Letting Go – It’s time to Forgive

Betrayal, aggression, and just plain insensitivity: People can hurt us in a million ways, and forgiveness isn’t always easy. Whether you’ve been cut off in traffic, slighted by your mother-in-law, betrayed by a spouse, or badmouthed by a co-worker, most of us are faced with a variety of situations that we can choose to ruminate over or forgive. But forgiveness, like so many things in life, is easier said than done.forgiveness1

Forgiveness is a journey toward freedom from our past. It can be transformational, complex, is not to be taken lightly and cannot be commanded. If you are patient and open to the unfolding of forgiveness, your desire to forgive will be fulfilled.

There may be plateaus along the way where many of us are lulled into thinking the journey is complete, but you will know you have reached your destination when only love and gratitude remain in your heart for the person you have forgiven. When a hurtful past relationship has been transformed into an opportunity for personal growth and healing for which you are grateful—with or without an apology—then you know you are free.

Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

When you’re hurt by someone you love and trust, you might become angry, sad or confused. If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility can take root. If you allow negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice.

If you’re unforgiving, you might pay the price repeatedly by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Your life might become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can’t enjoy the present. You might become depressed or anxious. You might feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose, or that you’re at odds with your spiritual beliefs. You might lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others.

Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change. To begin, you might:

  • Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life at a given time
  • Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you’ve reacted, and how this combination has affected your life, health and well-being
  • When you’re ready, actively choose to forgive the person who’s offended you
  • Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life

As you let go of grudges, you’ll no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt. You might even find compassion and understanding.Karma


Destiny & Karma

The law of destiny determines what forces influence our lives to ensure we encounter the life experiences that we require for our continued development. Destiny is essentially a series of opportunities that enable us to learn lessons, acquire new abilities, develop our consciousness and help others.

Destiny is commonly regarded as fate; a fixed timeline of events that is inevitable and unchangeable. Although the words are often used interchangeably, fate and destiny have quite different meanings:

Fate is usually seen as “set in stone” and often has negative connotations, e.g. the jury decided his fate. Fate is an agent that predetermines and orders the course of events.

It means that events are “meant to be” and are set in motion by an external force or intelligence. Destiny is more of a likely outcome and often has a positive feel, e.g. he is destined to become a star. Destiny guides us towards a specific goal, but without our willful participation we will not achieve our destiny.

Put simply: destiny is opportunity and fate is karma. We are in control of our destiny but have no control over our fate. Destiny cannot be forced on us; if we are forced then it is our fate.

Destiny gives us an opportunity to turn a situation to our advantage and accomplish something great through our own efforts. It is designed to give us the best opportunities for the development of our consciousness, but it is only an outline – not an exact script. It doesn’t detract from our free-will in any way, because we decide exactly how we want to act in any situation.

The basic outline for our life was planned (pre-destined) before we were born to give us the right opportunities for growth. But we don’t have to follow the pre-destined route if we don’t want to.

A life plan can be compared to a maze, and our life’s purpose is to complete the maze. We don’t know where we are going or where we will end up, so all we can do is make our way through life using our best judgment. Every wrong turn leads to a dead end and every correct turn leads to progress.

A correct turn may not correspond to success in the physical sense, for example: failing to get a promotion may not seem like the best outcome from a financial perspective, but it might actually be the best outcome for the development of your consciousness. We all occasionally make what appear to be bad decisions, but if we learn from those seemingly wrong decisions we eventually discover that they were in fact right decisions.

If we deviate from our life’s plan we may need to be coaxed back on to the right track, and the further we stray from the optimal path the harder the lessons get. Every choice we make affects our future and therefore our destiny. Right now we are experiencing the destiny (and the karma) that arose from choices we made in the past. Collective human destiny is largely decided by the planetary hierarchy but most people are egotistical and think they know better.

Change your Attitude-Change your LIFE

Sure, it’s easy to say, “Change your attitude and you’ll change your life,” but how do you do that if you don’t know what to do? After all, if changing one’s attitude was easy why don’t more people do it? Especially if it means they could be happier, more joyful, and much more successful?

Honestly, I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that changing one’s attitude doesn’t need to be difficult and, in fact, can be quite easy. . . . All you need is to consistently employ a few simple techniques and you’ll be on your way. So, to get you started, here are my 10 tips to get you started on improving your attitude. Good luck!

1. Think like you want to be

It’s tough to be happy, joyful, successful, etc. if you don’t think that you are a happy, joyful, and successful person. Think it first, and then do it!

2. Smile

There’s no arguing with this one -research has shown the smiling has both psychological and physiological effects. So, put a smile on your face and you’ll be on your way to a change in attitude!

3. Immerse yourself

Read books, articles, magazines that help you understand and adopt the new attitude. Watch films or listen to music that inspires you and encourages you to change.

4. Change your actions

It’s hard to change your attitude if you keep doing the same old stuff the same old way. Do things differently to start thinking differently.

5. Change your environment

Make your environment reflect the attitude you wish to have. Create the physical spaced that makes you eager to change.

6. Follow the leader

Find someone who already has the attitude you wish to have. Follow their lead, learn from their example.

7. Help others (and help yourself)

One of the fastest ways to change your attitude is to take the focus off yourself and to help others in need.

8. Get a little help from your friends

Let everyone know what you’re doing and enlist their support to help you change and give you ideas. The more you feel like you’re part of a group effort; the more likely you are to be successful.

9. Get a pro

If the change you desire to make is a big one or is extremely radical, consider getting the help of a mentor, counselor, or coach. These professionals can reduce the time and frustrations involved as well as provide you with many new ideas to help you grow.

10. Be patient

Recognize that most changes occur slowly, over an extended period of time. If you don’t get immediate results, don’t be surprised and DON’T QUIT! Keep working, it’ll come.


Hug and Heal Yourself…

Sometimes, the simplest things in life are also the most beneficial. Take hugging, for instance. At some time or the other, we all have experienced the feeling of comfort and security of a warm and loving hug. There’s nothing that makes us feel better than a good, solid squeeze from a friend or a loved one. But the benefits of hugging go beyond feeling good.

Studies conducted in several countries have found that a simple cuddle is a powerful therapeutic mechanism. These studies have found that hugs can improve the health of your heart, lower your blood pressure, increase your immunity, and help you fight stress and anxiety. Of course, hugs also strengthen feelings of bonding.

According to a report in The Independent, “The benefits of hugging are now so widely recognised that, in the US, it is sometimes prescribed instead of medication.” It adds that “hug therapy” is being promoted as a way to tackle with depression, reduce social isolation and foster feelings of belonging.

With so many studies substantiating the therapeutic properties of hugging, isn’t it unfortunate that most of us hug only superficially? A superficial hug, instead of coming about as a result of genuine affection, is one that is performed as a custom. A quick and casual hug is not the same as a genuine cuddle, and consequently, does not offer the same benefits.

According to Kathleen Keating, author of The Hug Therapy, “We need to recognise that every human being has a profound physical and emotional need for touch.” She adds, “There is something godlike everyone possesses in our arms, hands, fingers. This is the power to make someone feel cherished…the power to give [and receive at the very same time!] kindness, warmth, tenderness, support, healing, security – and most of all belonging.”

Hugging is so basic a need that not only must we indulge in it as frequently as we can, we must encourage others too, to follow suit. So, the next time you feel like hugging someone, don’t hold yourself back. Cuddle wholeheartedly. Don’t be in a hurry to get it over and done with. Don’t think of it as a chore. It’s a beautiful expression of affection that also promotes healing and good health. So hug – for a happier, healthier world.


Loneliness, Isolation & Fear

Loneliness involves a deep sense of isolation and disconnection from others, and it occurs when persons feel that they have no one with whom to share the joys and hardships of life. Some have stated that their loneliness feels less like sadness and more like an imprisonment that leaves them despondent toward life.

Loneliness is hard to heal. It requires more than just casual social contact – we need to form genuine connections with others on a personal one-to-one basis. It requires an investment in other people and patience until real, sincere relationship develops. Loneliness teaches us the value of a friend, whom we do not take for granted. But first we need to make friends with ourselves, and then we can confidently look outwards and see the best in others.

Remember that almost everyone feels lonely at some time. It is a sign that important needs are not being met. Changing the situation may involve finding and developing a circle of friends, but it may also mean learning to enjoy your times alone; to use them more constructively and pleasurably. The tools and resources recommended here will help you overcome loneliness and isolation.

Loneliness is potentially a more dangerous emotional state which in the worst cases can lead to depression and suicide. Emotional loneliness does not have to be associated with physical loneliness. You can be physically alone but still remain happy. Instead, the emotion of loneliness is often linked with personal insecurities which make you think that you are isolated from others. For example, maybe you feel like a social outcast because you do not have a partner. This is not true because lots of single people are perfectly happy and are certainly not social outcasts. It is just an emotional state.

If you are constantly affected by feelings of rejection and/or have real trouble taking chances in your life, the signs of emotional loneliness and the fear of the unknown are present.

Once you have identified the problem you can begin to take action. Below I have outlined 3 ideas to help you overcome these emotional states:

1) TAKE UP AN ACTIVITY THAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO:- Maybe you have always wanted to join the local soccer team but you made excuses not to? Well now is the time to dive in and do that special activity. Not only will this involve taking a chance and help you defeat your fear of the unknown, but it will also place you in a social situation allowing you to bond with others and rise above feelings of isolation.

2) GO TRAVELLING: – If we are being honest, most of us have ambitions to see the world and go travelling. However, the fear of the unknown keeps us trapped in a pretty routine lifestyle so that this is never possible. Now I know for some people going travelling is simply not possible but if you sit down and think “is it really not possible or am I just making excuses?” you may be surprised at the answer. Going travelling represents a huge leap into the unknown. Therefore, it is a great way to overcome your fear of the unknown. Plus, you will meet all kinds of people on your travels and start to feel accepted.

3) FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF: – This one is probably the most important. If you cannot love yourself is it fair to ask others to love you? If you do not accept yourself as a person then it is no wonder you feel isolated. No matter what your physical condition or your financial circumstances, you need to start thinking about yourself positively. Once you start to think about yourself positively you will develop a new-found sense of confidence. This confidence will help you destroy the feelings of loneliness and allow you to take more risks, helping you overcome your fear of the unknown.

Overcoming Grief – starting over after loss

Rebuilding occurs after the death, divorce or separation of a loved one.

First comes the shock of the loss and then denial that is has happened, particularly if there was no warning. We have hopes and dreams of the future that include our loved one and suddenly he or she is not there. How will we cope? How can we go on?

But go on we must and we will. Often times our first step is to attempt to regain what we have lost. This is impossible if our loved one has died but that doesn’t stop us from trying.

A lot of what we go through in our grieving process is our best attempt to keep that person alive and well in our perception. So, we do things like go over the memories, look through picture albums, talk about our loved one to everyone who will listen, think about him or her every minute and even speak to him or her out loud.

If a loved one has not died, but has chosen to walk out of one’s life, it can be more challenging. In this instance, you not only have to get over the shock of the loss but also cope with the feelings of rejection.

In our best attempt to get our loved one back, we may engage in all the behaviours someone who has lost their partner to death would. But in addition, we may beg them to take us back, follow our loved one around, try to get our friends to intervene on our behalf, and a host of other maladaptive behaviours.

Everyone grieves at his or her own pace. I am in no way suggesting that this process can or should be rushed. What I am saying is that when a person is ready, he or she can turn the grief into  new hope for the future.

However, if you find yourself in the process of starting over, adopting this particular attitude can be fairly helpful. You begin by brainstorming all the possible benefits of no longer being in relationship with the person who’s gone. This may seem uncomfortable at first, almost a betrayal of the love you shared, but it is the most healing thing you can do at this point.

You may feel that moving on will, in some way; send the message that you didn’t really love enough. In an attempt to show the world how much you loved your partner, you use the depth of your grieving as the message. And if you are someone who wants to continue grieving, then nothing I have to say will get in your way. You don’t even have to continue reading.

This article is really for those people who are tired of being depressed, who are ready to start again and who want to actually believe that things can get better.

In 2005, my husband died of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when he was 47 years old, leaving behind his two daughters aged 7 and 12 and son aged 17. Initially, there was no positive benefit I could see from that event at all. However when I was ready to look for the positives, they did appear.

One of the first positives I saw is that I actually had the opportunity to say goodbye. Many people do not have that opportunity when loved ones pass.

You too, can find the benefit in the loss of your last relationship. It merely involves putting on the proper lenses that will allow you to see it. Just like in science, there can be no positive without the negative and no negative without the positive. You can’t have protons without neutrons and you can’t have a devastating event in your life without it also bringing some positive benefits. Healing and moving on requires these lenses.

While you continue to mourn the loss of your relationship, you’re only staying stuck in the past. Instead of mourning the loss of the relationship, focus on how fortunate you were to have that relationship in your life for as long as you did.

There are no guarantees in this life. When a loved one enters our life, there is no surety for how long he or she will stay. They’re not possessions to be owned, but rather our gift to be cherished for as long as we have it.

One of the first steps to take in healing our grief is to reach out to others in our life who loves us. When someone we love leaves us, it creates a huge void in our life. Some try to fill this void with drugs or alcohol, but that only results in a temporary reprieve from the pain.

If love is what we lost, then the only thing that will help us to feel better is more love. During this time you may confuse sex with love and go looking for meaningless encounters. However, this again will only postpone the inevitability of the pain of the loss of love.

We must replace love with love. Reach out to friends, family and co-workers. It’s not the same, it’s not what you are really craving, but it will help heal the pain.

After that temporary reprieve with those who love us, you must start rebuilding your life and your strength. You can go on. You can laugh again. And yes, you can love again. Love has many forms.

But none of this will truly do the trick unless you learn to love yourself again. How does one accomplish this task? You must take inventory. Make a list of all that you have to offer the world. What are your strengths? What are your interests? What are your talents and abilities? What do you love?

If you’re having difficulty completing your list, ask someone you trust for help. An objective viewpoint can often point out positives of which we are unaware.

And if, after taking this step, you are still unsure of your special talents and skills, then make a list of the person that you want to be. What is it that you would like to be able to offer the world? Describe a person that you admire whom you would strive to become. As long as there’s breath in your body, it is never too late to learn to expand and grow to become the person that you truly want to be.

If you feel as if your life is over, you are truly wasting the gift of life that you have been given. There is only one you. You have something unique inside you to offer the rest of us. Please don’t keep it hidden, lost in your grief

Do not climb in the grave with your loved one. It is not your time. Do not wither and die behind the door your loved one closed on his or her way out of your life. Find someone less fortunate than you, and do something for them without expecting anything in return. You’ll be surprised what that does to elevate your mood.

What Gratitude means

Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioural and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.

People tend to take for granted the good that is already present in their lives. Few things can affect your overall quality of life as powerfully as your attitude can.  Your attitude affects your career, your relationships, your hobbies, and even your financial status.  Most people discover that when they improve their attitude, everything else in their lives seems to improve also.  

Gratitude can help you remember that along with the darkness of every ending comes the dawn of a new beginning.  Gratitude can smooth the sharp edges of any painful experience and usher in a more gentle transition that contributes to your personal growth. 

A daily practice of gratitude is one simple way to give yourself a painless attitude adjustment because it reduces your temptation to focus on more “negative” mind-sets.  When you feel grateful it is nearly impossible to feel frustrated, sad, empty, or disconnected.  A negative focus and a gratitude focus cannot co-exist!  They are opposites and will repel each other. Finally, gratitude can help you shed the burden of unhealthy situations in order to clear a space for something better to arrive in your life.