Adults with ADHD typically experience more criticism and “unpleasant” situations in their life than their non-ADHD peers. These experiences begin as a child, through teenage years and into adulthood. Not only are these experiences disagreeable at the time, but also the memories of these situations can still affect you years after it occurred. A memory can pop up into your mind while you are driving along, or in the supermarket line. What “Mrs. Smith” said about your Maths when you were eight years old, or the nasty comment Susy (your last, but only girlfriend) said about you.
These seemingly random thoughts can affect you much more than you think. When you remember unpleasant memories from the past, they bring your energy level and mood down in present and affect how you think and feel about yourself today. Ultimately, they affect your self-esteem and confidence.
The best way to take the sting out of these memories is to practice forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean that what was said or done wasn’t hurtful or wrong, However, it does allow you to feel at ease with what happened and allow those memories to no longer effect you negatively.
How do you start practicing forgiveness? Let me first share an amazing but true story that is in Joe Vitale’s book The Attractor Factor.
Dr. Ihaleakale he Len, a psychologist, worked on a ward of which housed criminally insane patients at Hawaii State Hospital. It was a very challenging and dangerous ward and the conditions were so bad that people who worked there usually didn’t stay very long. Because it was so dangerous, people would walk through the ward with their backs against the wall. Yet, within a short time of Dr. Len working there, patients were released from their shackles, their medication reduced and then stopped altogether. After four years, the ward was closed down completely because all of the patients had been released.
This is an extraordinary success story. However, it’s even more extraordinary because Dr. Len didn’t ever meet any of the patients face to face. He merely studied their charts and took a simple yet highly effective action step. While looking at the charts, Dr. Len repeatedly said, “I am sorry,” and “I love you.” Dr. Len was sending positive energy to the patients and it was enough to make a huge difference in their behaviour and life.
The example about Dr. Len highlights how powerful words can be without ever saying them to the person actually involved. When a memory pops up in your mind, say “I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you,” until that memory is no longer emotionally charged. Notice how your feelings towards the person or incident change. They are now a neutral memory rather than a painful one. Notice how great you feel inside. When you make peace with situations like this, you will find they no longer plague you. They get permanently tucked away in your memory vault.
- When a memory of a past situation comes to mind, practice the forgiveness technique.
- Say “I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you” until the memory is no longer painful.
- Remember Dr. Len’s story if you need inspiration.
- If you are thinking that this is “too way out there for me,” that’s okay. But try it anyway, purely as an experiment.
- Notice how good this technique makes you feel.