A friend of mine, I’m going to call her Annie, lived with her boyfriend for four years before they decided to get married. They had a fabulous fun wedding and four months later she caught her new husband cheating on her. She was so hurt, humiliated and angry that all she could think was of was to ask for a divorce. They sold their house and went their separate ways.
I saw Annie recently, three years after her divorce, and we talked about her ex-husband. She said she regretted not having given their relationship a chance. She thought she should have talked to him and tried to figure out why after just a few months he needed to give his attention to someone else. Was the commitment to much of a weight? Was he/she feeling insecure about still being a desirable man/woman?
The below post by Mark Nepo discusses three important ideas: 1 – our journey in rediscovering who we truly are, 2 – the acceptance of life as is and 3 – finding love and peace in the struggle.
Regardless of where we come from, the concept of being like everyone else and the acceptance of a formulaic idea of happiness get imbued into our psyche at a very early age. “You must be someone”, “You must have a bank account”, “You must own things” gets beat into us as the only way to live a life. No space is left for originality and individuality. And then we suffer because society’s concept of how to live a good life might be in direct opposition to our own ideas. I’m not saying having a bank account or owning things is a bad thing. Every quality for a life chosen and every path taken is right when it is in accordance with one’s being. And so recouping our own way becomes imperative to our journey.
The first step in getting what you want is being clear about what you want. Statements like “I just want to be happy” are useless because they do not include a specific goal or a specific method.
Now, if I said I want to be happy by finding a partner then I would be able to start strategizing how to go about achieving what I want. I could tell my friends if they know anyone to introduce me to or I could join a dating service.
If I said I want to be happy by improving my living conditions then I would know I would have to find a job that would give me higher earnings so I could improve my living conditions.
In essence the clearer we are about what we want the better we arm ourselves with ways to go about getting them.
I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness as it is something I have had to deal with plenty in my life; I’ve been hurt deeply by people very close to me.
To deal with the aftermath of the hurt, I have gone through many thought processes such as:
- Denial– It didn’t happen. I’m making it up.
- Superiority – I’m better than they are. I don’t need them
- Victimization – Why does this always happen to me? Why do others feel they can treat me like that?
- Punishment – It’s all my fault. I’m an idiot.
- Martyr – It doesn’t matter. I can take it.
- Ego – I’m never apologizing for this. I’m right and they are wrong.
Needless to say none of these lines of thoughts are satisfying. They all leave one still upset and in anger and actually reveal more about our own flawed psychology than about a solution for betrayal and forgiveness.
After going through all these different processes I realized the only way to forgive is by recognizing, accepting, and letting go. It is only after that last phase (letting go) that love and compassion will then replace anger and resentment. And why is it so important to do that? Because anger and resentment hurts us and nobody else.
In recognizing and accepting that something bad or wrong has happened to us, we get to validate the feelings we are having. They are real feelings and we should give them space to exist. Not as a tantrum but as a hurt. So denial, victimization, punishment, martyrdom, and superiority are out.
In letting go we accept that others sometimes cannot see us or deal with us in a loving way. We simply don’t have control over them. When we let go the hurt stops and when it stops we are then able to see others with love and compassion. That is not to say we will be open to be hurt again. That is to say we are in touch enough with ourselves not to let anger towards others poison our own existence. In this phase we can communicate without our ego getting in the way and we can say how we feel without expecting anything in return. At that point we are able to move on.
Please read on.
How to Forgive Anyone—and Why Your Health Depends on It
By Harriet Brown
What, exactly, does it take to move past a lifetime of hurts? Harriet Brown goes on a mission to discover the true meaning of forgiveness.
Fred Luskin wants me to forgive my mother. And, while I’m at it, my father, my third-grade teacher, my passive-aggressive coworker, the woman who cut me off on the highway, and the guys in Washington who’ve made such a mess of things. Not for their sake, but for mine: Luskin is convinced I’ll be less anxious, more upbeat, and healthier if I do.
After studying forgiveness for close to 20 years, he should know...Continued
I just came across the below post and wanted to share with you. In the article Martha Beck talks about the inner struggle between the “social, logical, status quo” voice and the “liberating, innovative, spontaneous” voice. We all have at least those two voices.
The first voice we ever heard is the creative and innovative voice. That voice is uniquely ours. It is our own way of being and interpreting the world. Sometimes this voice jives with society and sometimes it doesn’t. But it is uniquely ours and it doesn’t care about being accepted. Its mission is our contentment and happiness.
The second voice – logical – we start acquiring as we grow. It is the voice we internalize from peers, teachers, parents, and relationships. It is the voice of our society. This voice is more concerned in fitting in and doing things by the book. Because most people listen mostly to this kind of voice we feel the pressure to join in and in the end we feel safe. The feeling of safety – even though when put to test proves not to be true – comes from us acting and being a member of a large group that obey and live by the same rules.
Just came across the below post, and wanted to share. The writer, Martha Beck, states that waiting for a specific outcome from a person, ends any possibility of unconditional love. The reason being we are not loving them as whom they are, but as how we would like them to be.
We all have one time or another, issues with partners, family members, friends or work associates. But some of us have the chronic issue filled relationships; the ones we spend a lifetime trying to get it right, but never quite get there.
Really like the post the post below from O Magazine. It’s simple and direct. It encourages us to own up our opinion. It doesn’t mean we are right, it just means it is our opinion. And no need to be humble about it.
The post addresses the difference between being single and being alone. We can be single and not alone. And we can be in a relationship and alone. Loneliness comes from a disconnect with our own selves.
It also reminds us not to be vulnerable or open to negative people. Spend fifteen minutes with someone who is negative, and the sunshine you had seen before will change into a cloudy day.
Indulge in the little things that bring you pleasure. Life is to be lived today and creating pleasurable moments makes our spirits soar. Sometimes when I need a little pampering, I make myself a great meal accompanied by a nice bottle of wine. Or I schedule a facial or a massage. How can you pamper yourself?
Why not write your own six things you can live without? Once you have your own specific list remind yourself of it as often as you can.
Author and political commentator Donna Brazile reveals six things she never wants to think about again—and you don’t need them either.
The words “in my humble opinion.” It is never humble and it is never delivered as opinion.
Energy sucks (a.k.a Negative Nancies, Debbie Downers, and Sad Sids). These are the people who find the cloud around every silver lining. If you can’t cut them out of your life entirely, turn your interactions with them into a game. When my neighbor says, “I hate this horrible weather!” I say, “Isn’t horrible weather great? It means I don’t have to wash my car!” Continued…
Below is a very good post from O Magazine. It talks about 10 misconceptions about life that causes us pain and turmoil. But, the greatest message is; we all march to the beat of our own drums. No matter how hard we try to be and to live like everyone else, we fail. And the reason is, we are all unique. We are the sum of our own experiences, and the way we process them. Yes, we all want to be loved and to love but how we go about it is our own unique path. The same goes for being safe. So why do we put ourselves at the mercy of a set of life rules created by our society when we know they don’t apply?
Navigating through all my favorite sites I found this fun and potentially important post by Martha Beck in which she lists the 20 most important questions – voted by O Magazine readers – one should ask themselves.
What I find fun and potentially important is that making up lists demands that we stop and think what really is essential to our own lives. And what changes could really bring more fulfillments into our lives. So before you jump into reading Martha’s post here are a few suggestions for lists.
1 – 10 things I want to do this year
2 – 10 things I want to change about me
3 – 10 fun things I should be doing on a weekly basis
4 – 1 fun thing I should be doing on a daily basis
5 – 10 things I can do that would change my life
There are no right or wrong answers. There is only what is true to each one of us. So take out or pencil and paper or turn on your computer and pick a list from the above suggestions that you would like to spend some time thinking about.
by Martha Beck, O Magazine
Finding the answers starts with posing the right questions—and Martha Beck has 20 to get you started.
1. What questions should I be asking myself?
At first I thought asking yourself what you should be asking yourself was redundant. It isn’t. Without this question, you wouldn’t ask any others, so it gets top billing. It creates an alert, thoughtful mind state, ideal for ferreting out the information you most need in every situation. Ask it frequently.
2. Is this what I want to be doing?
This very moment is, always, the only moment in which you can make changes. Knowing which changes are best for you comes, always, from assessing what you feel. Ask yourself many times every day if you like what you’re doing. If the answer is no, start noticing what you’d prefer. Thus begins the revolution…Continued
Just found the below article on Oprah.com and wanted to share it with you.
The post “What It Takes To Love Well And Wisely” discusses the transformative power of romantic love. That is because in intimate relationships we get to show ourselves in ways we don’t in other relationships. We also get to know parts of us which are called upon in romantic relationships.
I believe for a romantic relationship to be “successful” we must first be a complete person; love ourselves, and have our own interests. It is then we can be vulnerable without the feeling that we are losing ourselves. It is then we can truly share without feeling we are giving up on our own lives.