Monday, May 21, 2012
Monday - A new start to a new life.
"Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness."
A new start to a new life....For a while now my family and I have been going through some hard times. Some I have shared briefly, others I have kept inside. But today I resolve to let go of the pain and misery it has caused me. I forgive those that have hurt me and my family. In return I ask for forgiveness for not being compassionate or understanding to the situation. You see I have been keeping score and I have been tracking all the wrong things quietly. I have been wronged many times, but I have said nothing to make it better. This time was different. Every time I felt offended I spoke up and explained my hurt feelings. Each time sounding like a crazy person. How can I reason with someone who does not like me? In the end I still care about those who have hurt me, because God chose them for me. God put me on this Earth for a reason. This reason is to be compassionate and understanding (working on it). Today is the beginning of a new day, a new week and a new beginning.
Here is a few tips from Tiny Buddha
When you’re hurting some people might tell you to “Suck it up and deal” as if that’s a valid solution. They may say “It’s all in your head” and assume that reasons away the pain. But none of that will help you heal and find happiness from moment to moment.
Like everyone, I’ve been hurt–in both profound and trivial ways. I’ve dealt with it using the following ideas:
1. Define your pain.
It’s not always easy to identify and understand what’s hurting you. Some people even stay in abusive relationships because it’s safer than acknowledging their many layers of pain: the low self esteem that convinces them they deserve abuse; the shame over being treated with such cruelty; the feeling of desperation that convinces them there’s no real way out.
The first step toward finding happiness after having been hurt is to understand why you were hurt; to get to the root of everything that makes the memories hard.
2. Express that pain.
There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to communicate how you feel to the person who hurt you; and if you can, there’s no guarantee they’ll respond how you want them to. Say what you need to say anyway. Write in your journal. Write a letter and burn it. Get it all out.
This will help you understand why you’re hurting–and what you’ll do in the future to avoid similar pain–so you can feel empowered instead of victimized. Research has actually proven that people who focus on lessons learned while journaling find the experience more helpful than people who don’t (focus on lessons).
3. Try to stay in the present.
Reliving the past can be addictive. It gives you the opportunity to do it again and respond differently. To fight back instead of submitting; to speak your mind instead of silencing yourself. It also allows you to possibly understand better. What happened? Where did you go wrong? What should you have done?
In other words, it allows you to torture yourself. Regardless of what you should have done, you can’t do it now. If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, you may need professional help to avoid revisiting the incident. If you don’t, you need sustained effort. Fight the urge to relive the pain. You can’t go back and find hap
6. Stop playing the blame/victim game.
Maybe you were a victim. Maybe someone did horrible things to you, or you fell into an unfortunate set of circumstances through no fault of your own. It still doesn’t serve you to sit around feeling bad for yourself, blaming other people. In fact, it only holds you back. You can’t feel good if you use this moment to feel bad about another person’s actions.
The only way to experience happiness is to take responsibility for creating it, whether other people made it easy for you or not. You’re not responsible for what happened to you in the past but you’re responsible for your attitude now. Why let someone who hurt you in the past have power over your present?
7. Don’t let the pain become your identity.
If everything you do, and all your relationships center around something that hurt you, it will be harder to move on. You may even come to appreciate what that identity gives you: attention, the illusion of understanding, or the warmth of compassion, for example.
You have to consider the possibility there’s a greater sense of happiness in completely releasing your story. That you’d feel better than you can even imagine if you’d stop letting your pain define you. You can have a sad story in your past without building your present around it.
8. Reconnect with who you were before the pain.
It’s not easy to release a pain identity, particularly if you’ve carried it around for a long time. It may help to remember who you were before that experience–or to consider who you might have become if it hadn’t happened. You can still be that person. That person who doesn’t feel bitter or angry so frequently.
If you want to feel and be peaceful and happy, start by identifying what that looks like. What you think about, what you feel, what you do, how you interact with people. Odds are this process will remind you both how you want to be and how you don’t want to be.
9. Focus on things that bring you joy in the moment.
You don’t have to focus on completely letting go of your pain forever–you just have to make room for joy right now. Start simple. What’s something you can enjoy in this moment, regardless of what pain you’ve experienced? Would sitting in the sun bring you joy? Would calling your sister bring you joy?
Don’t think about the totality of the rest of your days. That’s a massive burden to carry–haven’t you hurt enough? Just focus on now, and allow yourself a little peace. You’ll be surprised how easily “nows” can add up when you focus on them as they come.
10. Share that joy with other people.
People often isolate themselves when they’re hurting because it feels safer than showing people their vulnerability. What they fail to realize is they don’t have to feel vulnerable all the time. You can choose certain people for support, and then allow yourself time with others without involving your painful story.
You can share a meal, a movie, a moment and give yourself a break from your anger or sadness. You don’t have to carry it through every moment of your day. Don’t worry–if you feel you need to remember it, you’ll still be able to recall it later. But as you allow yourself pockets of peace, shared with people you love, you may find you need that story a lot less.
Everyone deserves to feel happy. Everyone deserves a little peace. One more thing we all have in common: we can only provide those things for ourselves. You can only experience that now.
4. Stop telling the story.
It may seem like another way to understand what happened; or maybe it feels helpful to hear someone say you didn’t do anything wrong and you don’t deserve to hurt. In all reality this just keeps you stuck right where you are: living your life around a memory and giving it power to control you.
No amount of reassurance will change what happened. You can’t find happiness by holding onto a painful story, trying to place in new, brighter light. You can only find happiness when you let it go, and make room for something better. You don’t need another person’s permission to let go and feel OK.
5. Forgive yourself.
Maybe you didn’t do anything wrong, but you blame yourself. Or maybe you played a role in creating your current situation. Regardless of what happened, you need to realize what you did is not who you are. And even if you feel immense regret, you deserve to start today without carrying that weight. You deserve a break.
You can either punish yourself and submit to misery, or forgive yourself and create the possibility of happiness. It comes down to whether you decide to dwell or move on. Which do you choose: anger with yourself and prolonged pain, or forgiveness and the potential for peace?
The 10 tips were taken from Tiny Buddha. Please visit their site if you found this helpful.