The Journey to Gentleness

Hello and welcome back as we go through the journey to find gentleness. I hope the negative appraisal went well for you, that you discovered things about yourself upon which to improve…

Today, I am going to talk about compassion and forgiveness, and how they contribute to your gentleness. Compassion is defined as the ability to have sympathy or sorrow for another’s plight, usually accompanied with a desire to help the other person.

Compassion is a great strength to have because it softens your heart, it brings you to gentleness. As you consider those who have hurt you in some way, see them as wounded people. Once you see their wounds, apply compassion just as you would for any sick person.

Keep revisiting and revisiting that recognition of the other person’s wounds. Offer compassion and before you know it, forgiveness will gently fall upon you one day when you least expect it. Just as you would for anyone else, have compassion for your wounds; hold yourself in compassion and allow forgiveness for yourself to flow in.

Doing a self-appraisal, both negative and positive, and then identifying the wounds that exist, is a powerful way to bring yourself to gentleness. The act of forgiveness is icing on the cake… Once you forgive, you will know gentleness like never before, along with great peace, happiness, and freedom.

I wish you well on your search for gentleness.

Share

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.

Share

7 – Day Forgiveness Challenge – Day 5

Good morning to each of you and welcome back to our forgiveness challenge! Today, you will look at your not-so-good actions, behaviors, and qualities. This is necessary in order to determine if you did something to get the ball rolling in the resentment.

Got ready to make two more lists. First, list out your not-so-hot qualities, the things upon which you want to improve. Be honest with yourself. Know that we each have a side of undesirable traits.

Then, consider the past week. List out all the not-so-desireable things you said and did. See all of this objectively, without getting upset over your areas that need improvement. In fact, look at what you identify as just that – areas needed for improvement.

Now, think about the person with whom you have a resentment, an anger, and consider the following two points:

  • Do you do the same thing that the other person did for which you are angry? In other words, are you angry about something that you, yourself, do? If you can honestly say yes, then you need to drop your resentment and realize that you and the other person are fallible human beings. It helps to laugh at yourself…
  • Explore the beginning of the hurt which you resent. Then consider, did you get the ball ruling? Did you say or do something that was not-so-nice, to which the other person reacted like any normal human being would, in a predictable fashion? If you said or did something mean to John and John reacted by doing something which then hurt you, recognize that you got the ball rolling; you started the whole disagreement. In this case, it is time to become humble. See yourself as a fallible human being. Drop your anger and resentment and apologize, if needed. Don’t forget to give forgiveness to yourself.

This part of the process can be difficult and you may be tempted to brush off your negative behavior. I would caution you not to do that, and urge you to look with honesty and humility at your behavior. If you are having difficulty conducting this part of the self-appraisal, or in looking at the role you played in the whole resentment, I am available for coaching you through it. That’s what I do. Simply call me at 415-883-9325 to schedule a time to talk. Or, email me at carolyncjjones@yahoo.com.

I wish you well with this part of the forgiveness process, and hope that you can put what you illuminate to good use.

Share

Living in the Past with Resentment or Longing

Good morning! I hope you each are well this morning. Today, we will continue with living in the past, and will address living with resentment and longing for better days.

Let’s look at resentment first. Resentment is the reliving of an anger again and again, not letting go of it. In these cases where you are doing this, there is a key you can learn that will benefit you for the rest of your life; you can learn to forgive.

Forgiveness is a process; it doesn’t happen overnight, yet, when you get to a point of being ready to forgive, it quietly happens in the moment. There are some things to consider about how to forgive. First, see the other person as a wounded being, and feel compassion for their woundedness. From that place of compassion, forgive.

Second, learn to do a self-appraisal, look honestly at your negative behavior. Determine if you got the ball rolling or if you do the very thing for which you are resentful. In these cases, let go of your resentment; forgive and let it go. Apologize if it is indicated.

Third, accept that the other person is incapable of giving you what you want. For whatever reason, they cannot meet your expectations. Accept that about them and let it go; forgive. This brings up the issue of expectations. When you expect things from others, it is a set up to be disappointed and resentful when they do not meet those expectations. Watch for that, and try not to expect anything. Then, when good things happen, you can be surprised.

Let’s turn our attention to longing for the “good old days.” Many people spend a lot of time in the unproductive and sadness-producing activity of wishing things were like they used to be. They lament that those days are gone. The danger is that, when you do this, you are not living in the present moment where the gifts of life reside. You make yourself miserable.

It is nice to have fond memories of the past and to long for them to return is a danger signal to your happiness if you spend your time wishing things were different than they are in current day. Accept that those days are gone and instead of lamenting, choose to make today the best possible. Get involved in new activities to create more “good old days.”

Living in the past is non-productive, a waste of time and energy no matter what the reason. Visit the past for the purpose of healing from it and otherwise, don’t live in it. Learn to live in the moment.

How are you living in the past? Are you feeling guilty, resentful, or longing for days gone by? Take a look at those things and realize you are making yourself miserable. You have a choice to stop living in the past. Make it. : )

 

Share

Living in the Past Prevents You From Moving Forward

Hi and good morning, all! I hope you had a very nice Easter. Today’s search that caught my eye was “living in the past and my expectations keep me from moving forward.” So let’s take a look at these two things.

Often, when you are living in the past, you are looking back with guilt or resentment over an incident, or you are longing for those “better days.” In all three cases, you are not served, you are unable to move forward with your life. You are prevented from living in the present moment, which is where the gift of life resides. Let’s look at each one of these points separately.

When you are in guilt, you regret your actions or behaviors in the past and beat yourself up over them again and again. I say with all gentleness, this is a waste of your time and energy, an activity that affects your heart and your ability to love yourself. Loving yourself is necessary so you can truly love others in your life.

You did the very best you knew how to do with the tools you had at the time. If you had known better, you would have done better. I am not suggesting that you are not responsible for your actions, because you are. In the case where you harmed someone, you can take responsibility and apologize to them if to do so will not hurt them further.

Then, you can react with humility, recognizing that you are a human being and humans are prone to make mistakes. It is part of our nature. The real opportunity to living in the past by feeling guilty lies in the lesson you can learn from the whole affair. It lies in how you can grow as a person because of your actions.

Also, you do not know what the Universe has in store for the recipient of your wrong. Maybe they were the brunt of your error so they can heal from it and grow in ways you cannot understand. Maybe they are intended to be of service to someone else who suffers as they did. You do not know.

And maybe the Universe is trying to teach you humility. You do not know. The best to be done when you feel guilty and are living in the past is to forgive yourself, apologize when indicated, then learn and grow from the whole thing.

In the interest of keeping this post relatively short, I will continue tomorrow with the other two things that cause you to stay living in the past. Return tomorrow when I’ll discuss how to manage resentments and longing for the good old days.

Where in your life are you living in the past because you feel guilty? I invite you to apply some of the points I mentioned and forgive yourself.

Share

Easter – A Day of Rising Up by Finding Sobriety

Good morning and Happy Easter to each of you! I wish for you a day of rising up, of being reborn in your life. For me, that rebirth happened after I found sobriety. By becoming sober, I became able to heal form past wounds, and to learn to forgive, to create forgiveness in my life.

Today, I want to address sobriety and then mention forgiveness…

Have you been beaten down so low in your life that you are in great despair, with little or no hope that things will get better? Are you drinking mass quantities to numb the pain and confusion you feel? There is a way out. It is one of sobriety.

Right now, today – a day of rising up – you can choose sobriety. You can choose another course for your life. It doesn’t have to be in shame that you do this – instead, you can be in great relief that you no longer have to drown your sorrows and feel miserable the next day. Ah yes, the hangovers. How I remember them well… getting up and not being able to function until the afternoon, going to get my hangover food – a burrito from Taco Bell or a thigh from Kentucky Fried Chicken – all so it would settle my queasy stomach and quell the sharp pain in my head.

Are you there yet? Wanting to give it all up? Then it is time for you to consider sobriety, to ask for help. There are many support groups around from which you can get assistance. All you have to do is look in your yellow pages, or google alcohol support groups. They are there to help you – right now. Follow that small voice in your heart that wants to be done, that small voice that urges you to ask for help. It will be the best thing you do for yourself in your life!

Once you find sobriety, after a while, you will learn how to create forgiveness in your life, of both others and yourself, and that is the most freeing and peaceful thing you can experience. It will make you glow, make you radiant. You do not want to miss this experience!

The thing about sobriety is, it allows you to heal from all the demons you chase away when you are drinking. Through sobriety, you create a life that is filled with freedom, with peace. But you have to start somewhere, so why not at the beginning and what better day than Easter?

 

Share

The Process of Forgiveness

Good morning to each and every one of you and thank you for coming to this blog. I wish for you a terrific day and weekend! Today, I will deal with the process of forgiveness.

Remember, in the talk about forgiveness, you are not condoning what was done or said, not saying it was okay. You are merely clearing your heart, your spirit, your soul. Nor does the person have to apologize for you to forgive. Also, you can forgive and not keep that person in your life.

Having said that, let me dive into the process of forgiveness. First, identify one person and one incident about which you are angry and resentful. Write about the situation in your journal – print with your non-dominant hand. When you write with your non-dominant hand, all sorts of deep feelings will flow forth; that is a proven occurrence. Also, printing is easier to manage than writing in script.

Feel the feelings of anger, hurt, betrayal, etc., that arise for you. Write about them. “Be” with them; allow them to cross through your mind, but don’t start feeling sorry for yourself. And don’t start plotting how you will get back at them. The purpose of this exercise is simply to feel your emotions rather than avoid them. Don’t numb your emotions with substances during this part, either.

Now look at how this anger/resentment has affected your life and the life of those around you. Write about the impact it has had in your life. Look carefully at what you have written and realize that is not what you want for your life. If you want to be at peace, to have peace-of-mind, then keep doing this exercise. After looking at the ways in which your anger has invaded your life, decide you will look with new eyes, 180 degrees from where you are now looking.

Look at what the person did, and consider that, to have done that, someone, in this case the other person, would have to be wounded themselves to do what they did. Think about the possible wounds the other person may have been, or is, dealing with. See them as a wounded person. Have compassion for that wounded person.

Don’t forget to do your self-appraisal and determine if you got the ball rolling with this resentment, whether you started the whole affair, or whether you do the very same thing for which you are resentful. In these cases, I suggest dropping your resentment, even apologizing if the need is there.

Return to compassion for the person who wronged you, again and again until the seeds of forgiveness begin to grow. Recognize that the person did the best they could with the tools they had at the time. Granted, that may have been pretty nasty behavior, but recognize that was their best at the time.

Get all of this process down in writing, because your feelings about it will flow onto the page. Writing is cathartic and healing. Recognize when you have reached forgiveness and notice how that feels in your heart. Do you feel lighter? If you do not yet feel lighter, keep returning to that state of compassion until forgiveness occurs. For me, it took about a year of doing this before I actually forgave my parents.

Once you have done the process and you feel a lighter spirit, share in a comment what that was like for you. I wish you well on your journey to forgiveness.

 

 

Share

The Act of Forgiveness

Good morning and welcome to another day! I hope it is a glorious day for you, one in which things go as you desire. Today, we continue our discussion about forgiveness.

In the post yesterday, I spoke about looking at whether or not you are angry at someone for something you, yourself, are guilty of doing or saying. This, as I said, involves doing a self-appraisal, or performance evaluation, if you will.

In that appraisal, be honest, even if it is embarrassing to admit. Instead of being embarrassed, look at the situation with eyes and gentleness of compassion. I, for example, realized one day that I was doing the same thing driving that I was mad at other drivers for doing for which I resented them. Ah, I had to drop my anger, and forgive the other drivers for their habit, even though I find it annoying.

You also need to look at whether you got the ball rolling in a situation that has led to anger and resentment. Did you say or do something that the other person reacted to like a normal human being would? If this is the case, and you acted negatively toward them, you need to accept responsibility for your behavior.

In that case, you need to own your negative behavior, apologize, if needed, and forgive the other person. Often, we unknowingly, and sometimes knowingly, do or say nasty things to others to which they react. It is this situation to which I refer. You can get more detail about how to look at these issues by signing up to get my free article on forgiveness by leaving your email to the right, as I said yesterday.

Once you get the article, you will read further about how to manage a resentment, an anger toward another. You will read about the process of how to forgive. It starts with listing out one anger/resentment, why you are angry and at whom. Feel that anger, feel the hurt, feel the seething. Allow yourself to feel how wrong the offense was.

Then, look at how this has affected your life, the life of those around you, and make a conscious choice to look at the situation with a new set of eyes, from 180 degrees. With that new pair of eyes, decide you want something different for your life and become willing to be responsible for it. Choose to stop blaming and accept what occurred. Just make the decision to do that, even if you are not able to come to a definite resolve to do it.

Now, sit with that choice to make a change in relation to that offense, to your anger and resentment. Just “be” with it. Notice where the feelings take you when you consider a change in your life, in starting a new relationship with your anger and resentment. Write about your feelings, print actually, with your non-dominant hand, so feelings just flow out onto the page.

Try to devote at least 30 minutes to this exercise, and let’s continue tomorrow in the process of forgiveness.

Share

What Forgiveness Is Not

Hello and good morning to each of you! It has dawned another clear day in the northern San Francisco Bay Area and I’m loving it! Today is another day about forgiveness.

First though, I want to acknowledge each of you for your perseverance, your coming back, especially now that we’re getting into the meat of things that are personal. It is difficult to look at ourselves. It is difficult to climb from emotional numbness, to examine our anger, our pain. I applaud each and every one of you for your efforts! You will find the reward of peace and freedom so well worth it.

Today, let’s talk about what forgiveness is not. First and foremost, when we forgive, we are not condoning what was said or done. We are not saying that what was said or done was okay, for it was not.

This assumes, of course, that you have already done a self-appraisal and examined whether or not you do the same things others are doing, and if you are, then you need to consider forgiving the other person for being human, just like you. It also assumes that you have identified whether you got the ball rolling, and the other person was just responding in a predictable human fashion.

If you are confused about these things and/or how to do a self-appraisal, I suggest you get my free article by signing up to the right. It explains the process of getting to forgiveness, and how to do a self-appraisal. How to look at these issues is discussed.

Back to the point that forgiveness does not say what was done is wiped from your memory, that you are overlooking the transgression, for you’re not. Yet, you can still forgive. The person is still responsible for what they did or said, you are just looking at it with a different view from your heart. You are looking at it from the standpoint of gaining peace and freedom.

The second misconception about forgiveness is that the other person must apologize before you can forgive. This is just not so, and, in fact, an apology may never be forthcoming.

I never have spoken to my parents, for example, of my 38 years of anger, about the scars I received as a result of my upbringing, as I feel this would only serve to hurt them. They know not what they did. Because of that, an apology will not come forth; yet, I have been able to forgive them anyway, as I realize they are not capable, perhaps, of understanding. That’s okay. I can still forgive because forgiveness is for MY heart.

If you understand these two misconceptions, and that forgiveness is extended so you can be at peace in YOUR heart, to free YOU, then you are that much further in your ability to forgive.

I hope these clarifications make it easier to consider forgiveness. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about ways in which you can take responsibility for your feelings in this area.

 

Share

Forgiveness Is a Decision and An Emotional Change

Good morning! It is pre-dawn, and I am up and roaming about. I am surrounded by papers on my desk from my radio talk show yesterday afternoon. Oh, have I told you about it? Transform Into Forgiveness airs on the internet every Monday at 3 pm PST. Just go to www.w4cy.com, and when you get there, you will hear me live. I invite you to join me.

Yesterday on the show, I relayed a saying about learning that I found on Facebook which rang true for me. It was, “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.” You keep coming back, so I take it you are determined to learn. That is marvelous! You are unstoppable and will reach your goal, whatever that may be.

Having said that, let’s continue our discussion from yesterday when I spoke about things you may be angry and resentful of that keep you from forgiving. The thing about forgiveness is, your anger is like poison that you are drinking. It harms you and the other person is untouched by it. Your anger gnaws at you, eating away from the inside out.

Did you know that medical research has shown that living in a state of forgiveness can lead to a decreased risk of heart disease, heart attack, and cancer? It is true, and so is the opposite, that living in anger, a state of un-forgiveness, leads to all these things. How marvelous that being forgiving, living in a state of forgiveness, can help to decrease your blood pressure, for example, or can lower your risk of getting cancer.

In fact, on January 2, 1998, ABC reported that “studies show that letting go of anger and resentment can reduce the severity of heart disease and in some cases, even prolong the lives of cancer patients.” That is powerful, don’t you think?! It presents a strong case for learning to forgive.

Forgiveness is both a decision and a real change in emotional experience. That change in emotion is related to better emotional and physical health. We decide that we are going to look at forgiving someone, and then we take the steps to do so. It’s like making the decision to look at your world from 180 degrees, from the opposite direction. You make this decision because the anger has consumed you and you are not willing to live with that anymore.

Think about the anger you hold and how it spills into everything you do… your personal relationships, your work and those relationships, your hobbies and pleasures. At what point is enough enough? At what point are you wanting to stop those effects of your anger and resentment and to have peaceful and loving relationships? What about today?

Join me tomorrow as I speak more about forgiveness and clarify what it is not.

Share