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. : )



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.


What If You Could Be Free From Emotional Struggle?

Good morning on this day that dawns clear! I wish for you each a day of hope and clarity. So, I repeat the question… what if you could be free from emotional struggle? Free from loss and grief, guilt and anger… depression? What if you could be free from these things?

Would you take action to do so? Ask yourself, why do you stay stuck in your pain? Are you playing the victim, stuck in self-pity?

Celebration of Choices

Celebration of Choices

These are hard and quite direct questions, and I wanted to jog your thought process. The thing is, there are alternatives. You have choices to remain in that suffering space, that emotional struggle, or to go through it to a stronger and happier you.

It is not lightly that I say these things, for I know the price it probably took to get you where you are today, and I know the work it takes to get to a place of hope. And I know these things because I experienced great angst from my own emotional suffering.

Thirteen years ago, I left my verbally-abusive marriage, expecting to start a relationship with a new man. It didn’t work out and I was so devastated, all I could do for several months was drink and cry. I was terrified to be alone and had no clue how to function on my own after a marriage of twenty years. I was in an emotional and psychological meltdown.

Then I got sober and began to develop what has now become my coaching program, Opening the Gates of Your Heart. The road to wholeness after facing 38 years of anger and bitterness against my parents for my upbringing, facing seven years of debilitating grief over my lost marriage and the lost relationship with the new man, and facing the guilt and depression over the things I did and didn’t do in the marriage, was fraught with agony and ecstasy, pain and joy.

Having taken that journey and having come out on the other side a whole and empowered woman of great freedom and peace, I offer to those of you who are caught in your loss, grief, anger, guilt, and depression my unique and individualized coaching program.

What I teach will benefit you for the rest of your life. My approach is nurturing, compassionate, and supportive as I work with you to gain more confidence and self-esteem, more positive belief in yourself and your innate abilities until you can believe in yourself.

If your life is turned upside down because you are in the middle of emotional struggle, there is hope. If you are withdrawing from life in order to protect your raw and damaged heart, you can heal and open the gates of your heart. If you have lost your confidence and are struggling to claim your independence, you can become empowered.

I invite you to learn more about my one-on-one individualized coaching program. You know my style from my blogs, and if you like what I have to say in them, know that you will receive more of that in our sessions. If you are interested in pursuing some assistance with your emotional struggle, take a look at my coaching page under the “Services” tab.

Then call 415-883-8325 to schedule a free 30 minute discovery session. In that call, we will discuss what is troubling you, what your concerns are, and, if I can be of use to you, we will discuss how you can continue to work with me.

Will you take action to begin to resolve your emotional struggle? I hope so because it feels wonderful to have surpassed the struggle and to get to a place of freedom and peace. I want nothing more than to share that with you. Be well, and if what I say resonates with you, move at the speed of instruction.


How to Deal with Grief – Part 1

Yesterday, I talked about a book I read that has changed the way in which I want to deal with grief… how to handle it, how to get through it. That book is The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman.

One of the ideas they present is that there is a difference between not forgetting and not getting over someone or something from which you grieve. The whole point of grief recovery is to get over the grief in order to move to a place where you live a happy and fulfilled life. This is different from not forgetting someone. You will always remember someone and the relationship you had with them, and it is possible to get over the grief.

Another idea they present is that grief does not occur in stages and they caution allowing anyone to place you in such a box. They also urge you to not place a timeframe on the length of time it takes you to recover from the grief. Each of us is unique and individual, and we handle grief in the way we were taught, as well as based upon the relationship we had with the person or thing we have lost.

For example, a move when you were a child may not be as sad an event for you if you were not attached to the place you lived or to anyone there. However, if you were attached to the home, had friends, then you will most likely need to grieve more the loss of those things when you move. It is highly likely you did not grieve the loss from a move when you were a child, and it can be done in present day.

Some signs of grief which you may or may not be experiencing are changed eating habits, disrupted sleeping patterns, and a roller coaster of emotions. You are unhappy and life is not fulfilling for you. John and Russell recommend you find a partner, someone else who is grieving a loss. One of you may be dealing with loss from a death, while the other may be dealing with the loss of a divorce. This is fine, as long as you are both experiencing grief. In the book, they walk you through exercise to complete which you then relay to your partner.

Grief, conflicting emotions over a change in familiar patterns of behavior, usually begins immediately after the loss. That reaction may be one of shock and numbness. You may alternate between a feeling of grief at the loss with remembering the person and your relationship with fond memories. These are typical grieving behaviors and feelings.

Events you may grieve over include the death of a loved one or someone you knew and cared about, a divorce, a move, loss of a pet, and the change or loss of a job. These are all intellectual definitions of loss and should not be confused with the emotions, the feelings, you hold of the loss. Remember, because each relationship is unique, your grief will be totally unique; it will be different than someone else’s.

John and Russell devote a section about suicide and guilt. They cite that the dictionary defines guilt as an implication of intent to harm. Since you had no intent to harm the one who committed suicide, you can put that feeling away, you can give up the need to feel guilt. On the other hand, there may be some things you wish you had done differently, better, or more. 

This is a common feeling... the desire to have done something differently, better, or more. When you talk over your grief with the partner you have chosen to go through the process with, you can raise these issues, not to encourage guilt, rather, as a means of getting those feelings out into the air, to get them acknowledged.

This post is getting long and I still have things to say about this topic, so I will continue tomorrow on specific ways to effectively manage grief.