How to Get Past Childhood Resentments

Good morning to each of you and I hope the day is wonderful for you! Today’s search term was “childhood resentments,” and that is what I shall address.

My first thought when I read this was that most all of us have them because most all of us were slighted in some way when we were children. Our parents, perhaps wounded themselves, not over those wounds, did the same things to us that were done to them. The result is most likely verbal, physical, and/or emotional abuse.

Are you angry and bitter about incidents that occurred when you were growing up? Do you suffer from the effects of childhood resentments? There are some things you can do to remedy being eaten up inside over these feelings.

First of all, admit to your feelings of anger and bitterness. Identify what happened and with whom you are resentful. Allow yourself to remember the incident(s) and how bad it was. Just “be” with those feelings.

Next, after acknowledging your feelings, consider how they are affecting you in your life. Are your relationships in a shambles, for example? Do you get angry at others frequently? Do you think and rethink of the occurrences from childhood, while they eat you up inside? Do you suffer from high blood pressure, or have you been told you are at risk for that, heart attack, stroke, or even cancer?

There is a way through this dilemma you face. Once you have considered that hanging onto childhood resentments is slowly killing you and/or making your life miserable, become willing to consider something else.

Become willing to see the person who harmed you as a wounded human being themselves, and unhealed from those wounds. Consider that they bear scars beyond your understanding. Once you can see them as wounded, view them with compassion, just as you would any wounded being.

Revisit this compassion again and again, and after a while, you will notice that from compassion flows forgiveness. You will begin to feel your childhood resentments fade as you discover a new-found understanding of your parents’ own difficulties.

Now you can begin to realize that what was told to you was said by a sick person, and that it wasn’t true. You can begin to heal from all that was told to you in error, told by a wounded person.

You will most likely find at this point that you are softening to the memory of the harms that you endured. You will never forget them, but you will soften to them, be less resentful.

And that’s one way to deal with childhood resentments, to see the person with compassion and to offer forgiveness. If you try my suggestion, how did it work for you? Leave a comment and let us know.

 

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The Challenges of Forgiveness

Good morning, all! I hope this is a beautiful day for each of you. Today, I liked the search term, “the challenges of forgiveness,” and will address this in today’s post. Let’s jump right in.

Many people are challenged with forgiveness because they think it means they are condoning what happened, that they are saying it was okay. Yet, this is not the case. When you show forgiveness, you are not saying it was okay; you are not condoning what happened. You are merely clearing your heart so you can free yourself from the chains of anger and resentment. You are releasing your anger.

The thing about forgiveness is, once you reach it, you discover the most incredible peace and freedom you have ever experienced. That is your “reward,” the goal toward which you are working.

To get to forgiveness, look at the person who harmed you as an emotionally wounded human being, with wounds far greater than you can comprehend. Once you see them as wounded, it is possible to see them with compassion. From compassion flows forgiveness.

Another challenge people have when it comes to forgiveness is recognizing that they have a part in it all. Sometimes, you have gotten the ball rolling by hurting someone, and they reacted, leaving you angry at their response and unable to forgive.

In situations like this, it is necessary to take an honest look at yourself and realize you started the whole thing, and you need to release your anger, forgive, and possibly apologize for the original offense. It takes humility and honesty to deal with these situations, but again, the rewards are great peace and freedom.

 

If you are having difficulty forgiving someone and are tied in knots over it, I invite you to call me to discuss my coaching program, which is designed to guide you through the process of forgiveness. You can reach me at 415-883-8325 or carolyncjjones@yahoo.com. My specialty is forgiveness, assisting with anger release.

How are you challenged by forgiveness? If I haven’t touched on your challenge, I invite you to leave a comment and share your it with us.

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7 – Day Forgiveness Challenge – Day 7

Hello, and welcome to our final day of the forgiveness challenge! I am so glad you have come back to see how to complete the process of creating forgiveness in your life! Today I will talk about the one practice that will take you there… to forgiveness.

Yesterday, you wrote about looking at the whole situation from a 180 degree shift in attitude, looking with new eyes. This is necessary for you to create the forgiveness you desire. Remember, forgiving has nothing to do with the other person – it is all about you and making peace inside of yourself.

Having said that, let me relay a story… Soon after I became sober, about two years into it, I was doing a self-apraisal, focusing on the men in my life and how I had contributed to each relationship’s demise. I realized I used to get drunk and yell at them that they were worthless, would never amount to anything.

I was horrified to remember this! I had denigrated their soul and the thing is, I didn’t mean it about them, I meant it about me! Soon after that realization came a question. If I had said that these men were worthless and I didm;t mean it about them, I meant it about myself, was it possible that my father didn’t mean I was worthless and would never amount to anything when he said it all those years, he meant it about himself?

The answer was yes. It is possible, quite possible. Suddenly I saw him as a fellow human being, struggling with his own demons, his own wounds. I began to feel compassion for him, a wounded soul.

After about a year’s time, with continual returning to that compassion, I forgave him his transgressions. I didm’t condone what he did, still don’t, yet, I forgave him, recognizing he was dealing with what he, himself, had been told while he was growing up.

So, the final part of creating forgiveness in your life is to see the other person as a wounded human being who made a mistake. See them with compassion; hold them with compassion. Soon, that feeling of compassion will evolve into forgiveness. It will just happen one day, very quietly and with no effort on your part.

This concludes our 7- day forgiveness challenge. I hope you have found it useful. If you are struggling with any piece of it, then I recommend you call to speak with me to get clarity, and comfort from that clarity. Call 415-883-8325 for a free, 30 minute discovery session.

My hat is off to you for the forgiveness you have created May you have peace.

 

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How to Complete a Self-Appraisal

Good morning on this fine and clear day! May you have clarity and goodness in your day today!

Yesterday, I received an email from a dear friend who reads my blog, questioning things which I plan to address in today’s blog. For example, they asked about what to list out. I hope I have addressed that fully in this post. Then, the question was raised, what is honesty? I will further discuss that also.

So, how do you do a self-appraisal?

First, you gather willingness… willingness to look at yourself honestly. When I say honestly, I mean looking at your positive points first and giving yourself full credit for all your positive traits, all the positive ways in which you treat others and yourself. We often shy away from being honest about who we are, having been told that is conceited to do so. But we need to objectively assess who we are in our totality. We do this not to brag about ourselves, rather, to humbly look at who we are in our totality.

On the negative side, being honest means being willing to admit you screwed up when you did, that you treated others or yourself poorly. It is embarrassing to admit these things about ourselves, and that is part of being willing to be honest…

For example, I find myself sometimes acting in a very selfish manner, thinking of myself when I could be considering the other. In those situations, I seem to do things for others because there is something in it for me, before I give with no thought of what I’ll get out of it – giving without expecting or wanting in return.  That’s somewhat embarrassing to say, yet, it is honest.

What I do with that information, that realization, is to be aware in the future of when I start to do something for another. I can assess my motives and change them, as indicated, come at it from a different angle.

It is important to add gentleness and compassion when you look at your negative side, the side that needs improvement, or else you would beat yourself up unmercifully. Having said these things, let’s start with how to do the appraisal…

After becoming willing to get honest, list out your positive qualities and traits on a piece of paper. List them all out. Get generous with yourself. No one else is going to see this, so brag about yourself to yourself only. Be loud and proud on paper. Then sit with, “be” with, this list of traits. Let it sink in that this is you that you have listed out in all your goodness and glory. Get comfortable with feeling the light from seeing your good qualities and traits. You are trying to counteract any negative things you have been told throughout your life.

Now, take the past week and list out every good deed, kindness, and generous thing you did during the week. List it all out. If you had a kind thought about someone, list that out, too. Then allow this to sink in for a few days. Bask in your goodness. Know that at your core, you are light.

Next, turn your attention to your negative side, the side that needs improvement. We all have one, you know. List all the negative things about yourself that you do not like. Include the negative things you tell yourself. Consider the past week and list out all the mean, nasty, and unkind things you did or thought during that time. Don’t hold back, yet do not beat yourself up. Do it honestly, from an objective viewpoint.

Consider each point and look at each with compassion for yourself, a wounded person so much so that it led you to act in a negative manner. Now, right all wrongs. This may mean apologizing to some people. If this is the case, get humble yet not subservient. Drop the hostility, the defiance. Apologize with your heart and soul. Sometimes, apology is not advised; this is when it would hurt the other person more, cause them damage in some way.

When you have completed your self-appraisal, you will feel a cleanness about yourself. You will be right with the world and yourself. Resolve to keep an active and current eye on your behaviors, celebrating yourself for your wins and correcting the negative as you move through each day.

I hope this clarifies your questions, dear friend. Thank you again for raising them. : ) And I hope for all of you that by doing a self-appraisal, you find more freedom and peace. Leave a comment if you found this to be useful for you.

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Ways To Be Compassion to an Angry Person

Good morning all! I was interested in addressing the search for “ways to be compassion to angry person.”

Let’s face it. We all experience angry people in our lives. And, we may even be that angry person. Look closely at yourself and be honest. Look at whether your anger is covering up hurt or disappointment. If this is you, you may want to change that anger and be honest about what the real issue is.

But we’re going to focus in this post on ways to be compassion with an angry persons, on ways to look differently at an angry person.

The first thing to consider is that anger is the emotion we usually revert to when we are hurt, frustrated, or disappointed.  We can have an understanding of this and that allows us to be compassion, to have compassion.

A further thing to consider when dealing with an angry person is to understand the hurt from which they are operating. What did they experience in their earlier life, for example, that is leading them to react with anger today? What is the pressure they are under in their lives that is leading them to be angry? We can have compassion for what they dealt with or are dealing with.

Interestingly, I am in the middle of such an experience… dealing with an angry person in a situation at home. I have to look at the situation and realize that, in some way, I invited the anger in the process of speaking up for my rights. Yet, I handled it poorly. So, I can have an understanding for their anger because I can see my behavior through doing a self-appraisal.

The point is, one thing we can do is to check our behavior first in dealing with angry people. Did we start it? Do we owe an apology? If so, we need to give it. In the situation I am dealing with, I can understand the pressure the other person is under, so I can cut some slack and I can apply compassion. I also apologized for behaving poorly.

Above and beyond that, we need to understand the effect that someone’s upbringing brings to the situation and we can have compassion. Through compassion, we can come to forgiveness.

What are the ways in which you can offer compassion to the angry person in your life? For me, I am needing to practice what I am suggesting. Leave a comment if you have a situation you are dealing with and how you are handling it.

 

 

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Letting Go of Childhood Resentments Against Our Parents

Hello! I’m a little later than usual today. I tried to do a post this morning, and the computer kept freezing on me. So, I am back to try it again…

The issue of our letting go of resentments from our childhood, resentments against our parents, is a big topic that was searched for and I’d like to address it. I personally spent 38 years angry and bitter toward my folks because of my upbringing. Much of that time, I drown my sorrows in the bottle.

And all of the time, I blamed them for my woes, my emotional difficulties. I never realized it was my responsibility to straighten out my messed up psyche. Never even occurred to me. It was easier to blame them. Yes, I was a very bitter and angry person, but you’d never know it because I hid it from everyone, even myself.

But when drunk, the rage would raise its ugly head and I said some nasty things to the men in my lives. I used to yell at them that they were worthless, would never amount to anything. I realized I’d said this when I got sober at the age of 48 and I was doing a self-appraisal, looking at my actions and behaviors throughout my life.

Whoa, I was stopped short, and was devastated that I had denigrated their souls so badly! I realized I had repeated what I’d been told by my father nearly every day while growing up. I also realized that when I said that to the men, I didn’t mean it about them… I meant it about me. Oh, I felt horrible! I have since apologized to them for those words.

More to the point, I began to think, after a few days, gee, if I didn’t mean that the men in my life were worthless and actually said it because I felt it about me, was it possible my father didn’t mean it about me when he called me worthless, that he said it about himself? The answer to this was yes, it was possible he was, in his extreme frustration and anger, yelling at me but meaning he was worthless.

The world opened up the second I realized that. It brought me up short, with new information. I had a new angle to consider. I began to recall stories about the abuse he endured while he was growing up, and I began to realize he was doing to me what was done to him, just like I did to the men in my life what was done to me. This was very powerful to acknowledge.

I began to see myself as a wounded person, and looked with compassion. I recognized that my father was a wounded man also, and began to see him with compassion. Over time, as I considered him with compassion, I began to forgive him for the abuse of my childhood. My resentments began to melt away… over time… and I experienced the greatest freedom and peace I have ever known. To this day, I still experience it, and it has been eight years since I was able to forgive.

You, too, can experience that freedom, that peace, from your childhood resentments. First, take a look at yourself and see if you have ever repeated the behavior that was done to you by your parents. If you have, then you may get to compassion for yourself and them faster than if you haven’t. But it is still possible to find compassion, even if you haven’t repeated your parents’ behavior.

Consider them as wounded people at the time that they did what they did to you. Then, see them with compassion, just like you would see any wounded person. Revisit this compassion again and again, and over time, you may be able to forgive them and get past your childhood resentments.

Let us know if this process helps you by leaving a comment.

 

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How to Show Compassion

Good morning, everyone! May this day bring you peace. May it also bring you the gift of showing compassion to those in your life. The search term I have chosen today is “how to show compassion (to your husband).” I have dropped off the “to your husband,” in the hopes that we can learn how to show compassion to anyone.

Fields of Compassion

Compassion is defined as the ability to show sympathy for another’s plight, to have empathy, coupled with a strong desire to help. In the process of getting to compassion, we will end up clearing out our anger, our resentment, toward the other person. That means we need to look at our anger.

To do that, first look at what is behind your anger. Usually, it is hurt, betrayal. Allow yourself to acknowledge and feel those feelings. Remember, what we resist, persists, so we want to shine light on our anger, our resentment. Next, we always want to so a self-appraisal to see if we did anything to start the dispute, the situation about which we are angry.

If we find we did do or say something to which the other person is reacting like any normal person would, then we need to take responsibility for that and apologize, at the same time letting go of the anger. We need to own our behavior, honestly and completely.

If we didn’t do something to provoke the other person, then we need to look with the eyes of compassion. So, how do we do that? We acknowledge the difficulty the other person is experiencing, or has experienced in their life that leads them to behave as they do, and we have sympathy, empathy, for them. To do this, we think of what we would feel like if we had experienced what the other did or does experience.

Once we have compassion for another, we can move toward forgiveness. As we forgive, it is easier and easier to expand our compassion toward them, and we are able to forgive more and more completely. The depth of the hurt will dictate the length of time this process takes, with more hurt leading to more time needing to forgive.

This is all a process and we would do well to have compassion for ourselves as we move through it all.

In what way do you try to show your compassion toward another or yourself? Leave a comment and let us know.

I’d like to let you know that, if you like what I blog about, then you may be interested in a support group I am starting. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to find peace-of-mind, want to find a way through any emotional turmoil, then I invite you to join me. There are two groups. One meets every 2nd and 4th Monday from 10 am to 11 am in San Rafael, in Marin. The second group meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 1:30 to 2: 30 pm, also in SanRafael. Both groups will run for three months.

We will cover how to identify the gates of your heart, learn the keys to unlock these gates, and understand how to push the gates open. In month one, we will deal with how to do a self-appraisal. Month two will be spent on getting through grief, and month three will deal with forgiveness so we can find peace.

If you are interested, call me to get more information or to register. The groups will start in February, 2013. Space is limited to twelve people per group. 415-883-8325. 

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The Benefits of Compassion

Good morning to you all! It is the wee hours of the morning and I just popped awake, so I got up. I’m armed with a cup of coffee in me, and am ready to write. : ) This morning’s search term I chose is compassion. Let’s see where that takes us.

Webster defines compassion as sorrow for the troubles of another coupled with the desire to help. It also defines it as having pity, and here I disagree. Pity is also defined as sorrow for another’s misfortunes, and goes on to say it implies a slight contempt because the object is regarded as weak or ignorant. I don’t think people want pity, especially because it implies ignorance or weakness, yet I believe compassion is desired by others when they are suffering.

It is possible to feel compassion for someone who is ill or experiencing difficult times. For example, I am currently care-taking a woman who is unable to be independent in her life, and I show her compassion. I think, “What if this were me? How would I like to be treated?” So I show her a mixture of kindness, gentleness, and patience – all components of compassion.

The benefit is a feeling that I have done something good for another, and that feels satisfying emotionally. It feeds my spirit, my soul. The benefit to the other person is that they feel nurtured, cared for and about.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of compassion is that it leads to forgiveness – of others and of ourselves. Let me explain how I discovered this. I spent 38 years angry and bitter about my up-bringing and the damage it did to my psyche. Then, through the process of my recovery in sobriety, I was lookinig at the relationship I had with my parents at the time, and I began to think about what they had endured in their lives.

What I realized is that they were abused themselves in harmful ways, and they were just repeating that behavior with me. When seen in this light, I began to feel sorrow for their troubles, their experiences, knowing how difficult the after-effects of abuse are. And they never learned to examine the feelings associated with their misfortunes. I began to feel compassion for them.

I re-visited that space of compassion many times, as I thought about the effect their up-bringing had on mine, and I found my anger and bitterness melting slowly away. Eventually, I realized I was feeling forgiveness for their behavior, knowing they knew no other way. That did not condone their actions and behaviors, of course, but forgiveness does not mean you condone anything that happened, it just means you pardon it.

In a similar fashion, we can feel compassion for ourselves over our difficulties, our misfortunes, and even our bad behavior. After-all, we knew no better or we would have done differently at that time. We were most likely wounded people ourselves. Instead of feeling pity or remorse, however, we can allow ourselves to feel compassion for our ignorance, our woundedness that led us to poor behavior.

We can feel compassion for the damaged person that we perhaps became through our experiences in life. Yet, that is not grounds for excuses over our behavior or actions. We feel compassion for ourselves, learn the lesson, and move forward in our life, resolving to not repeat what led us to compassion in the first place.

So, there you have what I believe to be the benefits of compassion, with forgiveness of others and ourselves high on the list. In what way do you show compassion to others, to yourself? Leave a comment and let us know.

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How to Manage Resentment

I spent 38 years of my life carrying a resentment against my parents for the things that occurred when I was growing up. I was a bitter, angry person, filled with self-pity. I drank heavily, saying, “You’d drink too if you’d had an upbringing like mine.” The thing is, the resentment was only hurting myself, and did nothing to move me forward in life.

Resentment is defined by Webster as a feeling of bitter hurt or indignation, from a sense of being injured or offended. In recovery circles, it is distinguished from anger by the thought that a resentment means to feel again and again.

Today, I have resolved my resentment and enjoy a fine relationship with my parents, as well as with others. How did I do that, get to that place?

First, I looked at what was behind my resentment. I found it was usually because I was hurt or disappointed by something someone did or said. I took that hurt and disappointment and ran with it, feeling it again and again, feeling indignant that “this” was done to me. As I mentioned, I was filled with self-pity.

The second thing I did was to conduct a self-appraisal. This involved looking at my positive points first, and then my negative ones, my negative thoughts, behaviors, and actions. What I discovered was that I had very high expectations, higher than, for example, my parents could meet, given their own wounds they received while growing up. They were incapable of being who and what I wanted them to be. When I realized this, I was able to let go of my expectations and enjoy the positive things that came my way.

Also in that appraisal, I discovered ways in which I had gotten the ball rolling on a resentment. In other words, I did or said something to hurt another and they reacted in a human way back to me. I then resented them for how they reacted. But I started the whole affair. I had to learn to identify my part in things, and in the case of resentment, I found it was caused usually by my behavior and actions.

That was an embarrassing thing for me to realize, as I thought I was “justified” in my resentment, but when I saw that I started the whole thing, I had to let go of the resentment. I had to learn to identify what was behind the resentment and it was most often hurt.

It was also because I was disappointed by something and blamed it on the person I thought disappointed me. After doing my appraisal, identifying when I was disappointed, I began to learn not to expect anything from anyone. This way, when something happened that was nice, it was a pleasant surprise.

To recap, my resentment was almost always caused by my high expectations that someone couldn’t meet, or by something I did or said to get the ball rolling. How did I get past my resentments?

Well, after the self-appraisal, I began to develop compassion for others. For example, when I allowed myself to look at my parents and what they endured during their childhood, I began to realize they were just repeating what was done to them. Knowing what that was like, I felt compassion for their childhood, and for them. From this compassion, I was able to forgive. That does not mean I condone what happened; it just means I am pardoning their behavior, having seen its root causes.

I hope this is helpful information that you can put to use now or in the near future. Here’s to the resolution of resentment in your life.

 

 

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Opening Your Heart in Sobriety

Good morning. One of the search terms, the one we’ll talk about today, is opening your heart and I added “in sobriety.” You will find, as your sobriety progresses, that your heart will open. But there are specific things you can do to help this to happen.

The photo to the right is one from my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. The verse that accompanies it is:

“We spend our lives behind the barriers of a closed gate, protected from the hurt and pain that may come to us. If we allow our hearts to open, we will see things in a different light. We will grow through the barriers of our heart and be able to fully experience the richness of life.”

So, how do you let down the barrier of your heart that you have erected to protect yourself?

First of all, if you approach yourself and others with gentleness, your heart will begin to open more. Next, kindness to others and yourself will help. Then, there is tolerance, which will add to your ability to open your heart in sobriety. Being tolerant of others’ differences, being tolerant of yourself and your foibles, will aid your journey to an open heart.

The most important thing, though, for allowing your heart to open is the practice of compassion – for yourself and for others. When you practice compassion, your heart softens. Sometimes, to get to compassion, it helps to do a self-appraisal, so you can discover the things you do that others do, to annoy you.

For example, you may get angry at others for something and when you do a self-appraisal, you may discover that you do the very same thing. Instead of continuing to blame the other, you can open your heart and see you both as wounded humans, and accept the foibles you are both demonstrating.

In sobriety, these steps will aid you to open your heart. And certainly, you do not have to be practicing sobriety to do these things.

How do you open your heart? Let us know what you have learned in sobriety that allows you to open your heart by leaving a comment.

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