Forgiveness: People Who are Impossible to Forgive—Part 1

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Please note:  I apologize for this post not going through yesterday.  I thought I’d pressed the “Publish” button, only to discover this morning that I hadn’t!  Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you!

Yesterday we talked about people who are more difficult to forgive:  perhaps they are insincere in their apology or maybe they try to turn things around so you feel as if you should apologize.

But what about those people who are nearly impossible to forgive?  

Perhaps they are totally unrepentant and absolutely unremorseful; maybe they hurt you so bad that you can’t bear to be in contact with them; perhaps you can’t locate them (don’t want to locate them) or they’ve passed from Earth; maybe they’re just an all-around nasty person.

This type of forgiveness is challenging.  It feels like an enormous, miles thick, concrete reinforced wall that you can’t see the top of and you can’t see the ends of.  It seems insurmountable.  As I said, this type of forgiveness is difficult, but it can be done.  It isn’t easy and it sure isn’t quick, but you can defeat this so that you can move on and have a fuller, richer, more meaningful life.

I’ve found that “the crack in the foundation” is to forget about forgiving the person.  Take it off the table, throw it away, and don’t even consider it.  Learn to accept the fact that you are never going to get any kind of acknowledgement from the person for their wrongdoing and you are even less likely to get an apology.

Yes, it’s hard—very hard—to accept that fact.  But in order to move forward into your healing and peace—which is the ultimate goal—you must do this.  

Instead of pinning all your hopes on the other person being remorseful and apologizing, think about caring for yourself.  Pull your focus in and put it on the hurt, the pain, the wound that hasn’t healed.  Focus on what you need to do or to have that will heal that wound.

Don’t make your healing and your piece of mind conditional upon another person doing something or behaving a certain way.  They are not worthy of that much control over your life.  In fact, no one but YOU should have that kind of influence and authority in your life!

Make it a point over the next few days to take time to sit with yourself and understand the deeper issues involved with the hurt, the betrayal, the shock of what happened.  Understand what in you is driving it and why you aren’t able to let it go at this time.  This inner work is the partners perfectly with sitting in silence (you knew I was going to suggest this, right?!)

We’ll talk more about this in tomorrow’s post.

In the meantime, let me know if you have questions.  Feel free to leave a comment below.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Forgiveness: Self Care Quotes

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As we touched on in yesterday’s post, forgiving people who aren’t sorry is difficult.  When we find ourselves in this type of circumstance, it’s important to step back and take a deeper look at the situation to gain a better understanding of what’s going on below the surface.

The next step after doing this non-judgmental thinking is to take care of ourselves.  It’s important to be compassionate and kind toward ourselves.  Here are a few quotes to remind us of this:

 

Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness. – Deborah Day

 

Nothing external to you has any power over you. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life. – Jill Bolte Taylor

 

Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others. – Christopher Germer

 

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. – William James

 

When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life. – Jean Shinoda Bolen

 

Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves. – Nathaniel Branden

 

Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it. – Thaddeus Golas

 

It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary. – Mandy Hale

 

Lack of forgiveness causes almost all of our self-sabotaging behavior. — Mark Victor Hansen

 

When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small.  My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving. ~ Kim McMilllen

 

If one of these quotes resonated strongly with you, jot it down and keep it handy.  Refer to it whenever you need a boost.

Please pass this post along to a friend.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Forgiving Others is Hard

 

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The ideal forgiveness situation is when the person who has caused you pain agrees to talk with you about it.  The person listens respectfully, perhaps they offer an explanation of what they did (or didn’t) do, and then they give a heartfelt and sincere apology.  To top it off, they follow through by changing their behavior so they don’t hurt you again.  It’s easy then to let go of any anger, resentment, or hurt you’ve been feeling and forgive them.

Most likely, though, even if you’re lucky enough to have experienced this scenario, it’s the exception rather than the rule.

Usually, when you try to talk to the person who has hurt you, very often they are defensive, perhaps argumentative, and may even try to make you feel silly or that you’re the one at fault for your hurt feelings.  They may say they’re sorry but they may also make it clear that they don’t really mean it.  It’s much harder to forgive in these circumstances.

What do you do then?

It’s time to take a deeper look at what’s going on.  Yes, you may have a legitimate grievance with the person who hurt you, but think about what this situation is revealing about you—not in a judgmental way but rather a fact-finding way?  What area of improvement is this experience showing you?

This is NOT about taking the blame or dismissing your feelings.  This is NOT about letting the person off the hook, condoning bad behavior, or becoming a doormat.  This is about understanding why their actions (or inactions) scored a direct hit.  Ask yourself if this current event is similar to something that happened in your past?

Take the time to sit with these questions—and others that may come up—and allow the real answers to come. These will show you what it is that you’re actually upset about.  Once you understand that, then you may find that you’re demanding an apology from the wrong person and, thus, trying to forgive the wrong person.

Something to think about!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Forgiveness…You Gotta Be Kidding Me, Right?

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To err is human, to forgive divine.  ~Alexander Pope

 

I don’t know about you but when I read this quote I’m dismayed.  I have no problem with the erring part and the human part—I can do that quite well sometimes!—but the forgiving and the divine part…yeah…that can be another story at times.

Especially when I’m supposed to forgive someone who isn’t sorry at all.  In fact, they can’t understand what’s the problem because in their mind they didn’t do anything wrong.  And, to add insult to injury, some people are adept at twisting things so that I start to believe I am the one who has to apologize!

We’ll talk about forgiveness all week.  This is an important topic because oftentimes it’s unforgiveness that’s holding us back. I’ll be sharing techniques and resources with you so visit this blog each day.

See you tomorrow!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Start Your Week off Right with a Poem: Let Them Go

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I came across this poem that I thought would help you start your week with a good frame of mind.  It’s called Let Them Go by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

 

Let the dream go.  Are there not other dreams
   In vastness of clouds hid from thy sight
That yet shall gild with beautiful gold gleams,
   And shoot the shadows through and through with light?
   What matters one lost vision of the night?
         Let the dream go!!

Let the hope set.  Are there not other hopes
   That yet shall rise like new stars in thy sky?
Not long a soul in sullen darkness gropes
   Before some light is lent it from on high;
   What folly to think happiness gone by!
         Let the hope set!

Let the joy fade.  Are there not other joys,
   Like frost-bound bulbs, that yet shall start and bloom?
Severe must be the winter that destroys
   The hardy roots locked in their silent tomb.
   What cares the earth for her brief time of gloom
         Let the joy fade!

Let the love die.  Are there not other loves
   As beautiful and full of sweet unrest,
Flying through space like snowy-pinioned doves?
   They yet shall come and nestle in thy breast,
And thou shalt say of each, “Lo, this is best!”
         Let the love die!

 

What I like about this poem is its reminder that ahead of us there is more of everything we desire.  We can let go of the past, all of its glories and, especially, all of its woes.  We can trust that just up ahead we will meet up with more dreams, hope, joy. and love.

Let go of what’s gone before so that your hands are open and free to receive all that the Goodness that this week has in store for you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

A Meaningful Life Defined

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I came across this in Wayne Dyer’s book The Shift.  I think this is an accurate definition of a meaningful life.

 

The  Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert talk about two “hungers”.

There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger.

The Little Hunger wants food for the belly;

 But the Great Hunger,

The greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning.

 

There’s ultimately only one thing that makes

human beings deeply and profoundly bitter,

and that is to have thrust upon them

a life without meaning.

 

There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness.

But of far more comfort to the soul

Is something greater than happiness

Or unhappiness, and that is meaning.

Because meaning transfigures all.

Once what you are doing has for you meaning,

It is irrelevant whether you’re happy

Or unhappy.  You are content—you are not alone

In your Spirit—you belong.

~Sir Laurens van der Post

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

More Quotes About the Power of Gentleness

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Here are a few additional quotes I thought you’d find informative and helpful:

Our problems are not solved by physical force, by hatred, by war.  Our problems are solved by loving kindness, by gentleness, by joy.  ~Buddha

 

The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good–and how he treats people who can’t fight back.  ~Abigail Van Buren

 

May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.  ~Apache Blessing

 

Develop the quiet, even state of mind.  When praised by some and condemned by others, free the mind from hate and pride, and gently go your way in peace.  ~Buddha

 

The way to overcome the angry man is with gentleness, the evil man with goodness, the miser with generosity and the liar with truth.  ~Indian Proverb

 

Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water. Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it. The soft overcomes the hard; the gentle overcomes the rigid.  ~Tao Te Ching

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren