

Tip from Terence: Tonya assumed he was from Papa New Guinea because of his look. Many of the people from that country have a very unique look, and she made an educated guess. Not all forms of profiling have to be negative.

At this point, I’m expecting to have a pleasant conversation. PNG Guy, however, had another idea:

Papa New Guinea Guy: “Do you know what’s wrong with the black man in America?”

Me: “Uhhhhhh…”

Papa New Guinea Guy: “The black man in America is not clever!”

I had to admit, if I weren’t so offended, I might have been impressed! To have my gender, race, and nationality insulted within 10 seconds of meeting you… That takes skill!

He continued:

Papa New Guinea Guy: “We see you on TV being killed by the police. In my country, if that happens, we chop ’em up and put ’em in the toilet. You are not clever!”

What do you say to someone who tells you what is wrong with YOU?

Yes, the United States is not perfect, and there are very unfair things happening. But when did this guy become an expert on international affairs?

He went on for about 30 more seconds, and then Tonya said:

Tonya: “Okay, we have to go. Bye!”

And she walked off.

Why didn’t I think of that?

As we were walking away, the man continued to talk as if he didn’t care whether or not we were part of the conversation.

We went back to the apartment. I wasn’t exactly upset, but I wasn’t happy either. I did a forgiveness exercise, got the negative energy off of my spirit, and we sat down to eat breakfast and discuss what happened.

It turns out that Tonya had seen this guy a number of times. My guess is that he wanted to say something to her before, but that he didn’t think it was appropriate for him to talk to an American female who was alone.

However, with me there, all bets were off!

This guy had been waiting for a perfect opportunity to let someone know his opinions on the United States, and he could not wait to unload.

After discussing the situation with Tonya, I was reminded of a philosophy that Joel Osteen described called The Law of the Garbage Truck.

The Law of the Garbage Truck basically says that some people are like garbage trucks and go around all day collecting trash. Eventually, they will want to dump their trash, and they just might dump it on you!

Can you prevent everyone from dumping their trash on you? Probably not.

But you can keep your lid on tight!

PNG guy had his big bag of trash and was waiting for a United States trash can to walk by.

And I happened to be that guy!

After I had forgiven him, I had to laugh at the reverse of the situation. What if I had done the same to him?

Me: “Excuse me, sir? Are you from Papa New Guinea?”

Papa New Guinea Guy: “Yes.”

Me: “Great! Do you know what’s wrong with your country?!”

I can’t think of a better way to Lose Friends and Alienate People.

You don’t have to engage in any conversation in which you are being abused. Sometime it is better to just walk away quickly.

Incidentally, a couple of weeks later we were at a gas station and a Kiwi taxi driver pulled up to us and introduced himself. He knew we were American and was clearly happy to see us. We discussed some of his travels in the United States, and we ended the conversation by exchanging websites. He even encouraged me to give him a call if I ever wanted to play tennis.

After we parted ways, I told Tonya that interacting with this guy was the exact opposite of the Papa New Guinea guy.

You never know who you’ll meet while traveling. But, no matter what happens, keep your lid on tight!


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Image in video courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Forgive Your Way to Freedom

Woman living in freedom

Image courtesy of phasinphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Terence Cole @talesfromterry

Click here to learn the Forgiveness Exercise
Click here to download a PDF of the Forgiveness Exercise

Forgiveness is talked about frequently, but it is something that many people don’t know how to do. We are often told to forgive, but never given the steps of how to forgive. I was raised in a church going family, was told that I needed to “forgive people” and “let go of offenses,” but it wasn’t until I attended a business seminar at age 24 that I learned how to forgive. However, once I actually learned how to do it, I was able to get rid of a lot of offenses that were being stored in my mind and body. I had no idea how much anger and resentment was inside of me, until I actually learned how to release it!

Lack of forgiveness may not show on the outside of a person, but it is bubbling underneath the surface, and it can produce anxiety, tension, depression, and dis-ease (disease).

Think of an offense like a hot coal. Just like an actual hot coal, if you hold onto it, then you will be burned. Some people hold onto hot coals of offense so tightly that no one else knows that they are holding them. But no matter how justified they feel they are in not letting go of offenses, as long as they continue to hold onto them, they are being hurt by them.

When I was 24 I attended my first business seminar with Dani Johnson. Dani told us that she could teach us the tools, techniques, and strategies of business success, but that we wouldn’t be able to implement them if we still had offenses against others in our hearts. These offenses would hinder our thinking and stop us from talking to people we should be talking to. I believed what she told us, but it took years for me to fully realize the power of what we were taught that day.

Forgiveness Exercise Steps

1) Forgive yourself
2) Ask for God to forgive you
3) Forgive the other person
4) Ask God to forgive the other person

The following exercise can be done in your head, but I think that saying it aloud is more effective.

Forgiveness Exercise

1. Say, “I forgive you [your name] for being angry at [person’s name] for [specific action of the person] or [specific way the person made you feel].” Vent everything that you might be angry with yourself about related to that person.

2. After venting say, “I forgive you [your name], I bless you, and I release you.”

3. Say, “God, please forgive me for anything I have done. Please forgive me, please bless me, and please release me.”

4. Envision the person who offended you.

5. Say, “I forgive you [person’s name] for [specific action of the person] or [specific way the person made you feel].” Vent all of the rage that you are angry with the person about. Example: “I forgive you Jane for calling me stupid in front of my coworkers. What the heck were you thinking! I don’t do that mess to you!”

6. After venting say, “I forgive you [person’s name], I bless you, and I release you.”

7. Say, “God, please forgive [person’s name] for anything they have done. Please forgive them, please bless them, and please release them.”

8. You may need to do additional rounds of forgiveness for specific issues. Saying, “I forgive my girlfriend for being mean to me,” may not cut it. You may have to get specific. You might first need to say, “I forgive you for making me look stupid in front of my friends,” then later do a round with, “I forgive you for insulting the gift I gave you,” etc.

9. After doing the forgiveness exercise, you can do Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) on the problem if there is residual anger left over. Forgiveness without EFT works. EFT without forgiveness doesn’t work as well. Both together is crazy powerful!

Tip from Terence: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) are very powerful tapping techniques (think of acupressure) that can be used along with the forgiveness exercise to gain freedom from emotional bondage. If you are not familiar with EFT tapping points, go here for more information. Tap on EFT points on your body (karate chop point on hand, collar bone point, armpit point, etc.) while doing the forgiveness exercise for added energy balancing benefit. Use two fingers on your dominant hand (pointer finger and middle finger) to tap the points on your body and opposite hand. Tap firmly, but don’t beat yourself up. The points are on both sides of the body, so tapping on either side (or both sides if you wish) is fine.

Your Path to Freedom

If you are serious about wanting to renew your life and walk in freedom, then I suggest doing what was taught to us that first seminar. Make a list of all the people who have offended you. These are the people who you need to forgive. The first person on that list should be yourself. List the people who have offended you and the specific offenses that they have done. You may notice that the people who are closest to you may have offended you the most in your life. List all of their offenses individually, and begin to forgive those offenses. Keep in mind that one event may have multiple offenses. Your list may have thirty, forty, or fifty offenses on it. That is good! The more you can write down the better. You want them all written out, so you can take the time to remove them from your spirit.

The shotgun approach may not work. You may not be able to simply say, “I forgive you [person X],” have that forgiveness exercise cover all of that person’s offenses, and be done with it. You may have to take the sniper approach and forgive specific offenses that a person did. This way you’ll be able to get rid of all of the offenses that make up an individual event, and will have more thorough emotional freedom.

I was told to make a list and systematically forgive people who have hurt me, but I didn’t realize the full importance of it until recently. The more I forgive hurts from the past, the more I realize how much I’ve been held back because of these unresolved hurts. It was one of the things that has been preventing me from flying as high as I want to fly in this life, and accomplishing everything that I know I’m built to do.

I do a lot of personal growth. But doing personal growth without having forgiven your hurts, is like driving a Ferrari with cinder blocks in the trunk. You need to dump the weight of those blocks through forgiveness, so you can drive your super-car the way it’s meant to be driven!

Tip from Terence: You can forgive anyone, even if the person is no longer alive. A person doesn’t have to be alive for resentment to be in your heart towards him or her. We aren’t necessarily offended by the person, we are offended by the memory of what that person did. Forgiving people who are no longer alive frees you from the hurt in your heart towards them, and blesses your memories of them.

Further Thoughts

I spoke about forgiveness with one of my friends recently. She had been offended by members of her family, and thought that she had forgiven them, but wasn’t sure. She talked about forgiveness with one of her friends, and her friend told her, “You’ve forgiven someone if you can fall asleep at night.” She told this to me, and I responded, “No ma’am! Some people can rob a bank and still sleep soundly at night. In fact, sometimes sleep is the only thing that gives you rest from the turmoil that’s happening inside.”

I then told her that you know you have forgiven someone when you can speak about the offending event without heat rise up inside of you. If you can’t speak about an event calmly, then offense is still there and more should be forgiven. Even if you think that you’ve forgiven someone, oftentimes there are multiple layers to an offensive event, and the different layers must be forgiven in order for peace to be restored.

After you have forgiven someone, the clouds from your mind are removed, and you are able to see the event more clearly. I remember a time in which I was offended at my girlfriend, forgave her, and realized during the process that I was the one who was wrong. I then went back to her and apologized.

Other times forgiveness may lead you to letting go of ties to someone. A few years ago, I forgave a lady to whom I loaned thousands of dollars. I forgave her for not paying me back, and for all the feelings that were associated with it. Later on I was led to forgive the debt. I forgave the debt, and sent her a message saying that the debt was forgiven. This not only helped release the emotional resentment against her, but it also freed me from my ties to her. I wish her the best, but we don’t need to associate anymore, and forgiveness freed me from the connection between us.

Some people claim that time heals all wounds. I don’t think this is true. Time heals certain kinds of wounds, but time does not heal offense. Offense does not go away on its own. I’ve talked to plenty of people in their 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s who still refer to past hurts as if the offense just happened. In fact, my grandparents still refer to offenses that they received when they were in their teens, and they are in their nineties now! Pay attention to what your parent’s and grandparent’s say. If they can’t tell a story without anger rising in their voices, then they are still offended by what took place.

Forgiveness is a daily process. We live in a flawed world and we will get offended, but we can let go of offenses quickly through forgiveness. If you find yourself feeling overly tense or short with people, think about what has happened throughout the day. If you remember something that makes you angry, then there is probably an event that took place in which you took offense. Forgive immediately, or as soon as possible.

Take the words of the Bible to heart, “…Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” (Ephesians 4:26). Do your best to not go to bed with offenses still on your mind. Your subconscious mind is like a plot of land, and it will return what you plant in it. If you plant anger in it during the day, then it will process that anger all night long. Those seeds of anger will then multiply, and return a crop of bad fruit into your life. Forgive before sleeping, so your mind can process positive thoughts during the night. Then you can wake up to a fresh new morning!

The tool of forgiveness will help you to release many of the emotional brakes that have held you back in life. Please, teach this to your children. There is no better tool that you can give them than to teach them how to live emotionally free. Bookmark this page and share it with others, or download the PDF of the forgiveness exercise and send it to friends who could benefit from it. I wish you all the success in the world, and please use this technique as much as you need to.

Click here to learn the Forgiveness Exercise
Click here to download a PDF of the Forgiveness Exercise


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Dodging Blows at Christmas

Countdown in Auckland New Zealand

Countdown in Auckland, New Zealand (image from Wikipedia)

By Terence Cole @talesfromterry

Click here to watch the video of this story on YouTube

A couple of years ago I was in New Zealand for Christmas, and my girlfriend and I were shopping in a grocery store called Countdown. We had just checked out with our groceries, when we saw members of the Salvation Army singing. Like many others in the store, we stopped to enjoy the music.

Tip from Terence: Because New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, its seasons are the exact opposite of the United States. Even though I was there during the Christmas season, the weather was around 80 degrees! While people in the United States may think of snowflakes and Santa Claus for Christmas, New Zealanders think of beaches and barbecue.

A gentleman stood next to me. His clothing and demeanor looked rough, but he was smiling and enjoying the music along with the rest of the crowd. I looked at him and smiled. He looked at me and smiled… Then he PUNCHED me in the throat!


“Cough! Cough!”

Normally, I have good reflexes and should have been able to prevent this! However, not only was I holding two full bags of groceries, but who expects to be punched while listening to the Salvation Army sing at a grocery store?

All I could do was look at him and say, “Why did you do that?”

I then heard my girlfriend yell from the front of the store, “LET’S GO!!!!”

I walked away. About two minutes later the rage caught up with me and I was furious! What on earth just happened? Who assaults someone while listening to Christmas music?

While we were walking home my girlfriend was berating me. She told me that I should have known there was no way to reason with that man, because it clearly looked like something was wrong with him.

She was right, but my mind was racing too much to think about her words. All I could think about was what might have happened had I not walked away. I’ve had three years of Taekwondo training, and every scenario that went through my head ended up with me at a police station!

I got home and began to forgive the man. “Lord, please forgive this man for punching me in the throat! Forgive him, bless him, and release him!” Years ago I learned that forgiveness is a choice and that it should be done as quickly as possible. You don’t necessarily forgive someone for their benefit, but because it removes poisonous anger from your spirit. And because forgiveness is a choice, it can be done whether or not you are at fault. You can’t be sure of why everything happens to you in life, but you can respond in a way that does not keep you in bondage to bad experiences.

After fifteen or so minutes I was calm again.

Looking back, I’m glad that I walked away, because any other response would have been bad for everyone involved! I don’t know what was wrong with that man, but I hope he was able to get the help that he needed.

Remember, just because it looks like everyone is having a good time, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention. There are both good and “questionable” people all over this world. You just have to be able to discern who is who. Happy travels, and be sure to stay vigilant even if you are listening to the Nutcracker Suite!


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