Friday, February 26, 2010

You don't have to be a Victim Anymore

Have you been hurt in a small or big way? The truth is all of us have been wounded through out our lives. Someone may not have come through in the way we wanted them too or hoped for. Or perhaps someone lied to us or abandoned us. We are wounded because something happened in our life which we didn't want to happen and in many cases we become overwhelmed with what took place. We probably lacked the skills to confront the reality of things not turning out the way we had hoped. Without the skills to handle the situation in the very best way, we become wounded.

When we experience a painful life event we often react with anger or depression. You hold on to that life experience not realizing that the specifics of what happened are not as important as learning how to deal with your reactions to your experience. Whatever has happened to you, adding difficult emotions adds to your pain.

Are you someone who has trouble letting go of the past? Do you get tired of all the time you dwell over something which happened yesterday? Remember, you have a choice as to how much time you will spend on thinking about something that has caused you pain.

To help you let go of your past you may want to write about what has happend. Before you do take a few deep relaxing breathes and when you feel relaxed think of a situation in your life which has created pain. When you have the situation clearly in your mind write your story down. What happened that may have led up to the situation, the situation itself and its aftermath. Think not only about what happened but also how you felt about it. Then ask yourself:

1. How much time are you willing to think about your hurt and/or disappointment?
2. When you think about these hurts how much intensity is there?
3. Why haven't you thought of all the good in your life with the same intensity as your pain?

The answer to these questions are an indication of the depth of your forgiveness work. Just because painful things have happened it doesn't mean that you need to dwell on this. The importance of these questions is not to deny that people have hurt you, they are to help you recognize that we get into habits. The more we think of the negative, the deeper the groove becomes in our mind. After awhile that groove is so deep that it becomes difficult to break out of that groove. We always have choice and if you keep dwelling on something you give those thoughts power. What you focus your attention on is what you become. If you focus on your pain that is what you will experience. If you focus on forgiveness your world will begin to look very different.

You can find more information on how to forgive in "Finding Forgiveness: A 7 Step Program for Letting go of Anger and Bitterness" published by McGraw-Hill.

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