Archive for January, 2008

Forgiveness as Acceptance

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

The ability to remain at peace when you do not get what you want is forgiveness….

When you want something different from what you actually get, you are always in a position of struggle.  That struggle often shows up as anger or despair or a sense of helplessness.  The good news is that you can get over those negative emotional reactions and learn to be at peace….

Whether or not you remain at peace is mostly up to you.  Forgiveness contains the understanding that another person’s action, no matter how awful, does not compel you to be endlessly miserable, angry, or emotionally distraught.

— Dr. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Love, p. 14-15

A Sense of Your Worth

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

The key to remaining gaslight-free is not to let your self-worth depend on someone else’s approval.  If there is even one little part of you that wants the approval of another person to make you feel better about yourself, boost your confidence, or bolter your sense of who you are in the world, then you are a gaslightee waiting for a gaslighter.  So developing a strong, clear sense of yourself and your worth is crucial to staying out of gaslighting relationships.

— Dr. Robin Stern, The Gaslight Effect, p. 224

An Essential Ingredient

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Think about it.  The centrality of commitment in relationships is expressed through the marriage vows, which ask us to love our partners through richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, and for better and for worse until death.  That means that we promise to love them when they are not doing well, when they have failed, when life is not exactly turning out as hoped, or when we’re going through a financial reversal.  What I see in the marriage vows is a basic prescription:  if we want our relationships to last, we better be prepared to forgive.  The vows make it clear that over the life of a marriage we will experience difficulty and pain and that it is our responsibility to stay connected to our partners.  How could we possibly do this without forgiveness?  What other form of healing would clean the slate and give us fresh eyes and an open heart?

— Dr. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Love, p. 4

Letting Go

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Of course my frustration was justified!  But that’s beside the point.  What kept me locked into the Gaslight Tango was my inability to accept that my husband was going to see things his own way, regardless of what I did.  If he wanted to think I was unreasonable, he would, no matter how hard I argued or how upset I got.  As soon as I understood that he — and he alone — had power over his own thoughts, no matter how right I might be, and that he wasn’t going to change, no matter what I said or did, I took a significant step toward freedom.

— Dr. Robin Stern, The Gaslight Effect, p. 192

Wisdom of Women

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Women have a remarkable way of helping other women.  The wisdom of women can be a life raft when you are in the midst of a transition.  When you get together with them, they always tell you how fabulous you are even when you don’t feel fabulous!

This Is Not the Life I Ordered, by Deborah Collins Stephens, Jackie Speier, Michealene Cristini Risley, and Jan Yanehiro, p. 205

Good Advice

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

When dreams turn to dust, vacuum.

This Is Not the Life I Ordered, by Deborah Collins Stephens, Jackie Speier, Michealene Cristini Risley, and Jan Yanehiro, p. 156

Enriching the Universe

Monday, January 21st, 2008

We enrich the universe with something far more valuable than money when we contribute love.  One act of caring may have more effect, more power than we can realize; here finding entry into a lonely heart, there encouraging and giving hope to a confused mind.  The universal love story is written line by line with simple acts of loving people doing a kindness for someone who’s having a hard time.

— Leo Buscaglia, Born for Love

Transformed Sinners

Friday, January 18th, 2008

We do know this — any offender who is restored by God’s grace is not simply returned to where he was before it all took place.  Through the Lord’s great mercy, guilty sinners can be declared guilt-free and restored to lives of greater fruitfulness than they ever dreamed possible.

— Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Forgiveness, p. 111

Working Together for Good

Friday, January 18th, 2008

If you’re a child of God, the ordeal you’re undergoing, however wrong or unfair or heartless it may be or may have been, in His providence and skillful hands will be used to take you somewhere good — deeper into His heart, to a place of greater dependence and trust, more perfectly refined into the likeness of Christ.

— Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Forgiveness, p. 107

Relationship Failure?

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Perhaps the greatest relationship failure we can have is invalidating our relationship history or present circumstances by becoming cynical, hopeless, embittered, or ashamed.  Our histories aren’t a mistake.  Our present circumstances aren’t a mistake.  We may have made choices that need correcting.  We may want to make new decisions as we grow.  We may discover patterns that need unraveling.  But we can learn and gain from each relationship we’ve encountered.  Our relationships are a reflection of our growth, and often our relationships have contributed to that growth.

— Melody Beattie, Beyond Codependency, p. 148