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Tips for Living a More Peaceful Life

Are you searching for ways to live a more peaceful life? The first step for changing your life is changing your current normal. Think about what is preventing you from being content and happy with your life. Are you being brought down by your situation, other people, or even yourself? To start living a more peaceful life start by practicing love, forgiveness, and openness.

How to practice self love

It is hard to find peace in your life if you cannot learn to love yourself first. It can be hard to see the value and potential in ourselves sometimes but once we understand that we all deserve to be loved your life will start changing for the better. If we can see the best in others we can also see the best in ourselves.

Try viewing yourself as your favorite person or thing in the world and try to treat yourself the same way you would that person or thing. Love yourself the same way you would love your best friend, a baby, or even a puppy.

It may seem silly at first but if you wouldn’t say something cruel to a baby then you shouldn’t say anything cruel about yourself. Practice the same type of love you would give to others for yourself.

How to start loving others 

By loving more people you invite more love into your own life. It is important to love others for who they are and who they may become. Love your friends, family, and strangers for how complex and unique they are. Each person has their own struggles and weaknesses that they have to overcome, just like yourself.

Every person has their own path to take in life and could use as much love as they can get. By loving and helping others you will feel more love in your life by spreading positivity and joy.

Think about what you wish someone would do for yourself and try to do that for someone else. Life can be as beautiful and peaceful as you make it, for yourself and others.

How to forgive 

It is hard to live peacefully when you are holding on to grudges and resentment. Even if you think that a person doesn’t deserve your forgiveness you should still forgive them because you deserve to be free from the burden of resenting them. Being angry with another person will hurt you the most and the only way to improve your own situation is by forgiving them.

You deserve to be happy and removing any hate from your life and mind is a big step. Forgive people for your own sake and see how much lighter and happier you will feel.

Forgiveness can come in many different forms, it doesn’t have to be face to face or even with the other person. You can forgive someone and let go of your anger in your own way and time.

How to be more open 

Be open to new opportunities and life changes. The world and the people around us are always changing. To change with the world around you peacefully you have to be open to new things. Don’t hold on to the past and how things once were and try to be present in your current situation.

Being present in the moment and open to whatever may happen takes some practice and won’t always come easily. Everyone has their own methods of mental preparation for what is to come. Some tips for practicing openness and being present are journaling your thoughts and feelings, talking to a therapist or a friend, meditation, and more.




How To Forgive Someone Who Is Not Sorry

 

Image Credit: Power Of Positivity

By Power Of Positivity

 

In this life, it’s very possible that we will have encounters with multiple people in which they hurt our feelings deeply and show little to no remorse. One of the hardest things to do is to learn how to forgive someone despite the pain they have caused you. However, once you figure out what works for you, you will undoubtedly experience less longterm pain created by others.

We can’t control their actions, but with some practice, we can control how we react to them. We’ve put together a list of things for you to consider and try if you’re struggling with how to forgive someone who isn’t sorry.

Here’s how to forgive someone who isn’t sorry:

Turn Your Focus Inward

Forgiving is often associated with absolving the person who hurt you from their wrongdoing, but, if you change focus from them to yourself, you’re able to work on the things you can control. Ask yourself, what do I need to feel better right now? Practice giving yourself whatever it is that you need. By focusing on what you need in the present moment, you remove yourself from the past experience and take action towards making yourself feel happy. Making yourself a priority is one of the most powerful ways to heal yourself.

“In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” -Deepak Chopra

Take Responsibility for Your Feelings

The words and actions of others can absolutely hurt us, but when we’re learning how to forgive someone we have to learn how to take responsibility for our own feelings. Though it may be challenging at first, we can only blame others for how we feel for so long. You must realize that when you’re holding onto grudges it only hurts yourself.

“By changing the way you choose to perceive the power that others have over you… you’ll see a bright new world of unlimited potential for yourself… you’ll know instantly how to forgive and let go of anything.” -Dr. Wayne W Dyer

Recognize the Part You Played

This is one of the hardest parts of forgiveness but a necessary component in our personal growth. Our ego wants us to feel hurt without having to take any responsibility for the part we played in whatever happened but the truth is that not everything is one-sided. Though the person who hurt you may have a cold personality, ask yourself if there was anything you may have done to provoke them and answer yourself honestly. In acknowledging your part, you will be able to let go of the negative feelings you are holding for someone more quickly because it forces you to realize that no one is perfect and arguments are typically a two-way street.

“It can be hard to forgive and let go but it’s important to remember that harboring the resentment and holding a grudge can hurt you even more. The word ‘forgive’ really means to give something up for yourself, not for them.” -Jack Canfield

 

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3 Life Lessons of the Heart Chakra for More Love & Compassion

Our heart chakra is in the center of our energy field, so it serves to balance our well-being and our life. These days, it’s becoming clearer that it’s not the brain that leads our life, but the heart, and that the strongest electro-magnetic field in our entire body resides in our heart (for more on this, check out HeartMath.org).

It shouldn’t be surprising that the most essential lessons for us to learn reside in our heart chakra: lessons about compassion, healing and love.

Before we get into all that though, you should know that this video and article are part of a 7-Chakra Series of 3 Life Lessons in Each Chakra. If you missed the lower chakra lessons, you can check them out here:

7 Ways To Fulfill The Need of Your Root Chakra (& Stop Living from Fear)

7 Ways to Fulfill The Need of Your Sacral Chakra (& Spice Up Your Life)

7 Ways to Fulfill the Need of Your Solar Plexus Chakra (& Shine)

3 Life Lessons of the Heart Chakra

1. Love and Compassion Heal

Everyone loves love. But beyond that, we all NEED love. It’s long been known that baby’s thrive when touched and cuddled, and they can literally die when they aren’t. We all know how good it feels when a friend has enough compassion to just listen and be there for us.

Your hands are a literal extension of your heart chakra energy. They are a conduit of the healing energy of your heart. So be aware of how your loving, aware touch can heal those around you, and give (and receive) more hugs.

2. Forgiveness Frees You

Many people erroneously believe that forgiving someone is a show of weakness. I’m here to say that the opposite is true: forgiving someone (including yourself) is a sign of great strength. It means you are strong enough to realize that you have made many mistakes yourself (and will make more). Usually when we can’t forgive others, it’s because we’re judging them, because we can’t accept (the potentiality of) that same quality within ourselves.

open-heart-compress

Or we’re afraid that if we forgive them, we will be acting weak, and will be taken advantage of again.

Related Article: Open Your Heart Chakra with This Simple Yoga Pose

First of all, forgiving does not mean you need to set yourself up in the same situation in which you got hurt. It doesn’t even mean you have to have an ongoing relationship with the person you’ve forgiven. It just means that you choose to let their mistake go. You choose to put it down. Because your life is lighter if you choose not to carry their error around inside you.

That takes some badass bravery.

Besides, we can never know what is like to be another person. We think we can, but we can’t. Forgiveness is freeing because it reminds us to have endless compassion for others and ourselves. We are all human and doing our best. If we can’t forgive another, it’s likely we are being overly tough on ourselves too. And harsh judgment — of the self or others — feels icky in your body. It’s definitely not the road to happiness.

Acceptance is.

Forgiveness is also freeing because it puts us in the driver’s sear of our life. It’s a conscious choice to not be a victim (and allow someone else’s behavior to rule our world). Every single one of us gets to choose our reaction to our experience in every moment. This means you have final control over whether you live in “heaven” or “hell.

Whenever someone asks me indignantly, “After what he did, why should I forgive him?

The answer is simple; because it’s good for you.

You don’t forgive someone for them, even though it may make them feel better. You forgive someone for you, because every time you don’t, you close down your heart a bit, and give away a piece of your personal power, and these things only lead to you being sick and unhappy.

Allow yourself to be more humble and think “there but for the grace of God go I” and you will forgive more easily and be lighter and more joyous.

Related Article: Open Your Heart Chakra For More Love, Compassion and Healing

3. What You Appreciate Appreciates

Have you ever given a gift to someone who went positively gaga over it? Didn’t that feel great? And didn’t it make you want to give that person MORE?

Appreciation is a positively infectious energy that draws more good to itself.

If you don’t believe me, try this 30-day challenge: be super grateful and appreciative in just ONE area of your life (money, sex, career, etc) over the next 30 days and see what happens.

You’ll see, that area will expand!

The heart chakra is your body’s most powerful center. Use compassion, forgiveness and gratitude to boost the energy of your fourth chakra, and you’ll feel your life grow more awesome every day.

Related Article: Balance Your Heart Chakra With This F-Word & Expand Your Heart (Video)

Love and blessings,

Vicki

vicki howie

Vicki Howie is the Creator of Chakra Boosters Healing Tattoos™ (find out what inspired her to create them here). Check out her new book “The Key to Your Chakras” here on amazon.com. Vicki is also the Creator of Chakra Love and the Chakra Life Cycle System®, as well as the Co-Editor of Conscious Life News. You can visit her website chakraboosters.comfacebook page and youtube channel for lots of free chakra info and gifts. Vicki’s biggest joy is to help you unleash your full chakra power and step into your highest potential.




You Never Know How Much Time You Have, So Forgive While You Can

By Sarah Jeanne Browne | Tiny Buddha

“Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.” ~Corrie ten Boom

I sat next to my stepmother Elaine in her hospital room. I was thirteen. We’d met six years prior as she took a stepmother’s role and had a strained relationship and didn’t speak to each other for parts of it.

Elaine was facing terminal brain cancer. So far she had kept herself together and composed, remaining strong on the outside. I was trying my hardest to do the same for her.

It had all started back when I was seven and my dad took me to a carnival. My parents were still together at the time. It was there I first met Elaine and her son, four years my junior.

Her son and I played a many carnival games together and we bonded quickly. Even as we grew more competitive, I found myself continually distracted by Elaine’s close presence and her friendliness with my dad. All I saw was that she was taking my dad away.

A year later, my father sat me down and told me he was leaving for a little while. This immediately caused an internal alarm to sound. A little while?

They didn’t really expect me to believe that, did they? He must’ve thought I wouldn’t understand. But deep down I knew this was only going to mean one thing: divorce.

I even told my best friend about it. “My parents are fighting a lot. I think they’re getting a divorce.”

“My parents fight too. It’s fine,” she said. But I thought to myself that it wasn’t the same, that everything wasn’t fine.

Elaine was a strong, independent businesswoman who thrived in her sales occupation and went for runs religiously every morning at five o’clock. She placed a lot of importance on eating right and an overall healthy lifestyle. The mere fact she would be the one of all people to end up with terminal cancer shocked everyone.

The cancer started in her stomach but soon afterward it rapidly began to metastasize and spread to her brain. It became brain cancer, something she strived to fight against. She still wound up staying in the hospital, defying her strong will and intent to get better.

Although I visited her in the hospital many times, we never grew as close as I felt we should have. It’s one of my greatest regrets.

I resented the fact that Elaine took my dad away from my mom. Or at least, that was my perception of what happened. As the resentment grew within me, so did the void between me and Elaine.

During the course of Elaine’s relationship with my father, I fell under the impression that she was trying to buy my affection with material things. She took me to the mall more than once to buy clothes, jewelry and other items for me—but why? On the inside, I refused to allow myself be bought.

Then one Christmas, she wrote a poem about our relationship and how it really wasn’t where she hoped it would be. Upon reading this, I kept my head down and didn’t respond. She also presented me with a number of certificates one day each month to go places and do things.

Such gifts included the spa, Barnes and Noble, the mall, various other stores and more. These acts of generosity were overwhelming me, and not in a good way. I was beginning to feel like being bought was entirely unforgivable.

One day, in a blaze of frustration, I asked Elaine if she knew my mother cried at night because of her. Elaine burst into tears. With my words, I’d stopped her in tracks in the middle of the many acts of generosity, but I felt it had to be said.

These events had fractured our relationship even further.

From that point on things didn’t improve much, until one day when I’d been running around outside of our lake house in the woods and became lost. I wandered for hours, growing more hopeless by the moment, until I heard something in the distance. It was a bell, and by some miracle it seemed to be ringing for me!

Immediately I began sprinting in the direction of the sound. To my amazement it was Elaine. She’d rung the bell in an effort to guide me back.

I ran into her outstretched arms and collapsed into them while crying. “Everything’s okay now,” she said, holding me tighter than ever before.

In this moment, something drastic happened. All of the previous animosity I had been holding onto began to melt away. She finally had me; she’d won.

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How to Avoid Misunderstanding Forgiveness

Forgiveness

To Forgive is Divine

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The topic of forgiveness harbors much resistance in some — it’s a touchy subject to say the least. The biggest misunderstanding — in the act of forgiveness — is to think that you are condoning the action, whatever it may be.

Forgiveness is actually letting go of the act not necessarily forgetting it (you may need to remember the experience later on in life so as not to be burnt again).

In letting go of the action taken against you, you free yourself from it from this moment on — you no longer carry the weight. You lighten yourself of the burden of holding onto it and give yourself permission to start anew.

Looking Deeper

This doesn’t mean that you have to be bosom-buddies with the perpetrator (you may choose to cut them out of your life completely, which may be completely appropriate in your given circumstance) nor does it mean that you indemnify their actions — it simply means you have compassion for the person. You have empathized enough to have understanding as to why the action took place.

An example would be that an abuser may have been abused — this will be your chance to step into the shoes of the ‘villain’ (who was the ‘victim’) and to see the course of events that lead to the ‘act’. You may grapple with the fact that some abuse victims don’t ever become abusers — that abusers choose their course of action. This is true — our lives revolve around choice. However, the course of action (in the case of the incident having already taken place) is set and all you can do is have compassion for the individual who, should we say, strayed from the path. When you can do this, it is easier to practice forgiveness.

“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Forgiveness = compassion and understanding.

Forgiveness does not mean condoning or forcing yourself to see the person as ‘innocent’ or the actions carried out as okay.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ~Lewis B. Smedes 

Other articles on forgiveness you may enjoy: How to Forgive When You Don’t Think You Can and Release Your Resistance Through the Power of Forgiveness

CRDCherie Roe Dirksen is a self-empowerment author, multi-media artist and musician from South Africa.

To date, she has published 3 self-help and motivational books and brings out weekly inspirational blogs at her site www.cherieroedirksen.com. Get stuck into finding your passion, purpose and joy by downloading some of those books gratis when you click HERE.

Her ambition is to help you to connect with your innate gift of creativity and living the life you came here to experience by taking responsibility for your actions and becoming the co-creator of your reality. You can follow Cherie on Facebook (The Art of Empowerment — for article updates). She also has an official art Facebook page (Cherie Roe Dirksen – for new art updates) and her bands page is Templeton Universe.

Cherie posts a new article on CLN every Thursday. To view her articles, click HERE.

This article (How to Avoid Misunderstanding Forgivenesswas originally written for and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author Cherie Roe Dirksen and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




How to Forgive When You Don’t Think You Can

By Emily Felt | Tiny Buddha

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” ~Steve Maraboli

Have you ever had a relationship, friendship, or marriage that ended so badly it took years, a decade, or even longer to heal? Have you ever wished you could forgive someone but just didn’t think it was possible?

Fifteen years ago I was twenty-six and in a relationship with a man that was destructive. After an intense romance in his home country, I made the poor decision that he should come to live with me in San Francisco—a decision that, in hindsight, was immature.

Three months and one visa sponsorship later, we were living together and immediately fell into the challenges of modern day multicultural relationships.

Aside from the fact that my boyfriend was jealous, obsessive, and immature—a trait I hadn’t seen clearly in the beginning—he couldn’t work legally, we didn’t have a common fluent language between us, and he was far away from his family for the first time in his life.

The worst and most difficult part, however, were our cultural differences. My boyfriend was jealous, obsessive, and controlling, whereas I was a young, driven, independent woman.

He would become despondent, accusatory, suspicious, and sometimes even fly into a jealous rage whenever I left the house.

Our relationship became emotionally abusive, yet I was scared to leave. He was financially dependent on me, he couldn’t work and didn’t have anywhere else to go, and he didn’t have any family in the United States.

I was riddled with guilt and felt horrible, because I had brought him to the US and felt responsible for him.

After a year of struggle, he moved out and I settled into numbness, not wanting to begin to unearth the emotions that needed to be processed in order to recover. I was emotionally scarred and suffered years of nightmares.

Time passed and I pushed the hatred in my heart deeply out of awareness. We never spoke, until a few years ago.

I had just been through a traumatic family experience, and had begun a Metta, or loving-kindness, practice as a means of understanding the circumstances taking place in my life. Surprisingly, the practice enabled me to find forgiveness in my heart for my ex-boyfriend.

Metta is a traditional Buddhist tool for cultivating loving-kindness. In the practice, we sit as if in meditation and let the energy of love into our hearts.

We repeat a mantra in which we hold in mind a life without danger, with mental and physical happiness and ease of well-being.

We start by imagining happiness and compassion for ourselves, and then, progressively, we extend love out into the world, to a benefactor, a friend, a neutral person, a difficult person, groups of people, and finally to all beings.

I sat in the Metta practice for ten minutes daily, and I picked my ex-boyfriend as my “difficult person.”

At first I had difficulty when I held him in mind and wished him a life of happiness and well-being, as I didn’t really feel he deserved that. However, over time it became easier and my resistance subsided.

One day, after about a month of the practice, I was sitting at my computer and on a whim decided to look him up on Facebook. I looked at some pictures of him rock climbing, and a smile came to my lips.

I saw some images he had posted, of cliffs, mountains, and people bouldering, and by and by I came across a girl, a baby a few months old, words of congratulations, a graduation, and more congratulations.

Lots of memories came flooding back, and this time I didn’t block them out. I remembered our tears, his pain at losing me, the very different places we had been at in our lives during the time we were together, how naive and young we both had been.

I came to the realization that I had as much to forgive myself for during that time as I did him. The tears brought about relief and then happiness, as I found myself truly happy for all of the good things that had come to him after we parted, evidenced by what I saw on Facebook.

Then some good memories came to me; I had blocked them out over years of resentment and the inability to see anything good in him.

I remembered what he had given me, how he had opened my eyes to a new culture, helped me explore a new country, revived my love of the outdoors, and supported me during my foibles with Spanish.

An image flashed through my mind of a day we finished a pitch on a long climb in Yosemite, and I remembered that day with true and genuine fondness.

This experience moved me and was the final step in my full healing from the wounds of many years before.

Letting go of my negativity and resentment toward him brought about a lightness. He no longer appears in my dreams; I am able to look at everything that happened as a learning experience.

The Metta practice served as a tool for me to discover the compassion in my heart, for him but mostly for myself, enabling the pain to surface, be processed, and dissolve.

How can we use the healing power of loving-kindness in our daily lives? Especially when we don’t feel ready to forgive, when the effects of abuse go too deep, or when we simply don’t feel the other person deserves to be forgiven?

Like the Metta Practice, there are tools we can use to overcome our own blocks to forgiveness, even when our minds and hearts aren’t ready.

Here are some tips to remember:

We are the primary beneficiaries of the practice.

Despite the fact that during the Metta practice we focus on others, we are always the primary beneficiaries of our efforts.

We can forgive someone and it doesn’t require getting in touch with that person or making them aware of what we are doing in any way. Just as when we hold hatred in our hearts we are the ones who suffer from it, when we find love in our hearts we benefit.

It is best to start by cultivating love and compassion for someone we already love.

Often the easiest place to start is not with ourselves but with someone for whom we already feel great love—a child, a dear friend, someone we admire or who has helped us in our lives.

Even if we never extend our practice beyond this point, we already reap the rewards of the process itself. We are the ones who feel the great energy in the heart when we focus on our true desire for another to be happy and free from physical and mental pain.

We must forgive ourselves for not being willing to forgive.

Some human experiences are simply so destructive, some abuse so acute that we may not have the energy to process it. In this case, we can still benefit from forgiving ourselves for whatever negativity we hold toward ourselves for not being able to forgive or fully let go of the pain of our experience.

Choosing to keep debilitating resentment and pain out of our awareness so that we can function in the world can also be a positive choice, if we stop feeling guilty about it.

We can always choose to go at our own pace.

We are always in charge of our own pace of change. We might not feel like forgiving now, and this doesn’t mean that we can’t choose it in the future. In the same vein, we can let go of our fear of forgiving by remembering we can always go back and harbor some resentment if we want to.

We do not deserve to suffer.

One of the illusions that we must let go of is that if we stop suffering, our aggressor will somehow benefit or be better off for it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We hurt ourselves, when we deserve our own compassion. Even when a person doesn’t deserve to be forgiven, we certainly do not deserve to continue to suffer emotionally over them.

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5 Reasons We All Deserve Forgiveness

man-hands-raised-forgiveness-compressed

By Dina Strada | Tiny Buddha

“To forgive is somehow associated with saying that it is all right, that we accept the evil deed. But this is not forgiveness. Forgiveness means that you fill yourself with love and you radiate that love outward and refuse to hang onto the venom or hatred that was engendered by the behaviors that caused the wounds.” ~Wayne Dyer

When we have been deeply hurt or betrayed by a friend, loved one, or even an acquaintance, it can be incredibly difficult to let it go and forgive them. Some acts seem almost unforgivable. But really not much is.

Related Article: We All Make Mistakes: How to Ask for Forgiveness (& Why You Should)

My belief is that people who hurt us are more often than not in a lot of pain themselves, and they’re making choices and decisions based on their own wounds.

I’ve spent the past two years working hard to forgive someone I loved deeply who hurt me. It hasn’t been easy and it’s taken a huge amount of time looking within, acknowledging my own mistakes in life, and seeing all the reasons it’s imperative I forgive others for their wrongs. They deserve it as much as I do.

It’s one of the most powerful and loving things we can do, and it ultimately brings us peace of mind and the loving energy we deserve in our lives.

So, why should you let go of your resentment and rage and forgive someone who has hurt you? A few reasons that have been motivators for me:

1. Forgiving allows the other person to work on themselves.

Nobody is perfect. We have all had times in our lives when things have gotten out of control or we acted in ways that weren’t in alignment with who we want to be in this world.

Yes, sometimes people do hurtful things because they are flat out selfish, but most of the time we screw up without meaning to. We all deserve a second chance to do better.

Receiving a second chance when I have hurt someone else has allowed me to step up my game and prove to myself and to them that I can do better.

Related Article: Awesome Guided Forgiveness Meditation with Kyle Gray

Sometimes it’s taken time for me to really get it. We don’t change our thought patterns and behaviors overnight. But I know that when somebody has forgiven me, it’s forced me to take stock of my actions and motives and work on myself.

And in the process, I have shown up as the woman I want to be in this world and proven to myself and to others that I can change.

We wouldn’t even bother trying if another person hadn’t forgiven our actions as a way of saying, “I can let this go, and I trust and hope this experiences has taught you something.”

2. If we show others compassion, we learn how to develop it for ourselves.

Often when we are holding onto resentment toward someone who hurt us, it’s about our ego. We want them to suffer as much as we did.

Related Article: Obey the Law of Forgiveness and Enjoy the Beneficial Effects on Your Health and Well Being

One of my close friends has been teaching me about compassion. I don’t show much for myself, so I have a difficult time showing it for others. But as I have slowly learned to develop compassion for peoplewho have hurt me, digging deep into the reasons why they may have done it, it’s allowed me to develop more compassion for myself for the things I have done.

Developing compassion for someone who has hurt you is a powerful and integral step toward healing for both of you.

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Forgiveness Can Be Hard: Here’s How to Move from Feeling Vengeful to Truly Compassionate

By Leo Babauta | Zen Habits

It’s easy to get upset at someone who has hurt you — but what’s the best way to get them back? What kind of revenge, served cold perhaps, can you dream up?

I recently had someone write to me about this:

“Recently one of my family members hurt me badly. They believe I am an easy target since I don’t want to retaliate or cause conflicts. My question is should I take the risk of getting revenge, knowing that it is never ending (not the best solution) or should I forgive this person? The problem is I don’t want to let them walk over me anymore. How to make them stop and respect me? Or maybe there is another solution?”

There are some important issues going on here:

  1. You’ve been hurt, which isn’t nice. It certainly doesn’t feel nice.
  2. You want to lash out at the person for hurting you. This is a natural reaction from the anger and indignation that can result from being hurt.
  3. You don’t want someone to walk all over you. This seems unfair, and seems like it’s just adding to the bad treatment.
  4. You want to be respected.
  5. You are worried about the bad consequences of getting back at them.

I’m obviously going to argue against revenge, so I should just say that now rather than acting like it’s going to surprise you. Instead, let me present my arguments against revenge, then offer up a different approach.

A Few Arguments Against Revenge

So why not just do what feels right, and lash out at them somehow?

There are some big problems with that:

  1. It doesn’t actually make you feel better. Retaliating might feel good in the moment, but you won’t feel better about yourself. You’ll just be sinking to a lower level and feeling bad about yourself.
  2. It hurts the relationship. You lash out because you’re hurt, but in doing so, you’re going to hurt and anger the other person. Your relationship actually gets worse. You might argue that it’s their fault, but actually, no, you’re contributing to this as well. You might argue that you don’t care, you don’t want a relationship with a person who would hurt you, and that might be true. Just be sure you’re not saying that out of anger, but you’ve calmed down and made that rational assessment.
  3. You’re just allowing yourself to act on impulse and fear. When we lash out at someone because they mistreated us, it’s not from a rational assessment of what will be best for us, or best for the situation. It’s an impulse that is borne from fear and anger. While this is a natural reaction, I’ve found that it’s not the best idea to just follow our impulses without pausing to consider. This leads to impulse problems like eating too much junk food, distraction, procrastination, addiction to video games or TV, and more. Instead, we should get in the habit of pausing whenever we have an impulse, letting the fear subside, and instead considering what’s best for the situation. We shouldn’t let ourselves get caught up in a story in our heads about what this person did to us and how wrong they are. That’s not helpful.
  4. It doesn’t actually make people respect you more. Lashing out in anger or fear is not a recipe for earning people’s respect. In my experience, people actually respect you less if you retaliate against others. Maybe they’ll want to be around you less. But that’s out of fear or dislike of your behavior, not respect. I tend to respect people more who can handle things maturely and with calmness and compassion.
  5. You’re not being your bigger self. It’s easy to act on our impulses, but what we really want is to become out bigger self. That means the best version of ourselves that we can be —
    and forgiving ourselves, of course, when we don’t do that. The bigger self is one that forgives, is compassionate, doesn’t act out of fear or anger, and handles things maturely. This isn’t always easy to do, so we shouldn’t think of it as an “ideal” to always strive for, but as a guideline for how to act when we’re able to consider things with calmness.

So if retaliation and revenge aren’t the best ideas, what’s better?

A More Compassionate Approach

I believe a more compassionate approach is better, because:

  • You’re being your better self.
  • It makes you feel better about yourself.
  • You earn the respect of others by being more mature.
  • It helps your relationships.
  • It is a kind thing to do to the other person, who is obviously having difficulties.
  • It makes the world a better place, one relationship at a time.

You might disagree with these reasons, but I’ve found them to be true.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Pause instead of acting on impulse, fear and anger. Notice when you’re about to lash out from anger and fear. Instead of acting on that impulse, pause. Breathe. Take a timeout. Consider your actions before acting.
  2. Stay with the physical feeling, instead of the story. When you’re angry or afraid, there is a story in your head that’s causing it (“They’re being so rude!”) … instead of dwelling on this story, bring your attention to how this feels in your body, physically. Where is the feeling located — in your chest, stomach, neck, face? What physical sensations can you notice? Stay with these feelings as long as you can, returning to them when you notice your attention going back to the story (“Why do they need to act this way?”). Stay with the feeling, and give it some compassion.
  3. Enlarge your perspective to see their difficulty. Once you’ve stayed with the feeling for a few moments, see if you can get out of your you-centered story, and embiggen your perspective to include what the other person is going through. Are they having a bad day? Are they suffering through some difficulty? Feeling fear or anger? Do you know what it’s like to go through that yourself? When you realize the other person is probably having a difficult time, struggling with something … you might find some compassion in your heart for what they’re going through, in addition to the offense you feel. This is the space you want to enter.
  4. Ask: What is the most compassionate thing you can do for both of you? Is it having a gentle conversation with them? Is it ending the relationship so you don’t hurt each other? Is it getting a third party involved so you can resolve the situation? Is it just listening to their complaints? There are lots of options — try to consider ones that don’t originate from your anger or fear, but instead are compassionate.

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How to Forgive: Here Are the 8 Sacred Stages of Forgiveness

Blue light-compressed

By Laura Hollick | laurahollick.com

Nothing has challenged me more than forgiveness. It is something you can’t make happen, or logically contrive when it will happen.

Forgiveness is a transformational journey that repairs the separation from love. Each step along the way is a miracle, a true blossoming of the sacred medicine of the heart.

To grow the flower of forgiveness we must be willing to face love in all its stages.

You know you’re in need of forgiveness when your hurt feelings are suffocating your spirit and holding back your capacity for growth. You know you are ready for forgiveness when your heart calls to you and says “It’s time to come home”.

Related Article: Release Your Resistance Through the Power of Forgiveness

Liberate yourself with the 8 stages of forgiveness and witness the wings of your love take flight.

8 Stages of Forgiveness

1. The Incident

The incident is ‘the thing’ that happens that creates the need for forgiveness. It is the moment where you separate yourself from the awareness of love.  The incident can be as simple as someone cutting you off in traffic, it can be as deep as sexual abuse, or it could be something someone said that hurt your feelings. It is a moment, or series of moments, that rips your sense of connection to shreds and leaves you traumatized in some subtle or swooping way.

What incident, or incidences, happened that created trauma for you?

2. Awareness

When something happens we don’t always realize we’re traumatized. We can go straight into a fight or flight response and get swept away by our reactions rather than actually being aware that healing is needed.  In order for the seeds of forgiveness to begin to take root there must be an awareness that something isn’t right, we’re off in some way, we’ve lost our ability to love freely and it hurts.

Related Article: 6 Self Awareness Activities Everyone Needs to Try

Where is your love not flowing freely?

3. Create Safety with Sacred Space

Trauma flings us far from home. Forgiveness is a form of healing that calls us to return to love and find our way home again. The journey back to love isn’t always graceful or pretty. It requires a safe, sacred space to allow the hurt, the anger, the upset, and the fear to be expressed and processed without judgement, and without fear of being re-traumatized, or hurting someone else in the process.   A safe, sacred space can be as simple as a private journal that is just for you to say whatever you want. It could also be a place you go to where you feel safe such as a special trail in the forest, a beach, a special room in your home, or a therapist.

How can you create a safe, sacred space for yourself?

4. Honor your feelings

Your feelings are the map on the journey home. You must honor how you truly feel if you’re going to find your way home.  If you edit, down-play, sugar-coat or pretend you feel other than you actually do, you will find yourself in a never-ending loop, because you are not actually allowing the energy to move, you’re just spinning in denial. Trauma creates feelings. To heal from trauma and invite the possibility of forgiveness you must give your feelings the chance to be heard, acknowledged, expressed, respected, and honored for the guidance and depth of insight they offer.  If feelings are not honored and processed, they will repeat again and again in order to get your attention.

What do you really feel?

5. Practice Self Love

When things happen in our lives that separate us from love, we experience the ugliest versions of our ourselves and others. On the journey home to love, we will surely face these ugly expressions, our hate, our rage, our petty nit-picking, our disgust, and our outright disrespect.  With a safe, sacred space you can begin to process these darker emotions and honor their expression and the gifts they offer. But ultimately it is your ability to love yourself that will even give us the chance to embrace the possibility of healing.

The practice of self-love is the foundation for healing, it is the soil that holds you in the womb of transformation. If you love yourself, you will want to heal. If you love yourself you will not tolerate the prison that hate creates. Your self-love is the healing balm that starts to soothes the trauma.

How can you practice self-love?

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6 Reasons To Forgive Even When You Don’t Want To

Vishnu | Vishnusvirtues

son hugs fatherI sat on the curb at 2 a.m, in front of my grandparent’s home.

I had never spent the night on the streets of Singapore (or any country really) and having just arrived at midnight, I didn’t want to startle my sleeping grandparents –or have them ring the cops!

I hadn’t told anyone I’d be visiting.

I flung my luggage in front of the iron gates and made myself comfortable on the curb to wait for dawn. I did what anyone sitting on a dimly-lit street at 2 a.m. would do in Singapore: I pulled out my laptop and started reading my friend Galen Pearl’s ebook on forgiveness.

The journey to this curb had been one of the longest journeys of my life. And I’m not just talking about the 20-hour flight from California.

See, I hadn’t spoken to my parents for a little more than 2 years.

During one of the most difficult periods in my life – the most difficult, in fact – my Indian parents aggravated a painful experience by actively intruding in and opposing my separation from my ex-wife.

What about our family name,” they pleaded. “What will others say about us?

You have no choice – you must stay together,” they commanded uniformly.

Being in a place of extreme vulnerability, pain and hurt, I couldn’t handle the added pressure and demands of my parents.

So, we stopped talking. I did, anyway. For 2 years so I could complete the divorce and move on with my life.

I resented them for being unsupportive and choosing to see me in pain rather than alleviate painful circumstances.

This trip back to Singapore was the first step on my journey to forgiveness. I hopped on a flight I didn’t want to take. Struggled to book my ticket, to hop on the plane and sit through a 20+ hour grueling journey. Survived transit lounges,  immigration and customs to confront 2 people who had hurt me so much.

And here I was now contemplating how I’d forgive the two people that compounded the pain of my separation and laterdivorce. The parents who opted for self-interest and family name before their son’s interest.

As I sat on the curb and waited for dawn, I re-read the chapters on forgiveness in the book, 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There).

I needed all the advice and inspiration I could get before I would have to confront my parents in the next couple of days and find a way to forgive them.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that prisoner was you.” Lewis B. Smeedes

I re-read the forgiveness chapters for the fourth time. Galen recognized forgiveness was a challenge to most, but provided a convincing argument in several chapters of why to forgive someone.

I needed every reason in the book to allow forgiveness into my heart.

Wanting to forgive was why I had gotten on the plane and why I was now sitting on the curb in the middle of a mildly humid Singaporean night.

“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” Suzanne Somers

Here are 6 reasons that moved me to forgiveness during that trip, per Galen’s book, and why you should forgive the people you’re holding grudges against in your life.

1)      When victims of tragedy and crimes can forgive, why can’t you? Galen gives an example of the most horrific crime committed on a community of people. For example, the Amish schoolhouse shooting by Charles Robert in 2006 which killed 5 young Amish schoolchildren.

When the community was willing to rely on their faith to forgive an unfathomable crime, are you not able to let go of small or large trespasses against you?

All major religious faiths and traditions encourage forgiveness, one of the most important principles after, ‘love your neighbor’.  Religious traditions encourage forgiveness for the most horrific, painful and destructive acts by others.

Why aren’t you able to forgive the person who didn’t send you a ‘thank you’ card?

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