When did you make up your mind that you had to forgive, so that you could start living? Bitterness, resentment, anger and hurt are hard burdens to carry. How did you learn how to move on with your life? I posted these questions on the Internet and received the following wise words of wisdom.
Forgiveness, for me, is the sweet elixir that allows any sour situation to be transformed. All the rage, bitterness, and blame gets removed and there is nothing left but tasty lessons for my consumption.
The journey with forgiveness must start with ourselves. A separate journey of rigorous recovery and healing from self sabotaging addictions helped bring this home for me; only when I am able to forgive myself for the glorious imperfections of this human bodies experience can I ever hope to forgive others.
If I was not able to reach deep into my soul for forgiveness, my life would be very different. The joy that I cultivate, and the peace that I thrive in, would not be able to exist, and I would be left a sad and depressed women. I choose to live joy, so therefore, I must practice forgiveness.
I looked at your website. You have a very compelling story. I imagine you are seeing, and living life, in a whole new way.
I will be launching a new BlogTalk Radio show called Bliss101:Learn It, Play It, Become It! soon and am looking for guests. Might you be interested?
Healthy Choices for Happier Lives
“Living Bliss” Life Coaching & Retreats
Coach Margie Scott
Wantd to recommend this book to you: http://www.amazon.com/Forgiving-Self-Road-Resentment-Connection/dp/0385488742 Thanks Francesca Lyman
I am a 52-year-old author of the recently published book, _Awakening the Spirit: The Open Wide Like a Floozy Chronicles_. MARIA SHRIVER, First Lady of the State of California, award-winning American journalist and member of the Kennedy family HAS WRITTEN THE FOLLOWING ABOUT MY BOOK, _I know you inspire others through your personal story of overcoming pain and suffering. I applaud you for having the courage and strength to share your extraordinary story._
I found that my depression and illness was a result of holding onto destructive emotions of anger, guilt and shame from adversity in my life, beginning with a childhood rape at age nine. After meeting a shaman in 2007, I discovered that dissolving (not forgiving) those emotions was necessary for me to heal. It was a choice to release those emotions. However, before I could do that, I had to feel safe enough to do so and for me, it was necessary to realize that the spirit of God was not only outside of me, but also within. Therefore, until I came to the realization that everything I wanted in life, including joy, is within, I could not allow those things to come forward.
Thank you for your time. I wish you the best.Author, _Awakening the Spirit: The Open Wide Like a Floozy Chronicles_
From a Cognitive Behavior Therapist from New York.
I also practice in LA. I work with clients who are not only depressed and angry but who are also anxious on removing blame thoughts from their lives. Those who are anxious blame themselves, those who are depressed blame the world and those who are angry blame others. I have my clients start by identifying and labeling their blame thoughts, then we work on restructuring them to direct their attention to the situation. By focusing on the situation, they gain control and feel not only symptom relief but lighter and a TRUE sense of empowerment. Blaming does not give an control and it just bring us pain.
Like most people I learned this lesson the hard way. I was a victim of my abusive ex-husband, my dysfunctional boss, my judgmental family. I toughened up, shrank away, and disengaged until by grace (and grace comes in many forms – a phrase from a book or article, the touch of a caring hand, being knocked down that one last time) I realized that I was choosing my life experience. I told my husband, boss and family through my acceptance of their behavior that it was okay, that I wasn’t worth much more. It wasn’t until I began exploring my own beliefs and thoughts that I realized that I didn’t have a clue as to what they were really thinking. What I believed they were thinking appeared inside my head. Those thoughts weren’t theirs, they were my beliefs about myself.
I have learned to view forgiveness through a different lens. Forgiveness to me is accepting that what is, is what is. I can’t change what has happened or not happened. What I can do is accept my life to date. After all resisting it, didn’t work very well for me. The knots inside my chest, my withdrawal and holding back didn’t change what had been. Acceptance doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t make it wrong either. It just sees it exactly as it is without the stories of abuse, neglect and betrayal. I choose from this point forward what I make of anything and everything, even when I choose to be a victim (which I don’t anymore). I think the most important phrase here is, “I choose.”
There is a great quote. I am certain you have heard it “Resentments are like swallowing POISON AND EXPECTING THE OTHER PERSON TO DIE from it”
I was married to the love of my life. About 5 years after marriage she turned to prescription drugs for ADHD. Not long after she began using illegal drugs. At the time our daughter was 6 years old and I suddenly found myself becoming a single Dad. Our marriage hit the rocks and her drug and alcohol abuse skyrocketed. I tried everything in my power to “fix” the problem, nothing worked. I began to work even harder to simply “change” her back to who she was before, again nothing worked. She dropped all of her responsibilities and began creating crisis after crisis.
I was left to deal with everything. The resentment which grew inside of me was staggering. Its amazing how you can love someone for who they were and simultaneously hate them for who theyve become. One of my struggles was letting go of this “prefect family” image I tried to keep going. I also did not want to accept the position I had been placed in. Once I finally accepted that this is how things were and what I wanted was gone, I was able to forgive and move on. It takes time, dont get me wrong, but it eventually comes. Each day I took a piece of my life, which had forever changed, and accepted it. Day by day I worked through this process. IMPORTANT NOTE: This will only work if you set out a direction and stick to it! If you go back and fourth on your decision you will never make any real progress.
I’m a 33 year old writer, editor, and brain injury survivor. I’ve had several bouts with depression. After my brain injury erased all memory before age fifteen, I had to re-learn nearly every skill, from walking, talking, to tying my shoes. Through my recovery period of about five years, I had many, many setbacks- from physical and mental to relearning social rules. I nearly flunked out of college because I wasn’t fully recovered and able to do the work. But the key to my success is persistence. I think it’s okay to be depressed about your situation or your ability level; of course. But it’s what you do with the situation you’re in that can help. My only “cure” for depression in my own life, along with medication when appropriate, is keeping at it. I was able to graduate from high school, receive an associates degree, have family and write a book, all because I wouldn’t accept that I couldn’t. At one point insurance adjusters came to my house to make a list of the functions they were certain I would not be able to regain in my life. I refused to believe it. A lot of hard work helped. I made it through. And changing my definition of “success” helped, too. I am successful because I choose to be happy with what I have, and where I’m at. I have been working on my Batchelor’s degree for fourteen years, and I’m almost done. I can still work on it, but it is what it is, right now. I hope this is helpful to you. In my professional life, I edit a literary magazine, _Groundwaters_ (www.groundwaterspublishing.com,) and my novel about two women with brain injury, _Learning Life Again_, was released a few weeks ago. I have been featured in _Redbook_ magazine, the front page of AOL.com, blogtalkradio, and _The Nashville Examiner_, among other things. http://www.jenniferbchambers.com
From a man who found forgiveness at a retreat:
My journey of forgiveness, self-acceptance, and real understanding of who and what I am came in a big rush, at 9-day retreat called the Hoffman Process (which you may already know plenty about).
For as many of my 40-odd years as I could remember, Id always felt that there was “something missing” deep inside me–a hollowness. Looking back, I think I was angry at that absence, as if Id been denied something; my anger took the form of cynicism and sarcasm. Although I had success and friends, I was a sad soul. The deep dive the Process provided into childhood learnings, misperceptions about my parents, and my until-then-hidden spirituality blew me wide, wide open. I forgave, I embraced, I swooned in the presence of my true self. Ive never been the same, and Im deeply grateful for the way my inner self finally dragged me into the light, and for the Hoffman Process being there as the piece of genius it is.
So, thats my (short) story. Hope it helps. I would highly recommend the Process to anyone who is depressed or bothered by doing the same dumb things over and over.
I just did a radio show on this. If interested-here is the link to the episode AND the After Show blog w/show notes.
This is such an important topic. I’m glad you’re focusing on this.
My breakthru came when my therapist asked me when I was going to stop seeking my mother’s approval! It was at that moment that I realized that I would never be able to do anything to make her approve of me, and that I’d better learn to accept myself just as I am.
As a child I was neglected and sexually abused. When I told my mother about the abuse she had the boy arrested. She was so upset she told my Dad we couldn’t live in our house where this had happened and insisted that we move. He was barely scrapping by to provide for our family of 5 at the time and it was an extreme hardship. He was angry, she was angry and I just knew it was all my fault.
I carried the shame of not only the abuse but the consequences of my telling for most of my adult life. It played out in my inability to select mates that could show me how amazing and precious I really am. The pain of it drove me to drugs and alcohol and serial marriages. Now on my third marriage, I thought I was repeating the pattern because my husband would be angry with me for not telling him how I felt about things, or really much of anything that I thought. It was then I realized I had not ever forgiven myself for speaking up as a child. Forgiving that little girl for doing something brave, was not so easy. But over time, I have realized she had nothing to be forgiven for, that she had acted exactly as she needed to at the time. In fact, she was very courageous and strong. I am able to tell my husband what is going in inside and what my thoughts are about things that happen without shame, now. And, our marriage is stronger and with a deeper connection than I ever could have imagined possible.
Melody Brooke,MA,LPC,LMFTAuthor “Oh WOW this changes everything”Host “Oh WOW This Changes Everything!” http://awakenedheartproductions.comhttp://compassionmovement.orghttp://www.demosaccess.com/actors/Melody_Brooke.html