Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘resentment’

Is it Time?

Christmas is only one week away – where did the time go? As you are wrapping gifts to give to your family and friends how about giving one to yourself. I am not talking about anything that can be bought in department stores or shipped to you from the hundreds of online suppliers. No, what I have in mind is too big, too valuable to simply be purchased. I’m talking about the gift of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the magic elixir, the thing that can seriously change your life for the better. If there is someone that you have unfinished emotional business with or even open wounds that haven’t healed when we talk about peace on earth remember, the peace must first start in your own heart.

You can tell if a person has been sidelined due to their bitterness over something that happened in the past. When they talk about it (which they often do) they talk faster, louder and with such strong emotionally laden words that it sounds like it happened just yesterday. They seem to relive the time, date and place with such vehemence that you just have to wonder what toll it is taking on them on the inside. I wonder if they know about the research regarding the relationship between anger and cancer. Is it time for the gift of forgiveness.

Anger, bitterness or resentment can eat away at you. Even if you feel 100% justified in your feelings the only one paying the price is you – over and over again as you relive it in your mind. Simply put, you have allowed another person to rob you of today when you relive the negatives of yesterday. Sometimes we may feel that we want the whole world to know we were wronged. Here’s a news flash … the rest of the world really doesn’t care – not really – they are too busy dealing with their own challenges. Okay – something hurtful or wrong happened – now the million dollar question is do you really want to carry the enormous weight of that baggage on your shoulders for the rest of your life? If not, decide how long are you willing to carry it and write it down. Your answer determines how long you choose to be the victim.

Forgiveness is not easy but essential if you want to be truly happy. You might think that you are past the issue or do not want to give the person the time of day ever again. I get it – but just remember you are choosing to pay a steep price from your emotional bank account. If you continue to hold on to the grudge sooner or later you will be emotionally bankrupt as you join the ranks of the walking wounded. There are no blue ribbons for the person who has been hurt or wronged most deeply.

You can forgive but you needn’t forget. You have learned something from the experience and it has made you wiser more equipped to handle similar situations in the future. Perseverating on the past keeps you locked into a victim mentality. Little by little you begin to see others with a jaundice eye. Negative energy multiplies fast and will seep into your pores until you look for – even expect -more of the same in your life. You become primed for a hostile emotional take over and then wonder why life continues to be so tough. It all boils down to energy – negative attracts more negative.

Forgiveness is not simply a feeling it is a choice that you make. Are you ready to let go of the yuk from the past? Only you can decide if being in the role of victim, filled with grudges and unhappiness, is the role you choose for the rest of your life. Maybe it’s time to give yourself the greatest gift possible … forgiveness.

Have a great few days!

Choosing Happiness!

This is the second blog on the topic of how small changes in our thinking can make huge impacts in our lives. In goal setting we know that there are two different types of motivation – constructive and restrictive. The understanding of the difference between the two are significant and can be life changing.

The definition of constructive motivation is deciding to CHOOSE to see the opportunity in a situation. Even with events in our lives that challenge us using constructive motivation we decide to handle them in a more positive manner. Think of the saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemon aid. This is a perfect example of constructive motivation. It allows us to bring a more energized mindset to any chore or event. Life is not easy or for the faint of heart. Why make it harder on ourselves? Constructive motivation colors our world with vibrancy and is energizing not only to us but to those around us.

Restrictive motivation, on the other hand, is easily identified because the person usually starts by saying, ‘I HAVE TO …’ or ‘so and so is MAKING or EXPECTING me to …’ What they are saying is that what they need to do or are expected to do is not really of their choosing and consequently they psychologically resent it and see it as a demand. When you think about it the only two things we have to do in life is die and pay taxes. We don’t have to work at a particular job, live in a particular environment or maintain certain friends because we can change those things if we are unhappy with them. If our job is too stressful we can start looking for a different one that better suits us. If our bills are too high and causing us stress we can change our spending habits. People who use restrictive motivation often enjoy the attention received by playing the role of victim by being the person who is constantly overwhelmed by the demands of others. Their attitude speaks volumes. Slowly but surely they have fewer and fewer friends because their negative energy zaps others. Over time, people choose not to be around them. It just takes too much out of us to hear their latest version of what is not working in their lives. It can be exhaustive just thinking about them.

If we want to feel more in charge of our lives we can do so by consciously thinking in terms or ‘want or choose to do something’ rather than ‘have to’ do something. It takes practice but over time the results are worth it. Reading this you may think the difference of thinking in terms of ‘choosing’ rather than ‘having’ to is merely semantics but it is so much more. The difference is truly immense because in reality it is all about energy – positive or negative. Just think about how you feel when someone tells you to do something compared to when someone asks you to do something. You may still do the task but when asked you feel you have a choice and do it more willingly. When being told to do something you may still do it, of course, but you bring to the table a subtle but natural resentment to the task just as we did when we were kids and our parents told us to do this or that – remember how you felt? Not so good right? Then why would we do the same thing constantly to ourselves?

Our tomorrows stretch out ahead of us just as a blank canvas to an artist. What colors, attitude and motivation we choose to bring to the experience determines whether we bring our total self to the experience with gratitude for the opportunity to live another day and make a difference or not.

The amazing and wonderful thing about life is that we have the exclusive choice to use constructive motivation to cause us to feel deeper and accomplish more by recognizing the gift of being here on this planet to learn our lessons. It is totally in our power to choose our mindset and with it the life we choose to live.That is an awesome opportunity!

Have a great few days!

Accepting What You Cannot Change

In the last two blogs we looked more deeply at the Serenity Prayer, ” God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” We first examined the topic of having the courage to change the things we can change. We dug deep to find out if our fears, developed from our early life conditioning and other life experiences have served to limit our courage to change those things we can change. In this blog we will look at accepting those things we cannot change. As with everything in life, the topic of acceptance starts with examining our personal attitude, beliefs and behaviors.

Acceptance of ourselves is the key to a life well lived. Many of us have grown up watching T.V. programs that portray what a perfect personality, size, looks, career, home, family and life is all about. What we may have failed to realize is that there is no such thing. Those were a figment of someone’s imagination – a story that someone made up and sold along the way. When we accept the story line as truth (this is what you need to have or to do to be happy) then add to it the reality of our early conditioning, we may feel that our lives are lacking something or just isn’t that great. Every human being experiences tough times and times of personal doubt. It is a part of living on planet earth. Accepting that perfection in life, or even a life of smooth sailing is not only highly unlikely it simply doesn’t exist helps us gain perspective. The issue then is to decide what is in our overall best interest to accept without resentment or regret and realize that our life is a gift to be grateful for not a burden to be carried.

Through our own effort and with free will we have the power to build on our strengths and change nearly anything in life if we so choose. Likewise, we also have the right to recognizing that we don’t have to meet anyone’s arbitrary standard. Accepting that growth and acceptance is totally within our control we feel more empowered. We are living the life we chose with all of its’ challenges and rewards. Each of us as different as our fingerprints. Once we truly accept our authentic self it speaks volumes to others. We are happy in our own skin and the positive energy we emit attracts more of the same to us like a magnet.

To check yourself on your level of self acceptance ask yourself if it is harder to accept the good in yourself or are you too busy thinking about what you don’t like about yourself? The later view keeps you locked into remorse, anger or resentment which attracts more negative energy and experiences in your life. There may be things that we would like to improve upon but when we allow ourselves to become laser focused on them making them an all encompassing concern we lose sight of the joy in living.

Are we living the life we had planned? Or totally accomplishing those things that we want to do? Maybe or maybe not at this time. But you got up this morning right? You went about your daily tasks and made it through the day. You may have even found a little time help someone or to relax along the way. So the day might have been challenging but it was successful.

To experience more acceptance in our lives we can start by putting things in perspective with a thought from the Buddha, “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” The good news is that if you read that statement closely it is in the past tense. In other words, today you lived the energy you thought about yesterday. Was it positive accepting energy? You can make tomorrow even better by accepting the lessons you learned today with humility and grace.

Knowing that the Universe doesn’t make mistakes and accepting who you really are, deep down inside, helps us to feel a greater sense of confidence and serenity in life. Acceptance then is about you – first and foremost. When you fully accept yourself you no longer find the need to focus on what you don’t have but are grateful for what you have been able to achieve. We are all doing the best we can and succeeding at it – one human being at a time.

Have a great few days!

Individualized Curriculum Plan for Life

What if …just what if… we are each living our life here on earth with our own individualized curriculum plan of life lessons? Can you visualize carrying around a textbook with your name on it and reviewing the table of contents to find it is uniquely designed just for you?

When we find ourselves struggling with the same things over and over in life we wonder …why, why is this path I’m on so terribly difficult? We can’t seem to get past it and on to chapter two – we’re stuck in neutral. The challenge just continues to resurface in different shades or versions until one day we drop the demand, the resentment even, that things be different and ask for help in understanding the true lesson of acceptance. The classroom of life delivers exactly the lessons we need at exactly the right time to give us an opportunity to become wiser, more loving human beings.

Often people ask how they can discover what their lessons are – what are they supposed to be learning. The answer is simple, the getting there more complex. If you look at your life at this point what is the absolute most difficult thing for you? What makes you want to grit your teeth and demand that things be different? Bingo! Somewhere in your response is the show stopper – the big lesson – that you have chosen to learn. When we stop thinking that life is unfair and demanding things be different we are on the path to acceptance and acceptance is key. When we start searching for what WE need to learn the ‘aha’ comes flooding into our consciousness. Pride, envy, fear, control, resistance all become things of the past and we move forward with humility and gratitude.

In our individualized life plans we are given the teachers (when the student is ready the teacher comes along) our very own individualized curriculum and even testing out opportunities along the way. In fact, these plans are so individualized that we can take all the time we choose to learn our lessons. We can resist and extend the length of learning time or we can ask the Universe for help while searching in ourselves for what we are doing to continually get results we do not want. Each of us has the power to overcome incredible odds when we stop blaming or making excuses and move to a position of, ‘It’s me not thee.’

Is it time to trust yourself and the Universe enough to let go of the strangle hold of control and your demand that things be different? If we take a deep breath and admit that we feel powerless at times but have faith that all will work out just as it is supposed to something magical happens and we find greater strength in knowing that everything is going to be okay. We gain a renewed sense of confidence that regardless of the challenge we can make it through and learn from it. What if…just what if…we turn the kaleidoscope ever so slightly and search for the opportunity for learning in the challenge. Rather hard to wrap your mind around but worth the effort.

Everyday and in every way we are growing and becoming what we have chosen to be…fully present, at peace with ourselves and others and grateful for the opportunity to tap into the Universal energy at any moment simply by humbling ourselves and asking for help and deeper understanding along the way.

Have a great few days!