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 have recently received some really good work related news. I worked really hard to turn a project into a reality and it seems that will be the case. I shared the news with just a few very close people – I’m waiting for the absolute 100% sureness before sharing with everyone. The point is while a couple of people were really happy for me a few were also jealous and manipulative. I’m thinking about someone in particular who is truly close who came up with ways to hurt me. Now why am I sharing this? Because I think we often deal with “peculiar” reactions from others but are not prepared and fall pray.
I don’t believe these “peculiar” reactions came from people that wish me badly. That would be an easy one to deal with; they don’t like and therefore they are not happy for me – they shouldn’t be in my life. The “peculiar” reactions come from people that actually deeply love me, but they are unwell with themselves. And that is the key piece of information when dealing with others. People bring to relationships their own un-wellness.
The below Huffington Post by Mark Hyman touches on many significant topics including the importance of family bonds on our future relationships and the value of good nutrition.
While growing up in Brazil, my mom, sister and I, always had lunch together. At dinner time we were joined by my dad. There was no TV and of course no texting. We sat together, ate, and talked. We created family bonds.
This was so important to my family that even when we had serious arguments and didn’t want to see each other, we sat together at the same table. I remember once when I was eighteen years old and had a big argument with my dad. We didn’t speak for months, but we sat at the table together every night. From that I learned that people can have disagreements but if we love each other we must find a way back to the relationship. I learned not to walk away.
Last night, as I’m getting ready to go to my Yoga class a dear friend of mine calls to invite me for dinner. I first hesitated as I was planning in eating light – post Christmas’ belly blues – and then watching a movie. At the end I said yes as I really love this friend.
I had a really nice slow, stretching Yoga time and then drove to her house through the great winds gushing through Los Angeles. It was almost 9pm when I arrived. My friend was already in the kitchen preparing our dinner. She sat me down at the candle lit dinning-table, plopped my favorite cheese in front of me and then handed a glass of Champagne. As I filled myself up with bread, cheese and Champagne we talked about the changes we want to see happen in our lives in the coming year and about friends and family.
At around 9:30pm my friend served a most fabulous sushi dinner; yellowtail, tuna, fish roe and a salad. As we ate, drank and talked I was reminded of how little it takes to create a magical moment; a good friend, good food, a glass of Champagne and candles.
So often we are focused in chasing after the big things; a better job, relationship, money, and we either don’t create or don’t appreciate the simple moments which are the foundation of our well-being.
I love the holiday season. I like the slower days and the lesser pressure to produce. I like that others in general are also in a more loving mood. To think years ago I used to detest the holidays. But that was when I concentrated on what I didn’t have. I actually used to joke with friends that we should have a party every January 2nd and call it “I Survived The Holidays” party.
Computers, smartphones, iPads and others, are all great communication and entertainment gadgets. But what are the consequences of our complete enslavement to them? Our lives have become so dependent on technology that we basically have to shut down when our internet isn’t working or our smartphone goes MIA.
How common has become the scenario of people walking by each other without any sign of acknowledgment because they are on their phones? Or what about smartphones adorning tables at restaurants?
A funny thing happens when we start to connect with who we really are. We start to find a greater sense of peace and personal purpose. It is as if finally after many years, we a Rubic’s cube of sorts, finally get put together in the right way.
I like to say we are our own masterpiece. What I mean by that is our journey in life is to chisel away the extra stone to expose the sculpture that was always there. The world outside ourselves is not nearly as important as the world that lives within, which holds all the love, hope, and purpose we seek.
Finding our true selves and connecting requires two actions: 1 – separating what is ours from what is of others and 2 – not getting confused by appearances.
Separating what is ours from what is of others:
I really like the below post from the Huffington Post. It lays out my exact thoughts on happiness and well-being. Happiness is a fleeting emotion just like anger, sadness, etc. We get happy when something pleasant happens to us; a party, a new dress, a great concert. But the feeling we are after should be of well-being. When we find contentment the feeling is a way of being and it is a constant. It is who we become. When we have found a state of well-being, we are able to appreciate who we are and what we have. And we are content. No fireworks, just a deep feeling of gratitude and knowledge. Read on.
by Dan Gottlieb, PH.D.
The U.S. Declaration of Independence gives us the right to pursue happiness. That’s all well and good, but are we finding that the pursuit of happiness can make us miserable?
In today’s culture more people are pursuing happiness and not succeeding, leaving them frustrated and living with a sense of failure. Making matters worse, the pursuit of happiness can make us self-absorbed, which is guaranteed to make us unhappy!…Continued
How to achieve a sense of well-being.
The below Huffington Post article touches on an interesting dilemma we all have to deal with on a daily basis; the internal negotiation we go through between what we know are our needs and what we know would be easier on somebody else or a group.
In a smaller scale these are the decisions we have to make between friends, partners or family members. In a larger scale they are the decisions made by organizations and countries.
My concern is for the smaller scale dilemmas when we have to choose saying or not the truth to a partner or when to keep the “peace” in a family situation by not bringing up the fact that we are being disrespected or ignored.