Tag Archives: forgiveness

The Stress Smell of Revenge

When we are wronged by an old friend, how can we right ourselves again? Releasing the self-imposed stress of wanting to strike back .     — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Someone who I thought was an old friend really did me wrong. I can’t stop these thoughts of revenge in my head.    — Cold Dish

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Dear Cold Dish,

Punishment! Payback! Revenge! While they make for a cool poster, are a lot better suited for the movies and soap operas than real life where that sweet taste is a shot, but a hole in the gut lasts forever. Why stress yourself giving yourself an ulcer when you can Go Green! (ok so yeah, lower case), and recycle that same energy into healing, improving and growing yourself? Believe me, this is the more sustainable model.

There’s no pain like the pain of deceit a trusted former friend can dole out. This alone makes the healing and self-improvement an uphill trek. But hiking uphill builds strong legs, lungs and buns of steel. Work on your emotions in the same way: build a foundation of unflinchingly truthful self-knowledge (did you somehow contribute to this betrayal, if not, what would your ex-friend’s motive be to hurt you?); steely resolve to learn something about yourself from this incident (like how you hurt – your hot buttons can reveal to yourself your most unhealed emotions), or how you knew something about your friend but maybe hid that truth from yourself (what payoff/need did having this person fulfill in your life?), etc.); and the life-sustaining ebb and flow of acceptance of things as they are and self-reliance (not the same as isolated). Surround yourself with true friends and family who appreciate and can support you in your growth and thriving. Remember who you really are.

Finally, sweet Cold Dish, I think you’ll be doing yourself a favor (and shortcut) to turn and face how much this old friend hurt you. Grieve. There’s a good deal of mourning your situation (and our culture at large) appears not to have embraced yet. There’s a gaping hole where there was once something very important to you and your life. Take the time to really recognize, mourn its absence, thank it for the gift it was (when it was and what it actually gave you), and let it go.

Divine it is to forgive, Yoda,

BadWitch

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Dear Cold Dish,

Betrayal by a loved one is one of the most painful experiences possible. You put your trust and faith into another person and they betray that trust through actions and/or words. Not fair. But maybe you’ve heard—revenge never helped anyone.

Truth is, thinking revenge-thoughts is perfectly sane. Most people when faced with betrayal will think horrible Carrie-esq revenge thoughts. You may envision horrible disfiguring or fatal accidents too. Again, sane. Now, taking any of those thoughts into the 3-D, insane, psychotic and, quite possibly, criminal.

So, let the revenge thoughts simmer for another day or so and then, move on. Pick yourself up and ask yourself the hardest question of all: How did I contribute to this situation. Were you too forthcoming with someone who had already showed you they were not trustworthy? Did you chose to remain blind to the signs of betrayal early on and dig yourself in deeper? Are there ways you can recover, rebound and safeguard yourself against these mistakes in the future—without closing off yourself from future relationships?

Forgiveness is just around the corner. Forgiveness does not mean to forget what happened. But stop the acid of hate and revenge running through your veins as soon as possible. You are only brewing up illness, stress and paranoia by keeping the un-forgiveness and revenge going. Unfriend them at Facebook. Change the name in your cell phone to ALERT (or something you feel may be more appropriate) so you can cancel any incoming calls from their number and move on with your life.

Chalk it up to experience. Realize this person has offered you the gift of a transformational lesson. Use this experience as a springboard yourself into a more alive, compassionate person. Use this lesson to grow more into the amazing person you are. That is the best revenge. The loss, the forfeit, the crappy karma is all theirs. Let the Universe sort out the punishment. Focus on your rewards. Even the darkest moments have brightness to offer us if we are willing to look into the blackness. Look. There’s a better, freer you on the other side.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your FREE brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

Forgiveness and Other Reconciling Myths

forgive_and_forget__by_SelfTitledNightmareSpoiler alert! The Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and the biggest myth of all “forgiveness reconciles past hurts.” To forgive is Divine and all about the heart. To forget is more…heady, and in a less than ideal way. Apologies must be more than words to be effective.    — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’ve mostly forgiven but not forgotten. Can you ever really go back? — H.G. Wells

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Dear H.G. Wells,

Forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgiveness is moving past feeling the hurt and betrayal to a place of non-attachment—for yourself. Somehow, humans seem to believe that to forgive is to forget. But The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind does not allow for us to build and grow from lessons learned.

When someone hurts you, your memories of that hurt are stored in the brain with a charge. This charge allows the brain to access that memory and the information contained in that memory more easily. Why? Because we are animals that learn! The experience hurt you and your brain wants to rememberwhat happened easily so you can avoid similar hurts in the future. Taking the charge off that memory is part of the work of forgiveness. Getting to a place where that hurt no longer hurts you. When the memory is stored as a neutral source of information you can access the wisdom gained from the situation without getting stuck in the emotionality.

Forgiveness is getting to the point that you realize that the person involved in the situation did the best they could do with the tools and understanding they had at the time. Does that mean you should place yourself back in that situation with a person who has already shown you the best way they understand how to treat you ended in your hurt? Not unless you have witnessed a long rehabilitation and evolution, over some time. People can change. The question for you is whether this person has given you enough data to believe they have more capacity than they showed last time.

Forgive because it is best for you. Reserving energy to carry around the hurt, remind yourself of the hurt and stew over the hurt makes no sense. Why leave your energy stuck in the past? Why continually drag that pain into the present? Forgive for your mental and emotional health. Forget at your own peril.

In every challenging situation there is wisdom to be gained. One very important lesson is about how you invited this type of behavior. Now, I’m not saying you asked for it. What I’m saying is, we tell people how to treat us. We tell people by how we treat ourselves and how we allow them to treat us. Are there some ways that you can treat yourself with more loving kindness and as more of a priority in your own life to show others the high level of care you deserve? Have you communicated clearly when others seemed to treat you with less care than you deserved? No matter the challenge, you take back your power when you choose to accept the opportunity to learn more about yourself and evolve.

So keep up the good work. Forgive. It is absolutely the best thing you can do for you. Reconcile if you see proof that the hurt of the past is a thing of the past. Self-preservation first. If you do not stand up for you and make you a priority, no one else will.

GoodWitch

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Dear H.G.,

Acting with love instead of fear allows you to let go of anger and resentment.

Nice “other side of the coin”-ism to Monday’s post when Tarzan was learning (among other things) How to Apologize. Seems you’ve already done so, H.G. however, religious Omegas 3 intake aside, I don’t believe anyone’s memory is so strong that it is the thing that keeps us stuck and not moving forward in life. It’s the strong emotions we assign to those memories. A big part of our coaching is about retraining the brain by lessening to removing the emotional charge (week 4) and helping you leave a neutral memory.

That said, I want to focus on the role of love to forgiveness to reconciling, which is more realistic not to mention healthier for you than the myth of “forgetting.”

To get to true forgiveness (not just the lip service type) requires love of the self. You have to genuinely care about your own wellbeing to love yourself enough to forgive yourself to release, not “forget” post-forgiveness. ‘Ghost Town’ , a cosmically fabulous movie I have no idea what took me so long to watch, is successful as an allegory as well as metaphorically explores why “ghosts” hang around rattling their chains at us long after they’ve died. It’s the unfinished business of the hurt, under- or non-loving kind. Throw off the shackles that chain you to the past ghosts — and only you hold that key — by allowing, giving yourself permission to. Not only is the past done, it’s only as important or powerful as you assign it. This is not about who’s “actually right or wrong” but rather how your heart internalized the hurt around the situation.

Now is just the exact right time and space to do so, H.G. — look at all the other old institutions we all held so dearly that have miserably failed, and now are in deep need of reconstruction. This is a new age the way that phrase never meant it before!

Self-love and -forgiveness first can help you move past your current unwillingness, reluctance or inability to let go of the importance you place around the “unforgettable situation” and move forward. ‘Ghost Town’ gently makes the point that even if you are the wronged party it is your own unwillingness  to stop clinging to being so, that creates your inability to release the hurt and blame that keeps those ghosts haunting you, hindering your present and future relationships (and their quality). All we humans do this to varying degrees. Going beyond being stuck in the past requires the self-discipline of self-love to get to self-forgiveness (e.g., for “being such a fool” or “I let them do that to me”-isms that, once identified, are springboards for healing action to change).

“Love” means so many different things to different people, that I will be most helpful by ending here with a reminder: to love oneself doesn’t take guru-strength spirituality, or any special higher education. Anyone willing to try to allow it is qualified. Love is the best preventative, proactive and inoculating thing we can do for ourselves (and the others around us benefit inadvertently) — and ironically, self-love (-acceptance, -forgiveness) is the best kind of virus we could hope to spread.  The action and saying shouldn’t be “forgive and forget” but…

Love & forgive to really reconcile,

BW

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Image, Self-titled Nightmare

Juicy Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your FREE brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

Broken Heart: Transplant Wanted

a_band_aid_on_my_heartIt’s not that your blood Type is so rare, they just haven’t developed a surgery for your ailing, broken heart. When love not only tears and rips your heart, but does a stomping River Dance on your mind, too.    — Bad Witch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GW/BW – Right now the deepest question I have is how do I learn to let go of the hurt and anger behind the fact that my wife not only cheated on me once, but three different times (first time, around our 20th wedding anniversary, which I spent months in advance planning, and while I was still grieving for the loss of my father and spending a couple hundred grand building her her dream house). — Deeply Hurt

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Dear Deeply Hurt,

Clinically speaking: Wow. There might be no hurt like the deep, sucking chest wound of true betrayal by someone who has professed love for you once. But I bet the last 20 years was fraught with a lot of…uh, life…between you two — whether you were both equally and simultaneously present and/or participating, or not. Without looking at your potty trainings, nor her inevitable laundry list of victimizations by/in life, I see this woman as very hurt, self-loathing and emotionally-underdeveloped to such a degree and scope that she went out of her way to use the Don’t Get Mad Get Even tips she gleaned from watching brutally endless ‘Dynasty’ and ‘Bad Girls’ marathons. If only she c-/would have simply said, “No,” or, “No more,” to you and your relationship. Instead, those are her skills. Just keep this in mind (not excuse) about who you are dealing with. It can potentially help half some of your anguish and stress.

She’s not likely to get there soon, so I will say to you I’m very sorry for your pain, Deeply. Even if you were the world’s biggest over-compensator or jerk (which I am not saying!), her responses and premeditated actions just shout loudly and publicly for all innocently standing by to get whacked in the back of the head with, “SEE ME! NOW!” And, Deeply, this rebel yell(s) of hers has far more to do with her than it ever will you.

But rather than letting go and putting behind, just stand still. Not in catatonia. Do your daily living, all the little steps we must all take to get up out of bed, and into the world. Take a shower (literally and figuratively) and as many as you will need, Deeply. Go into a very therapeutic one step-at-a-time mode and take care of your business. When you’re ready, you will want to look at what it was originally that attracted (beyond the physical) you to this woman to chose her to build a life with. Own your own needs (vs. Wants, as I always say). Protracted, self-indulgent navel gazing isn’t good for you, but taking honest stock always is, maybe talking to an effective psychological or spiritual professional will help you get clearer – when you are ready. Down the road. One day you will turn around and see how far your one step at a time trek took you. Just be good to and take it easy on yourself, say “No” appropriately, embrace your hurt and experience, and then…allow them to expand and become more you!

Blessings on the road,

BW

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Dear Deeply Hurt,

It seems trite to write a two-minute answer to what is clearly a deep wound. I can offer you some advice as a Wellness Coach and a Stress Management Expert, but it is my experience as a survivor of adultery that will probably come through the loudest.  Am I still healing from my pain almost 4 years later? Yes, but it is no longer a palpable memory popping up around every corner. Now it is the source of information that helps me make better choices. I tell you this just because when you’re in it, you need to know it won’t last. And it won’t.

The first steps to recovery from marital betrayal is much like recovering from the death of someone you love. There is grief and anger. The world we knew—isn’t anymore. Allow yourself to wallow for a time. Yelling out the pain is very cathartic. I suggest finding land in the middle of nowhere or a largely sound-proofed room and yelling all the profanity and indignities you may or may not have allowed yourself to express before now. Let the anger and grief come up and out like audio bile. “Better out than in, I always say.”

Once you’ve released a good round of emotion, imagine a fresh breeze blowing it all away out of you, out of the space around you and right out of your life. See all the audio-bile float heavenward for recycling. It floats right out of your life.

Sounds, woo-woo-hippy-tree-hugger? Try ancient practice and scientifically effective guided visualization. You will literally feel better and lighter. Right now you are holding a grudge, self-victimization, unforgiveness and self-righteous indignation all wrapped up in that anger. Rightly so—but those corrosive emotions come with chemical releases in the body that are just as deadly. As you scream out the audio-bile, you are changing the chemicals released in the brain.

Try another visualization as a regular exercise. Everyday, picture the timeline of your life, stretching forward into the distance. Focus in on the period where you were with your wife. Imagine a beautiful golden light that appears around this period of time. Watch the gold light seep into, through and around the timeline. This light is cleaning, clearing and balancing your emotional attachments, beliefs and out of balance energies. Believe it or not, doing that once a day, every day for a week or two will start to shift you to the actual acceptance and recovery part of the process.

Rely on your friends and the people you love. Don’t cut yourself off from other sources of affection because you fear being hurt again. As you allow yourself to be supported, whether with dinner, kind words, a good beer or a gripe session. The people who care about you will be there to listen and support. This alone will help you mend some of the trust issues you are facing.

At some point you will heal. You will let go of the anger and the hurt, but for each day it is here, treat yourself with exceptional love and  kindness.

I wish you peace on the journey.

Good Luck,

GoodWitch

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Hear the coaches – Podcasts coming. Talk to the coaches! –  Personal and group coaching available.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your FREE brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

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© 2009 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.