Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

Crushing Guilt

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

When we are feeling guilty, we withdraw, because we are afraid of doing the same thing over again. We either remove ourselves from the path of life or attack those around us to get away from feeling guilty. In the same way, if we lay guilt on those around us, they will respond either by withdrawing from us or by becoming aggressive back at us. Everyone hates guilt. It is the hot potato we always try to pass on to the people around us. We never want to take responsibility for our guilt, because it just feels bad. It is the destructive illusion that creates, either within or outside us, exactly what it is trying to stop. Our willingness to let go of our guilt allows us to remember our own and everyone’s innocence.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 324

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 12, 2014

Path to Healing

Monday, July 30th, 2018

As you come to see how no one can define your inner world and that verbal abuse is irrational and ridiculous, you are on the path to healing. The verbal abuser tells you what your motives, thoughts, and feelings are, as if he or she were you. How crazy is that! You are self-defining. You are not too sensitive, nor do you want to start a fight, nor are you any other negative comment you’ve been told about yourself. But even if you know that what an abuser says is nonsense, it is still a blow to your mind and consciousness.

— Patricia Evans, Victory Over Verbal Abuse, p. 6

[Photo: Cliffs of Moher, Ireland, July 2001]

Self-definition

Friday, July 27th, 2018

If you were defined in any way, you heard nonsense, irrational comments, and pretend talk.

No one can take away your freedom to define yourself. Self-definition is the gift of consciousness. The moment you think of the abusive comment, focus on this affirmation because you truly are self-defining and so you will not entertain the comment for a moment longer.

If you happen to be in the presence of someone who negatively defines you, it is okay to laugh at his or her irrational behavior.

— Patricia Evans, Victory Over Verbal Abuse, p. 98

Photo: Ross Castle, Ireland, July 2001

Facets of Forgiveness

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Forgiveness is the feeling of peace that emerges as you take your hurt less personally, take responsibility for how you feel, and become a hero instead of a victim in the story you tell. Forgiveness is the experience of peacefulness in the present moment. Forgiveness does not change the past, but it changes the present. Forgiveness means that even though you are wounded you choose to hurt and suffer less. Forgiveness means you become a part of the solution. Forgiveness is the understanding that hurt is a normal part of life. Forgiveness is for you and no one else. You can forgive and rejoin a relationship or forgive and never speak to the person again.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 68-69

[Photo: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, May 25, 2015]

A Perfect Place

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

Today, take time to realize that you are in a perfect place for the lessons that you are learning, for the healing that you are doing, and for the growth that you are ready to make at this point in your life.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 317

[Photo: Above Gundersweiler, Germany, July 1998]

Grievances Don’t Happen by Chance

Saturday, June 9th, 2018

I want to make clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that a grievance does not occur by chance. Just because we were mistreated does not mean we have to create a grievance. A grievance isn’t inevitable just because of a deep wound. A grievance forms when you react to painful situations in a specific way….

When we realize our role in the grievance process, we can then decide to play the central role in our healing. The most powerful way to heal is through forgiveness. When we forgive, we take something less personally, blame the person who hurt us less, and change our grievance story. Through learning the process of forgiveness, we can forgive anyone who has hurt us in any way.

— Dr. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 64

[Photo: Assateague Island, October 24, 2016]

Freedom in Forgiveness

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

The journey to release all grudges, to relinquish the quest for revenge, and to let go of the fantasy of what might have been is one of the most difficult spiritual challenges we’ll ever face. But I promise you, it is also the most rewarding. Because the other side of forgiveness is freedom.

There was a time when I believed the act of forgiveness meant accepting the offender, and by doing so, condoning the act. I didn’t understand that the true purpose of forgiveness is to stop allowing whatever that person did to affect how I live my life now.

— Oprah Winfrey, The Wisdom of Sundays, p. 112

[Photo: Burg Rheinstein, Germany, July 1997]

Relating to Ourselves with Lovingkindness

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Fortunately, when we relate to ourselves with lovingkindness, perfectionism naturally drops away. We may realize we’ll never sing an aria at the Met, but we can continue to love opera, follow our favorite singers, and perhaps join a local chorus. There’s no frustration, bitterness, or self-criticism in this kind of loving acceptance. It doesn’t mean we’re complacent, but rather we stop resisting the way things actually are. Wholehearted acceptance is a basic element of love, starting with love for ourselves, and a gateway to joy. Through the practices of lovingkindness and self-compassion, we can learn to love our flawed and imperfect selves. And in those moments of vulnerability, we open our hearts to connect with each other, as well. We are not perfect, but we are enough.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 71

[Photo: Zweibr├╝cken Rose Garden, Germany, June 2003]

The Message of Pain

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

When clients are referred to me because they’ve gotten stuck in the thorny aftermath of intimate betrayal, they are invariably preoccupied with why their partners did it to them — or worse, what they might have done to make their partners betray them. That breaks my heart. Not only does focus on the betrayer’s motivations distract from healing but speculation about a partner’s motives is utterly fruitless. We can never know why someone betrays an intimate bond.

For example, suppose you decide, as most of my clients do at some point, that your partner lied, cheated, or abused you because she was depressed, anxious, deluded, or stressed out, or because she drank too much, exercised too little, or experienced any of a multitude of possible contributing factors. The fact is, most people with those experiences do not betray their loved ones. At best, speculation about your partner’s motives may yield possible preconditions for the betrayal, but you’ll never accurately identify why your partner chose to betray you.

Rather than speculating about what might have caused your partner to inflict this pain, it is far more to your benefit to concentrate your attention on the internal message of the pain, which is to heal, repair, and improve.

— Steven Stosny, Living and Loving After Betrayal, p. 24

[Photo: Keukenhof, Holland, April 17, 2004]

Forgiveness Is a Choice.

Friday, May 11th, 2018

I begin where I always begin discussions of forgiveness: with my assertion that forgiveness is a choice. Neither you nor I have to forgive anyone who has hurt us. On the other hand, we can forgive all who have done us harm. The decision is ours to make. Forgiveness does not happen by accident. We have to make a decision to forgive. We will not forgive just because we think we should. Forgiveness cannot be forced. I have no intention to demand that you forgive, but I will show you how and then the choice is yours. To help you choose, let me show you why I believe forgiveness is in your best interest. This choice exists whether or not someone asks for forgiveness. Each of us can learn to land the planes endlessly circling on our radar screen. When we choose forgiveness we release our past to heal our present.

— Dr. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 63

[Photo: Burg Rheinstein, Germany, July 1997]