Changes in a Life ~ 2

Healing, Forgiveness, Moving on ~ 2

Marriage, Affairs & Relationship Discussion Forum ~
My last post ~ 'It is what it is' I say to myself with a smile .... 2-5-06
Coping With Life's Transitions ~
Letting go is a decision ~ 2
Trust ~ 2
Expectations-Boundaries-Accountability & Anger ~ 2
How & When & Why ~ 2
Healing, Forgiveness, Moving on ~ 2
The Sedona Method ~
Toxic & Difficult Relationships -Personality disorders ~ 2
Things to try ~ Things to learn ~ Ways of Looking at Things ~ 2
Metaphysical Points of View ~ 2
Internet relationships ~ 2
Love, Lovers, Friends & Friendship & their Relationships ~ 2
When It's Finally Over ~..OR..~ When it's Over, Finally ! ~ 2
Considerations & Perspectives to stretch your mind ~ 2
The Music ~

Healing - Moving on ~ 2


"Heaven is not a place you go when you die, it's the moment in life when you actually feel ALIVE"

Anyone who can touch you, can hurt you, or heal you
Anyone who can reach you, can love you, or leave you
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*** 2-5-06 A list & description of emotions added preceeding the 1st article, highlighted in yellow.


1. Secrets to Healing after Leaving a Painful Relationship

2. Starting over.

3. The power of forgiveness.

4. What if you want to be forgiven?

5. FORGIVENESS With Hypnosis and Healing Your Past Forever & What are feelings?

6. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.

7. Forgive- don't forget. Studies have shown the serious mental, emotional and physical consequences of an unforgiving heart.

 8. Forgiveness -The Path to Inner Freedom

 9. The Power of Apology

10. Simplicity cannot be overwhelmed

11. How to Deal with Heart Break in Relationships

12.  Accept Disappointment

13.  6 ways to let go of emotional turbulence.

14.  Time to grieve

15.  Relationship break up management

16.  Five steps for 30 days and see an AMAZING major change in your life.

17.  Normal grief & On the Journey of Grief

18.  Difficult times

19. 30 tips for a faster recovery

20. Stages of healing.

21. Getting over a relationship breakup.

22. Dealing with the Ending of a Romantic Relationship. 

23. Break-up Survival Guide.

24. Coping with loss.

25. Feelings at the End of a Relationship.

26. Healing mistakes.

27. When You Can't Let Go. ( I suggest you read the 'Letting go is a decision' topics )

28. Letting go.

29. Accepting that it's over.

30. What To Do When The Relationship Is Over?

31. Views on 'Grief'

32. Learning From A Relationship Breakdown

33. Forgiveness

34. Heal your hurt

35. Loss of a relationship

36. Radical Forgiveness


Be sure to read about the Sedona Method found by clicking on the menu button on the left or here: THE SEDONA METHOD 


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 When we try to understand ourselves feelings and emotions are true guides.
Emotions deal with the overall picture of our life, and arise from the soul. Emotions such as love, hate and joy spring from our subconscious and give us an overall prospective and how things are going.

The Emotion List

With four groups of emotions contain four emotions each, we have a total of sixteen emotions or 256 possible combinations.  Combined with different energy levels and simultaneous emotions, the result is a huge spectrum of emotions. Some of the emotions in the spectrum are listed below. 

Admiration Pride/Affection

Affection -strong attachment

Agitation -strong confused feelings

Antagonism Contempt/Anger

Apprehension Fear/Distraction

Ardor -intensity of passion

Belief Affection/Curiosity

Consternation Pathos/Distraction

Cordiality -warmth of manner

Deep sense -strong and intelligent idea

Determination Pride/Desire

Disappointment Fear/Pathos

Disgust Contempt/Hauteur

Dread Shame/Fear
Eagerness -impatient desire to accomplish

Earnestness -deep, resolute desire to accomplish

Ecstasy -extreme delight

Endurance -power to bear pain

Enthusiasm -extraordinary fervor

Embarrassment Shame/Pathos

Experience -something undergone or enjoyed

Fanaticism -extravagant zeal

Ferment -intense excitement

Fervor -intensity of feeling

Flurry -sudden confused state of mind

Flush -sudden elation or excitement

Fluster -confused state of mind

Fullness of the heart -generosity

Furore -overmastering passion for

Glow -fervency of intensity of felling

Gusto -keen enjoyment; relish

Heartiness -earnestness and sincerity

Hectic -a habitual flush

Hope Desire/Affection

Indignation Anger/Hauteur

Impression -the effect produced on the mind

Inspiration -divine influence; elevating influence of genius or occasion

Interest Desire/Curiosity

Passion -overpowering feeling

Pathos -tender or sorrowful feeling

Perturbation -agitation of the mind

Pother -continued confusion
Pulsation -a beating or throbbing of the heart

Response -act or feeling as a result of an appeal

Ruffle -state of slight vexation

Scorn Contempt/Disdain

Sensation -an impression made on the mind through the senses

Sincerity Pride/Curiosity

Shock -starting emotion; violence to the feelings

Stew -a state of agitating excitement

Sex -body feelings (warm tickles)
Sufferance -experience of pain or evil

Suffering -severe pain

Supportance -assistance to an ill person

Suspicion Hauteur/Disdain

Sympathy - fellow feeling for one in pain or trouble

Thrill -a tremor of feeling or excitement

Tolerance -allowing what is not altogether approved

Turn -a shock, as from an alarm

Unction -that quality in language or address which excites emotions
Regret Shame/Distraction

Vehemence Anger/Disdain -strength or impetuosity of feeling or passion

Verve -the enthusiasm of a poet or artist

Warmth -slight passion

Zeal -enthusiastic devotion

This list of emotions show how wide emotions can run.  Note that most feelings are shared with animals whereas only the lower (often evil) emotions are shared with animals.  Other more human emotions are enhanced by the virtues we acquire in life.
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  "Secrets to Healing after Leaving a Painful Relationship!"

 by Susie and Otto Collins

It very easy to get into a relationship. But, it's usually very difficult to get out of one that no longer serves you and begin the healing process.

It seems that everywhere you look, many long-standing relationships and /or marriages are dissolving.  In this week's article we thought we'd give some suggestions to help those of you who are still going through the healing process.

Our suggestions are :

1) To never look at a relationship (or anything else) that didn't work out as a failure. Robert Schuller, the famous TV evangelist and founder of the world famous Crystal Cathedral said in his book "Success is never ending Failure is never final" --"Failure doesn't mean you're finished, it does mean you have a chance." He also said, "Failure doesn't mean God has abandoned does mean God has a better idea."    Often it's the seed of a current or past "failure" that fuels you to the very success that you've always dreamed of.

2) Turn from the past and look toward the future...YOUR future. As Tony Robbins says "Your past does not equal your future. Sometimes after a separation, we find ourselves dwelling in the past, our thoughts consumed with that other person. You will begin to heal when you start thinking and writing about what you want for your life.

3) Know and understand that there are no "accidents" and that everything happens in divine order. Every thought, every moment, every action, every relationship and every event that happens in your life, happens to propel you toward your next phase of learning and personal growth.

4) Acknowledge, without blame, your part in the breakup of the relationship. When it doesn't work out, then two people have to share equally in the responsibility of the breakup. No matter who appears to be at fault.

5) Learn from the patterns of the past. Stay conscious in all your relationships so that you won't repeat the same mistakes.

6) Give thanks for the lessons that you learned in that relationship. Honor that person as a teacher, here to help you on your journey.
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Starting Over
by Susan Quilliam
Recovering from a failed relationship is tough. You can do it, though, and find love in five simple steps once you commit to leave the past behind

Your relationship is over. No matter who ended it, your new life starts now. Except it may not feel like a new life. It may hurt far too much for that. What's more, fallout from the break-up may be affecting other personal or professional areas of your life. Moving on from a break-up takes time, but it's got to be done. You need to look ahead and take responsibility for enjoying a renewed sense of freedom and, in time, a new romance.

Leaving the past behind
The key to getting over a failed relationship is to remember that this loss is similar to bereavement. Often, after a break-up, we suffer the same key stages of bereavement including shock, denial, grief and anger. Know and accept that it will take time before you start feeling normal again.

Help yourself by accepting support from friends, colleagues and family. Be patient: the pain will die away but it will take time. In the first few months after a break-up, do anything that keeps you occupied and busy. Being social may be the last thing you really want to do, but the busier you are, the less sad you'll feel.

If the pain lingers too long, take action. Jill, 34, found herself still bursting into tears at every mention of her ex's name a year on from her divorce. She finally saw her GP and then a counsellor for advice. 'In hindsight, I'd tipped over into depression; the counsellor offered support and helped me get my life in perspective,' she says. Had she not taken control and sought help, she could have suffered unnecessarily for many more months.

Learning the lessons
After any loss, part of the bereavement process involves recognising what you've learned. When a relationship has ended, you need to do this too. Rather than feeling bitter, start to think clearly about what you'll know next time you enter a relationship. As you recover, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What would I have needed in order to choose a more suitable partner?
  • How could I have started the relationship better and laid down more structured ground rules?
  • When things started to go wrong, what could I have done differently?

You may want to discuss these issues with people you trust and hear their views.

Getting out and about
As you recover, you'll start feeling more enthusiastic about life. Start being sociable again; be proactive about meeting new people. It may feel difficult, but it is achievable - especially with practice.

  • Get in touch with all your friends. Never turn down an invite, however boring, because it might lead to a new and exciting friendship.
  • Take up a new interest, sport or try volunteer work. It will help you stay busy and put you in touch with other like-minded people in your local area.
  • Most importantly, set new goals. Write a list of your dreams including the things you weren't able to do in your previous relationship. One woman, Hannah 35, went trekking in the Himalayas as part of her recovery process after a break-up with her boyfriend of seven years, who disliked going abroad. Any inspirational goals including new travel plans, adventuresome activities like sky diving, redecoration plans - will help you get over your old relationship.
The dating game
Once you've started to socialise again, you'll almost certainly start meeting potential new partners. However, you may feel so battered by your break-up that you can't imagine dating again. You may feel insecure about your looks, worried about what you'll talk about or panicked that you'll be asked to leap straight into bed. Don't worry, because all these feelings are natural. Here's how to cope:
  • Looks: almost certainly, you look better than you think. Of course, one of the most attractive features in someone is confidence. The easiest way to let this shine through is to be yourself. Quite honestly, all the letters I get from men say that personality is more important than looks. So walk tall, look people in the eye, smile, and you'll knock 'em dead.
  • Making contact: never regard a man as a potential date. Regard him as a prospective friend first. Be interested, ask questions and tell him about yourself. Remember that men, particularly if they are newly separated or fresh from a break-up, are equally vulnerable.
  • Sex: don't feel pressured to have sex. Only make love if you want to and feel you are mentally ready. If you get nervous of what exactly to do during the act, tell him and ask him to coach you along. Be careful of getting involved too quickly. While you may want love, he may only want sex, and this is the often last thing you need if you're feeling emotionally fragile.
When love comes again
Be careful of rebounding into a new relationship. This can be a big mistake for both people involved. Not only do you miss the positive effects of being alone for a while, such as a renewed sense of empowerment, you may also make the wrong choice if you're still emotionally vulnerable.

Lizzie, 27, admits that, 'two weeks after Jim walked out, I met Paul at a party. I thought he was my dream man, but two months later couldn't imagine what I'd seen in him. It was a bad mistake and made getting out of that relationship another tough hurdle to overcome on the heels of a hard break-up.'

So how will you know when the right partner comes along? It certainly won't be just because you are in love or in lust with him. These are wonderful feelings, but you need real compatibility for the relationship to last.

Is he the one?
The key signs of compatibility are:

  • You have fun together
  • You respect each other
  • You can rely on each other
  • You have the same general life goals and values
  • There are no deal-breaking issues. Is he a gambler, an addict, from a different religion? Is he married?
  • Your instincts say he's right Finally, be optimistic about your new life. It may not seem as though you will ever find love - or if you do, that you will enjoy it. But the pain does pass. And, chances are, the previous relationship wasn't right - otherwise you'd still be in it. Remember that your life going forward has every chance of being a thousand times better than the one you've left behind.

    Starting Again by Sarah Litvinoff
    Are You the One for Me? by Barbara de Angelis 

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 The Power of Forgiveness
In the end, it's something you do for yourself.

by Alina Larson

Another shopper cuts in front of you in the grocery store line. A coworker takes credit for something that was your idea. A friend talks about you behind your back. A parent wasn't there for you. A spouse has an online flirtation. If, as Alexander Pope famously wrote, "To err is human; to forgive is divine," sometimes we're all too human, aren't we?

And not only when it comes to erring either. There are times forgiving seems not just difficult but impossible. Angry, vulnerable, frustrated, we replay hurtful experiences again and again in our minds. For weeks, months, years, even. How could so-and-so have done that? Constant emotional torment...that's no way to live.

But how do you reclaim your life and actually enjoy it again? You can learn to let go of the past and the pain, and release your conflicted emotions. That doesn't mean returning to a destructive relationship or condoning bad behavior. What we're talking about is actively practicing forgiveness.

"There are many definitions of forgiveness," says psychiatrist Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Dare to Forgive. "But ultimately it means renouncing the hold anger and resentment have over you. I say 'renounce' because it's conscious: 'I'm not going to let it govern my life.'"

You might not realize how much of an impact grudge-holding has on your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Psychological effects include depression, anxiety and stress. These emotional problems have physical repercussions, affecting cardiovascular, muscular, gastrointestinal, nervous and immune systems-nearly every part of the body. Just think of something someone has done that's upset you recently, and feel your heart speed up and your muscles tense. Don't you want to live with less stress and more optimism, hope and happiness? You can, if you learn to forgive.

This is not to say you should simply dismiss your pain and go on as if nothing has happened. That, according to clinical psychologist Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D., author of How Can I Forgive You, is "cheap forgiveness," an unhealthy approach that is doomed to fail because "it's a desperate attempt to cover up the injury" rather than come to terms with it. Usually someone avoids confronting her hurt and the person who caused it because she's afraid-of conflict; of losing her connection, however dysfunctional, with the offender; of facing up to her own role in the situation.

Spring advocates acceptance—you acknowledge fully the wrong that's been done, "clear your head of emotional poison," then move on. You might choose to have no relationship with the other person, or to have a limited one, whatever allows you to remain true to yourself. This works even when the other person is unwilling to make things right. Spring emphasizes that acceptance is a gift to yourself, not to the offender.

Psychologist Fred Luskin, Ph.D., author of Forgive for Good and cofounder of the Stanford Forgiveness Project, has a similar take. "Make a commitment to yourself to do what you have to do to feel better," he says. "Forgiveness is for you, and no one else."

Life experiences become grievances because we have what Luskin calls "unenforceable rules," expectations about how someone should act, or how things should happen, when we have no control over either. Luskin learned this the hard way when a close friend rejected him for no apparent reason. He started researching forgiveness because he was distraught and bitter over the loss of the friendship. "I was operating under the delusion that I owned this friend," he says. "The truth is, you don't own anybody. You can only hope they make good decisions and sometimes they don't."

The most common misconceptions about forgiveness are that when you forgive, you are saying that someone's inconsiderate or selfish behavior is okay and that you eventually will or should reconcile with the offender.

"You don't have to put yourself back into an abusive situation. You just have to be at peace in your heart," says Luskin. That peace comes when you learn to take a hurt less personally, take responsibility for your feelings instead of blaming the offender for them, and change your "grievance story," meaning your repeatedly retold version of events in which you are the victim.

To forgive, Luskin says, you first have to pinpoint exactly how you feel and what upsets you about the situation. Then tell a few people you trust. (Most of us do this right off the bat.)

Next, you want to calm your body's fight-or-flight response to the emotional and physical upset. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply with your belly, and visualize a beautiful, soothing scene in nature, or recall a moment when you felt great love for someone.

Now it's time to tackle your unenforceable rule. Think about how your desire-for love, friendship or loyalty, for example-became a demand. Then change that unrealistic expectation into a wish or hope. The rule Luskin has seen most often is some variant of "my past should have been different" or "my parents should have treated me better." But you can't change the past, nor other people's past actions. The rule needs to become a wish, "I would have preferred more loving parents."

Margaret Meriweather, 33, of San Francisco, had to cope with that problem. Her parents had gone through a messy divorce. "I had some resentment," says Meriweather, who took Luskin's forgiveness class three years ago. "I felt betrayed and abandoned by my father."

For Meriweather, the most difficult part of the process was writing down her grievance story, because she had to extricate her own feelings from those of her family members. Yet she found it freeing to examine her expectations: "my father should have behaved better during the divorce", "my father should not have lied to me.
"It was a huge revelation to really acknowledge how much the past was affecting my everyday life in the present," Meriweather says. "I noticed in my training when I made the switch from demanding to hoping, there was a shift in me. The self-compassion was significant. It felt good physically and mentally."

Part of the forgiveness process is finding other ways to meet your emotional needs. If a friend has rejected you, seek a new friend. If a parent let you down, build strong relationships with older mentors.

Make a deliberate effort to look for the good in the world. "You need to become more consciously positive," says Luskin. That is the key to letting go of your wounded feelings.

Then it will become easier to change your grievance story, turning it around so that you are the hero, not the victim. "I learned to be sympathetic with myself, to see how difficult my parents' divorce was for me," says Meriweather. She also saw how much she'd accomplished despite not having a great relationship with her father. "The big breakthrough for me was sorting out and accepting that I have some fundamental differences with him. They may never be resolved and that's okay."

Martha Cravens, 47, of Montara, California, has seen forgiveness training have an amazing impact on her everyday life. In Luskin's class she worked through the anger she had toward her ex-husband, whose addiction to pain medication slowly destroyed their marriage.

"I didn't want to be carrying that in my emotional knapsack," says Cravens. The most valuable part of the process was learning how to forgive herself, after years of questioning her own behavior, "Why didn't I speak up? How could I have stayed with him for so long?" She saw that although she may not have had the skills or self-esteem to leave back then, all in all, she did the best job she could for herself and her sons, now 11 and 14.

Cravens developed the ability to not take her ex's past actions personally. She now understands his behavior had more to do with his addiction than with her. And she has used her newfound skills to deal with her sons' adolescent mood swings, an angry neighbor and the ups and downs of dating. Forgiving has helped her to not only cope better but to enjoy life more.

"It's a process of looking into that knapsack and seeing what I am carrying around," she says. "I don't want to carry a load. I want to be creative and elegant and flexible." Practicing forgiveness so you can stop living in the past and start living your best life now...that sounds pretty freeing, doesn't it?
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 What if you want to be forgiven?

Wanting forgiveness can take as much of a toll as needing to forgive. Your guilt carries its own brand of stress. How do you say you're sorry? Psychologist Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D., has developed some "critical tasks" for earning forgiveness:

Take stock. Examine your assumptions about forgiveness. No, you shouldn't wait till you're good and ready to apologize, and no, you don't necessarily deserve to be forgiven. Still, admitting that you behaved badly doesn't mean you're a bad person. Don't assume your offense was so grave that it can never be overcome.

Listen up. Ask the other person to explain her hurt and listen with an open heart. This is one of the most powerful contributions you can make to the healing process. "The hurt party needs to talk it out in a constructive way," says Spring. "The offender needs to listen without detaching or defending."

Apologize. Which, sorry, doesn't just mean saying, "I'm sorry." Take full responsibility. Make your apology personal, specific and heartfelt. "The hurt party wants to know what exactly you are sorry for," says Spring. "Think about what the situation means to you, to the hurt party, and to your relationship." For example, an alcoholic parent might say to a son, "I understand I created a home where you couldn't bring a friend. I didn't attend school activities. I robbed you of a childhood."

Work hard. Regaining someone's trust takes effort and action. Ask the hurt person what you can do, and make your own suggestions.

Forgive yourself. If you've done all of this, you're looking at a better you. You're less likely to repeat mistakes, and your relationship, now that it's been fully examined, might be stronger.
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 FORGIVENESS With Hypnosis and Healing Your Past Forever

At New York Awareness Center we offer you hypnosis techniques for your healing through forgiveness in order to achieve the peaceful state in mind and to allow yourself to move on with your life, often achieving consequent success and happiness in the present life. We facilitate your achievement of success through forgiveness, healing and subsequent positive change in life and health with  Hypnosis through Hypnotherapy individual confidential sessions in a conveniently located office in New York City.

"You are not your mistakes, you are your possibilities." Oprah Winfrey

Why Forgiveness?

Like many people now perhaps you are one of those who came at a certain point in their life and realized that they are stuck, and want to get unstuck, move on, move ahead. But as if something holds them up, stops their development, blocks their way, holds them in place, like a dark cloud over your head, constantly there, present and with you the entire time, even when you are seemingly happy. This feeling is there and it stems from the past, from the hurt back then, rooting way beyond we could realize if would impact us in the future. DON'T YOU WANT to become happy and make others happy too?

What you realize now is:

  • that you are angry, frustrated, fearful because you were hurt
  • feel the feeling of guilt
  • slipped into a pattern like behavior where bad stuff repeats itself over and over
  • the feelings of various fears overwhelm you often
  • you are in the survival mode unable to enjoy life
  • perhaps adding to it a self-destructive behavior
  • unable to put things in a perspective

How to make peace with your past, and allow yourself to move on with your life.

You are now willing to look at your situation and do something about it, you have had enough of the stuck, you want to move on with your life and begin to create happiness. Something each of us deserves - peace in mind and at heart, joy, hope, future and healing. Now allow yourself to:

  • acknowledge that you were hurt

  • get rid of guilt

  • stop playing a victim

  • unload your anger and indignation

  • recognize that in spite of all you are a strong and compassionate person

  • put the past in the perspective, leave it where it belongs - in the PAST

  • stop repeating patterns, allow happiness to enter your life

What is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a feeling and it stays with you. Forgiveness is an ongoing healing process. Forgiveness is an internal process, no one can do it for you, and no one can make you do it. You only do it when you realize you need it. With hypnotherapy you can allow yourself to realize your great potential much sooner and much more successfully in a safe environment of a qualified hypnotherapist.

Forgiveness is letting go of the intense emotion attached to incidents in your past. Even if you don't remember and don't realize that that is what happened, those incidents, words and events which happened in the past, as well as your responses are vividly alive in your subconscious memories.

Forgiveness is recognizing that we no longer NEED our grudges and resentments, our hatred and self-pity, because it does  not make us happy to be that way. We no longer need to be the victim.

Forgiveness is no longer wanting to punish the people who hurt us.

Forgiveness is accepting that nothing we can do to punish them will heal us.

Forgiveness is no longer wanting to punish ourselves with the feelings of guilt and anger.

Forgiveness is freeing up the energy held by anger and grudge, resentment nursing unhealed wounds. Once the energy is released, we can begin to understand and develop the better parts of ourselves, step into and stay on the path of love and compassion.

Forgiveness is moving on with our life, allowing the blocks to be removed and allowing the happiness to enter our life. Create a healthy lifestyle with real emotional well-being, openness to the world and healthy responses to the life and the people around us.

Letting the pain go, letting the offenders be and accepting the new way of perceiving the hurt, forgiving and moving one gives you a feeling of liberation and as if the wings grow for you, gives you energy to become happy and make others happy.

What Forgiveness is NOT

  • Forgiveness is not forgetting.
  • Forgiveness is not condoning.
  • Forgiveness is not absolution.
  • Forgiveness is not a form of self-sacrifice.
  • Forgiveness is not a one-time clear cut decision.

Myths and Illusions about NOT forgiving

The illusion that if you do not forgive you could still have a perfect life. As if Not forgiving is keeping the would unhealed and it re-opens every time the pattern repeats.

The illusion of being good. AS if Not forgiving helps you define who you are. You are a victim of some injustice.

The illusion of power, as if by Not Forgiving you have power over the hurt if you keep it alive in your mind prison, making it omnipotent and omnipresent.

The illusion that you won't be hurt again. AS if Not forgiving allows you to protect yourself from being hurt again, possible pain and as if not forgiving give you power of choices.

What is the process of Forgiveness?

The process of forgiveness in a safe environment of your hypnotherapist's office involves a hypnotic session during which hypnotic regression is facilitated by your hypnotherapist with you, in which in hypnosis you are prompted to a imaginary going back in time to the cause through the causative feeling, and bypassing the event itself, just working with the feeling  and reframing the perceptions into positive  through specific hypnotic techniques. This sessions are recommended for all. It is easy and effortless and absolutely beneficial for you just as hypnosis is in general. The session(s) are highly confidential and facilitated by a qualified specialist only. The outcome of one such session can change your life to make it so much better, and make you feel so much lighter as if the weight has been lifted off your shoulders, that had been there your entire life.

Forgiveness - Do It For YOU

Think about this. In all the years you have been harboring resentment and holding grudges, has anyone who hurt you ever once offered you an apology and somehow compensated you for the injury? Have they relieved you pain? Have you come to peace in your heart thinking about that hurt? The good times you missed during the suffering? And all the years you wanted to "make up for it" wanted them to "make it up to you" kept your wounds from healing.

Now you can change this, now you can change the whole life by allowing the peace into your mind and compassion into your heart. Changing yourself for Yourself for the joy, serenity and peace, understanding and laughter, the brighter future, and the better lifestyle. You benefit from it and this is why you forgive.

Why use Hypnosis for Forgiveness?

Hypnosis is the fastest way you can achieve these goals. In talk therapy one can spend years and years, and not achieve a specific result. In hypnotherapy the results are obvious and achievable within weeks. One can learn a few hypnosis techniques and attain the forgiveness on a regular basis as part of healing  cleansing. More about Hypnosis click here.

Forgiveness Is Healing Process

  • Healing through forgiveness is a personal process and it is highly influenced by the following:
  • specific ways you were hurt
  • how you reacted to the injuries
  • your present circumstances- both positive and negative aspects of your lifestyle, resources, emotional support and insight, as well as your spiritual preparation and training and experience.
  • your own personal vision of your future, your inner peace and your own wishes.

Stages of Healing:

  • Denial
  • Self-Blame
  • Victim play
  • Indignation, anger, resentment. Pain, suffering, defensiveness.
  • Survivor stage, return to compassion and understanding, sense of humor, regaining your strengths.
  • Integration - starting a new life, healing the wounds, letting it go, putting the past into the past.

What Are Feelings?


Feelings are closer to emotions, not thoughts. To a question What do you feel? you answer: "I feel sad, (or lonely) (or angry), etc. and not: " I think it is wrong to do this or that." Emotions are easily distinguished from thoughts if we understand that feelings are our physical reactions to the situations around us, the emotional response.


And the emotional responses could be good or bad. Good feelings are our emotional responses with pleasurable outcome, where our wants and desires are satisfied. Those are happiness, joy, safety, security, peacefulness, pride for yourself, achievement, love. We like the ways of expression of those emotions and the way we feel the corresponding feelings.


However, feeling and emotions are different.


Feelings are showing the way to a real emotion. Emotion can be described as a perception, way of reaction to an event, happening. You may be surprised to know that there is only one emotion - desire, wish. Desire can be described as "I wish" in four basic expressions of emotion. Fear, anger, sadness and joy.

Fear is an expression of a wish to run away from a problem.

Anger is a willful expression antagonistic assertiveness, confrontation, sadness is a wish to change things, and joy is a wish to live.  Think about this, you will understand the inner core of their meaning. 

Let's talk about the bad feelings. Consider the feelings of anger or sadness. Once we can identify the feeling, this means that some want or need has been left unmet. And this calls for an action. We are like a mechanism that needs repair, like a car that needs fuel to run.


Surprise!! - All Feelings Are Good


All Feelings are good because they are given to us to feel something for a reason. They give us a motivation and movement in our behavior.  Let's look at feelings through their unmet needs. Create the emotional stimulation through emotional pain, not pleasure (unlike the "good" feelings). Bad Feelings are these:


Kinds of Feelings and Emotions We Feel


Emotional Pain //Corresponding Un-met Need/Desire

Bored - Unmet need to feel Challenged

Sadness -Unmet need to keep valued people or things

Anger - Unmet need to feel Fairness FOR self/others

Guilt -Unmet need to feel Fairness TO others

Stress -Unmet need to succeed in managing one's life

Fear -Unmet need to feel Safe

Loneliness-Unmet need for a Relationship/closeness

Inadequacy- Unmet need to feel Equal/adequate

Frustration- Unmet desire to meet one's needs

Depression -Unmet need to be hopeful/optimistic/independent of the problem/symptom


What Comes Next ? 

Often we use distracters to move the focus of our attention form the feeling we have toward what MAY make us feel "better", like having a bowl of ice-cream or buying a couple of pairs of shoes, or having a drink. This does not get rid of the feeling and in many cases makes us feel even worse, as ice-cream puts on a few extra pounds when we don't need them, shopping impairs our financial situation adding to feeling bad, and drinking impairs our judgment making us end up with a wrong decision. When the primary feelings are left unattended and the distracters are in place then the consequent feeling of



a deep disappointment in all your ability to achieve some positive change which enters your life. When frustration builds up and we loose the capacity to make decisions correctly and eventually loose interest in many things that usually made us feel good in the past,


Then Comes Depression

a complete disinterest in all you have always loved, a feeling of prolonged sadness and inability to motivate one-self toward progress and success.



Positive Programming With Hypnosis

Distracters to make us feel "better" are just not enough. All they do is just postpone dealing with the source problem until the feeling grows into a depressive state.  Some common distracters are consuming more food and shopping, smoking and drinking, perpetual cleaning and constantly busying ourselves until we are so tired and flop in the bed without thinking, and then laying there and cannot fall asleep.



Through Hypnosis we can enter The Positive Programming stage. The goal here is to correctly identify the feeling we feel initially and correctly categorize it, and then create a positive correct response to the CAUSE, not to the consequent feeling. From the categories listed at the top of the page it is easier to pick out a feeling for this moment when we feel it. In hypnosis such work is highly facilitated. Then we need to identify the source of such feeling. If every time you go to work your head hurts and you feel angry, then work through the day until you find the source (not the direction) of your anger. Perhaps it is a job in itself, rather than your boss, or a co-worker. Then comes the most important step to identify the correct satisfying response. So the process is such "Feeling-Cause-Response" The process can be largely facilitated through hypnosis, as in hypnosis many ways of calculating, analyzing and rationalizing are substituted by relaxed flow of subconscious knowledge coming up to the surface of your thinking. This is why the process becomes so successful and fast.


Case Studies:

Kay was a successful stock broker. She was married for 7 years but during this time was not able to conceive a child she wanted. Her husband was a busy businessman, with three daughters from previous marriage and one of them getting pregnant at the age of 15. Kay had no idea where her frustration stemmed from and continued eating more and more. Initially and through work in hypnosis it was easy for her to determine what the feelings were: she became  stressed in her relationship, felt lonely in her battle with her emotions, and feared for her family stability. Finally, she resolved to learn to relax, learned to manage the life with her husband better, which gave her a feeling of safety and more time in relationship with her husband. She lost weight and relaxed and was able to conceive within 6 months.


 Janice was a very busy marketing director. She practically lives at work. Her eating patterns became destructive to her. She gained weight and felt frustrated. Every night she continued to comfort herself after a hard and emotionally draining day with a bowl of ice-cream in bed before falling asleep, but it did not make her feel any better. Through hypnosis she was able to work her situation, determined the feeling of loneliness, and began working toward creating a ground for her relationship. She had also identified another feeling, guilt, through her being unfair to her daughter through her divorce. She had also had identified a feeling of anger toward her ex-husband, because he left her in a straining financial situation and now she had little time for her small daughter. She started to fear for her job, as her financial situation became progressively worse. Being able to pinpoint the feelings allowed Janice to start work and quickly progress onto a productive re-direction of her energy and her time. Quickly soon after she regained the control in her life and felt much safer and more relaxed.




Learning to Reframe Negative Responses Through Identifying the feeling you feel, then identifying the cause of it, the source of it, and then creating the satisfying response to calm this feeling.

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Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself

By Michele Weiner-Davis of Divorce Busting

Are you someone who walks around feeling angry with your spouse or loved one much of the time?  Do you have a little inner voice that constantly reminds you of all of his or her wrongdoings?  Have you become expert at remembering all the minute details of past injustices just so that you can keep score?   If this describes you at all, you better read what I'm about to say and take it to heart.   

Lack of forgiveness imprisons you.   It takes its toll on your physical and emotional health.  It keeps you stuck in the deepest of relationship ruts.  No matter how justified you feel about your point of view regarding your partner's insensitive behavior, you still are miserable.   When you wake up each morning, a gray tint shadows your life.  You walk around with a low-grade depression.  You can't feel joy because you're too busy being angry or feeling disappointed.   

In the face of these fairly obvious disadvantages, you hang on to your belief that, since you feel let down, you must not "give in."  To you, giving in means forgiving, letting go, making peace.  To do so, would be tantamount to giving up your soul.  So, you keep your distance.  You interact in perfunctory ways, never allowing your partner to step over the emotional line you've drawn.  And though the distance often feels intolerable, forgiveness is not on your short list of solutions to your dilemma. 

I have worked with so many couples who say they want to heal their relationships.  And yet, when they're offered the tools, they can't seem to move forward.  These are the couples who, instead of finding effective ways to get beyond blame, continue to repeat their mantra, "Our problems are your fault and you must pay."  As long as they maintain this mindset, they are doomed to failure.  How very sad.  Even sadder are their children who, on a day-by-day observe their parents being "right" but "miserable."  What lessons are they learning about love?   

If any of this strikes a chord with you (and you wouldn't be reading this if it didn't), you need to internalize that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.  Letting go of resentment can set you free.  It can bring more love and happiness into your life.  It opens the door to intimacy and connection.  It makes you feel whole.  Forgiving others takes strength, particularly when you feel wronged, but the fortitude required to forgive pales in comparison to the energy necessary to maintain a sizable grudge.  The person most hurt by holding out or blaming is YOU, no matter what the circumstances.   

"All this sounds good," you tell yourself, "but how can I ever forget what my partner did to me?"  Good question.  You don't!  Forgiveness is not the same as forgetting.  You will probably always remember the particular injustice(s) that drove you into your corner.   But what will happen, is that when you forgive, the intense emotions associated with the event(s) begin to fade.  You will feel happier, lighter, more loving.    And these renewed positive feelings won't go unnoticed.  Others will be drawn to you. 

Just keep in mind that forgiveness isn't a feeling.  It is a decision.  You decide that you are going start tomorrow with a clean slate.  Even if it isn't easy, you make the determination that the alternative is even harder, and that you are going to do what you must to begin creating a more positive future.  

So promise yourself, that no matter what the reason, you will not go another day blaming your partner and feeling lonely.  Make peace.  Make up.  Make love.  I promise you that the benefits of deciding to forgive go far beyond anything you can picture in your mind's eye at the moment. Your decision to forgive will create a ripple effect of exponential changes in your life.
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Forgive, don't forget
 Studies have shown the serious mental, emotional and physical consequences of an unforgiving heart.

As the faithful contemplate Christ's words of forgiveness this Easter, scientists extol the benefits of an outmoded article of faith.

By Elizabeth Large.

To forgive is human. It's just very hard. People are wired to respond with anger, hold grudges and seek revenge; and despite the teachings of Christianity and other religions, victims of wrongdoing usually do all three.

The brother who tormented you when you were little. The spouse who cheated. The terrorists responsible for the September 11 attacks. Why should you forgive them?

Researchers and academics may have an answer, even for those who don't believe the act of forgiveness is good for the soul. In recent years, scientists have become interested in the health benefits of forgiveness. Their studies have shown the serious mental, emotional and physical consequences of an unforgiving heart.

The lowest common denominator of this research is the flood of self-help and pop psychology books promoting forgiveness as a cure-all. At the other end of the spectrum, psychotherapists have found forgiveness to be a useful tool in reconciling couples and families. In some studies, it has been linked to an improvement in chronic back pain and depression; in others, to reduced levels of stress hormones. And scientists have found that forgiveness is one of several coping mechanisms that help people with HIV/AIDS live longer, or at least more satisfying, lives.

By 1997, researchers had conducted only 58 empirical studies. Since then, more than 1200 scientific papers have been published on the subject.

"The topic of forgiveness is hot right now," says psychologist Janis Abrahms Spring, author of How Can I Forgive You?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To (HarperCollins, 2004). "Conferences are being held. Articles are being written. Forgiveness is being plucked out of the spiritual and theological realm and put into the psychological and physical."

Like acupuncture, meditation and other alternative healing strategies, forgiveness has only recently become a respectable topic of scientific studies. In 1990, psychologist Fred DiBlasio, a professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, submitted an article to an international scientific journal on his research. The journal was willing to publish it if he would agree to change the word "forgiveness" to "forgetting".

"It was too spiritual for them," says DiBlasio.

But forgiveness, of course, isn't the same thing as forgetting. He didn't make the change.

In his clinical practice, DiBlasio has found that using forgiveness can speed up therapy. Shanae and Fred Murray had one three-hour session with him, and three years later the couple from Pikesville Maryland still characterise it as life-changing.

The Murrays came to him with a 13-year-old problem, the sort of problem that doesn't seem so serious unless you're caught in the middle of it. Shanae was constantly inviting guests over without telling her husband about it. Fred hated not being consulted, and he didn't want to be a good host. The underlying conflict was quietly destroying their marriage.

"It was eating at me," says Fred, who is an only child. As he talked in the session, he realised his feelings could in part be traced back to the time he served in Vietnam. "I had seen so much death, I wanted to be alone. At home, I would close the doors. I didn't realise what I was doing."

As the session progressed, Fred came to understand why Shanae continually put him in unwanted social situations. When she was growing up, there were always lots of people around. After church every Sunday, her mother would invite friends over.

"As a little girl in a large, poor family, (Shanae, one of seven children) took care of the whole family. When her husband saw she was the person who brought people together, he could see it wasn't just against him," explains DiBlasio.

"Talking it through releases you," says Fred. "When you forgive someone, you forgive yourself. You release some baggage."

"Everything is forgivable," adds Shanae. "It doesn't mean you have to forget."

Some patients might not be comfortable with the concept of a forgiveness session, of working towards one person saying the words "I forgive you". The Murrays, members of the Colonial Baptist Church congregation, found it particularly helpful because it fitted so well with their religious beliefs.

Most studies show that people who don't have profound faith have a more difficult time forgiving, says Everett Worthington, executive director of the Virginia-based foundation A Campaign for Forgiveness Research. The author of many books and articles on the subject, Worthington found his own faith tested on New Year's Eve in 1995 when an intruder murdered his mother.

"I'm not an uber-forgiver," he says. "I once held a grudge against a professor, who gave me a B, for 10 years."

But to start the process, he tried to empathise with the assailant: the fear he must have felt when Worthington's mother walked in on him during the robbery; the fact that all the mirrors in the house had been smashed after the attack, suggesting to the psychologist that the murderer couldn't bear his own reflection.

Still, it wasn't until later when Worthington was talking to his brother that he had an epiphany. He had pointed to a baseball bat nearby and raged, "I wish he were here right now".

"Whose heart was darker?" he says now. "I was a 48-year-old forgiveness expert and a Christian. I knew I could be forgiven. Who am I to hold this grudge against this kid?"

Even though the assailant was never caught, Worthington says he has been able to move on.

But isn't moving on possible without forgiveness, simply by letting go of your anger? Based on her research, Lydia Temoshok, director of the Behavioral Medicine Program at the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland, says no. "It's letting go, and I forgive you. It's something about that added component. Then you close the circle. It's not just stopping something, but starting a new pattern."

She works with HIV/AIDS patients, which, she says, can involve a lot of forgiveness. Do they forgive people for not accepting them? Do they forgive the person who infected them? Do they forgive themselves? Do they forgive science for not having a cure?

The program's preliminary work suggests that forgiveness lowered the stress hormones that in turn affect the immune system, but only when the patients forgave the ones they blamed.

However, Jeffrie Murphy, author of Getting Even: Forgiveness and Its Limits (Oxford University Press, 2003), argues we shouldn't condemn those who choose not to forgive. He worries, for instance, about the abused wife who forgives and is then beaten again.

"Forgiveness can be a great blessing, but it should be used selectively," he says. "The forgiveness crowd is always saying that forgiveness will give you closure. But also seeing (offenders) get what they deserve can bring closure."- Baltimore Sun

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The Path to Inner Freedom

by Michael B. Ross

I would like to share some of what I have learned about forgiveness. First I would like to expose the myths of forgiveness — that is, what forgiveness is not. Then I would like to move on to what forgiveness truly is. Once we understand these two sides of the coin, we can start to make true progress in forgiving.

What Forgiveness Is Not
Forgiveness is not forgetting. We are taught from an early age to "forgive and forget." However, this is often not realistic and is not valuable. It would be nice to be able to turn back the clock and erase the unpleasantness of our past, but it just isn't possible. The real trick isn't to forget the past, but to learn from the past and try to use it to help yourself and others both now and in the future.

Forgiveness is not condoning.
Forgiving doesn't mean that the past was okay or not so bad. We were hurt; it was painful; and it affected our lives. Forgiveness allows us to deal with the past in a more effective manner that doesn't minimize the past, but rather minimizes the effects of that painful past on the present and our future. It in no way denies, justifies, or condones the original harm done to us in the past.

Forgiveness is not absolution.
Forgiveness does not absolve the perpetrator of responsibility for their actions. It doesn't let them off the hook. The reality is that we cannot grant absolution even if we wanted to — that is the sole responsibility of God. And while only God can grant absolution, only the perpetrator can seek it. They are ultimately responsible for their own actions and must make peace with their own past, just as we must make peace with our past. We don't forgive others for their sake. We forgive for our own sake, and for our own peace of mind.

Forgiveness is not a form of self-sacrifice.
Forgiveness is not pretending that everything is just fine when you feel it isn't. This is perhaps the most difficult concept of forgiveness to understand because sometimes the distinction between being truly forgiving and simply denying or repressing anger and pain can be deceptive and confusing. Plastering a smile on your face and "making nice" is not forgiving. Either we forgive, or we do not — there is no halfway. And we must be careful to be honest with ourselves if we are not ready to forgive, because in the long run it is better to admit to and deal with our inability to forgive than just to pretend to forgive.

Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness.
Far from weakness, forgiveness is a sign of true inner strength. When we forgive we understand that we don't need our anger and hatred to protect ourselves. We don't need the pain as a crutch anymore. Forgiveness doesn't depend upon who hurt us, what they did, or whether or not they are sorry for their actions. We don't forgive out of our weakness toward the perpetrator, but out of our own internal strength. Forgiveness is something that we do for ourselves.

What Forgiveness Is
Forgiveness is a form of realism. It allows us to see our lives as they really are, probably for the first time. It doesn't deny, minimize, or justify what others have done to us, or the pain that we have suffered. It does, however, allow us to look squarely at old wounds and scars and see them for what they are. And it allows us to see how much energy we have wasted and how much we have damaged ourselves by not forgiving.

Forgiveness is a sign of positive self-esteem.
It allows us to put the past into its proper perspective. We no longer identify ourselves by our past injuries and injustices. We are no longer victims. We claim the right to stop hurting when we say: "I'm tired of the pain, and I want to be healed." At that moment, forgiveness becomes a possibility — although it may take time and much hard work before it is finally achieved.

Forgiveness is letting go of the past.
Forgiveness doesn't erase what happened, but it does allow you to lessen and hopefully eliminate the pain of the past. And more importantly, the pain from our past no longer dictates how we live in the present and can no longer determine our future.

Forgiveness is no longer wanting to punish those who hurt us.
It means that we no longer want to get even, or spend time dreaming of how we will make them suffer for what they have done to us. It is realizing that we may never be able to "even the score" and that even if we did that nothing we do to punish them will help to heal us. It is discovering the inner peace that we feel when we just let go of the past and forget thoughts of vengeance.

Forgiveness is moving on.
Forgiveness is in recognizing all that we have lost because of our refusal to forgive. It's in realizing that the energy that we spent hanging on to the past is better spent on improving our present lives and our future. It's letting go of the past so that we can move on.

A Happier Ending
We all have painful incidents from our past. And at one time or another we have all made the mistake of trying to run away from the past. The problem is that no matter how fast you run, or how far you run, the past has a way of always catching up to you. Forgiveness is a way of dealing with the past so that we no longer have to run. It allows us to deal honestly with our past and allows us to heal the pain. It helps us to find the inner peace that can come only from changing ourselves and our attitudes.

As Dr. Sidney Simon wrote in Forgiveness: How to Make Peace With Your Past and Get On With Your Life, "that is what forgiveness is all about — working through the unfinished business, letting go of the pain and moving on for your sake. You forgive so that you can finally get rid of the excess baggage that has been weighing you down and holding you back; so that you can be free to do and be whatever you decide instead of stumbling along according to the script painful past experiences wrote for you."
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The Power of Apology

Apology changed my life. I believe it can change yours, as well. Almost like magic, apology has the power to repair harm, mend relationships, soothe wounds and heal broken hearts.

Apology is not just a social nicety. It is an important ritual, a way of showing respect and empathy for the wronged person. It is also a way of acknowledging an act that, if otherwise left unnoticed, might compromise the relationship. Apology has the ability to disarm others of their anger and to prevent further misunderstandings. While an apology cannot undo harmful past actions, if done sincerely and effectively, it can undo the negative effects of those actions.

Apology is crucial to our mental and even physical health. Recent research shows that receiving an apology has a noticeable, positive physical effect on the body. An apology actually affects the bodily functions of the person receiving it--blood pressure decreases, heart rate slows and breathing becomes steadier.

Emotional Benefits of Apology

• A person who has been harmed feels emotional healing when he is acknowledged by the wrongdoer.

• When we receive an apology, we no longer perceive the wrongdoer as a personal threat.

• Apology helps us to move past our anger and prevents us from being stuck in the past.

• Apology opens the door to forgiveness by allowing us to have empathy for the wrongdoer.

Apology Benefits the Receiver and the Giver

• The debilitating effects of the remorse and shame we may feel when we've hurt another person can eat away at us until we become emotionally and physically ill. By apologizing and taking responsibility for our actions we help rid ourselves of esteem-robbing self-reproach and guilt.

• Apology has the power to humble even the most arrogant. When we develop the courage to admit we are wrong and work past our resistance to apologizing, we develop a deep sense of self-respect.

• Apologizing helps us remain emotionally connected to our friends and loved ones. Knowing we have wronged someone may cause us to distance ourselves from the person, but once we have apologized we feel freer to be vulnerable and intimate.

• And there is another little-talked-about benefit: Since apologizing usually causes us to feel humiliated, it can also act as a deterrent, reminding us to not repeat the act.

The Connection Between Apology and Empathy

To forgive, most people need to gain some empathy and compassion for the wrongdoer. This is where apology comes in. When someone apologizes, it is a lot easier to view him or her in a compassionate way. Research shows that when wrongdoers apologize, we find it easier to forgive them.

This is likely because when someone confesses to and apologizes for hurting us, we are then able to develop a new image of that person. Instead of seeing him through anger and bitterness, the person's humility and apology cause us to see him as a fallible, vulnerable human being. We see the wrongdoer as more human, more like ourselves and this moves us.

Michael E. McCullough, Ph.D., Steven J. Sandage, M.S., and Everett L. Worthington Jr., Ph.D., examined whether the effect of apology on our capacity to forgive is due to our increased empathy toward an apologetic offender. They discovered that much of why people find it easy to forgive an apologetic wrongdoer is that apology and confession increase empathy, which heightens the ability to forgive.

McCullough, who is the director of research at the privately funded National Institute for Healthcare Research in Rockville, Maryland, believes that apology encourages forgiveness by eliciting sympathy. He and his colleagues published research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that supports this hypothesis.

The first study, of 131 female and 108 male college students, looked at whether people who forgave are more conciliatory toward, and less avoidant of, their offender. Participants filled out questionnaires describing an event in which someone had hurt them, how they were hurt, how wrong they felt the offender was and the extent to which the offender apologized.

McCullough and his colleagues then measured the degree of empathy participants felt toward the offending person, the degree to which they'd forgiven the offender, the degree to which participants had tried to reconcile with the offender and the degree to which participants avoided the offender.

The data supported the hypothesis that an apology leads to empathy and empathy mediates forgiveness.

Intention and Attitude

There are also two important underlying aspects of an apology-intention and attitude. These are communicated nonverbally to the person to whom you are apologizing. If your apology does not come sincerely, it will not feel meaningful to the other person.

For the person you have wronged to feel this sincerity, the desire to apologize must come from within. You should never attempt an apology because someone else tells you it is the right thing to do, because the other person is expecting it or because it will get you what you want. Apologies that are used as manipulations or mere social gestures will come across as empty and meaningless.

Apology, when sincere and intentional, is a powerful, perhaps even life-altering, tool for both the giver and the receiver.

Apology has indeed changed my life. My mother lived only three more years. But because she was able to offer an apology, and because I was able to accept her apology, we were closer in those three years than we had ever been. Our time together was extremely healing for both of us.

How to Give a Meaningful Apology

If you have difficulties apologizing, the following will teach you the most effective way to go about it. A meaningful apology communicates the three R's: regret, responsibility and remedy. Regret

A statement of regret for having caused the hurt or damage

While your intention may not have been to cause harm, you recognize that your action or inaction nevertheless did hurt this person. This regret needs to be communicated. This includes an expression of empathy with an acknowledgement of the injustice you caused. Responsibility

An acceptance of responsibility for your actions

This means not blaming anyone else and not making excuses for what you did. For an apology to be effective it must be clear that you are accepting total responsibility for your action or inaction. Therefore, your apology needs to include a statement of responsibility. Remedy

A statement of willingness to remedy the situation

While you can't undo the past, you can repair the harm you caused. Therefore, a meaningful apology needs to include a statement in which you offer restitution, or a promise to take action so that you will not repeat the behavior.

Unless all three of these elements are present, the other person will sense that something is missing in your apology and he or she may feel shortchanged.

Adapted with permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, from The Power of Apology, by Beverly Engel.

By: Beverly Engel
Originally published by Psychology Today:August 2, 2002
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 Simplicity cannot be overwhelmed

Have you ever asked a child for the answer to an adult problem? You may be amazed at their answer because, in their simplicity, they speak from their hearts.

We look around for solutions to our problems because our intelligence tells us there has to be a complicated and profound solution to the situation

We all start out as children ...

Hopefully, we grow up in the right settings ... playing with our toys, looking at the world with wonder. Everything is a Big Event. The baggage of life that we carry at this stage, in most cases, is fairly empty. But, buried down in the genetic memory, waiting for the right environment, the right moment, are the patterns, the memories of our ancestors and the whole history of who we already are.

Some of these memories are awakened during the time we spend in mother's womb .. others before we turn 2 years old. By the time we turn 7, the patterns of a lifetime are set .. unless ..

As we progress on through adolescence, each year the weight of that baggage increases. As children, our main concern was survival, being accepted, nurtured, loved by our parents and trying to find a place where we fitted into the family structure. In adolescence and teenage years we started to form additional relationships and friendships outside the family.

With the masks comes the forgetting

Each time we did so, we put on another mask, another layer. We added another program to our "response routine". But the old programs were still there .. and there were conflicts.

Adulthood brings with it the roles of being a parent, a spouse, and a breadwinner, each day putting on more and more masks. Each day adding to the luggage of life which we carry around on our shoulders. If all goes well, there's no problem. But, it isn't surprising how easily we can get bogged down.

Playing different roles in life can get real tiring.

It's no wonder that as we get older there feels like there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish all that we need (or want) to do. Our days of childhood feel like a glistening memory when we felt we could handle it all.

But then, in childhood, we only had one program which didn't have the limitations of the "if > then > jump" routine. The "keywords had not been disciplined into us as self limitations.

It's not hard to understand that as we get older we feel we are starting to forget things. These become (or are deliberately consigned to) the unconscious mind, deep into those parts of the body (those parts of our whole person) that are not "safe" to accept (or in some company, not safe to even acknowledge!)

Well, it's no wonder because, for many of us our minds are now having to handle at least three times the amount of information as before.

We're not "losing our minds," we're just very busy people who are trying to meet all of the needs, wants and expectations of those other people whom we have sought our approval status (the measure of our self esteem) from. Hey, what happened to all the leisure time we were supposed to have... the four day work week? Some do.... not many.

Making life easier

So how can we make things a little easier?

First, don't punish yourself for feeling overwhelmed. (who is it that feels overwhelmed?)

Second, work on accepting yourself just the way you are at this moment. (If no body else can accept you just the way you are, is that any reason to make their problem your problem?)

Third, try to let go and cast off some of the clutter that has accumulated over the years. In other words .. look at the programs and routines that have slowed up the system.

We tend to think, in society, that the more that we accumulate, the happier we will be. But what's not mentioned is that with each accumulation comes responsibilities that sometimes we may not care to handle. It's easier to ride a bike then to haul a heavy load.

So why simplicity?

Because the simpler we make our lives, the happier and more free we are. If all we had to do was concentrate on what really is important, things would make more sense.

For each of us, it may involve different solutions, but you know what I mean. Everything doesn't have to become a big deal.... not everything is life-threatening... no, we won't die if we don't do it in five minutes.... different things have different priorities. They are not all equal.

We look around for solutions to our problems under every rock, and in every nook and cranny, because our intelligence tells us there has to be a complicated and profound solution to the situation. Have you ever asked a child for the answer to an adult problem? You will be amazed at their answer. They speak from their hearts.

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 How to Deal with Heart Break in Relationships

by Tyrone Warner

Nothing is worse than someone breaking your heart. To need somebody so badly and then to have to let them go is hard. And as we grow older, the more people break our hearts, the worse it can feel each time.

Broken hearts are depressing, embarrasing and difficult. Fortunately, heartbreak doesn't last forever.

Let yourself let go

In dealing with a broken heart, the first thing is to let go completely. If it was not meant to be, then just let them go, and trust that someone better is going to come along. If we go back to that person who broke our hearts, they will see us as nothing more than defeated, and we would risk embarassment. A good way to just let go is to resist the urge to return, and simply avoid calling them on the phone, emailing or contacting them otherwise.

Feel your heart

It's okay to feel bad. Take some time to feel bad. Take a walk by yourself, or listen to some sad music. There is value to every feeling, as every feeling teaches us something new about ourselves. Just as we savour being happy, we can savour being sad, knowing that the feeling won't stay with us forever. As the sun can't shine everyday, it can't rain everyday either.

Go and let it out

Talk to somebody about it. A close friend will let you vent all of your anger and frustration and will console you afterwards. If you keep all your anger and sadness inside, you might end up pitying yourself, and you could miss out on building deeper relationships with your friends.

Wait it out

Last of all, I want to share with you a short phrase that has always helped me in my times of grief, and that is 'time eases pain.' As time goes on we know 'today' will slip from us and move further and further away into the 'past.' And as each day passes by, the hurt will go away, little by little, until we don't even remember the pain at all.

Keep your eyes forward

The future is rushing towards us faster than we can comprehend, and if we keep our heads turned backwards, looking at the past, we will miss seeing everything that the future is bringing to us.

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Relationship break up management

Since relationships have been broken, one might be tempted to hold his/her way of disenchantment and vengeance. Getting over a break up with dignity is the only outlet to relationship rescue from "heartbreak hotel".

Filled with love and hatred, one would better resort to relationship help of dealing both with self-torture and spiritual egotism. The essence of relationship break up management is individual's ability to forgive and to forget. Relationship help methods appeal to comprehension of mistakes made and admission of love lost.

Above all one needs to bring order to his/her life literally and psychologically. If it were not for relationship management help, one would fight a losing battle for afterglow phantom. Avoid getting bogged down in love fever, even though he/she used to be the love of your life.

Guided by relationship break up management rules, one ought to abandon his/her fancy dreams of your partner crawling up with the tail between the legs. Get rid of gifts, photos and everything that keeps you on the alert by reminding the good old times. The principle "out of sight, out of mind" – is the ace of trumps in relationship rescue.

Affording yourself to give vent to your sorrow, tell your friends for the hundredth time about his admiring your smile. Afterwards, apply for relationship help therapy of refreshing in mind the most unpleasant moments and irritating deeds of your partner. Having reached your aim, you'd be perplexed by the image of paltry individual you've been in love with. Neither love story, nor romance relationship is to last forever, although it's a precious experience of relationship management to derive benefit from.

One shouldn't leave it out of account that anger is direct opposite to love. Therefore he/she would rather concentrate his/her attention on someone worth notice in order to cope with feelings, ringing the relationship management bell.

While making an attempt to take revenge, one provokes raising his/her back against mental progress and stagnating of relationship break up management.. Reveling in insidious plan to spoil his/her life, one reopens old scores and impedes recovery process. Uncovered openly hostile actions just adulate your offender as they are counted for a sign of feelings, saved in your heart.

Obsessed by lust for revenge, remember that happy life of yours is the best vengeance to your ex-lover. Direct energies at finding, learning and loving yourself. Strike up a new romance and devote yourself to any activity or interest so that you've cleaned up your mind. Get up, brush your teeth, watch romantic movie, smile and forgive your ex for cold-hearted "good bye".

In course of time ask yourself whether relationship help strategy has approved itself. Suppose you answers to the statements below were positive as a whole, you would celebrate victory of relationship management efficiency.
1)You are not going to cry your eyes out over the sounds of you might-have-been wedding song.
2) You are not comparing a new friend with your ex-love on a blind date.
3) You feel like spending evening all alone at home.
4) Your ex-partner is not the first to know about your salary increase.
5) A thought of him scarcely crosses your mind.
6) You have lost that pleasant sensation of his/her fingers, touching your skin

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Accept Disappointment
By Justin Meyer
It is a fact of life that sometimes things will not go as planned. Small things can go wrong in life, and inevitably, small and large things will happen. You might not get a job that you wanted. Maybe you've lost something that you wanted. How do you deal with the disappointment in life, how do you accept the problems that are arising? What steps can you take to make sure that when things happen that you don't like, that you are able to step back and accept what happens.

The best way to do this is to move on. Find something immediate that you can do, that can take your mind off of what is happening. In the long run, however, you need to be able to address the issue. Disappointments do happen. You can get rejected without it being the end of the world. Something can go missing, but you will find it. Not many things can actually run away. Beyond that, it is important to look at the big picture. When something happens that doesn't go your way, move on. If you don't get a job, start looking for another one. If you can't get the girl, then move on and ask someone else out. These aren't easy things to do, but they are essential.

If you can keep moving forward, then you can accept that things might not be going your way but things can get better. Disappointment happens but it is a temporary condition. Turning things positive will be a benefit in both the short and long run.

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1. DON'T SUPPRESS. Letting go of your emotions doesn't mean
to avoid feeling them or suppressing them. Suppressing your
emotions can be harmful to your health, resulting in a
myriad of physical ailments including heart disease, strokes and ulcers. Instead of suppressing your emotions, become unattached to them. How?

2.CAUSE YOUR UPSET. One of the most effective ways I've
found to become unattached to an upset is to actually
'cause' it. Having something happen that results in your
automatically being upset is different from recognizing the
upset and causing it in a responsible manner. You may find
it's actually quite difficult to stay upset when you're
causing it rather than simply being at the effect of it, and it can help you move through it and reach detachment sooner.

3. WRITE IT OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM. For many people writing
about their emotional upsets can be a great way to dissipate the energy. The best way to write about your emotions is to not think about writing but simply write. Pour it all out on the paper. Let the words flow directly from your heart to your fingers without detouring through your brain first.

4. WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? Once you've unattached yourself
from the angst of your emotions, you are better able to deal with what really happened. As Detective Friday used to say in Dragnet, "Just the facts." What happened is almost always different from what you reacted to. What caused the reaction was what you made up about what happened. Someone saying,"We're cutting your bonus 50%," is different from "My jerk of a boss is stingy and uncaring and let me tell you what he did recently that proves it." Few people in life deal with what's really happening -- only the most effective ones.

5. GET THAT WE LIVE IN A 'NO ACCIDENT' UNIVERSE. Since we're designed to make meaning out of everything, why not make up some new meaning about what happened that will empower life? Notice I said empowers life, not 'empowers you.' Of course, you're part of life so you're included but look beyond yourself. What meaning could you attribute to the situation that will empower everyone involved? One great place to look is what's the hidden lesson the Universe is trying to teach you. If you've just gone through a huge upset, chances are that you've been offered the lesson many other times. Isn't it time to learn it so you can move on?

6. CELEBRATE. That's right, whenever you move through an
upset, no matter how large or small, celebrate the expansion and growth you've made. As Chin-Ning Chu says, "Rejoice and celebrate each time your heart is broken. Only when your heart is broken can the light enter."

This week, try out this simple and effective six-step
approach on one of your upsets and see if you don't become
much more effective at dealing with your life. The more you
practice it, the faster you'll be able to authentically move through the emotional turbulence of life and stay on track to living purposefully.

Written by Brad Swift
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 Time to grieve

Note: While we've addressed this article to women, the advice applies equally to men.

He's dumped you. What advice is on offer here? Pick yourself up? Get over it? Life moves on? Well, it does, in the end. You will – but that won't happen straight away. There's more than a little unhappiness to get through first. Rule one: don't be ashamed of admitting that and letting it happen.

It can be much as it is when someone close to you dies. You feel – nothing, shock, disbelief, at a weird, observable distance from what you thought was reality. Then it starts to hit. There's the abyss, and the tears come. Rage – and, in broken relationships, the mortifying feeling of having been rejected. Then it settles and there is grief. Then there is healing.

There's some room for immediate rationalisation, words and half-baked thoughts which will cover it up a little and shelter you from the worst extremities of loss. 'Oh well, we had our time.' 'It was hurting me anyway.' 'Now I can get on with my life.' 'Better that it happened now, I suppose, rather than later.' Some room. You can keep the words running across the surface of your deepest feelings while you readjust. It's perhaps best not to try to take on everything straight away. Go little by little, then we stay sane.

Ultimately, though, there comes the time to exist awhile in the space where there are no words. That's one of the problems here: there really are no words. That's one of the things that hurts so much. It is exactly as if a part of you has been taken away. You can't confront it or demand yet more explanations – scream at it: why, why, why – because it's not there. The warm, glowing centre of life has suddenly, unaccountably vanished. Even your tears don't manage to capture it, to get it back.

It's important you give yourself time to feel small. So you're big and happy and liberated - modern - right? Don't be afraid to let that projected self-image crumple a little while you reconstruct. You need to go through the process of grieving. Don't think that you shouldn't be feeling what you do. It doesn't make you weak or less of a person. It just means you're human.

Believe this: once you accept the reality and let yourself cry it will soon be over. It won't hurt that much again. You will return to it occasionally – healing takes time – but the worst will have passed. You don't want it to pass? That too is natural. It is natural to hold onto grief as the confirmation of the reality of that person and that relationship – as the proof that it was real and really meant something. And that need too will pass.

Curl up, find some time to sit there on your own, licking your wounds. Then one day you'll wake up and discover you've come back to life. You'll start looking around again, noticing other people again. How pretty the world looks! It will become time to treat yourself, take yourself shopping, have a day at a health spa… Enjoying life. You might even feel a little foolish for the way you let yourself get so worked up about that tosser! At that point, play the field and enjoy being single. Pretty soon you'll be considering new relationship-material possibilities and letting your emotional doors swing wide open. It'll be time to think: 'Have I learnt nothing!' Then just going along with it, up for the ride.
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Five steps for 30 days and see an AMAZING major change in your life.   

Follow these five steps for 30 days and see an AMAZING major change in your life.

1. Cut off all contact with "downer" people in your life.

    You become like who you associate with....and you are not able to carry negative friends at this time.

    Find new optimistic "enthused about life" people who will lift you up from the doldrums and help you become full of enthusiasm about joining them in a new life.

2. Stop focusing on whats bad or not working.

What you concentrate on grows. Focus your thought and efforts instead on what IS working, and what is going better and right in your life. 

     You'll start getting more of whatever you think about all day long.

3. Stop listening to sad songs or stations programmed with downers.

Turn your TV off for six months and stop watching news programs.

You have enough downers input of your own.

    Avoid the media for six month because it does nothing for you except input to you "whats not working in the world."

The commercials even remind you of whats "wrong" with you.

4. You feed your stomach daily, now start feeding your mind daily.

Reading books or reading here online, listen to audio tapes on personal development, and you will in a short time become a "growing" better person.

    This daily input will outweigh, after a short time the "negative" things that have happened in your life.

You will make better decisions and soon regain "control of your life."

     Read one article a day on this site, then listen to an inspirational audio tape a day and you'll quickly rise above what previously seemed like insurmountable problems.

You'll also counter-act nearly all of the negative programming associated with your divorce.

5. Reprogram your mental computer.

First you have been changing input by getting positive friends eliminating the harmful messages from the people around you,

    You have shut off the negative media and now have a controlled program of what you are daily reading on this site, books on the subject and listening to. audio books.

Now we need to look at and update programming you've "learned" from your parents, teachers and peers that may have been appropriate at the time but is now obsolete.

    Your programming system of beliefs and life guiding decisions have led to habits you've had for years and years.

It will take serious efforts on your part to counteract and/or update this old programming.

    These steps mentioned above were important starters, drop contact with negative friends, replace with new "uppers" people.

Shut off negative songs, radio and shut off the TV for six months.

    Replace them with informational and inspirational books and daily posative reading here on our sites and others on the net,

Rent or borrow from the library inspirational
and personal development
audio tapes and listen daily to them while doing housework, driving etc.

    Become super critical of what you hear yourself saying: learn what words to use to program yourself positively and what words should be eliminated from your vocabulary.

Follow these 5 rules and steps for 30 days and your life will turn around with amazing improvements that will astonish you.

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  NOTE: These principals also apply to other situations that cause us a painful loss. PDPJ
Many changes occur during our lives that can create a sense of loss. Death of a loved one, changes in relationships, health or job-related changes can result in feelings of loss and grief. We can cope with these feelings by understanding the grief process and getting support from others. Waves of grief eventually subside and we can once again feel hope and reinvest in the future. Everybody experi-
ences grief in their own way and in their own time. Many feelings occur during the grief process and are a part of the natural healing response. They include:
Sadness… the most common feeling...
Anger… frequently experienced after a loss...can be one of the most confusing feelings during the grieving process. Anger comes from frustration that there was nothing one could do to prevent the death or loss. Feeling helpless, anxious and unable to exist without the person can lead to anger. It is important to identify these feelings, which are a normal part of the grieving process, and avoid direct-
ing the anger at someone else or turning the anger inward at one's self.
Guilt … common experiences of survivors: Examples include feelings of guilt over not being kind enough, not taking the person to the hospital sooner, not visiting or doing enough……Guilt usually occurs over something that occurred recently around the time of death or loss.
Anxiety … can range from a sense of insecurity to panic. Survivors may fear they will not be able to take care of themselves or others. Anxiety can heightened one's own mortality.
Loneliness…a feeling frequently expressed by survivors, particularly those who
have lost a spouse and who felt a close day-by-day relationship.
Fatigue… feeling tired or apathetic, lacking energy to do normal, routine activities.
Helplessness… similar to anxiety...frequently present in the early stage of a loss.
Shock… occurs most often in the case of sudden death or loss, but sometimes when the death follows a progressive, deteriorating illness and is expected.
Relief… many people feel relief after the death of a loved one, particularly if
the loved one suffered a lengthy or particularly painful illness.
Numbness… often experienced early in the grieving process, usually right
after death. Numbness is a protection from the flood of overwhelming feelings.
Physical Sensations ….hollowness in the stomach, tightness in the chest or throat, over-sensitivity to noise, breathlessness, feeling short of breath, weakness in the muscles ,lack of energy, dry mouth.
For more information contact the Consultation & Education Department of the Alamance-Caswell Area Mental Health, Devel-
opmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Authority at (336) 513-4200. For 24-Hour Crisis Services call
513-4444 in Alamance County and toll-free 1-888-513-1444 in Caswell County and other areas.
……Providing comprehensive, quality education, prevention, treatment and rehabilitative
services to citizens of Alamance and Caswell Counties

On the Journey of Grief
There is no right or wrong way to experience grief or to make this journey. Allow yourself to experience grief in your way - and allow others to do the same.
Talking about the loved one, remembering good times and bad times, can be very comforting. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not morbid to remember.
* Looking at pictures, movies or listening to music that reminds you the loved one may be emotionally painful and yet comforting.
* Tears are not a sign of weakness, but an expression of feeling.
Be aware of the "stops" along the journey. Most of us do not move through each phase in a linear fashion. Nor do we stay at each stop for the same number of days.
* Your journey will depend on your experience with the loved one, preparedness for the death, and the other travelers and places you experience along your journey.
* There is no definitive end to the journey nor a certain length of time for the journey.
* Don't let others tell you when it is time to "to be over it."
Don't make any major life changes without thinking through the consequences. It may be a good idea to talk over your plans with your minister, counselor, lawyer, accountant or a trusted friend - particularly if the plans involve large sums of money or property. Reinvestment in your new life means "letting go" of a loved one. This is not the same as for-
getting. Letting go is about creating a new relationship with your loved one without a physical presence. Once the love you feel for the deceased is secure in your heart, soul and mind you can experience renewed energy for creating a new life.
* If you are having trouble "letting go" make sure you are not idealizing the loved one. It is hard to create a relationship with a saint.
* This activity may help: Write down no more then 10 qualities or characteristics you loved, admired and respected about the loved one on one side of a sheet of paper. Then list up  to 10 qualities or characteristics you disliked, did not admire or respect about the loved one. This will help you create a realistic image of the person. When you start to focus on all the good qualities - pull out your list and remind yourself that the loved one was a real person.
Adapted from "Taking the Time You Need to Grieve Your Loss" CareNotes
One Caring Place, Abbey Press, St. Meinrad, IN 47577
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 Difficult Times
By Peter Shepherd
When painful events happen in life, such as losing a job, breakdown of a relationship, illness or when one fails at an important task, this is naturally distressing. Like the pain we feel when we fall to the ground, it is a reality of life that we need to accept, then pick ourselves up and continue a little wiser.

Because of the pain, we may be tempted to avoid the reality of life through resistance and denial. Something bad happens, and we look the other way. We pretend that we don't have a problem when we do - "It's not my problem the sales figures have collapsed," "I'm not upset she's left, good riddance." But the problem doesn't just go away, and neither do our suppressed feelings - they build up and fester inside, causing anxiety, tension, depression, and a host of stress-related problems. The emotional energy these suppressed feelings create eventually drives you to behave in ways you don't like or understand, and which you cannot control.

Another way of avoiding reality is through exaggeration. This is when you make the situation out to be worse than it is, to justify your resistance. Whenever anything mildly unpleasant happens, you start imagining all the bad possibilities of what may go wrong, as if they were real and already happening. So of course you cannot face up to this and you 'blow up' or lose your temper to relieve the pressure of the accumulated emotions. This can feel good because it puts the feeling into action - but it doesn't change the reality of the situation that you are still not confronting.

A third common way to cope with feelings is by attempting to avoid the issue altogether by attending instead to distractions - by talking, watching TV, eating, smoking, drinking, taking drugs, having sex, etc. But despite our attempts to escape them, the real issue and our feelings about it are still there - and still take their toll in the form of stress.

But there is another option for handling a feeling - you can focus on it, fully experience it, and then let go of it: release it, discharge it, as we described in lesson 10. Release requires acceptance; acceptance occurs when we no longer resist - no longer look at things in terms of black and white, no longer judge. When we tap into our capacity for unconditional love, including love for ourselves.

Whenever you are experiencing any kind of discomfort, you are resisting the fact that some person, situation, or thing is the way it is. You may be doing so unconsciously and automatically, but nonetheless, all suffering, all discomfort, all pain, comes from not allowing what is to be what it is. If you could be totally nonresistant to what is, life would flow easily and happily, without discomfort, no matter what the external circumstances.

This does not mean you can't take action in order to make things different. It just means that when faced with something that is the way it is, and cannot be changed, you do not, as a result, suffer over it.

Do what you can to create what you want, but don't become attached to the outcome; that way your level of well-being can remain the same, regardless of the outcome. Your happiness comes from inside, not from what does or does not happen around you.

When you want to change yourself or help others to change, you need to gather information, the noticeable parts of a problem, the symptoms one is uncomfortable with. This is the present state.

There will also be a desired state: an outcome that is the goal of change. There will be the resources that will help to achieve this outcome and also side effects to reaching it, for oneself and others. There will of course be the barriers and difficulties. But if it is a worrisome problem and not simply an interesting challenge, there will also be underlying reasons that create it as a problem: what does the person keep having to do that maintains the problem, and why? What is not being faced up to? These causes are inevitably to do with resistance, the denial or exaggeration of a reality, and the suppression of accompanying emotions.

The element of conflict is intrinsic to problems and the trick of solving them is to be able to spot the counter element to one's own intention, and to recognize that one does indeed have a causative contribution to the situation, otherwise it would not be intention versus counter-intention - a problem! The 'solution' to the problem is simply a realization of the structure of the problem itself. To accept and no longer resist the honest truth of the reality of the situation. To recognize the denial or exaggeration that has been going on, and the emotional attachment to an outcome. The emotional charge or confusion of the problem will then drop away, and appropriate actions may be taken.

The amount a person suffers in their life is directly related to how much they are resisting the fact that "things are the way they are," because they are not as they are "supposed to be." Attachment to things being different than they are needs to be "upgraded" to a preference. This means that when "what is" is not what you want, you do not suffer over it (get angry, sad, fearful, anxious, and so on), and your happiness and peace are therefore not controlled by forces outside of your control. You then have the clarity needed to much better be able to actually improve the situation.

As you go about your day, notice when you are feeling resistance or feel that what is happening is not acceptable to you. Then switch your viewpoint to: "I'd prefer it to be different but I can accept this as a starting point, really it's OK." See what you learn about yourself and if it actually empowers you to be both happier and more effective.

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Tips For a Faster Recovery
by Tigress Luv

1. Start a personal journal about your journey from heartbreak to 'better-than-ever'. I know one man who kept a record of his postings on our break up board, starting from his devastating beginning days, to his healed and in love again days, and then turned them into an awesome book of self-discovery and hope.

2. Get all your hurt, pain, frustration, anger, love - whatever emotions you need to release - out. Place an empty chair in front of you and imagine it to be your ex (it may help to place a picture of your ex on the chair). Talk to him/her, telling them all the pain you feel, all the resentment you harbor, or the hurt feelings, emptiness, loneliness. All the love you have for them. Get it all out! Yell, blame, cry, beg, whatever feels good at the time.

3. Take an evening course. For example: art, writing, computer, or graphic arts.

4. Take a walk. I started walking about 4 weeks into my break up because I thought I was going to go nuts! I can honestly say that, not only did I walk the break up off, I also walked off about 10 unwanted pounds, got beautiful legs, sun-streaked hair, and a great tan!

5.  Make your own break up music tape. Do Not include any songs that remind you of your ex! And, try to record only insightful music (not just sappy, sad stuff!). Such as Gloria Gaynor's "I will survive". Here are some song suggestions:

  • bonnie raitt- give it up or let me go

  • dixie chicks- you were mine

  • destiny's child- bug a boo

  • cher- strong enough

  • allure- all cried out

  • whitney houston- it's not right but it's ok

  • monica- ring da bell

  • tlc- no scrubs

  • sarah mclachlan- circles

  • no doubt- end it on this

  • mariah carey- i don't wanna cry

  • madonna- the power of goodbye

  • shania twain - that don't impress me much

  • sheryl crow- anything but down

  • whitney houston- heartbreak hotel

  • all saints- never ever

  • ben folds five- song for the dumped

  • brandy- almost doesn't count

  • mya- if you died i wouldn't cry cause you never loved me anyway

  • mya- movin on

  • cher-believe

  • garbage-special

  • en vogue-too gone, too long

  • alana davis-free

  • alanis morrisette-you oughta know

  • jewel-foolish games

  • fleetwood mac-dreams

  • dixie chicks-let 'er rip

  • mary chapin carpenter- the last word

  • fleetwood mac-go your own way

  • fleetwood mac-i don't want to know

  • erykah badu-certainly

6. Try something different that you haven't experienced before. Parasailing, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, lectures, etc. Read some new-age philosopher's books and writings.

7. Write down all your different dreams of the future that you had planned around you and your ex being together. Use a separate piece of paper for each dream. Example: our dream home in Colorado, our vacation to the Bahamas next Spring, children, etc. Individually burn each one by throwing them into a fireplace or a fire pit.

8. Cry! Cry hard and long. Now stop, wait five minutes, and then cry again!

9. Set aside a certain amount of time each day that you will allow yourself to grieve - and nothing else but grieve. It is a funny thing, but when you try to grieve - and only grieve - you'll find that you don't really feel all that full of grief. It's when you try not to grieve, or when you allow other things to happen while you grieve (phone calls, television, smoking, eating) that you believe your grief consumes you.

10. Seek counselling or therapy to help you get in touch with your inner feelings.

11. If you're angry try to release it in a non-destructive way. Example: pound your pillow, go for a jog, or workout at the gym. To stop anger try to understand what exactly it is that you are angry about and try to understand the motives of the person that angered you, or the reasons behind the event that angered you. Anger usually is simply fear of losing control over a situation, event, or even yourself.

12. Start a project. Example: Remodel your bathroom, grow a garden, or get in better shape.

13. Give yourself a hug! God made our arms long enough so that we may embrace ourselves. Try it - nobody's looking. :) ...and it feels soooo good!

14. To help you sleep keep a fantasy list close to your bedside. A 'fantasy list' is a list of things that you dream about. For instance; planting a garden, winning the lotto, building a home. Each night before you close your eyes pick one fantasy from the list. Now close your eyes and think about what you would do if your fantasy came true. Don't just 'think' about it, plan it out detail-by-detail ... see the dream unfold piece-by-piece. Example: if you were to plant a dream garden what would you have in it? What kind of flowers, what colors? What vegetables and herbs? Would you have decorations or garden ornaments? A koi pond? Bird house or birdbath? Perhaps a nature walk or cobble-stoned pathway? A resting bench? A fountain?

15. Pamper yourself. Get a massage, or a makeover. Buy new shoes, or change your entire wardrobe. Don't feel guilty - you've just been through hell, and honey, you deserve some pampering - so spoil yourself silly!

16. If you and your ex hung around with the same crowd, it's time to make new friends! Join church groups, hiking/biking clubs, singles groups, or even tournaments and sports leagues. Take dance lessons. Join committees. Look up old friends that you have lost touch with, or volunteer your services or help somewhere if you have spare time to give.

17. I've heard this great suggestion for when you are stuck 'obsessing' about your ex. What you are supposed to do (and I've tried this - it works!) is either inside or outdoors, sitting or walking, start counting every single thing you see. For instance sitting at your desk you might do something like this:

Pen. One
Monitor. Two
Tissues. Three
Coffee cup. Four

Keep counting without stopping until you feel you are done. This may be at 10, or even 200. Then your supposed to focus your attention again at the objects around you, only this time instead of counting, you are making a comment to that thing, Example: "Pen, You just sit there until I put action to you. I wonder how many words you have written, how many stories you could tell." "Coffee cup, you are plain and unattractive. A dull eggshell color." Keep this up until you feel you are finished and refocused.

The object of this is to re-focus your attention outward to the objects around you, and by forcing your attention outward you stop your thoughts from being stuck inward'.

19. Build your own sanctuary or respite. This can be a place in your garden, a spare room, or even your porch. Place some special plants and flowers, figurines, or statues around. Decorate it in a calm, soothing color scheme. Add a soft-flowing fountain, or background music of nature tapes. Go there to re-connect with your inner spiritual self.

20. Start a self-improvement program. You can change things about yourself you don't like, and you can learn to understand and like things about yourself that you didn't before. Inner-reflection and awareness is very peaceful.

21. Check out support forums here for those going through break up grief.

22. Fall in love with yourself. Take yourself to a movie, or a lunch at a quaint little sidewalk cafe. Go on a short road trip, and pack along an awesome picnic basket. Grab a blanket and good book and make a day of it. Fly a kite!

23. Go through every inch of your home and pack up anything that reminds you of your ex. This includes pictures, gifts, or even their belongings. For each item you remove replace it with a plant or flowers! Rearrange your furniture and reclaim your house. Remodel, redecorate. Renew!

24. Buy a puppy, kitten, bird - or even a horse! Set up an awesome aquarium, or terrarium. Yes - you can buy love!

25. Invite friends over for a sleep-over! No - you're never too old for a sleep-over! Rent some awesome movies, buy some sinful snacks, get some good board games.

26. Change is good. If you have found that during the course of your relationship you got stuck in a rut, now is the time to wake up and revamp yourself. Change your car, buy a new sportier or racier one - or trade in your trusted old Betsy for a Harley. Go back to school. Throw away your polyester slacks and buy some slinky black leather pants. Change your hair color or get a new do. The world is yours, honey - it's your time now so be all that you can be.

27. Get out and enjoy life. Join a bowling league, pool tournament, or volleyball group.

28. Write. Start a book, a journal, a collection of poems, or even your favorite recipes.

29. Write your ex a letter. Say whatever you want, how ever you feel. Blame, moan, confess your love. Express forgiveness. Whatever. It is your letter, do with it as you like. When you are all finished, rip it up!

30. Profit from your break up. Design a new series of 'break up' greeting cards, or design a line of t-shirts with funny 'break up-lines' on them. Other ideas for merchandising might be purses, beach towels, book/page markers, bumper stickers, mouse pads, coffee cups, and even answering-machine recordings.

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 Stages of Healing

G rief is a very personal thing. You can not explain it. Grief is an emotion, and like the essence of a rose, emotions are indescribable in words. Every grief is different. The way you grieve may be entirely different than the way I grieve, yet both of us will probably share many of the same grief symptoms: Sorrow, anger, loneliness, sadness, shame, anxiety, guilt pain, loss, blame, emptiness, and depression.

Five Stages Of Grief

1. Denial and Isolation. At first, we tend to deny the loss has taken place, and may withdraw from our friends, family, co-workers, and social contacts. This stage may last anywhere from a few minutes to months, depending on each individuals grieving style.

2. Anger. After the reality sets in you might become very angry, even furious with your ex. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned or a man rejected. Most of us , too, will become angry with ourselves for even letting the event take place, right up to the point of blaming ourself for the entire breakup. We inevitably go through the "if I only's" and the "I should have or shouldn't have done this or that's"...

3. Bargaining. This is where we start to make bargains with God; beg with our exes to take us back; and try to turn friends, co-workers, and family members into co-conspirators on our obsessive quest to gain this person back. We call our exes with invented tragedies, or emergencies, just to make contact ; we try to 'accidentally' run into them somewhere where we know they might be; we decide we immediately need to retrieve that old sweater we left in their apartment...all in hopes that...well, you know! And if we do manage to get their attention, if only for those 'accidental' few minutes, we immediately lose all self-respect and start begging or crying, "If I do this or don't do that, will you please, please take me back?" is at this time that we become unattractive & desperate beggars, pleading with our exes to please (please..PLEASE) take us back and give us another chance. This is the blind stage where we tend to take the blame, mistakenly believing that "we" did something wrong and another chance will miraculously cure the problem. All we manage to do is strip ourselves of our pride, self-respect, and dignity, leaving us to feel humiliated and rejected...oh, argh!

4. Depression. We start to feel numb and turn into zombies. Our anger and sadness may still be there but remains hidden and masquerades as a depressed state. We barricade ourselves in our home or apartment, close the drapes, and refuse to get out of bed. We call in sick at work and cancel plans with friends. We only answer the phone in hopes that it may be 'them' calling, and when we discover it's not them the cycle begins all over again. In order to break the cycle you need to reach Stage 5.

5. Acceptance. Finally it's over! The anger has passed, the sadness has tapered off, the depression has lifted and we see reality and it feels great. We will survive!

Ways you can reach stage five more easily.

Stage 1. Acknowledge your grief. Denying your feelings is harder on the body and mind than going through them. Wallow in them if you want, wail out loud, punch your pillow, cry to your mother, write sad poems, let your heart's your grief and it's very real. Allowing grief to surface is the only way to let it go. Without this difficult stage we could never move pass the loss. Don't feel pressured to hide or deny  your emotions, but to accept them for what they are.

Stage 2. Allow your anger but resist the temptation to place blame. Stage two is usually short-lived. A healthy lifestyle will be most beneficial in getting you through this stage. Grieving and stress usually pass more quickly with good self-care habits, eating balanced diets, plenty of fluids, exercise, and adequate rest. When you start to feel 'self-blaming' then pamper yourself with a bath, rent your favorite movie, go for a hike or bike ride, buy a new puppy, tour your local museum, or visit your family or close friends. Taking special care of yourself re-establishes your self-value and worth. When you pamper yourself you again feel good about yourself and the need to place blame disappears.

Note: Our emotions always run their highest in the late evenings. I have no idea why! I read just today to keep a calendar by your bed and for each day fill in a different thought, it can be anything. Such as one day the thought would be about growing a flower/vegetable garden and what kinds of plants you would plant, the next what you would buy your mother if you suddenly won a million dollars...things like that. Then at night, before you go to bed, look at your calendar and that is the thought you are to have when you close your eyes. Sounds like fun even if you weren't having a difficult time!

Stage 3. Three simple steps! Intercept, resist, and divert by redirecting. Whenever you feel that urge to give in and try to contact your ex, stop! Intercept your thoughts, resist the temptation and divert by redirecting your interests elsewhere with more self-gratifying activities. You will feel so much better when you walk away with your pride intact and your head held high. Believe me, there is nothing worse then the feeling of loss of dignity. Our dignity is our self-temple. It's how we judge ourselves as human beings. It's where we place our worth. And there's nothing better than the feeling of our own strength as we resist the temptation and redirect ourselves to a more productive course.

Stage 4. Depression is a symptom of suppressed emotions. If you followed my directions and allowed your feelings to surface, took good care of yourself, and did not give in to placing blame, you should be able to slip through this stage with barely more than a one day "oh, woe is me" sigh!

Stage 5. Doesn't it feel great to be out of a relationship that was so wrong for you? As your dark clouds have now parted you should feel a beautiful, cleansed feeling. Your soul has been reawakened and you see all the beauty that surrounds you.
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Getting over a relationship break up

Many who have been in a relationship know that the hardest part is overcoming the break-up. However, many do not know that no matter how long the relationship, you do not need to spend months to years reminiscing and crying about the loved one who you've lost. Although the path to completely moving on from your past partner can only totally be cured by time, there are many ways to speed it up and help you move on with a lighter heart.

The first and most important part of a break-up is to force yourself to let go. Even if you want to stay friends with your past partner, now is not the time. It will only make it harder for you to interact with him/her or perhaps hear news of his/her latest romantic interests in the time period that you are trying to get over him/her. S, no matter how much you may want to talk to them, you need to very nicely let them know that you will need some space until you are ready to be friends again, if you even want to stay friends. From this point on you must stop asking your friends questions about your ex, or tell them ahead of time not to discuss him/her around you no matter how much you may persist. You must also force yourself to stop reminding yourself of the past relationship by looking at momentos of the relationship such as old letters, pictures, or any gifts your ex may have given you. For now, take all those and put them in a safe place, preferably one where you won't have easy access to them until you are truly ready to look at them again without having to deal with your own aching heart. The point here is that you can't begin to overcome the break-up if you're still holding on to the past partner or relationship.

The second step to allowing yourself to move on is to ask yourself the reason for your pain. Avoid easy and simple answers such as you loved him/her or he/she was a great person. Delve deeper and analyze yourself to really discover what is making you so incredibly sad. Try making a list if his/her good and bad qualities and a list of the good and bad qualities of your relationship. For instance, are you upset because you really miss your ex, or because you do not want to be alone? Truly understanding what you miss so much will help you to focus your energies on exactly what you wish to overcome.

Another important step that you must maintain throughout the entire process of overcoming the break-up is to keep yourself busy! Do not allow yourself the time to sit around and brood. Start exercising, go out with friends, take up a hobby and get involved in it, because as long as you're not doing something, you're not helping yourself. Keeping busy is one of the most effective ways to keep your mind off of your past relationship. So get up, get yourself out there and force yourself to start having some fun!

Now I know everyone says moving on too quickly is not a good idea, but no one's saying move on to a serious relationship right away, but it's time to start thinking about dating again as well! Start looking at other possible romantic interests and try a couple of casual dates. Don't lock yourself up in your room and shun all the other possibilities that are out there waiting for you! Besides, seeing new people will keep your mind off your ex as long as you don't start comparing them to him/her. Stay open-minded and you should be over them much sooner than you expected!

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Dealing with the Ending of a Romantic Relationship 

Norfolk State University Counseling Center 823-8173


 Acceptance –
 1.Understanding that the dating relationship is over
 2.Understanding why it ended
 3.Grieving and mourning the loss
 4.Directing your energies elsewhere
 5.Dealing with rejection
 6.Growing emotionally from the experience
1. Acceptance – understanding that the dating relationship is over  

This is a difficult conclusion to be reached. Driven by a desire to be accepted and to get other needs met, many times we hope that the person will change his/her mind and have us back. Thus, on certain occasions we demonstrate a reluctance to end a bad relationship.  However, it is usually best to expect that the relationship is over in order to begin to heal and move on in one's life. 

Closure in the relationship might come in an honest talk with your ex-partner where you have the opportunity to express your feelings and opinions about the relationship.  It also allows you to receive feedback from this person. 

It may also be useful to write a letter to the person where you can express your feelings uncensored and then perhaps re-write the letter until it fits the message that you want to give.  Letter writing allows you the opportunity to express your ideas without being initially refuted by your ex-partner. 

2. Understanding why it ended 

I believe that we all look for meaning in our relationships including why they went wrong.  You may seek an explanation from your ex-partner; however, you must accept that sometimes he or she can not give you one.  The answers ultimately have to come from within you.  Take a step back and look at the relationship realistically and accept your role as well as your partner's in the breakup.  Asking yourself if you were truly happy in the relationship can be useful in understanding why it ended. 

***  You need to avoid falling into the "if only" and " what if" trap. This trap leads to constantly replaying in your head parts of the relationship and imagining how things would have been if you did not behave in a certain way.  Although it is important to learn from your mistakes, it is self-defeating to get stuck in the past. 

Some of the "if onlys" and "what ifs" are: 

If only I would have not nagged him or her so much.

What if I would have showered her with more affection?

If only I would have given him more space.

What if I would have avoided bringing up my concerns with her?

If only I would not have been so needy. 

We can learn from our relationships, but sometimes we may magnify our faults when we are rejected in a relationship. 

3. Grieving the loss 

Distinguish where various feelings are coming from: sadness, anger, guilt, or hopelessness. 

Give yourself outlets to mourn àà write in a journal, talk with a friend or family member, talk with a counselor, take quiet walks. 

4. Directing your energies elsewhere 

A break-up can mean that your current life is going to change greatly. Also, future dreams may feel destroyed by the break-up.  These feelings are temporary, although painful.  

Places your energy may now move towards àà  

Other relationships, academics, job, spirituality, exercise, volunteer work, entertainment (i.e. concerts, plays, sports), various forms of artistic expression. 

*** Overgeneralizing – a tendency to take one example and apply it to all other cases.  You need to be careful to avoid stereotyping males and females after a breakup. For example, for a while you may think all guys are "players".  Another example might be a woman who was nice early in the relationship but mean later; thus, all women are bound to show their true colors. 

*** "I want to be just friends." Is this really possible now, sometime in the future, or ever?

Questions you should ask yourself about being a friend with an ex-partner

 Is this just a way in which he is trying to make himself feel less guilty for hurting you? Could you accept only a friendship with her? Can you deal with this person dating someone else? Talking about other love interests?  Can the negative qualities of your ex-partner that were masked by girlfriend or boyfriend status be dealt with in a friendship?  Are you accepting the role of a friend just to stay close to the person in hopes of one day being his/her boyfriend or girlfriend again?  Are you staying close to the person to keep your self-esteem from decreasing further?   

*** The person who broke up with you may pressure you to accept your new role as a friend. He/she may indicate that you do not care about him or her if you do not accept this role immediately.  Realistically, it may take some time.  You were rejected by this person and will have to work through a host of questions to determine if you want to hold the status as a "friend".  Remember, if the person really cares about you he/she will be patient when you are in the process of making this decision.  

5. Dealing with Rejection 

Having someone break up with you can have a real negative effect on your self-esteem.  It can also lead to negative emotions such as sadness and anger.   

Being kind to yourself is important at this time. Remember the old saying, "if you don't like yourself no one else should like you." Schedule pleasurable activities, pamper yourself, and especially avoid isolating oneself. Try not to generalize this rejection to potential future partners.  Avoid negative statements such as I must be too fat, stupid, ugly, or not deserving of a romantic relationship. 

Listing the positive and negative qualities about your ex-partner may help you be more realistic about the person. Remember, our memories make liars of all of us.  When someone breaks up with us, we tend to reminisce about the person's positive traits and forget about the negative.

Negative ways to deal with a break up

 Chasing after the person in hopes that they will take you back. 

Isolating yourself. (Isolation can lead to negative obsessing about the relationship and the world in general) 

Drinking heavily or abusing other drugs to forget or squash negative feelings; thus, not processing these negative feelings in a healthy manner. 

Jumping into another relationship to regain your self-worth.  

Listening excessively to sad songs or watching too many sad movies can be unhealthy.  These forms of media can help you mourn the loss, but too much of these activities can lead you to feel depressed. 

6. Growing emotionally from the experience  

Although the end of a romantic relationship can be painful, it also affords one the opportunity to learn about oneself and grow from the experience. Some of the things that you can learn include identifying your interpersonal needs, their sources, the healthiest way to get these needs met, and the strengths and resources you have to help you cope during difficult times in your life.
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Break-up Survival Guide

Unfortunately, sometimes relationships end. When they do, the breakup can cause much pain to either or both partners for a significant length of time. If you are someone who has recently ended a relationship or if you know someone who has, this week's newsletter will help you or them deal with the pain of a breakup.

The following is a list of suggestions for people ending a long-term relationship:

Remember that you…

* will feel pain

* have survived this type of pain before and will this time as well

* will feel lonely

* have survived feeling lonely before and will again

* are ok and lovable

Accept that…

* the relationship is over

* your ex partner has both good and bad qualities; do not idealize or discount him/her

Focus on your…

* self

* personal growth

* self care

Complete with your…

* self

* your ex


* the magnificence of who you are

* your part in the relationship break up

Give yourself time to…

* grieve

* be alone

* recover

Make sure that you…

* get touch, from friends or a body therapist

* have someone to come home to sometimes, such a relative or a friend

Reinvent your…

* community

* self

* future

* dreams

The following is a list of suggestions for people ending a short-term relationship:

Realize that…

* the pain you feel is not about your ex partner, but about your past

* if you start healing your past the pain will subside

* holding on to anger at an ex partner will keep you attached and in pain

Complete with…

* your ex partner

* all of your ex partners

* your parents

Give yourself the…

* room to grieve

* room to grow

Build for yourself a…

* community

* self esteem

* a life that you love

Whether you are ending a long term or a short term relationship…

* don't look for a new relationship until you are done grieving

* trust that when ready you will attract the right partner

* welcome the pain as an opportunity to evolve

It's through self evolution that you will be able to create a great relationship you dream of.

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 Coping with Loss

Of all of life's multifaceted teachings, the experience of loss is among our most powerful vehicles for awakening. As much as we resist its sting, loss is omnipresent in the universe. The poet Yeats reminded us that no matter how solid anything appears, ultimately ''...things fall apart.'' In a similar vein, modern physics' Law of Entropy proves that over time, everything loses coherence and tends toward disorder. In all forms of relationship, at some point in the future we will have to say good-bye to the physical form of everyone we now know.

With intimate relationships, we see loss everywhere around us in every possible form: passionate, seemingly transcendent romances suddenly crashing to the ground; old, distant, lifeless relationships finally acknowledging what has been obvious for a long time; unfulfilled lovers paralyzed by fear, unable to break through to deeper levels of intimacy; fragile new budding relationships that don't survive even the first disagreement; and friendships ending when one person never returns the call. And when a relationship ends, there are losses on many levels. We lose contact with the person, of course and all the gratification, real or imagined, that they brought to our lives. But even more painfully, we lose the vision of what this relationship has meant to us in the past and present and the hope of what it might mean for us in the future. We lose the story and the myth that embodied the relationship and for many of us this is the most difficult loss of all.

How do we react in the face of impending loss? We have several choices. If we are attached to a particular form of this relationship, by virtue of a belief we have about what should or must be rather than what is, we can hold on tightly, hoping to control a process that we intuitively know is out of our control. Holding on tightly usually only hastens our journey to aloneness by scaring off our partner with our rigid, suffocating energy.

We can also choose to prematurely let go, to check out, to disengage emotionally, preparing for the loss before it even happens, protecting our soft underbelly from the pain that lies ahead, numbing or distracting ourselves from the uncomfortable sensations surging through our hearts and minds through work, addictions or a new warm body. We can also retreat to victimhood, reassuring ourselves that this other person wasn't so great to begin with, that ''we can do better'' and that we have been treated poorly or unfairly, through no fault of our own.

But there is another path, the path of consciously being with and embracing our loss, responsibly, without judgment toward ourselves or our partner, being fully present with our feelings of sadness, despair, loneliness, grief, anger or whatever else comes up. There may be profound sadness that something beautiful or hopeful has died or was never even given a chance to live. There may be anger that we didn't try harder or that they didn't either. There may be fear that we will always be alone or despair that it seems too hard to connect with others. Regardless of what comes up, we can choose to be present with all of our feelings, lying in the rubble of our shattered dreams, perhaps confused and not sure what to do next. There is nothing we have to ''do'' other than allow our feelings to move within and through us at their own pace and time.

We can honor the process by not needing to change or distract or distort or numb what is happening within us. And if we can stay with this process mindfully, eventually we will get to a place of acceptance and even understanding, where we can look back with gratitude at what was once a beautiful thing. We can honor the connection that allowed our spirit to soar and our loving presence to expand. We can review what we have learned from this journey and make notes about how we will do it differently the next time around.

Pathologist Beck Weathers was left for dead after lying completely exposed atop Mt. Everest for fifteen hours. Then, miraculously, his eyes opened and he awoke from his hypothermic coma and walked to camp. He lost both hands to frostbite and suffered many other physical deficits. He was brought back home from this terrible ordeal, only to discover that his wife was fed up with his mountain climbing and avoidance of intimacy and was leaving him for one year to let him figure out his priorities. Stunned, without hands, without a job and without a family, he began to look inside for the truth, which resulted in him completely transforming his life. He now considers his multiple losses to be the greatest blessing of his life. He realized how depressed and cut off he had been emotionally and he began to re-connect with his family and friends in a profound manner that would have been impossible before.

Like Weathers, we may initially be horrified at our losses. But losses aren't going to go away, ever. Nor would we want them to. As Judith Viorst discusses in her book Necessary Losses, regular losses are essential throughout our life spans for all growth to occur. Every loss creates a space for something new to be born: a new hope, a new beginning, a new vision, a new opening to loving ourselves and others more deeply. It is only when we fully embrace death that we can truly live. Likewise, it is only when we fully embrace loss that we can truly gain.
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 Feelings at the End of a Relationship

The following are common, normal feelings often experienced when a relationship ends.  There is no right or wrong feeling to have - we each react to the end of a relationship in our own unique way.

  • Denial. We can't believe that this is happening to us. We can't believe that the relationship is over.
  • Anger. We are angry and often enraged at our partner or lover for shaking our world to its core.
  • Fear. We are frightened by the intensity of our feelings. We are frightened that we may never love or be loved again. We are frightened that we may never survive our loss. But we will.
  • Self-blame. We blame ourselves for what went wrong and replay our relationship over and over, saying to ourselves, "If only I had done this. If only I had done that".
  • Sadness. We cry, sometimes for what seems an eternity, for we have suffered a great loss.
  • Guilt. We feel guilty particularly if we choose to end a relationship. We don't want to hurt our partner. Yet we don't want to stay in a lifeless relationship.
  • Disorientation and confusion. We don't know who or where we are anymore. Our familiar world has been shattered. We've lost our bearings.
  • Hope. Initially we may fantasize that there will be a reconciliation, that the parting is only temporary, that our partner will come back to us. As we heal and accept the reality of the ending, we may dare to hope for a newer and better world for ourselves.
  • Bargaining. We plead with our partner to give us a chance. "Don't go", we say. "I'll change this and I'll change that if only you'll stay".
  • Relief. We can be relieved that there is an ending to the pain, the fighting, the torment, the lifelessness of the relationship.
While some of these feelings may seem overwhelming, they are all "normal" reactions and are necessary to the process of healing so that we can eventually move on and engage in other relationships. Be patient with yourself.
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Healing Mistakes
by Tigress Luv

Breakups can make life miserable. Unfortunately, many of us resort to ineffective or self-defeating attempts to hasten our healing, or try to reverse the process. We only end up making matters worse. Some self-destructive things we may resort to are:

Denial:  Denying the breakup, or ignoring your hurt, pain, confusion, and feelings of rejection only compounds it. Like cancer, it slowly eats away at you, silently, painlessly, and unnoticed . Acknowledge your pain. Accept that the relationship is over.

Attack their pride or good-character: Often times, to lessen our own painful feelings of rejection and failure, we finger-point. Placing blame on the other person. We need to learn to attack the 'issue', instead of the person. Name-calling, fault finding, or finger-pointing only builds the wall, hides the issue, and prevents us from bettering ourselves for future relationships, and salvaging our current ones.

Manipulation: There are many forms of manipulation, from openly dating others to feelings of hopelessness and abandonment. Sometimes we are very much aware of our manipulative ways. Such as sending cards, flowers, or others gestures of relaying our love (need). But, more often than not, we are unaware. We may cry, beg, threaten, insult, belittle, or even blackmail our ex - all with hopes of manipulating them into helping us get what 'we' want. Our main goal is satisfying our own personal interests  - we ignorantly think, 'to hell with what is good or right for them'. We only see things our way.

Calling in the forces: We try to recruit friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and both our ex's and our own families as allies on our quest to 'make it stop' or 'make it all go away'. Whether our motives are to belittle and insult our ex, find out 'if they are seeing anybody', or looking for a translator to get our message of misery or woe to the ex. Eventually, all we really end up doing is losing our own self-respect and dignity.

Over-analyzing: Are you dwelling on your breakup, your relationships, and the if's, and's and but's? Do you keep reliving the last moments over and over again? The problem is you are doing all this through one state of mind - that of a wounded child who did something wrong and wants to make it right. The problem is, just as with children, you aren't seeing clearly. You aren't really hearing what is being said to you. Close your prejudiced thoughts up. Empty you heart out. And open your ears.

Neglect to give ourself, and our ex, time: You may instantly try to salvage the relationship, undo a breakup, change your ex's mind, or alter a certain course of events. Your thoughts are so clouded and unreliable right after a breakup. Give yourself time to 'come down' from the emotional roller-coaster so that you can think, act, and even react with a more relaxed state of mind. This always gives your ex time to unwind from the pain and think more clearly, too. If they were the one to opt for the breakup, odds are they are set on leaving it and the quicker you engage them with the ideal of getting back together the more adamant they will be to leave. Allowing time to pass gives them the needed space to think more rationally and get out of that 'wanting out' state. The webBook, This Side of Good-bye, available in our library here, explains more about what kind of mode people are in when they choose to leave a relationship.

Rebound: "Oh, just forget it. I'm moving on and putting this man/woman behind me!" These thoughts can be very damaging. Dating again heals your heart about the same as placing a mere band-aid on a broken arm would heal the arm. The damage will remain! Before you move on you should learn to fully understand what issues were yours, where you could use 'fixing-up', and learning to be comfortable with being by yourself - a must for any future successful relationship. Without these you will see history repeat itself over and over again. You will know that the healing is complete and you are ready to date again when you can find happiness - alone and with yourself! And when you can find that then any relationship you have after that has got to be great because you eliminate these relationship busters:

  1. ANXIETY - you are FREE from that panicky 'need' to have someone

  2. DEPRESSION - you know to create your own happiness

  3. ABANDONMENT FEAR - there is no 'fear' of being left, because even that would be okay with you

  4. CODEPENDENCY - you've healed to the point where you do not 'unhealthily' ATTACH to someone

  5. HURT FEELINGS - you learn to listen without 'defending' (yourself) and speak without 'offending' (the other person). You also learn to hear the 'fear' behind their words - and yours

  6. DISCONTENTMENT - you learn to appreciate them for who they are. You don't try to change or alter them. And you allow them to be themselves

  7. NERVOUS INSECURITY - only 'you' are the 'be-all' to your life

  8. RESENTMENT - you love unselfishly

  9. PERFORMANCE ANXIETY - sex is no longer a 'tool'

  10. ANXIETY - when you are a peace with yourself, your relationship is one of serenity and security - not anxiety, worry, hurt, and pain

Alcohol, drugs, food, one-night stands: Oh, my! Argh! The pain is gone temporary, and maybe that sounds really good right now - to stop the pain...but, boy does it come back ten-fold. Additionally, we are even more depressed as a result of the chemicals we have put in our body, our loss of self-respect, fear that we may have harmed ourselves, and the realization that we are right back where we started from! In fact, we are two steps back! The best solution is to not try to end the pain, but to just go through it. Think of it as a dark tunnel  you have stumbled across while journeying through a dark and dismal land. You start out in a really bad place. In fact, it is such a bad, evil, horrible place that you can't even phantom that the tunnel ends in a bright, beautiful land rich in hope, love, and laughter. But to get there you have to go through the tunnel, and right now that black, endless-looking hole doesn't look anymore inviting than the dismal land you are in. So, someone comes along, someone who has journeyed through that tunnel, and they tell you, "this tunnel ends in the land of golden sun and bright rainbows, and many beautiful things". So you look at the tunnel and it is still dark and foreboden looking, and there's no way you're going to go through that. So you try to skip around it, or hop right over it in your hurry to reach the dream land. But every time you do that, you end up even farther away from the tunnel's entrance. And you have to work even harder, fighting yourself back through the dark and dismal land of dread to reach the tunnel's entrance again.  If you would just walk through it, you will soon see that the tunnel is starting to take in light. And then the light gets brighter and is laced with golden rays of sunshine. And at last you see the end. But the only way to reach the end of the tunnel is to go through it.  

Yes, we can make the pain of our breakup far worse than it already is. But, although these are trying times, the grief can be lessened and the healing hastened if we follow these simple rules above.
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When You Can't Let Go
  So it's been over for a while. You've tried your best not to ring him or see him. Perhaps you've done the opposite, and sought him out at every opportunity, and rung him when you knew you shouldn't. Either way, you still can't stop thinking about him, and although you may have tried various ways to distract yourself, you can't get him out of your head.

Unrequited love is frustrating, painful, and not that uncommon. I've watched quite a few of my close girlfriends experience this kind of heartache to a horrendous degree. I too, have found myself pining pathetically away over a lost love. It's hard, and it hurts. But you can, and will eventually let him go and move on.

So what can you do?

Don't call him or try and see him. It will always end in tears. If by some chance you can catch him, either by phone or in person, you are just placing a short-term bandaid on your heart. At first, this contact will make you feel good, until he reinforces to you that's over and he has moved on (this is where the tears begin). It's just like breaking up all over again. All you're doing is putting yourself into a vulnerable and painful situation again. If you think that by making contact with him, you can change how he feels, you will be disappointed. Remember, as much as love can be a beautiful experience, it can also be so cruel. The reality is, if he had decided he wanted you back, then he would have tried to contact you. If he's made no attempt to do this, then he doesn't want you back. Trying to persuade him to get back together will only frustrate you and ultimately anger him. He knows there is nothing he can say or do to make you feel any better, and contacting him will only frustrate him. In the end if you keep calling, the only way you're going to make him happy, is by leaving him alone for good.

If you can, try and reverse the situation. If you ended the relationship, and your ex kept calling to try and convince you to get back together, it wouldn't take long until you would dread the thought of hearing from him. It's just the same for guys.

Surround yourself with your girlfriends. When you are going through a difficult battle such as this one, go to your girlfriends, that's what they're there for. It's okay to vent your feelings when you first break up with your partner, but if you keep rehashing the same thing, they too will become sick of hearing about it. If this starts to happen, they're not being bitchy, there's just nothing they can say or do to help. Use them to take your mind off things. Your friends would rather you do this than hear the same old story over and over about why he doesn't want to be with you.

Try doing girl things together. Go shopping, have a girl's night out, or take a weekend away. For most girls, close girlfriends can be like an extended family, and they will love you through the tough times, but they need to see you are trying to help yourself. No matter how much people care, they do get sick of someone who's not trying to help themselves.

Throw yourself into work, hobbies, and recreation. Even if you can't stop thinking about your ex, get out and live. It may not be helpful to start with, but after a while it can ease the heartache. Once the relationship's over, it's important you start rebuilding your life. Often when couples are together for a while, they're worlds entwine and become one. So it's normal to feel a little lost. Sometimes what you may be missing is the security of having a predictable and safe love and social life. Many people lose contact with their friends when they fall in love, and once it's over they feel completely devastated at the loss of not just their ex, but of the life they gave up to be with them. And when it's over, things are going to change dramatically. Change is sometimes terrifying, but it can also be wonderful. If change scares you, try and turn it around. Embrace chance. With change comes growth, and when you grow, the person you should find at the end will be a beautiful and strong survivor.

If you've tried everything. If it's been months, and you still can't find you can let go of your ex, you may need to seek out some counselling. You will probably find that the problem lies a lot deeper than the ending of a relationship. Talking with someone other than your friends can often throw a new perspective on the situation, and you may find that there are other alternatives to help you move on. Seeing a professional for a relationship break-up does mean you are weak or hopeless. If you cannot move on, this is actually a healthy decision, and is quite common.

Letting go of someone you love and accepting that they no longer want to be with you can be a painful thing to cope with. But the heart does heal; it's just some just take longer than others. And remember you've lived much of your life without this person before, and you can do it again. You just need to be strong, and hang on.
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Letting Go

"I promise you faithfully with each passing day it gets easier. Six months on the urge to pick up the phone and call my x has weakened considerably. But it was an inhuman struggle with myself."
a member's quote



"In the last several months I have been experiencing the various stages of 'grieving' and recovering from a bad relationship. At first I was just devastated with the loss of someone I loved. Then I was really bitter and angry. But I'm past all that now. I absolutely CANNOT bring myself to hate my ex, no matter how terrible he was. I was able to forgive him eventually. I have been slowly coming to accept the fact that there is absolutely NOTHING that I can do to help him. It's just so painful to me to realize that I have to 'give up' on someone that I once loved. I guess I still care about what happens to him! I just can't help it! I am incapable of wishing BAD things would happen in his life, no matter how BADLY he treated me.

But now I realize that ultimately I cannot do anything because all my attempts to help him, change him, 'save' him, or make him a happier person will inevitably fail in the end. It reminds me of this: trying to fill up a cup with water, when the cup has a hole in the bottom. So of course, the cup will NEVER fill up. And all of my efforts to fill it are pointless. It just hurts me to have to completely give up on someone, even if they are the biggest jerk I have ever met in my entire life."

Reply 1: "I wonder if maybe you might be having trouble because you feel that to give up trying to help him means that YOU are not as good at heart as you think you should be. Like, "What kind of not-so-nice person would I be if I gave up on someone, or treated him indifferently, or stopped talking to him entirely?" I got a real sense that being a "good" person is very important to you and to your identity. (Maybe that's why you can't bring yourself to think badly of him--that'd be against the "good girl" rules.) That's a tough thing to overcome. I guess I'd say just keep remembering that the best thing you can do is to NOT be a source of attention for him, NOTHING will help him, and eventually if he doesn't get what he wants from you he's going to go find it somewhere else, and that's a whole other kind of pain right there, to realize that he was only using you for his own narcissistic needs."

Reply 2: "Think of him as a highly toxic person, a vampire, that will suck out of you sympathy, your time, your effort, and over time drain you, bleed you dry of your self and your own needs. That is what he wants, your giving, your caring, your goodness. Is it possible on some level you are feeling the very human reaction of guilt? Guilt is a major hook they will use if they can find it and work on you. He is a predator. He will suck from anybody his N supply and he will not give a damn what price or toll he exacts from the person. I don't think you have to hate him, you just have to get him away from you. There is a difference. I spent years trying everything for my NH to fix, cure, help, just like everyone else here. He doesn't have true emotions, he will mimic them (the "Oh poor me routine my life is so hard and I feel so horrible)...he will feed you that line to gain sympathy, to keep you, to extract from you. You don't have to do that. Its ok to say NO and to walk away, You have to totally protect yourself and be able to move on---walk away with no contact, he will never walk away totally, never give up. It is up to us, the targets which is the hard part, to make that decision. He has a disorder you had a taste of,   this is what you are saying "No" to. Yes he is a person, but his behaviours towards you are the problem. You can't deal with his problem behaviour but you have the choice to protect yourself."

Reply 3 "You've hit on a very important aspect of this whole healing thing. That's one of the things that really made me feel like I was turning into an N myself. I had to coldly (realistically is the better word) turn my back on him and eventually walk away and give up hope that this disorder could be overcome in some way, and it made me feel like I was every bit as lacking in emotion as he was. Well, walking away IS the best thing. It's very hard isn't it?. I'm a nurturer by my nature, and it is hard. Damn hard. This disorder is just far too deeply ingrained in them. We look for closure. It won't come from them, we are the ones who finally make the closure".

Reply 4 "Wow! I have never actually thought of it exactly like that, but the more I think about it the more I realize it's true. I'll just explain it this way, it IS very important to me to be a good person. And that is beyond my control, I think I was born with a conscience the size of the Grand Canyon - doesn't let me get away with much! Another important thing someone said was that I have to distance myself from him not out of hatred, but because I have to protect myself. Since I cannot fix him, or change him, or help him, really my conclusion is this: The only useful thing that I can do in this situation is to work on ME. I have to protect myself and finish the healing process. At this point I am really trying to make sense of the relationship and what happened. Now that I've figured out he has this disorder things are certainly making a lot more sense. Somehow we ended up being together again. I guess the reason I had not used the "No Contact" policy this time is that it failed miserably last time."

Reply 5 "I read every word you write because your words free me. Despite the warning signs all I got was, "Oh, he'll settle down...he is such a nice guy..." But something was wrong and I knew it...I just could not put my finger on the problem...

I have a daughter who has gotten into miserable relationships. Your writing helps me understand her and gives me insight into how I might be able to influence her to do the brave thing as you are in process of doing. Oh, if only I had the knowledge to walk away when he was a boyfriend! Thirty years later, he walks away with this new soul mate. Take care of yourself because you deserve someone who can love you back. I hear it in your words that you understand compassion, empathy, and commitments. Find a man who is worth investing in because I can tell you, had I walked away when my gut told me to, I would have a prize today instead of a loser."

Reply 6: "You sound to me like you've done a great job of accepting the truth!  You have a wonderful grasp of the reality of your situation. That just doesn't make it any less sad, does it?  I feel that sadness for my N too, and like you, I don't wish for anything bad to happen to him. I think continuing to learn as well as the passage of time will help you heal from this experience. It's so hard to talk to anybody about this, they have no idea about Ns. That's why these boards are helping me heal. You're doing great."

Reply 7: Being around them makes us want to get away from the abuse and manipulation. Then being away we begin to question ourselves and whether we're right. Well, we were right. The abuse was that bad. The kindest thing you will ever do for youself is the "No Contact" rule. "Gee, he treated me real bad and I'm going back for more" - no thanks. Well, obviously we'll kick ourselves if we do. Closure is what we do, not the N. I think it was Shakespeare that said "Woulds't thou have a serpent sting thee twice?" Well, I didn't listen, I went back and it was a waste of time. He was right back to the abuse and everything he said was a lie. I'll never feel sorry for him again. He had no intention of changing. I will not live in a hell where never-ending boundaries are my only option. That was time I could have spent on me. I went right back into that obsessive thinking and wanting justice thinking again. It just added months to recovering from this. I'll never do that again. He is what he is.

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Accepting it's over

You've split up with your partner but all you can think about is getting back together. No matter how much you want them back, the best way to move now is on.

When you split up with someone that you still have feelings for it's tempting to let them make all the rules in order to keep them in your life. The problem is, if there's no hope of reconciliation, you're just prolonging the agony - and it will take even longer for your broken heart to mend.

Try to accept that it's over

This is so difficult, but until you accept that the relationship is over you'll probably keep reading 'secret' messages into everything connected with your ex. It's particularly hard to believe you really have been dumped if you're still seeing each other. The best way to get over a relationship is to sever all connection - even if just for a while. Of course this is very difficult if you're in the same job or at uni together - but the less contact you have the better.

No sex with your ex

After a while, you and your ex might meet up - especially if you lived together and have got to sort out possessions or legal problems. You might spend an evening sorting out these things, and then open a bottle of wine, and maybe then you'll have a kiss and cuddle for old times' sake and one thing could lead to another. Attractive though this sounds - especially if you are still in love with your ex - having sex could break your heart all over again. The chances are that your ex will get up abruptly afterwards and say something like: "This shouldn't have happened," or: "Well that was nice, but it doesn't change anything," and you'll feel as devastated as when you first split up. So make it a rule - NO SEX WITH YOUR EX.  

Can we still be friends?

If your ex has said something like: "Of course we must stay friends", be wary. Do you need this person as a friend? Well, perhaps it would be good long-term, but right now you want them as a lover - and being treated simply as a friend will prolong the agony of coming to terms with the split. The truth is that it will probably help your ex's guilt about dumping you, but you're the one who needs help right now, not your previous partner. The best thing to do is to keep your distance for a few months - and after that time, decide whether or not friendship is possible or even desirable. 

Christine Webber is a relationships advisor and the author of How To Mend A Broken Heart
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 What To Do When The Relationship Is Over?

by Glenn Key

Will we learn from it and go on to more fulfilling experiences, or will we let it destroy our happiness and usefulness?

We scream and cry, pout and blame. We are confused, angry, sad and disappointed. Our hearts feel broken. We feel we have given love, understanding, compassion and intimacy. We trusted and were honest; we loved unconditionally. We feel like a piece of our heart has been ripped out and we are left with a gapping hole that will never heal. The wounds are deep. Can we go on?

Impossible as it seems -- life does goes on! We may not believe that we will survive, but we do. Eventually, we get over the relationship. Once we realize that life is different now, no longer wrapped around a person who is not there for us anymore, we begin to explore our options:

1. We could just end it all -- suicide.

Hit the delete button fast on this option! No one or no event in our lives is worth taking this choice. In truth, this is no option, for we would have to come back and finish the karma in another lifetime -- and it would probably be a very long time before we would be given that opportunity. All relationships are lessons to be learned. There are no accidents. People come into our lives for a purpose, and we are here to learn from them. When we do not complete that learning (just another relationship course in the school of planet earth), we will have to try again with that person or another person.

2. We could roll around in the muck of hate.

This is not a valid option either, for hate is extremely self-destructive. We would still feel dirty and used. Long-term resentment and hate is a core cause of cancer, for these feelings gradually eat us up, just as cancer eats up our good cells. Hate simply produces more karma. In relationships, we can often find another person who will hate us very quickly, and the spiral of karma continues. Is this what we really want?

3. We can take an extended trip to the city of Guilt.

Not good at all. On this trip, we usually rerun all the happenings in the relationship. Because we have predetermined that we are on our way to Guilt, we begin to see everything as our fault. We blame ourselves for all the challenges in the relationships and blow them out of proportion. We go through the "if only" syndrome, imagining how different things would be if only we had done it differently. Remember, it takes two people to make or break a relationship. Remember also that we are not responsible for how people react to what we do or say. (However, if we are growing in maturity, we will not purposely do or say something to hurt another person.) Actually, no one can hurt us unless we allow it. Consider this: "No one can get my goat, unless I tell them where it is tied." If someone "got our goat" we allowed it -- but we don't have to allow it again.

4. We can rewind the reel and then fast-forward the lesson for review.

This is necessary in order to learn from the relationship course we just ended. The past is over and cannot be changed. We have a bright future ahead, but in order to reach it, we have to move on, away from the past. During this review, we must note the good things about the relationship -- both the good things we did and the good things done by the other person. We can spend some time thinking about things we did that we could have done better. True, we do make mistakes sometimes, but that doesn't make us a bad person.

5. We can seek professional help.

If pulling negative relationships to ourselves seems to be a pattern, we may need to seek a good psychologist or therapist who can lead us into exploring our underlying insecurities. We may look back into childhood or young adult situations for clues as to why our relationships are challenging.

While I find that helping my clients understand why a relationship could not or should not last is important, I also recommend several things to release the other person:


Write the following: "Thank you, God, that on this date I totally release (other person's name here) emotionally, with peace, love and forgiveness, for the highest good of all involved. And so it is!" Once you date this and sign your name, you can put it away or "send it to God" by placing it in a Bible, holy book or small box with "God Box" written on the top. As you do so, say, "God I am turning this over to You now; I will not worry anymore about this."


As part of releasing personal guilt, write on the top of a sheet of paper "I forgive myself for:" and list all of the things you feel you have done for which you feel guilty. On another sheet, write, "I forgive (individual's name here)" and list all of the things for which you feel you need to forgive the other person. These pages need to be destroyed, preferably by burning and destroying the ashes. Sometimes this ceremony has to be repeated daily until you feel that all is forgiven and released.


In some cases, closure may be needed. Sometimes this is necessary to finish karma. You may want to contact the other person by telephone or letter requesting (not begging) a short get-together to clear the air, so that both of you can go on with your lives. If the other person does not respond, you have closure, and you have completed your karma.


If you never want to see or talk to the other person again, it may help to burn memorabilia, pictures, letters, dried flowers, or whatever you have that reminds you of that person. As you burn, repeat the release prayer. This is not witchcraft, just a symbolic gesture that you do not want the other person in your life anymore. Don't use this idea, however, unless you are serious about completely releasing the old to open up for a new better relationship.

When a relationship ends, it is vital to remember that life does go on. Every relationship carries a lesson. Will we learn from it and go on to more fulfilling experiences, or will we let it destroy our happiness and usefulness? We can move into higher levels of loving relationships. Release and forgive. Do not be afraid. The next reel does not have to be the same old movie!

Glenn Key is a professional intuitive counselor specializing in relationship counseling
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Tig's Views on 'Grief'

Grief has many different reasons, but for most of us it is a way of purging and cleansing our souls - so we can feel renewed, we can free ourselves from useless clutter that stored would only impede our progress. It is much like a snake shedding its skin*.

But for some 'grief' becomes our security blanket. We hold onto grief because by holding onto the grief we are keeping the person we grieve over 'alive' in a sense. We are keeping the relationship alive. To let go of our grief and move on means to let go of our love/relationship and move on...and we are not ready to do that. Grief is the only remaining 'tie that binds'.

For others grieving is a way of honoring those we grieve over. For instance, when Dave died I grieved over him for a long time because I had the mistaken notion that if I were to stop grieving and get on with my life I would be betraying him somehow. After all, it wasn't his fault he died..and if I kept on living then I felt I was belittling his 'life', instead of honoring him. I really felt that any kind of happiness on my part was a betrayal to him and his memory. I felt I needed to grieve forever in order to honor and love him forever. In order to NOT betray him.

For others 'grief' actually becomes our rebound relationship. We no longer have our mates so we replace them with a proxy - our grief. Our grief now becomes a substitute for our lost mates. It comforts us, it cradles us, it loves us. Grief becomes our new love!

But, all in all, for most 'grief' is a way to cleanse our souls of clutter so we can go on without baggage and enjoy life to its fullest. So let your grief flow, feel the pain, cry a thousand rivers. It is cleansing.

Stop fighting the grief because this only postpones and prolongs the natural cleansing.

Grief, too, will pass - as all things come to pass.

Love to all.


have you ever seen a snake shed his skin? ...

The snake simply outgrows it... the skin becomes a tight, painful noose around its neck, hampering its abilities to grow and flourish. So the snake crawls on its belly, banging against jagged rocks & squirming in pain, until at last the old, binding skin that made the snake so miserable is cast aside and gone and the snake feels rejuvinated, BRAND NEW.

Pain and hurt are just like that skin. We must learn to endure the struggle to break ourselves free from its binding grip, and so... We squirm in agony, but through the process we also know that there is a brand new us waiting to emerge.

The pain and hurt is not easy, but it gradually goes away and underneath its black veil a NEW person emerges. And the new person is better than ever. HANG IN THERE! ~~Tigress Luv

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 Learning From A Relationship Breakdown
by Robert Elias Najemy

A divorce, separation or, in general, any loss of an important relationship is a painful experience. . Such pain can seriously diminish our peace and happiness. We can, however, use this inner discomfort for our spiritual benefit. If we are thinking of separating, there are many lessons we need to examine before we can come to the conclusion that we must separate from someone. But if the other leaves us or this separation has already happened, we might be able to benefit from the following.

1. Our first lesson is to examine our behavior to see how we might have contributed to the problem. Only in this way can we create a new healthy relationship if we chose to.

In relation to this we might want to examine the following:

*We may have been criticizing, complaining, rejecting or otherwise causing the other to feel unaccepted.

*We may have been seeking continual affirmation in ways that may have been tiring for the other.

* Our fears may have been causing us to be over sensitive and annoying. *Perhaps we were playing games of power, who is right or who is more successful.

* We might have been playing roles such as the child, the parent, the savior, the holy one, the rebel, the teacher or some other role which may have affected the other¹s behavior.

* We may have guilt feelings that were making us vulnerable to the other¹s words or behaviors.

* Perhaps we were not communicating our needs clearly and effectively as an adult and were suppressing ourselves or complaining, criticizing or threatening.

* We might have been projecting onto the other our childhood or other experiences.

* The other might have been reflecting back to us our lack of self-esteem or self-respect.

* We may have attachments that were coming between us.

* We may have inner conflicts, which were reflecting back to us from the other.

2. We may need to learn to love the other in spite of his or her behavior, regardless of whether we stay with that person or not.

3. We can discover that we can live without this person and that happiness, security and love are internal states that are always within us, if only we allow ourselves to experience them.

4. We can use this opportunity to develop greater inner strength so as to feel confident and able to face whatever may come to us in the game of life.

5. Most of us will need to change our self-image. We need now to learn to accept, love and respect ourselves more, so that we do not create the same problem in our next relationship or in life in general.

6. By directing our energies in a spiritual direction and developing a relationship with God - the Universal Being, we are no longer so vulnerable or so dependent on others for our feelings of security and self-worth.

Our lessons might be separated into five categories:

1. We might need to learn to communicate more effectively, assertively and lovingly.

2. Perhaps we need to let go of some attachments, which are increasing our conflicts with others and diminishing our happiness.

3. Examine our behaviors that might be annoying the other.

4. Free ourselves from subconscious programmings, which limit our self-esteem and ability to attract the behaviors that we deserve.

5. Develop inner feelings of security, self worth and freedom. Once our happiness, security and love have become internalized, we can experience unconditional love. Although we need to make every possible step to heal our relationships, if and when a relationship breaks down, there is still much we can learn.   Be Well

About the Author:Robert Elias Najemy, a life coach with 30 years of experience

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Heal Your Hurt


Healing your hurt is important because this is what restores your peace of mind. 

It also restores your creativity and your ability to see what needs to be done.

There are two aspects of the healing process. First, you need to be willing to feel your hurt like a child. This is what releases the emotion.

Second, you need to find and dismantle the inner mechanism that creates your hurt in the first place. We'll talk more about this in the next section.
To begin the healing process, lets talk about feeling your hurt.

When you were born, you were created with the natural ability to heal hurt. 

Look at little children. Little children are masters at healing hurt. When a child feels hurt, the child cries. Then, after the child finishes crying, the hurt is all gone.

Little children are able to release their hurt because they do something that we don't notice. They allow their hurt. They are totally willing to feel all their feelings and emotions.

This is the natural process for healing hurt. Hurt is just a feeling. When you allow the feeling to take its course, the feeling quickly comes and goes.

Unfortunately, we have been taught to do the opposite. Instead of allowing our hurt, we have been taught to fight it. "Big boys and girls don't cry. If you want something to cry about, I'll give you something to cry about."

You soon learn to avoid your hurt. This then circumvents the natural healing process.

 Instead of allowing the feelings and letting them go, you fight the feelings and keep them inside.
You try to push the hurt away, but you can't. The hurt isn't outside of you, it's inside. So, in your attempt to push the hurt away, you actually push the hurt deeper inside. You then spend the rest of your life running from this suppressed hurt.

The irony is that no matter what you do to avoid your hurt, you can't get away from it. You will continue to experience these feelings whether you like it or not.

When you are hurt, you are hurt. You don't have a choice whether you are going to feel it. You will. Your only choice is this: Are you going to allow yourself to feel your hurt like a child and let it go, or are you going to fight your hurt and keep it inside?

If you allow the hurt, the feelings disappear. If you fight the hurt, the feelings turn into pain and then stay. To see this in your life, find a time when you were hurt and you allowed yourself to cry. Then, after you cried your last tear, you felt a wonderful freedom. This is a time when you allowed your hurt.

Now find a time when you were hurt and hated it. You hated your circumstances and you hated your hurt. Notice that this hurt was very painful and seemed to stay forever.

The key to releasing your hurt is to be willing to experience it. Keep telling yourself, "It's okay to feel the hurt. It's okay." Let the hurt come and let the hurt go. Cry if you can. Crying is the most powerful tool for releasing hurt.

If the hurt is there but you don't feel any tears, fake it. Fake the crying until you get into the emotion. Then experience all the hurt as deeply as you can.

You may notice certain thoughts as you cry: "Why did she do this?" "Why can't she love me." Let the thoughts guide your crying. Cry each thought. Then move to the next one.

Reach in and grab all the hurt you can. Experience it fully like a child. Then, when the hurt is fully experienced, it disappears.

If the hurt doesn't release, or if it keeps coming back, you have found the primary hurt that runs your life.

Ultimately, you are fighting the hurt of feeling worthless, not good enough, a failure, not worth loving or some other form of being not okay. It's not the truth that you are this way, it's just an old hurt.

In a subconscious attempt to avoid this hurt, you interact in a way that destroys love and sabotages every aspect of your life. The avoidance of this hurt is responsible for all your suffering and all your self-sabotaging behavior.

Finding and healing this hurt is literally one of the most important things you can ever do.

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Loss of a relationship

 The second most intense life stress, after death, is divorce or loss of a love relationship. Most of us beyond 14 or 16 have felt the intense pain and anguish of being rejected by a lover. Many writers have dealt with marital problems and the long, distressful process of divorce. Kessler (1975) described seven stages of divorce:

Stage 1: Disillusionment

 After the bliss of falling in love (with the ideal person for you), a new idea sneaks into your mind: your lover has some faults. You may begin "psychologizing," e.g. "he is very self-centered," "she is nagging like my mother," "he flirts with women to hide his sexual fears," "she gets a lot more involved with the children than she does with me," etc. If these feelings grow in either person, without being resolved, the relationship is in trouble.

Stage 2: Erosion

 The disappointments and fault-finding reduce the love and attraction. They may not know what is wrong or what to say. If the relationship is becoming a little strained, this is the best time to have a good, straight talk or to seek marriage counseling. If no changes are made, a lot of destructive interactions may take place: put each other down, compete for attention, spend money carelessly, find new interests, watch each other critically, avoid each other, stop "confiding" or having sex.

Stage 3: Detachment

 Each disappointment hurts. "Love dies a thousand deaths." Lovers pull away to avoid hurts and sadness. If the isolation continues, it becomes more and more difficult to return to being lovers. Sometimes only one person is in the detachment stage; that is enough to kill the relationship. In this stage, the couple share and talk little, imply that "I don't care" even though they're hurting, and begin to think of other possible partners. They can't decide to leave or not. Often anger sets in--anger makes it easier to decide to separate.

Stage 4: Physical separation

 Separating is a sure sign the relationship has failed. Before, you might say, "we aren't getting along; we're fighting a lot," but now the relationship is gone--lost. There are many reactions to separation: often it is a painful, crushing void, sometimes if you have wanted out for a long time it is a relief, usually there is loneliness, fear, and feelings of failure. There are many adjustments to make--new place to live, new routine, new people, etc.

Stage 5: Mourning and letting go

 We mourn the loss of a partner, even one who has caused us pain. It is the loss of a dream, if nothing else. We rid ourselves of the "ghosts" of our past love, give up hope of reconciliation, and realize the ex-lover is gone forever. Usually there is a mix of intense emotions: sadness, anger, guilt, fear, hope. Often we spend hours reliving the old relationship--how awful he/she was, how it should have been, whose fault it was, etc. The person needs to "work through" these old emotions. Eventually, he/she will decide to get on with his/her life.

Stage 6: A new life.

 The focus shifts from the past to the future. Sometimes there is even an obsession with a new interest or life-style--new clothes and looks, drinking, seducing and partying, or complete involvement with work and planning a new career or volunteering to help in some social-political movement. Some are eager to find love again, others hate the opposite sex, others are scared of emotional involvement. In some ways it's like being a teenager again.

Stage 7: Healthy adjustment

 With luck, one emerges from a broken relationship wiser, tougher, stronger, and mellower. You have found some good friends and made reasonable plans for the future. You are no longer so worried you can't sleep at nights and, although life is hard, you are ready to move on to something better.

 Each person is different. Some skip stages; some get stuck in a stage; some slide through the stages quickly and silently. Seldom do a divorcing couple start and go through the same stages at the same time. The earlier a couple attends to problems, the better. It is an unending task of true lovers to be sure the fun and affection outweigh the boredom and resentment. If you are stuck in stage 2 or 3 for a few weeks and can't work it out or get your partner to seek counseling together, go by yourself. If you are still mourning a former relationship (that obviously had problems) after more than two or three months, seek some help with speeding up the recovery process.

 I have counseled many young people in the depths of agonizing depression following a break up with a boy/girl friend. Many felt the situation was terrible, almost unbearable (see cause #6 above). Indeed, some had thoughts of suicide. Yet, in my classes three-fourths or more of the students have broken up with someone they thought at the time was the best partner they could ever find. But, when I ask if that expectation has thus far proven to be true (that they couldn't find anyone as good), less than 5% say yes. There is an inexhaustible supply of people to love. It is a cruel hoax to imply that there is only one person for us to love. So, should you leave a strained relationship without regrets and pain? No, there is another way to look at it.

 Feeling terribly upset when losing a lover may be hard but desirable. After listening to the pain for hours, I have often asked a person who has just been rejected, "How would you rather react to such an important loss?" The point is: your sadness comes from your good traits--you were loving, devoted, caring, committed, trusting, and involved. You had given your whole self to the relationship. Isn't that the way you want to be? Isn't that the way you want your future partners to be? Would you really want to be so self-centered, so uninvolved that you could easily dismiss a love relationship? So, bear the unavoidable grief for a few weeks, then get on with building a future.

 It is commonly said that the cause of a break up or divorce is shared, that it's 50-50. That isn't necessarily so. It may be largely one person's responsibility--their needs, personality, irrational ideas, or emotional problems. It may be neither's responsibility; they may simply have different interests, values, opinions, life-style, etc. which are no one's fault. You don't need to assign blame, but it would be wise to understand what happened so the same problems can be avoided in the future. (Young children often blame themselves for their parents' divorce, how sad. Shaver and Rubenstein [1980] suggest this results in self-doubts and shaky relationships many years later.)

 How can you help yourself through the loss of love? Stearns (1984) deals with getting through a crisis. Many books specifically address marriage problems (see chapter 10) and divorce or breaking up (Fisher, 1981; Bloomfield, Colgrove & McWilliams, 1977; Gettleman & Markowitz, 1972; Kranitz, 1987; Krantzler, 1972; Krantzler, 1977; McKay, Rogers, Blades, & Gosse, 1984; Phillips & Judd, 1978; Weiss, 1975). Make use of one or two. Broder (1988) focuses more on coping as a single adult after a divorce. Books for children are by Gardner (1971), Franke (1983), and Richards and Willis (1976). Bernstein & Rudman (1988) review several books for children suffering through a separation or loss. The pain of divorce on adults and children is dealt with more extensively in chapter 10.

Some advice by parts of the problem

 Level I (behavior) : Find a friend or two to talk to; really pour out your feelings. Accept the support offered by friends and family. Immediately put away all visible pictures, cards, clothes, anything that reminds you of the lost lover. You don't need constant reminders.

 If you are still "down" after 3 or 4 weeks of post-divorce grieving, find more things to do, go places, have some fun. Some people want to avoid the opposite sex for a while, but other people find that the best way to forget an old love is to go looking for a better love. When you are stronger, say 4 to 6 weeks after separating, take all the reminders of the former partner, even the out-of-sight ones, have a good cry, say goodbye to them, and throw or store them away permanently. It is time to start a new life.

 Level II (emotions): See the last section of this chapter and chapter 12. Desensitization or a "depression chair" may lessen the pain of remembering the past.

 Level III (skills): Social skills, assertiveness, and decision-making skills may be helpful (chapter 13).

 Level IV (cognition): Challenge the irrational thinking that leads to possessiveness and awfulizing (see cause #6 above and method #3 in chapter 14). Often, one person has trouble letting go during the break up. It is true that through marriage vows and thousands of soft utterances we pledge our undying commitment. We intended to love our spouse forever, but we can not control all our feelings; love can turn to indifference or hatred in spite of all our pledges. This is a reality that every lover must know, face, and accept. In life, being loved is a wonderful experience but it is not a "right" we can demand. We are not in control of love. Thought stopping (chapter 11) can reduce painful thoughts and fantasies.

 Faulty conclusions abound when falling in love and scrambling out of love. We make the partner into a saint, later the same person may be seen as an ogre. If you still think the departing partner is so wonderful you can't live without her/him, make a list of her/his faults or liabilities. If he/she seems to be awful, remember his/her good traits and realize there are reasons for his/her meanness. Each partner will benefit from considering the possibility of finding a better relationship. Gradually specific plans for a better life should emerge for both people. You have loved and been loved; it can happen again.

 Level V (unconscious factors): During the emotional turmoil of breaking off a relationship, sometimes hidden traits (in both people) are openly exposed, e.g. possessiveness, fear of responsibility or intimacy, self-centeredness, self-put downs or criticism of others, sexual self-doubts, irritating or self-defeating habits, and so on. To understand is to forgive. Insights into your own weaknesses can become self-help projects. The next relationship benefits from this growth.

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“WHY” Question:

by Colin Tipping

It’s 2.45AM. on Tuesday, April 27. I’ve been in bed for about 2 hours but I am wide-awake now. Littleton, Colorado is definitely on my mind.

When I checked my e-mail before going to bed I saw that someone had started an e-mail chain letter exhorting all of us who might drive anywhere on Friday to switch on our headlights.

I promised myself that I would, but went to bed with the nagging question,“But why?” That’s what woke me up.

Actually, it wasn’t the question that woke me up — it was the answer. At 2:45 in the early morning hours, I realized that I knew, in my head, the answer to that question. I knew intellectually what the switching on of those lights should mean. If only everyone knew it! What a difference it would make. But I didn’t yet have it at the feeling level. For it to be the truth, I had to know it in my heart.

I realized then that I had no choice but get up and do a RADICAL Forgiveness worksheet around the situation. It worked! I came out of the experience with a profound sense of peace and deep acceptance of the “perfection” of what had taken place in Colorado as an opportunity to heal.

Let me explain a little about the worksheet. It is the main ‘self-help’ forgiveness tool in my book Radical Forgiveness, Making Room for the Miracle.
click here

It is designed very carefully to have you first feel the power of, and be fully operating from, the victim archetype. As you describe the situation, you are invited to be fully the victim and to confront your persecutor with all that you blame him/her for. As you feel the feelings associated with being victimized (a vital and necessary step) you are invited to accept them unconditionally as ‘you’ and to love yourself for having them.

You are then taken through a series of other steps that enable you to begin to see that life is not just a random set of events without purpose or intelligence. Rather, what appears to be haphazard and meaningless is really the unfoldment of a divine plan that is totally purposeful in terms of our spiritual growth. (Now you know why it’s called RADICAL Forgiveness!)

We finally get to see that we are co-creators with Spirit and that, without exception, we always get precisely what we (at the soul level) want, and there are no accidents. Everything that occurs out there is just a reflection of our consciousness (our inner world) and is designed to heal our distorted view of reality. Then we can remember who we truly are: spiritual beings - at home in God; not separated from Him at all - expanding His consciousness by having a human experience.

When we surrender to that and become willing to see the perfection in the situation, we recognize that nothing right or wrong took place and that, in truth, there is nothing to forgive. That’s when the shift in energy takes place and we find peace.

That peace is then felt by all others in the situation, and the energy that has hitherto been locked up by our judgments is free to flow. That is the only way to prevent a situation similar to Littleton from happening again. Changing laws, implementing safeguards, laying blame — none of these will do it. They will only ensure that it does happen again, for nothing will have changed on the inner. Trying to change or control the outer world is futile. The only way to make real change is to change our consciousness.

I started doing the worksheet for myself, but realized that it be more instructive if I were to do the worksheet as if I were the American people — the collective consciousness of all those seeking to answer the question “Why?”I invite you to use the worksheet on the next page to come to terms with and to help you acheive clearity and peace for yourself on this event or any other event or situation in you life that needs healing.

I will be posting my completed worksheet on my web site:

. Once again, if it speaks to you and allows peace to settle in your heart, send it immediately as a gift to others. Let’s get this out to as many people as possible so that we can heal this and, while we are at it, stop the war in Kosovo. Namaste.  Home | Archives | Index by Author | Index by Topic | Service Directory | Phone: 1.800.640.5191 or 713.526.8822 • fax 713.526.0022Mail: P. O. Box 540444, Houston, TX 77254

Making Room for the Miracle

A Radical Forgiveness Worksheet

1. Make a statement naming (Whomever or whatever you are upset about). 2. CONFRONTING THE SUBJECT
2(a) I am upset because:
2(b) I am feeling: (Identify your real feelings here) Fearful terrorized, sad, rageful, vengeful, confused and        helpless.
2(c) I think: (identify the thoughts attached to the emotions) 3. I lovingly recognize and accept my feelings, without judgment of: Fear, terror, sadness, rage, vengefulness, confusion and helplessness.
I own my feelings. I realize that no one can make me feel anything.

4. Even though I do not know why, I recognize that I have created this situation in order that I can learn and grow: (Comment on this with reference to the clues that indicate that this is true).

5. Read these five insights in Radical Forgiveness and meditate on how they might apply in this situation.
(a) When I feel upset, I know there is a part of me that needs to be healed. _________ is   reflecting this for me so that I can see what I need to forgive in myself.
(b) I now realize that I get upset only when someone resonates in me what I have denied, repressed and projected onto others. The situation is a precise mirror of my consciousness around this issue.
c. I now realize that the way I see ______________ is precisely the way I unconsciously see myself. In     forgiving them, I forgive myself.
d. I appreciate your willingness to mirror my misperceptions, and I bless you for providing me with the    opportunity to practice forgiveness and heal.
(e) I now see that I am a spiritual being having a human experience, and I forgive myself for using guilt, anger, blame and judgment to lower my vibration and keep me separated from the World of DivineTruth.

6. I now realize that nothing ______________ or    anyone else has done is either right or wrong. I drop all        judgment. I release the need to blame and the need to be right and I recognize the perfection in the situation just the way it is. (Comment truthfully on this.)

7. My discomfort was my signal that I was withholding love from myself and others. (Describe how you were withholding love).

I realize that I wanted to make ____________wrong and to lay blame in every direction.   By going to blame and judgment I was withholding love from myself in this sense and withholding love from ___________ by making them my scapegoat. As I release the need to blame, I now see their   actions as a cry for love, which exactly mirrors my own cry for love. As I flow love to them, I flow love to myself.

8. I now realize that _____________ and I were both receiving exactly what we each had subconsciously      chosen. (Comment on this).

9. LETTING GO: (a) I release from my consciousness all feelings of: Fear, terror, sadness, rage, vengefulness, confusion and helplessness.
(b) I release from my consciousness all thoughts of: Fear, terror, sadness, rage, vengefulness, confusion and helplessness.

10. I now realize that what I was experiencing was a   precise reflection of how I perceived the situation. I understand that I can change the experience by changing the   perception. I have released my attachment to that original   perception and am willing to see it differently now. (Attempt a new perception) It is now clear to me that __________ was mirroring for me all my false beliefs about how the world is and/or should be and in creating the situation pushed all my buttons in such a way as to resonate in me all that I had denied, repressed and projected on others. ________is offering me an opportunity to heal everything and grow, as well as to raise the vibration of the planet. _______ made me realize that what I see out there is just illusion — a projection of my split mind that believes we are separate from God and that he is angry with us, and out to get us, and that all the drama I create out of that belief is simply an outplaying of my consciousness in this regard. Despite the seeming evidence to the contrary, fed to me through my five senses, none of it is real. It is simply a projection of my mind. What is real is the divine love that is flowing beneath the situation. That is ALL that is real.

11. I completely forgive myself, and accept myself as a loving, generous and creative being. I release all need to hold onto emotions and ideas of lack and limitation connected to the past. I withdraw my energy from the past and release all barriers against the love and abundance that I know I have in this moment. I create my life and I am empowered to be myself again, to unconditionally love and support myself, just the way I am, in all my power and magnificence.

12. I now SURRENDER to the Higher Power I think of as GOD, and trust in the knowledge that this situation will  continue to unfold perfectly and in accordance with Divine    guidance and spiritual law.
I acknowledge my Oneness and feel myself totally reconnected with my Source. I am restored to my true nature, which is LOVE, and I now restore love to ________________.
I close my eyes in order to feel the LOVE that flows in my life and to feel the joy that comes when the love is felt and expressed.

13. A note to _______________ Having done this worksheet I.....realize how important you were in my life. You gave me the gift of forgiveness - Radical Forgiveness:  as a     result of reading this worksheet, I entertain the idea that this whole thing was divinely guided, that you played your part as given, and that God does not make mistakes. God bless you.

14. A note to myself: I honor myself for being willing to see the perfection — even if I can’t actually see it yet. Just the willingness is all that it takes to shift the energy in the direction of healing. Spirit hears it as my willingness to surrender and to trust life, and that is what all this is about. Thank you God; thank you God; thank you God. And so it is.
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In our work with relationship issues, we have noticed something striking: those people who we guided to include forgiveness of self and other in their process made the deepest and most complete resolutions of their issues. In thinking of these sessions and others with couples dealing with hurt, betrayal and dishonesty, we were struck by the incredible healing power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a remarkable process that simultaneously engages the spiritual, emotional, psychological, mental and physical levels of being. All of the world's religions acknowledge forgiveness as one of the highest expressions of humanity. For example, Pastor John MacArthur says, "Forgiveness unleashes joy. It brings peace. It washes the slate clean. It sets all the highest values of love in motion." The Hindu Mahabharata says "Forgiveness is Brahma; forgiveness is holiness; and by forgiveness is it that the universe is held together. Forgiveness is the highest virtue."

The study of forgiveness has recently attracted great attention in the scientific community as well. The Stanford Forgiveness Project focuses on training forgiveness as a way to ameliorate the anger and distress involved in feeling hurt. The idea emerged from several studies clearly showing the harmful effects of unmanaged anger and hostility on cardiovascular health as well as on interpersonal relationships. For example, one study at Harvard School of Public Health found that men who scored highest on an anger scale were three times more likely to develop heart disease over a seven year period than low scorers.

But while everything acknowledges that forgiveness is a wonderful concept, very few people know how to practice it effectively. If you look inside and realize that you are harboring one or more resentments that cause bitterness in your heart, and would like to initiate a process of forgiveness, here are some tips on how to proceed. You may have to repeat this process several times, if it turns out you were not ready to fully release your hurt, and if you are still too consumed by anger.

1. Understand that forgiving does not mean forgetting, or giving permission for the behavior to be repeated. It does not mean saying that what was done was acceptable. Forgiveness is often needed for behaviors that were not acceptable and that you should not allow to be repeated.

2. Recognize that YOU are the only one who is being hurt by your non-forgiveness. You feel the anger, the tightness in your stomach. You are the one rehearsing in your mind what you would like to say or do to 'punish' them. When there is no forgiveness, the bitterness lingers -- and when you could be enjoying today's pleasures, you are upsetting yourself with yesterday's injustices. You give control of your emotions to the person who hurt you. It's been said that the best revenge is your own calmness.

3. Make a list of what specific actions you need to forgive. What was actually done that caused your pain?

4. Acknowledge your part in each of the items on your list. Did you stay when you could or should have left? Did you draw this energy to you in some manner? If so, then you, too, have some responsibility. Seeing this lets you move away from a pure victim stance.

5. Realize that the other person(s) did the best that they could have done. Why did the person hurt us? They like you are an imperfect human being. Instead of thinking that you would never do such an offense, realize that if you had been that person (with his or her karmic situation), you could have done exactly the same thing. The incident was not about you; it was about the wrongdoer's misguided attempt to meet his or her own needs.

6. Realize the futility of "grudges." Sometimes we hold a grudge as if that would punish the person, but it rarely has that effect. Nor does it assure that he or she will behave considerately in the future. Many persons actually prefer holding on to resentments because of the hidden "fringe benefits" or payoffs. Examine what your possible pay-offs may be in playing the victim or martyr roles.

7. Acknowledge to yourself in writing or out loud what you have ever gained from the relationship with the person(s) who hurt you.

8. Center yourself, and verbally forgive yourself first for anything you might have done, on any level, to contribute to this hurt and resentment. You might say, "I completely forgive myself for anything I have done to contribute to _____."

9. In a similar manner, express forgiveness for the hurts on your list, one by one. Allow yourself to experience the full range of feelings that emerge.

10. It may also be helpful to create a ceremony in which you get rid of your resentments, symbolizing the ending of the link between you. You may choose to visualize placing them on a raft and watching it drift gently away down a river. You may prefer to burn them and scatter the ashes of your resentment list.

11. Visualize the person you are forgiving being blessed by your forgiveness and, as a result, being freed from continuing the behavior that hurt you.

In this process, it is also very helpful to learn an Energy Psychology technique such as EFT, TFT or EMDR to help you quickly release some or all of the negative emotions in you. Take responsibility for correcting the energy block in your system.

Right now as you think of a hurt or resentment inside, remember that you have a choice. You can decide to be responsible for what you are feeling. Use these guidelines to resolve and release the bitterness, hurt and resentment that is clogging up your heart and life, so that the aliveness and love which is your birthright can again flow through you, and through everyone else you come in contact with. It will also open up the possibility of greater love and intimacy for you as well.

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