Originally uploaded by *SMILING PUG*
“Holding on to hate and anger is like drinking poison everyday hoping the other person dies” -Anonymous
I love this quote because it is so true. I think we all know that holding on to hate and anger takes a toll on our physical health, emotional well-being, stress level, and on our other relationships- particularly our romantic partnerships.
So why do we do it?
Exploring and understanding why we resist something is the most important step in any change we want to make in our lives. This is especially true for forgiveness.
You can follow every plan, every suggestion, read every book there is on forgiveness but if you don’t first understand why you’ve held onto the anger and resentment, it’s very hard to allow yourself to move towards forgiveness.
5 Resistance Causing Misconceptions About Forgiveness
1. Forgiveness is for the other person, the person who is forgiven.
Actually, forgiveness is for you, the person doing the forgiving. It’s not about accepting what the other person has done, or is doing to you, or letting the behavior continue. Forgiveness is about releasing the hate and anger you are holding onto while maintaining healthy boundaries for yourself.
2. Forgiveness has to happen all at once.
Forgiveness, like anything, is a journey.
You may wake up one day and find yourself unexpectedly feeling all the anger and resentment you thought you had released. It is OK if this happens! Just take some time to notice what has brought all this up for you again. What did you miss before? What do you need now? And then go through the process of releasing again. Each time you do this it will get easier and easier, and there will be less to return to you in the future.
3. Drama equals being popular and unique.
In this day of reality TV where drama sells like hotcakes it’s easy to get sucked into creating your own drama to keep up. Whether it’s The Real Housewives, Survivor, or The Bachelorette the person who causes the most drama gets the most screen time. But have you ever noticed how unhappy these people look, and how quickly you stop caring about them?
Drama and chaos isolate you from the people in your life, especially your romantic partner, and turn you into that person that everyone avoids, like Danielle from the Real Housewives of New Jersey. And like Danielle, once you are seen as this person the only way you can get attention from the people in your life going forward is to create more drama.
4. Forgiveness equals weakness.
We often confuse grudges often with boundaries. Having the drama and chaos that come from grudges as part of our personal boundaries does not make our boundaries stronger. These distractions actually make our boundaries more difficult to find and therefore more difficult to be respected by the people in our lives, and by ourselves.
Letting go of resentment and drama makes us more clear about our needs and expectations. Ultimately, this means we are seen as, and feel, stronger.
5. Forgiving my partner means they’ll keep doing the things that tick me off.
Think about the people in your life that treat you with annoyance, grudges, and blame- how likely are you to do something nice for them? Why would it be any different for your partner? Coming from a place of forgiveness vs. resentment can bring about huge changes in our partners actions.
Remember, you catch more bees with honey than vinegar! This is always true, no matter how long you’ve been with your partner.
Spend some time this week reflecting on your resistance to forgiveness. It’s a great way to reconnect with your core self, and it will be really helpful when I share my 5 step to Forgiveness plan with you next week.
Originally uploaded by polzkie
It’s time for another monthly newsletter! This month’s topic is forgiveness. Please download your copy of the newsletter below and check back throughout the month for more posts and information on forgiveness.
- A Free podcast exploring ways to decrease resentment and make forgiveness a bit easier
- Reasons we resist forgiving
- How forgiving others helps strengthen our romantic partnerships
- My 5-step plan to help you create and experience forgiveness in your life
I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!
Here it is! Finally the free MP3 download of my favorite relaxation technique!
The video is just a quick instructional video that I use to go over the details of this technique, why it’s so great, and what “tapping” is. Watch the video once to get the idea, and then simply use this MP3 download any time you’d like to experience this technique.
PC users, Right Click to download link. Mac users, Ctrl + click on link, then select Save Link As
Is anyone else struggling with worse than normal allergies this year?
Man, my energy and creativity have been hijacked by allergies lately which is why things have been running so late on my blog. I want to apologize for the delay in getting not only this post done but May’s Newsletter out and the free MP3 I promised. Both May’s Newsletter and the free MP3 of my favorite relaxation technique will follow shortly…. I promise!
Today I want to share my final (for this month) tool that I like to keep in my toolbox…. The 5 Love Languages.
The 5 Love Languages is a book by Gary Chapman that helps us understand that we all have a different “love language,” or ways that we hear/feel/experience love. So if we know our partner’s love language then we are better able to make them feel loved, supported, cared for, and important to us. Great ability to have in a relationship, right?!
The 5 Love Languages are:
- Gifts- small non-expensive tokens of appreciation, for example homemade cards and notes, fresh picked flowers, a cup of coffee
- Acts of Service- doing actual tasks, for example the dishes, making the bed, washing the car
- Physical Touch- which is not sex, but cuddling, hand holding, back rubs….
- Quality Time- time spent together talking with no other distractions (like the TV)
- Words of Affirmation- using words to tell someone how you feel about them, what you appreciate about them, or what they have done well
I am telling you, knowing, understanding, and using your partners love language can really restore and deepen your relationship!
But personally, I keep this book in my toolbox because this love languages idea transcends romantic relationships and helps me have better relationships all around!
4 other relationships The 5 Love Languages can help to restore and deepen
- Yourself. Knowing what love language you are allows you to create more effective and healing self-care strategies. (Like when you have allergies for example!)
- Your Kids. Using their love language allows them to really feel your love and support in a whole new way; you are speaking their language and telling them that they are OK just as they are when you use their love language.
- Your Friends. Again, helps you to better support and connect with your friends and understand why they want/need certain things from your friendship.
- Your parents. Being aware of your parents love language can help you better connect with and help your parents AND better understand why they may be asking certain things of you.
And don’t forget, knowing someone’s love language also helps to better understand the other side of things as well. Meaning, there may be many things you are unknowingly doing that hurt the people you care about because of their love language. For example, if your friend is a Quality Time person and you tend to flake or show up late for the plans you make together, this will create more hurt in this relationship then it will it someone with Gifts as a love language.
Click here to discover your love language and learn more about this book.
The 5th tool I’d like to share from my toolbox is a new version of an old standby…. Journaling.
Journaling is an important self care tool because it is a great way to 1. Keep track of your thoughts and feelings 2. Discover patterns in your life, and 3. Shines light on the places where you have grown vs. the areas you still need support.
In other words, Journaling helps us to see not only where we started and where we are now, but also how we got here.
I think what keeps many of us from utilizing this easy affordable tool is the misconception that journaling has to be time consuming, tediously detailed, only kept in a special journal or notebook, or be written in full sentences. None of this is true!
We can use our cool gadgets and new technology to make journaling modern, simple, easy, and portable. Laptops, cell phones, iPods, and daily planners can all be easily transformed into modern day journals.
Here are some examples of how to turn your favorite technical gadget into a useful modern journal.
- Create a “week in review” playlist by adding one new song each day of the week that sums up how that day went for you. Repeat this process each week.
- Using your calendar function you can either add descriptive words that summarize your day, or rate your enjoyment of tasks once completed.
- You can also text yourself descriptive words, or even just a smiley face, when good things happen through out your day.
- Or you can take pictures through out your day or week to document your highs and lows.
- Create a journal for yourself through email. Take a minute each day to type out a few sentences describing your day and then email them to yourself; this can be done at work or home, or if you have email on your cell phone while waiting in line, sitting in a waiting room, on your lunch break, basically anywhere. Next, create a specific folder dedicated to Journaling in your email account so they don’t get lost, or clog up your inbox.
Laptop/Desktops- There are so many communication programs to choose from, pick one that you like and make it your own. For example, you could….
- Record MP3’s of your thoughts
- Create picture journals by adding favorite photo’s into your favorite’s on Flickr
- Create an Excel Spreadsheet tracking descriptive words for each day
The 4th tool that I’d like to share from my personal toolbox is Flower Essences.
Flower Essences are a natural way of restoring balance within our bodies and minds by helping us release negative emotions, memories, and blocked or stagnant pocked of negative energy we may be holding on to.
Flower Essences work on an “energetic level” to align our systems- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. We’ve all had the experience of knowing some has entered the room without seeing him or her come in; we feel the energy in the room change and are able to feel their presence- this feeling is what is meant by an “energetic level.”
Flower Essences can be used to treat a wide range of presenting issues and concerns. A few examples include:
- Lack of abundance
- Grief and Sadness
- Burn Out
- Chakra Alignment
Where to find Flower Essences
Most health food or supplement stores will carry some brands of Flower Essences. Bach is the most widely found brand. Locally, Whole foods, Supper Supplements, PCC and Dandelion Botanical Company all carry Bach or another brand of Flower Essences.
Personally, I use Green Hope Farm for all my Flower Essence purchases. Mainly because they do not use alcohol as their stabilizer, so are the only wheat/gluten free brand of Flower Essences I have found. But also, they are an incredibly generous and knowledgeable company with amazing personal customer service.
Check out Green Hope Farm list of Common Concerns and see what Flower Essences my be able to do for you!
Another favorite tool in my personal toolbox is called Treasuring.
What is Treasuring?
Treasuring is similar to positive thinking, but instead of taking what is and trying to see it from a positive lens, you dream about already having what you want. In treasuring you pick something you really desire like love, money, a home and spend 10 minutes imagining you already have it. The more detail you bring into this imagination exercise the better!
The goal of this exercise is letting yourself believe that you already have the desired thing and then letting your mind move backwards in the time line of how you got it.
One of my favorite authors, Martha Beck, describes this technique beautifully in her book Steering by Starlight.
How to use Treasuring
Treasuring is another, and sometimes easier, way to bring positive thinking into your life. Remember this post about Gratitude and why gratitude is important? Treasuring is a simple way to create some of these new positive pathways, I discussed in that post, in our brains.
I have found that because treasuring involves more imagination, and already having what you desire, many people find treasuring easier to do and more enjoyable than positive thinking. Myself included.
Some days or events are so hurtful it’s too hard to try to see them positively, this is when I turn to treasuring. It’s a great, healthy, and easy escape from whatever might being going on in my life. You’ll notice that once you’ve spent 10 (or more) minutes dreaming about having what you desire, whatever is actually going on seems smaller and less hurtful.
I find I am able to see the current situation differently, from a more positive place, after spending some time treasuring.
When to use Treasuring
Martha Beck recommends you do a treasuring meditation 10 minutes a day for 30 days. While I think this 30 day goal is totally useful and highly recommend it, I have found treasuring to be really useful even in smaller periods of time. So if creating a goal to do this exercise for a week feels more attainable for you, go with that!
I find with my clients, breaking this assignment into weekly goals vs. monthly goals makes getting started much easier. Also, I have discovered that my clients dreams actually get bigger and evolve if we re-evaluate the assignment each week. It seems setting a monthly goal can leave us feeling as if we need to do the same thing over and over again for the whole 30 days.
**An Interesting Thing About Treasuring**
I can always tell which of my clients are doing their treasuring homework, Martha Beck says the same thing in her book. Treasuring tends to decrease the physical appearance of stress in people. After spending a week doing this exercise my clients actually look different- lighter, younger, healthier, more confident, glowing and radiant.
So what do you think? Is there room in your toolbox for treasuring???
So far this month I have shared 3 of my must-have toolbox items with you, and I’ve got 4 more to review with ya before the month is over. Not to mention the free MP3 download of my favorite relaxation technique will be available before the end of the week!
Since Creating Your Own Toolbox is our topic this month, I wanted to share an interesting site I came across with you. One of my favorite blogs, The Happiness Project, had this post yesterday about their very own toolbox website. Cool, right?!
The Happiness Project Toolbox is another great resource for building, and even storing, your personal toolbox. When you sign up, this site provides you will 8 tools to help you create your own personal happiness project.
Remember, variety is an important component in a helpful toolbox. Having an assortment of tools that both help you create happiness, and simply soothe you when the chips are down, will not only make your toolbox its most useful, but also allow you to create and maintain balance in your life.
Maybe you’ll be able to find something useful for your own toolbox on their site……
A quick review of the 4 guidelines to having an easy to use toolbox
- Your toolbox can be literal or figurative as long as you can easily access it
- Add Variety to your toolbox
- Think of your toolbox as a living thing, allow it to grow and evolve over time
- Toolboxes and toolbox use are not black and white assignment
Do you remember this post about the incredible inedible egg timer? In that post I shared with you how I use an egg timer to create pockets of time in my day; well, I also use an egg timer to help bring more balance to many of my relationships including my marriage.
Which is why I decided this amazing little gadget needed another post dedicated to it, and a formal mention as one of my favorite tools in my toolbox.
Why an egg timer?
Have you ever noticed how having an end point, in any event, allows us to dedicate ourselves to the event more completely? If it’s a good event, we are able relax and enjoy it, and if it’s a bad event we know we just have to suck it up for so long.
Well, an egg timer can be used to create this end point for many things in your relationship.
Think of it like this- whether you go get a massage, play golf, or go to a movie you always have an idea of how long the event is going to last. This allows you to relax and enjoy it fully without worrying about what comes next. This same principle can be applied at home with your partner by using an egg timer. Creating a set end point in advance allows you to exchange back rubs, foot massages, or have dinner together, play games together, or go for a walk together without worrying about when you’ll get to your to do list.
Every relationship has difficult fight-causing topics; by using an egg timer to manage the time devoted to them you can discuss them and still have time for other things in your life and relationship. Having a set end time will help each partner participate and stay present, stay on topic, better organize their thoughts on the topic to ensure their point of view is heard, and means the topic cannot take over your evening or relationship by going on and on and on.
5 places to use an egg timer in a your relationship
- The difficult topics like money, sex, in-laws, and household chores. Set up in advance with your partner on how often and for how long each topic will be discussed, this way you both can let it fall by the wayside when it’s not time to discuss it.
- To create a space for venting after a break in trust, or hurt feelings. Placing a time limit on the venting allows one partner to get things off their chest, and the other to just listen without defending them self. This can be very help in moving towards forgiveness.
- Making time for physical touch. 5 minutes of hand, foot, shoulder and/or a back massage are all wonderful things to share with our partners and can increase emotional intimacy.
- Making time for fun. 20 minutes after dinner of walking, playing cards, sipping wine, checking in, it doesn’t matter what you do with the time, having a set end time allows you to have some fun quality time together and still get all your to do’s done.
- In doing daily chores/house cleaning. Set a timer and have everyone in the house clean as much as they can for that period of time. Everyone will be much more motivated to help knowing it’s broken into small increments of time. You can even make a competition out of it to see who gets the most done. When time is up, use the timer to do something to reward yourselves for the hard work! (Don’t forget a prize for the winner!)
If I were stuck on a desert island and could only bring one book with me, this would be the book! You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L Hay. It’s a must-have in my toolbox.
Louise wrote this book back in the 1970′s- it’s a precursor to the recently popular book The Secret. You Can Heal Your Life describes the “Law of Attraction” in a spiritual non-materialistic way. Louise L Hay explains that things like health, relationships, confidence, forgiveness and wealth come into our lives based on our thoughts. You may remember this post on gratitude thinking and why our thoughts are so important.
I keep this book in my toolbox because I love pulling it out when I am feeling down. I like to use it as a starting point when I feel overwhelmed in a situation and as a way to gain some clarity on that situation. Reviewing this book always reminds me that “this too shall pass.”
It helps me gain some perspective on how I got where I am, where I want to be instead, and gives tangible affirmations to start my journey towards that better place. It also has an amazing chart towards the end that Louise uses to help us connect physical ailments like headaches, digestive issues, depression, anxiety, hay fever, and even acne with the negative thought pattern that causes them.
Check it out sometime, you may find it to be a nice fit in your own toolbox as well!