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.

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Completing a Negative Self-Appraisal Gets Us to Gentleness

Ah, geez. I am a week late on the continuation of a self-appraisal. Please forgive me for my tardiness. Last week was a week from hell and it just got away from me. Luckily, you were left hanging in the positive self-appraisal points, and not the negative ones.

Today’s task is looking at your negative points, your areas for improvement. Grab your writing stuff and make a list of all the negative things you do, say, and think about others AND yourself. Try to be detached when you do this. The point is not to beat yourself up, but rather, to identify the things which you can improve.

Look at the things you have done which were unkind or hateful. Own your behavior… be honest about it. You may owe an apology to others, or to yourself, for that matter. Follow through with this task with humility. Just be humble. There is no need to grovel while asking for forgiveness. Just be matter-of-fact, and sincerely apologetic.

Look at this list and determine if you are willing to change the things you do that are mean and hateful. Ask the Universe or God to show you the way.

After you have established your willingness to change and what to change, it is time to look at the past 3 days and to write down everything you did during that time period that was unkind, impatient, and generally mean to others or yourself.

Be sure to include yourself as you look at how you acted negatively. Once you have made this list, look at it to determine your level of willingness to make a change in negative behavior. Own your stuff, the bad behavior you displayed. This may mean apologizing to someone for what you have done.

Remember, we are each human, and in being human, we have both positive and negative qualities. Look at this exercise in a detached manner. Learn to say things like, “Oh. I see how I was mean to Suzi when I x,y,z.”  Rather than beat yourself up or have remorse and guilt, make plans to apologize to her; vow to change your behavior on an on-going basis.

There is nothing quite as freeing on the pathway to gentleness as doing a self-appraisal. You will find you do one continually throughout the day, keeping a check on your behaviors and actions. A self-appraisal will become second nature to you and you will gain tremendous peace as you keep continual watch over yourself.

How was this process for you? Was it enlightening and did you make apologies to those you harmed, both physically, verbally, and spiritually? Consider carefully before you apologize; sometimes to do so would hurt the person more and in those cases, we often do it to feel better ourselves. Remember, this is about the other person, not about you.

Go forth and complete the appraisal, and may you find it fruitful. Join me later this week as I continue the discussion about how to find gentleness.

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In the Quiet with Gentleness

Good morning to each of you. May this day be a quiet one, filled with gentleness.

I really liked the search term, “in the quiet with gentleness.” It took me immediately to a place of serenity, of peace, and I felt my soul washed clean with the gentleness spoken of in the query. I am excited about the term, because it speaks so eloquently, yet simply, of the place where I live today, where you can live also.

When we have been on a journey of peace, searching for it, finding it, then we know quietness like never before. We have learned to see ourselves with gentleness, rather than the harshness of days past. We offer ourselves and others that gentleness, and it feels expansive in our soul. It is a deep knowingness that all is well.

How do we find the quiet with gentleness? We learn peace… peace with ourselves, peace with the world around us. We find forgiveness of others and ourselves; we actively seek this out. Our primary goal is to find that peace-of-mind and to live in grace, in gentleness. Ah, yes, gentleness is living in grace, that place of unearned favor, that quietness of the soul, where everything just flows smoothly.

This is a lovely place in which to live and I enjoy that place every day. But it wasn’t always this way. No, I used to be pretty hyper, very judgmental and critical, both of myself and others. I was angry and bitter, blaming everyone and everything for my woes. Then, after I found sobriety and worked at being sober in my life, I began to find forgiveness… of others and of myself and I began to live in gentleness of spirit, gentleness of soul.

It was a choice I made, to find that place of peace, that place of gentleness. You, too, can find that place. All it takes is willingness, and some work on your part. Let’s spend a couple of days and look at how to find that quiet place where gentleness resides. Over the next few days, I’ll write about the process I underwent in hopes that you, too, can find the place of gentleness, that place of quiet in your mind and spirit, you soul. Join me, won’t you?

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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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Are Inner Strength and Spirituality the Same Thing?

Good morning to each of you and welcome to another day! May it be a great one for you! I had an interesting search term this morning. It was “are inner strength and spirituality the same thing?” I want to speak to this today.

Spirituality is defined by Webster as being of spiritual nature and spiritual is defined as of the soul or spirit, sacred, devotional. It does not need to be connected to religion or the church to be considered spiritual. For example, I consider myself very spiritual, believing in a higher power that guides all that is, but I do not adhere to or practice any religion.

Inner strength I would describe as the strength of character, the strength that comes from within me to sustain a peaceful existence. I see, or consider, that my spirituality enhances and adds to my inner strength. When I am not feeling strong within, I pray to my higher power and I receive inner strength.

Given the way I am defining these two terms, spirituality and inner strength, I see them as two separate and distinct things, yet intertwined. I think that people who practice some form of spirituality have more inner strength, as they have more faith upon which to draw.

There are my thoughts on spirituality and inner strength. What are your thoughts on these? Are they the same or distinct? I invite you to leave a comment and let us know.

I want to let you know that I have a new video on my home page about my new free 3-module video course on finding inner peace through forgiveness. The video course consists of three tips on how to forgive. If you are struggling with lack of inner peace, head on over and get the videos. I believe they will benefit you for the rest of your life.

 

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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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What Is Honesty?

Good morning and welcome to another wonderful day! Today’s three-time search term is “what is honesty?” and I will address that today.

In sobriety, I learned about honesty and it expanded my belief and understanding of it. Yes, it’s about not stealing, and it’s more than that for all of us. It includes how you show up in the world to others and to yourself.

For example, showing honesty also means being honest about your actions and behaviors. Many of us do not look honestly at our actions and behaviors, and we blame others for what is rightfully our issue. Especially when there is a controversy, we blame another for things that went wrong, when we refuse to look at what part we played in the altercation. It always takes two…

So, in this case, what is honesty? Well, it is owning your bad behavior. Honesty is admitting that you did a bad deed, or gossiped about someone, thereby smashing their spirit, for example. But again, the biggest offender of being honest is when you blame another before you look at what you brought to the disagreement. Let’s look at blaming others in more detail.

I spent 32 years blaming my parents for my emotional woes from my childhood wounds, but never once did I think of accepting responsibility for my feelings, being responsible for healing my own wounds. Once I learned that it was my job to heal myself, my life took off in a glorious direction.

Well, it wasn’t glorious at first; it was extremely painful. Yet, after looking squarely at my hurts, my wounds, it began to get glorious as I healed from one wound after another. It took learning to talk to myself in a positive light, learning that most of what I had been told was a lie, my parents’ own wounds talking to me. I began to realize I was not the person that they told me I was. This realization brought me much joy and happiness… as well as peace.

I invite you to stop blaming others for deeds done, and to look at yourself to determine how you can heal from what was told or done to you. That does not mean you ignore what was said or done… you are merely going through and past that to a place of higher “being” about it all. You are setting the stage for forgiveness.

I invite you to own your bad behavior and apologize when it’s appropriate. Be humble, not ashamed. Realize you are a human being who makes mistakes and admit to them. When you “come clean” with another person, their feelings for you will most likely soften. They will most always accept your apology and they also often then talk about what they brought to the incident, where they displayed bad behavior. Usually in these instances, showing up with honesty will lead to healing between you and the other person.

If you have difficulty going through this process, that’s where I can come in with my coaching services. These are the very type of situations I do well with… identifying how to get past blaming, how to own behavior, how to display honesty. If you are stuck at this point, feel free to contact me at 415-883-8325 and we can discuss how I might be of assistance to you, how we can work together to bring you relief.

I want you to have peace, you see, and this is one way to find it… by learning what is honesty…

 

 

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How to Trust a Higher Power

Hello and good morning in the pre-dawn hours. : ) I am wondering how things went for you with the forgiveness challenge. Were you able to do the exercises? How did/does it feel? Do you think you’ll be able to get to the point of forgiveness? I hope so.

This morning, there was a search term “how can I trust my higher power,” and I wanted to address this today. It is crucial for your peace of mind and your sobriety to have a belief and trust in a higher power. To relay how you can do that, I’d like to tell a story…

When I came to sobriety, I did so having just read Conversations With God. This was a very powerful book for me; the effect on me was astounding. I had begun to believe that God was everywhere around me, in everything and everybody. So, when I entered sobriety, I thought it was God urging me to do so. I now know this was the case, but about 3-4 years into sobriety, I began to have difficulty with God.

I was working through my childhood issues, dealing with the anger and rage, the confusion and hurt, the wounds I was left with from my childhood. I began to trust God only so far, and then I felt I needed to take over, I needed to watch my back. I had reverted to a survival mode, one which was familiar and necessary from childhood days.

Soon, this lack of trust in a higher power began to get in my way, and I got to a deep despair, wondering why a higher power would have allowed me to experience what I did as a child. The way I got out of the despair is a whole other story; let me focus on trusting my higher power…

Right about the time that I was in deep despair, my sponsor suggested I begin to notice the things in my life that were going well, the good things that were occurring that I did not plan nor force to happen. So I did. I began to notice these things. What I soon discovered was that  wonderful things that were happening, small, little things that I did not design or orchestrate.

My sponsor said this was my higher power working in my life. Ahhhh, I thought to myself. So, this is the higher power. I began to trust that I was being cared for, watched over. Slowly, I eased the need to watch my back, and began to believe that it was being watched by my higher power.

Today, I believe there is a higher power at work in my life. I see evidence of it every minute of every day in the small things, the things that fall into place as a result of me having taken action. Opportunities arise, people are there to help me… it all just falls together like a beautifully choreographed dance.

This is how your higher power works, in small ways, effortlessly. As things begin to fall into place for you, as others appear on your path to guide you, think of it as your higher power at work in your life, for it is. : )

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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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7 – Day Forgiveness Challenge – Day 6

Hello to all who are joining in on the forgiveness challenge! You are awesome for hanging in there! How did yesterday go, writing your not-so-hot behaviors and actions down?

Today, we’re going to look at a key factor in your ability to get to a place of forgiveness. Let’s jump right in…

Now that you have identified that your gripe is legit, i.e., that you don’t do the same things for which you are angry, and you didn’t get the ball rolling, it is time to look with new eyes, from 180 degrees.

Consider the ways in which your resentment has taken its toll on your life emotionally and physically. You may be trying to cope with damaged relationships, a divorce, etc., because of your resentments. So, the emotional toll for you may well be poor relations with others. I would suspect you are stressed over the issue and revisit it frequently, which leads you to great angst.

Physically, you are most likely affected by constriction of every part of your body, by a sour stomach, by clenching your gut, your jaw. There are many ways our emotional stress manifests physically. What is true for you?

You know, medical research has shown that being in a state of forgiveness leads to decreased risk of heart disease, heart attack, and cancer. Obviously, the opposite is true, and that’s something to consider as you look from a 180 degree perspective.

So, now look 180 degrees from where you are currently looking. Consider that you want peace in your life… peace for yourself… peace for your heart.  Remember, you forgive for yourself, not the other person. Is it worth the emotional and physical toll your resentment is taking? It never is, in my experience.

Here are the next steps to take. It involves some writing…

  • List out the ways in which you are consumed by your resentment; how does it affect you in your daily life – your work life, your home life, your life out in the world?
  • Consider that you want something different for yourself. Consider that you want to have emotional peace, no matter what it takes.
  • List out the things you want to be different in your life, or, if you have a need to hang on to the resentment, write about it and why that might be.
  • Consider the possibility that you can leave this misery and create a new story.
  • Visualize yourself in that story. How does it feel? What do you like about it? Write about it. If you cannot see yourself in a positive story, know it will come in time.
  • Spend some time and energy becoming willing to hear about how to devise a new story. Write about any resistance.

Sit with this desire to make changes in your life. It will resonate with you and feel good. Tomorrow, I shall talk about the one way to create forgiveness, as we wrap up the challenge. If you are struggling with this, I offer my coaching services to you so we can work together to get you unstuck. Simply call me at 415-883-8325 to schedule a session.

I’ll see you tomorrow. I wish you well in the writing exercise.

 

 

 

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