Category Archives: forgiveness

You Are In Integrity

“You are in integrity when the life you live is an authentic expression of who you are.” — Alan Cohen

 

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How to Get to Forgiveness

One is, as One is.


“One is as one is, and the love that can’t encompass both is a poor sort of love.”  — Marya Mannes

I have struggled to find the way to forgive myself and others.  Forgiving isn’t easy.  Writing this blog isn’t easy.  I am carrying so much resentment and hurt around with me.  In fact, when I’ve been deeply hurt or victimized by someone else, I may feel I can’t forgive. Yet, for my peace of mind and to let go, I may finally try.  It’s been suggested by a close friend that forgiveness is easier under certain conditions: a positive connection with the person we want to forgive, a deep relationship with the Universe, and lots of time.

Forgiveness is often preceded by grieving fully; we must first heal from the harm that was done to us. Through the honesty, power and wisdom gained through personal growth we are gently led through the process of forgiving ourselves and others. Many of us have also experienced the Universe’s unconditional forgiveness which gives us a model.  I acknowledge my responsibility for my actions, I let go of resentment, I grieve, and, finally, I forgive.

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See That Storm Just Ahead? Confronting Issues

 

“Maybe you can’t see the storm that lies just ahead. But I can. Believe me, it’s there.”

Confronting issues openly and honestly can be difficult. Many, like me are afraid of the reaction they’ll get from the person they are confronting. With that fear firmly embedded in one’s psyche, looking the other way and acting like the problem isn’t there becomes the easy way out. Or so it seems. Looking the other way really doesn’t make matters easier at all. In fact, it makes them worse. Problems often just don’t go away without some action.

I haven’t faced some very big issues and challenges that have been in my life for too long now. But I see clearly that I can’t let these problems linger. In my situation the problems have grown and the result is more and more hurt to me. I feel fear of the reaction I expect to receive. My fears I know after giving it long thought are grounded in reality and not based on my imagination. To get myself beyond this fear, I will have to have the necessary support around me to protect me. With my support in place I will face my problems. I must remember that storms don’t last forever. Eventually the sun does shine again, and life was nourished by the rains. I will come out of this a better person.

 

Where There Is No Forgiveness

Find Resentment and Retaliation

 

 

 

Without forgiveness life is governed…by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.”– Roberto Assaglioli

 

I am well aware of the past harm I have done to myself and others and yet, my life continues to be a breeding ground for resentment.  I may think others have more than me, are better than me, more successful than I have been and I make-up in my mind that these people are looking down at me.  I make-up in my mind that there are people who are out to get me or are trying to harm me in retaliation for some past transgression I may have been the source of.  While there may be times or situations when I truly have been wronged, I have come to understand and believe that most of my resentments are most likely delusional.

Whatever the situation may have been, or stands now, it is so clear to me that for me to grow and move forward, I must learn to forgive myself, those I have wronged and begin a process of making things right.

Through forgiveness of myself and others, I begin to break through the cycle of hurt and retaliation.  I begin to know that there is a way out of the screwed-up, delusional dramas in my head, through forgiveness and acceptance which brings peace and tranquility to life.

It Is, What It Is

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“There is no greater enemy to those who would please than expectation.”       — Montaigne

A friend and I were recently rehashing some difficulties – ridiculous drama,  that we recently experienced, courtesy of a mutual friend.  This friend I was talking with suffered from the drama much more than I, to the tune of about $3,500. In my friend’s most recent session with her therapist, she was encouraged to accept; “It is, what it is.”  I began to realize that we both had certain expectations of our mutual friend.

Later that day, I found myself thinking, as I watched one of my neighbors attempting to give some order to her cluttered apartment, ” Why is she doing it like this?  This isn’t the way I would do it.”  She was making more chaos than when she began.  And how about this: on my roommate’s behavior today I was thinking, “I don’t understand why she’s acting like this.  What’s wrong with her?”  I wondered, “Am I setting myself up for disappointment by my expectations or am I realistic about what I am expecting from myself and other people and life?”

When we start to say things such as what I have said, we can stop and look inside ourselves.  Chances are, we’ll find expectations.  When we want people to act and live according to our wishes, we have set ourselves up as arbiters of their behavior.  Somewhere within ourselves, we cling to the idea that we know the best way.

Underneath our expectations may lurk such feelings as abandonment, fear, insecurity, grandiosity or anger.  We worry that we can’t control what’s happening – and we’re right, we can’t.  But the more we respect other people’s right to make their own choices and mistakes, to express their uniqueness, and to grow in their own time, the more freedom we have to do the same.  We can use our power for our own good, and not give it away to hidden or not-so-hidden expectations.  It is, what it is.

Come to Me (Peace) By Mary J. Blige from her “Growing Pains” Album

I have been wanting to share this track from Mary J. Blige’s “Growing Pains” CD.  By far my favorite song (this week, OK – this month!).  Following are the lyrics, which got me hooked first, then listen to the song.  Enjoy!

Come to Me (Peace)

That was love
That was then
That was us, miracles
I changed you
You changed me
This is how these things go
I was broke
And you were scared
But you stayed by my side, yea

I was yours
You were mine
It seemed we’d last forever, oh yea
I’d be the one you need
You would be the one I marry
And I’m just trying to invite my way back in your heart
And I’m telling you to…

[Chorus:]
Come to me
I’ll restore freedom
I’ll carve away the worries in your heart

Your heart is missed
I’m a mess, what happened to second chance
This is now, this is how easy things can get out of hand
We were cold, and we were slow then, now we end faster than light, than light

And I’m not ashamed cause my love ain’t changed
I’m prepared to beg you back the whole way
Bring me your arms, I’ll bring mine too
And we will heal, mend, me and you, telling you…

[Chorus:]
Come to me
I’ll restore freedom
I’ll carve away the worries in your heart
I’m telling you to…

Come to me
I’ll restore freedom
I’ll carve away the worries in your heart
And I’m here to make peace, peace, peace
I’m here to make peace, peace, peace
I’m here to make peace, peace, peace
I’m here to make peace, between u and I

Through my doors, and take my hand
Replace our love beyond this land
This is just too much to give away
I love you baby, so why don’t you stay

Let the air of your voice dry my tears
Let “I love you”, fall on my ears
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you
I want you to just…

[Chorus:]
Come to me
I’ll restore freedom
I’ll carve away your worries in your heart
And I’ll be here to make peace
I’m here to make peace peace peace
I’m here to make peace peace peace
I’m here to make peace peace peace between you and I

Wanna make peace with you baby
I don’t wanna fight, I just wanna do everything right
Show me how to make peace with you
I do wanna make peace with you

Good-bye My Love

 

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“I left because there was no room for me.  But you could tell me not to go.  Say it to me.  Tell me not to go.”  — Stephen Sondheim.  Dot in Sunday in the Park with George. 

To leave someone we love is to knowingly break a vital connection.  Even if we chose to leave, we wonder why it often hurts so much.  But the heart isn’t logical; it feels the trauma of the loss and the responsibility of being the one to say good-bye. 

Love is a process; it doesn’t end because we say good-bye.  No matter how painful or harmful a relationship was, there were good things about it, just as there were lovable things about the other person.  The challenge is to accept with grace the choice we’ve made and to forgive whatever hurt we’ve received.  We can refuse to indulge in self-righteousness or indignation.  Those feelings are born out of illusion of power that comes with being the one who leaves.  Most of all, we can grieve the loss and then let go of the person we loved so that we can heal.

Left by Someone We Love

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“She looks for me.  God.  Let her look for me and tell me why she left me.”  — Stephen Sondheim.  George in Sunday in the Park with George. 

To be left by someone we love is to experience a break in the heart’s flow.  To be left is to endure unanswered questions, to feel fear, anger, rejection, grief.  It is life in the passive tense: we did not leave – we were left.  Spiritual separation, when the bond of two spirits has been severed by someone  else’s choice, hurts badly.  Where is the hope?  How do we go on?  At its most painful, being left even brings the question, “Do I want to go on?”  Once we answer yes to this, we can start to heal. 

We can choose to accept what is.  We can find our way with the help of the Universe’s grace and the support of people who love us and want us in their lives.  To yield to someone’s wish to end a relationship is an act of respect.  To want the best for someone, even when it means enduring our own loss, is an act of love.  Honestly grieving the loss of someone is a sign that healing is already beginning to take place.

The Gift of Forgiveness

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“Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”  — Marie Ebner von Eschenbach

 

One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is forgiveness.  When we remember the past, we often find we were much harder on ourselves than we were on other people.  We may no longer even remember some of our misdeeds, but it’s not so easy to erase the effects of self-punishment on our identity and self-esteem. 

There is no need for us to punish ourselves.  We can apologize to ourselves, just as we do to others.  Then, we can forgive ourselves just as we do to others, and just as we are forgiven by them. 

When we find it hard to forgive ourselves and let go, there are actions we can take: Reach out to someone, or try to find the real feelings beneath the urge to be so hard on ourselves.  We can still be honest and choose gentleness.  We can also keep our perspective, seeing things realistically and not creating a catastrophe where there is none.  We can turn to the Universe, asking for a higher forgiveness and be assured of the Universe’s understanding and love.