Do Yourself A Favor--Forgive
"Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." Buddha
I can't count high enough to number the people in my clinical office and in my seminars who have argued... "He/she doesn't deserve to be forgiven after what happened. I just can't let him/her get off scott free!"
Yet scientific evidence has clearly demonstrated that it is the person who chooses to hold the bitterness that pays the price...not the perpetrator. Little by little, your feelings about that person bleed into the rest of your life, negatively coloring your view of other people and your attitude. It's like dropping one drop of red ink into a beaker; soon all the water is pink. Months and years of refusing to forgive weakens your immune system, damages your other relationships, and robs you of psychological health. Picture yourself perpetually tied to that person! Ouch!
Forgiveness is not sweeping the situation under the rug, excusing the behavior away. Forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean that you keep yourself in a dangerous or destructive situation. Nor does forgiveness require a "loving" feeling.
Thoroughly confused? Good. It's misconceptions like these that have kept many from reclaiming their own lives.
So what is forgiveness? I recently heard a great definition from Dr. Charles Stanley: "Forgiveness is giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me."
Forgiveness is a decision, a choice. It's a deep personal and spiritual transaction in which you choose to let go of plans or fantasies of revenge, and to release yourself from the burden of psychologically or physically "evening the score." Someone wisely said, "If you're always trying to get even, you'll never get ahead."
Sometimes reconciliation with the person is possible, and sometimes it's not. If the other person is willing, you may be able discuss what happened and make mutual plans for a better relationship in the future. (Caution: Avoid the holier-than-thou approach, like "Being perfect and full of grace myself, I forgive you, you horrible person, for the things you did to hurt me!" Be sure that you're willing to take responsibility for the part you played in the problem.)
In other situations, reconciliation of the relationship is not possible. Maybe the other person refuses to change, and the truth is, if you totally let down your guard, the same thing will happen all over again. It may be that the person you need to forgive is not even alive. Sometimes, you simply have to do business internally, between you and God.
Will you feel better immediately? Maybe. But don't expect all your bad feelings about that person to vanish. In fact, the next time you see him or her, you may find yourself in an emotional battle that causes you to question whether you really have forgiven. Don't get drawn into a mental rehash of all the things that happened. No, immediately focus on the positive decision you made, and remind yourself that after the decision comes the process of emotional healing. (Asking for divine help about now certainly won't hurt!)
What about forgetting? If you don't forget, have you really forgiven? I disagree with many on this. I believe that as a human with a brain that is a super-recorder, you will have a physical memory of the events, even when you've truly forgiven. So don't tell yourself that if you still remember what happened, you must not have done it right.
The crux of the "forgetting" matter is this: are you choosing to remember, to internally rehearse the situation over and over, and to watch and wait for the person to experience "what goes 'round comes 'round"? If so, go on back to your "forgiveness closet", because you have some more work to do.
Thomas Fuller said, "He that cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself, for every man has a need to be forgiven."
Do yourself and all those you love a favor...release those who have harmed you. As you do, you will release yourself.
Dr. Bev Smallwood is a psychologist who has worked with organizations across the globe for over 20 years. Her high-energy, high-content, high-involvement Magnetic Workplaces (r) programs provide dozens of practical strategies and skills that can be put to work immediately to:
Review a complete list of her programs available for your convention or corporate meeting at the website, www.MagneticWorkplaces.com.
Motivation: The Power of Opportunity
I think each one of us has had the experience of coming up with a great idea for a product or a way to do something, only to see someone else do it and make a ton of money.
The ONE Question Winners ALWAYS Ask?.
Over the past several years I have experienced my fair share of success. However, it has not been without its fair share of obstacles and setbacks. I was reflecting upon this recently as I confronted a recent disappointment. Hundreds of emotions raced through my mind as the reality set in that my deepest plans and desires were not going to reach my goals.
5 Forgotten Secrets to Beating Procrastination at Home
It's not easy to stay motivated and beat procrastination while being at home. Too many distractions and feeling that tasks can always be delayed until tomorrow or the next day can cause procrastination at home to set in.
Ambitiously Pursuing Your Own Self
(Excerpted from The Power of Ambition series)
Harnessing the Power of the Unknown: Move from Repeating the Past to Re-inventing the Future
The Unknown - it is scary territory for many, something to be avoided for others and shameful for those who feel they are supposed to know everything. What is your relationship with the Unknown? Take a moment to ponder it because your attitude towards and experience of this is what governs your ability to create, to innovate and truly bring more of yourself out into the world - in short to be successful. If you are going to create something new in your life ? in your career, your relationships and your creative endeavors you will be walking into unknown territory. Learning how to navigate this territory effectively and with power is what makes the difference between having a full, rich experience of life and work you enjoy, relishing the adventure of every day or living in frustration wondering why the same thing keeps occurring repeatedly.
On the J-O-B. That's where I met him. Quentin Cole was his name. Everyone called him Q for short. Q was an extremely attractive man. He was 6'2", had the waviest-curliest-jet-black hair that you ever saw. This man had the deepest dimples, hazeliest of green eyes, and a physique to die for. He always dressed well and smelled so, so g-o-o-d. WOW!
ADHD - Its a Wonderful Life
As I usually do over the Holidays, I watched one of my all-time favorite actors in one of my all time favorite movies and that's Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life". Co-starring Donna Reed and made in the 1940s, the movie was not critically acclaimed at the time, but over the years has become a stable of the Holiday Season. If you have not seen it, you need to, and if you have, then you all know it revolves around a small town businessman George Bailey from Bedford Falls, New York, who, as he grows up, has all of these dreams of doing wonderful things with his life, and hopes of traveling to all the farthest points in the world. His plans are constantly interrupted by world events and family circumstances, which include the death of his father, the great depression, and World War II. George's father and his Uncle Billy years earlier had started the Baileys Brothers Building and Loan to help the less fortunate people of Bedford Falls obtain the great American Dream of home ownership. Their only alternative is high rent or exorbitant interest rates to the local scrooge Mr. Potter. Uncle Billy is a classic ADHD type individual. An Irishmen, like me, who apparently has never been married, has a pet crow he carries around with him, and a pet squirrel at home. He is constantly worrying and has little self esteem.
The Art of Wastebasketry
Are your filing cabinets stuffed so full that it's difficult to retrieve and file papers? If you're like 80% of the people in the audiences to whom I speak, your answer is "Yes." "Are there things in your filing cabinet you could probably throw out?" Most once again answer "Yes." So what's the problem?
That One Thing That Guarantees Your Unlimited Motivation And Success
What can you do when you do not feel like getting started? When procrastination takes over...
Motivation By Facing Facts
"Things is either done, or they ain't done." Marlon Sanders
Overcoming the Fear of Getting Started
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. -- Dale Carnegie
Who Is Stuart Goldsmith?
'Stuart Goldsmith? Who is Stuart Goldsmith?' you may be asking.
Making A Lot Out Of A Little - Use It Or Lose It
"Making a lot out of a little"
Does Your Battery Need Recharging?
A technical support person in a pager company tells the story of a customer call to the customer service center from a man who repeatedly complained he was being paged by "Lucille." He was instructed that he would have to call her and tell her to stop paging him.
Staying the Course
Are you willing to stay the course? Once you have decided on a course and set sail toward your destination, you will undoubtedly face moments along your journey, perhaps even long stretches, where it seems that you are not making progress toward your goal even though you are doing the things necessary to reach it. We've all heard the saying "it's darkest before the dawn" and it's often true that we are on the verge of great success when it is most difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Beyond Procrastination ? 8 Questions To Ask Yourself
Why am I constantly putting things off? Why don't I do the things I'm "supposed" to do, but don't really want to? Why do I always seem to be forcing myself to do things? Whether it's chores at home, work for school, or projects at work, how do I get beyond procrastination? Most often, something is operating "underneath" the procrastination. Asking yourself these nine questions and spending some conscious time reflecting on your responses can help you uncover why you are resisting doing what needs to be done and support you to move beyond procrastination.
Five Ways to Expand Your Comfort Zone
Expanding your comfort zone isn't quite the same as building self-confidence. However, the two do fit together rather nicely. The one begets the other. So many people feel stuck in a rut... bored from a routine that is safe and comfortable but not very exciting. Fear of falling flat on your face or of looking foolish stops you from reaching out beyond that cozy little life you've created for yourself. If your goal is to expand your comfort zone, then you must think positive while doing these. Remember that nothing really bad can happen to you if you are smart in how you go about trying new things. It's all just new adventures. Become like a curious child and have some fun.
Hey Me, Get Out Of My Way
Hey Me! Get Out Of My Way By David Stoddard How often it is we give up wanting to do something even before we give ourselves an honest chance of succeeding. Perhaps, we begin writing our autobiography. We get the table of contents and the introduction written, then we let it sit because we don't think anyone will care. We begin a diet over a weekend. Within a couple of days, we are back to our normal habits because we didn't see any immediate results. Maybe we want to start a desktop publishing business. We get it started and the clients start coming in sooner than we expected. Because of our past experiences where we have been so good at what we did, we only remember getting bombarded with more and more work when we wish we could have taken a break. We may see how this can end up, so we slack off and let the business of our dreams fade away. Or maybe we have this idea of having our own place on the Internet. We create a page, then we have different ideas to put on it. Then we think of starting a business with it. Then we also want to have a newsletter for people. Then we want to do web pages for others. Then we go back and work on ways to get people to read our newsletter. But we need a better web site. So we start from scratch and the circle continues. Having too many things we would like to do can stop us as well. Personally, I've become an expert at getting out of my own way when it comes to doing things. After all, I have gotten in my own way over and over and over again for years. I still fit the last one. So many different areas that interest me, I have jumped from one thing to another to another. Like many of the books on the bookshelf at home, I don't think I have ever finished one of them all the way through. We stop ourselves in any number of ways. - I'm not good enough: Well, on Monday, a group of students will be given a lecture by the worst teacher. The worst actor will star in a made-for-television movie. And the worst boy band will put on a mini show for friends and family in their garage. - No one will be interested: Just look around at some of the things you see on television or read in newspapers or books or magazines. It is amazing some things have lasted this long. - I'm too old/young: Colonel Sanders was in his eighties when he began his Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. Anne Frank was a young girl when she wrote her diary which is still published and read to this very day throughout the world. - I don't know what I want to do: You may not know exactly what you want to do, but there is something in the back of your mind that is important. Especially if you know you're not happy in what you are doing now, you know there is more you want out of life. - I want to do too much: No one says you can't do a little of everything. Just have to pick one that will set the groundwork for the others. Find what is the common thread in the things you would like, and start there. You can branch off once that foundation is in place. - The universe is out to get me: Ummmmm. Not at all. Once you make up your mind and begin heading in some direction, the universe will open up in ways you can't see right now. People will come into your life, events will take place, and you will begin to see a bit further each day. But you have to make the first moves. Motivational speaker Les Brown in his book "It's Not Over Until You Win," tells a story of a keynote speaker at a National Speakers Association conference he attended. The speaker was perhaps the worst speaker Les had ever heard. The man spoke in a monotone voice and was dull as a butter knife. By the end of his presentation, more than two-thirds of the audience had walked out. The speaker, noticing this said something that pretty much sums up this column. "The reason I am up here (Doing) and you are sitting down there (watching) is because I represent the thoughts you have rejected for yourself." Give yourself a chance and get out of your own way.
Cure Your Burnout!
Do you ever get those Sunday night blues? Dreading the week ahead, feeling the daily grind just draining away all of your energy before the week even starts? Or what about those days where you just feel like you are going through the motions and not really being present in your own life?
Are Millionaires and PhDs Really Smarter? The Answer May Surprise You!
I've had a vast array of job experiences. While in high school, I worked as maid for a local motel. While attending college, I worked as an office worker in the Sociology Department and Museum of Fine Arts. After college, I was a social worker for six years.
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