Tag Archives: Forgiveness

Ways to Handle Problem Relationships

Share

IMG_2070What do you believe is the purpose of a love relationship? To complete you? To make you whole and happy? Hollywood movies and romantic novels often portray the unrealistic idea of romantic love. A person can add to your happiness, but can never make you complete or happy—you’re the only one who can do that. Healthy, loving relationships result when you seek them to add to the happiness in life you’re already experiencing. The regard you receive from someone else can’t replace the regard you need to give yourself.

Commitment in love isn’t a feeling or a grin-and-bear-it obligation. It’s an act of IMG_1996your will. Commitment means riding out tough times of disagreement and struggle and discussing the middle ground of compromise. The success of any relationship depends on the ability to focus on the strengths of the other person—his or her positive traits, not on the flaws. Reflect on the reasons you like and respect the person. Dwell on his or her positive qualities and assets; and in grace tolerate those quirks that get you batty. After all, your own quirks need to be tolerated by others, too.

IMG_0363When a relationship is in trouble, it’s usually because there’s a tendency to blame the other person and to focus on his or her faults and wrong-doings. This not only doesn’t work—it makes things worse. The more effective choice is to focus on yourself—your own thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and actions in the relationship. Today, focus on what you need to be giving to the other person and what needs correcting in yourself; not on what you’re not getting from the other person and what he or she needs to correct. Take responsibility for your part in the relationship. Focus on self-responsibility and solutions, not blame and resentment.

Think about it.

 

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

What do you do when you’ve hurt someone?

Share

IMG_1564When you’ve hurt a person by something you’ve said, what do you do? Hurting someone’s feelings is usually unintentional and spoken in a moment of high emotional intensity when you’re not thinking straight. Whether it’s a girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, family member, co-worker, or friend, what can you do now?

1. Apologize face-to-face, not in a text, email, or by phone. To really make amends you need to be present. Your apology must be sincere–trust has been broken so strip away your pride and humble yourself.

2. Take responsibility. Own it. Make no excuses. That means do not attempt to IMG_0491 - Copyblame someone or something else for your screw-up. That means not trying to shift blame onto to the very person you just insulted. Whatever the circumstances, what was said that was hurtful came from you. No one forced you to say insensitive remarks, it’s no one else’s fault, so take responsibility. Own up.

3. Sometimes it’s fitting to explain. Providing a reason for what happened is different than trying to excuse what happened. “I know I shouldn’t have said those things, but I’m under so much pressure right now,” is an excuse. “I’m under a lot of pressure right now, but that doesn’t dismiss the hurtful words I said,” is an effort to explain, not excuse.

IMG_24194. Don’t just say “I’m sorry,” ask to be forgiven. Promise it will not happen again. Describe what you’re going to change so it doesn’t happen again. “I’m going to talk to someone about managing the stress I’m under.” This action is the best choice if you truly want to make amends. Otherwise, the hurt person only has your say-so that it won’t happen again. Since the trust element is shattered between you and the other person, an action plan on your part goes a long way to rebuild trust.

5. Give it some time if the person isn’t able to accept your apology at the moment. Allow the person a couple of days to think and sorts things out–free of harassment or stalking. Bugging or nagging the person won’t speed up the forgiveness process, and can make the situation worse.

6. Forgive yourself. Beating yourself up is pointless. And listening to someone lecturing you about what a jerk you are is also pointless. Making a mistake or screwing-up doesn’t make you a bad person. No one is perfect. Everyone make mistakes. We all do things we regret.  Meet tomorrow as a wiser person.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Has your inner voice become a nagging critical bullhorn?

Share

Long time writer for The New Yorker, S. N. Behrman¹ said on reaching the age of 75, I have had just about all I can take of myself. 

Has your inner voice become a nagging critical bullhorn? If your inner monitor has you feeling like a louse because of some wrong doing, then it’s time to investigate if those feelings of guilt are true or false.

IMG_2286True guilt is that icky gnawing feeling of remorse and regret when you have failed your moral standard. But after amends are made and you forgive yourself, you’re free to do better next time; and those icky internal feelings dissipate. False guilt is that same icky gnawing feeling that flogs you day after day when you decline to make amends and refuse to forgive yourself. Instead, you feel compelled to punish yourself and rolling in guilt is the most popular choice.

Believing the truth about who you are is necessary for a happy and successfulIMG_1720 life. If you’re dragging around the weight of guilt, regrets, and self-condemnation, it’s impossible to be happy and successful. Guilt won’t allow the belief that you deserve happiness and financial gain. Regrets won’t allow self-confidence and self-esteem. Your opinion of yourself is powerful fuel for life. The words you say to yourself, about yourself, have an enormous impact in the body, and in your mind.

As long as you hold yourself hostage for past mistakes, you’re chained to the pain of yesterday. You hold the key to those chains today, right now. Pardon yourself. Make amends if you’re able. Realize that staying in bondage to the past won’t allow you to make a difference in your life today, and that’s just another mistake.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

¹http://snbehrman.com/biography.htm
©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Aren’t we worried about what might happen tomorrow, and aren’t we occupied with what happened yesterday?

Share

Margaret Bonnano¹, famous author of seven Star Trek novels, wrote: It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.

Do you live day-to-day? There’s much attention placed on the catch phrase “One day at a time,” but do we really live that way? Aren’t we worried about what might happen tomorrow, and aren’t we occupied with what happened yesterday? Our brains feel like a swarm of bees bringing back and forth to the hive worries about yesterday’s fiasco, and tomorrow’s anxiety about money. All this buzzing going on while we try to face today’s demands while sustaining sanity.

IMG_0702Most of our blunders from yesterday, last month, or last year are rubbish–we forget them. We make mistakes, we learn, we grow. The End. But sometimes, the memory of a past fault creeps into our minds and tortures again with its pain and regret. It makes us feel shame, depressed and unworthy. Don’t let that memory of the past have its reign over you again. It’s true that we face the future with our past. But a huge part of who we are today, what we stand for, and what we believe about ourselves and life comes from the lessons we acquired from screwing-up, yes, even those major debacles. Those of us who show up everyday in life expecting the best, doing our best, and giving our best have not been discouraged by yesterday’s failure, or reduced in value by its hurt.

IMG_1614Former New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan² once said: Life is one day at a time. And thank God! I couldn’t take much more. Doesn’t that describe most of us? There’s enough to sort through, solve, organize and work-out in one day, imagine if we were expected to handle the toil of two days in 24 hours? There’s enough to be concerned about today so adding worry about tomorrow and regret from yesterday isn’t a good use of time and energy.

Monitor your thoughts and notice how much time you’re spending dwelling on yesterday and how much you’re thinking about tomorrow. Deal with what’s happening now and what needs attention now so that when you awake tomorrow morning you’ll have energy to do it again.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

 

¹http://www.margaretwanderbonanno.com/
²http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Patrick_Moynihan
©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Need a brilliant idea? Hold a grudge.

Share

Hold a grudge. Now there’s a brilliant idea!

Yeah, cling to memories of betrayal and hurt. Ruminate over unfairness and CAPUPVE5CARS043CCAOF72XDCA75Z6V9CADGWZF6CAOBVH8ICANMHFYZCATKRO9PCA9XJ8MACAUZ5MIOCA45A0SUCA0R2TBZCAN0OEEQCAZF83JVCAI62Q52CAQ6I7R1CAP6RTDMCAF1ZI92injustice. Hold that bitterness close to your heart so that your entire attitude in life sucks and be sure everyone knows it. Feel entitled to take your anger out on other people—be mean, be blaming, be a bully. Yeah, hold a grudge and think that by doing so you’re somehow getting even. Don’t let the person off the hook–be sure to constantly remember the wrong-doing. Really mess up your head.

The only good holding a grudge has ever produced is the good hold it has on you going down. The wiser you are, the more you refuse to dwell in the toxicity IMG_0717of anger, bitterness, grudges, and resentment—the malignancy of emotions. Animosity eats away as you cling to injustices against you until you’re consumed with rogue anger and bitterness. Marriage to grudges and resentment has put many people in an early grave. The enormous energy connected to the emotion of hate changes the blood chemistry in a person to one that is favorable to disease. You lose power. You lose respect. You lose character. It’s not pretty. You won’t look cool. You won’t even recognize yourself.

Hate is a painful state of self-destruction because the mind is not intended to hate. It goes against the pure core of every human being. We were each born with an incredible expression of our inner purpose—to love ourselves and to love others.

If you’re holding a grudge, the release of that bitterness and resentment needs to be the priority for your own good health–physical and mental. Any period of time spent resenting man-439916_150someone else is time that you have chosen to feel miserable. The more occupied you are in disliking another person, the less occupied you are with pursuing your own happiness and success. You can’t resent or hate someone and feel any happiness or enthusiasm for life. Resentment, bitterness, anger, and grudges are all very expensive and costly to YOU, not to the person who caused it. These negative feelings don’t damage the other person, they damage you. So now you’ve doubled your pain.

The cure is forgiveness. Let it go. Move on. Get back to living. Regain your power and self-respect and loving nature. You can apply the healing balm of absolution and bask in the state of being emotionally malignant free. Only the foolish hang on to bitterness like a trophy. One can only hope that a day will arrive with the insight that the trophy is not an award, but actually a gravestone.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Do you curse yourself for screwing-up?

Share
The highly successful Brian Tracy wrote, “Always choose the future over the past. What do we do now?” That’s good advise, I think, when it comes to solving problems. But it does little to release those of us tortured by past regrets and mistakes.
Some of my bad choices from many years ago caused painful and damaging IMG_0578(2)consequences for other people. Those are the regrets that can haunt me the most. Those memories sting and I placed myself in an emotional jail where I inflicted suffering upon myself as punishment for hurting people I care about. My thoughts would persistently remind me that I was unworthy, marred, screwed-up, or whatever the word of the day was.
It took time for me to heal with soul-searching therapy. I understand how other people live fully in the past and why they speak about regrets and degrade themselves for mistakes from years ago. I get why their current happiness isn’t possible because of this or that occurred last month or last year.
I’m here to tell you, from experience, that as long as you cling to the mistakes of yesterday, you make another mistake today. When you’re busy mentally IMG_0885torturing yourself, you’re unable to focus to learn from, and understand the mistake so you can become wiser, so you can grow, so you can help others through their pain. Making a mistake is not a crime. Passing judgment on yourself along with a sentence to an emotional punishing prison for penance, doesn’t work. There’s nothing you can do to alter your actions of yesterday, but you can choose differently right now. No amount of self-punishment will alter what happened. But you can make amends where possible. You can remember that you’re not perfect. Mistakes happen.
“People screw up. People screw up a lot. We allow our own selfishness to overpower us at times. It happens. But you can’t allow that to tear you down. You can’t keep dwelling on your past choices, and your past actions, or else you’ll never learn from them.”¹
Give your past regrets meaning today, not punishment, by seeing them as turning points in your life, not condemning moments.
Thanks for your time and comments. –Dr. Sandy
¹Nicole Sobon, Deprogrammed

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Are you in a prison of previous mistakes?

Share

The prison of previous mistakes comes with jailers of guilt and regret. Together they hold you captive, torturing you with images of what you could have been and what you could have accomplished had you not done this or that or the other. 

If you allow it, there are three ways that the past can haunt you. You can be tormented IMG_0416(2)by memories of what happened to you, what you did, and/or what you didn’t do.                                                                                                                                                                        No matter how many times you think about yesterday, it isn’t going to change. You can’t rewrite it. Every single person since Adam and Eve, have noted at least one event they regret and at least one choice they wish could be reversed.

Dwelling in yesterday is delusional because you’re not dealing with the reality of today. Each morning you’re given a new beginning and a wiser mind-set because of the knowledge you gained from yesterday.

How will you live today so it won’t be a regret tomorrow? -Dr. Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

What are you expecting today?

Share

Some individuals hold others responsible for the disappointment and unwanted outcomes they experience. This furnishes them with a blaming, self-defeating state of mind. After being injured, disappointed, hurt, and violated enough times we may forfeit the anticipation of good outcomes in life. We remain snared in the unfairness of life where incorrect thinking and pessimistic feelings reign. We invent an imaginary scale by which events are weighed. Of course, the scale never measures above bad luck. No matter how many blessings exist or good IMG_0294things happen, it’s not seen, or it’s not enough, or something is flawed with it or we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“You have a style, a way of being. You hear people describe others by noting their persona: He’s a real hard charger, or she’s a cool customer. Some approach life as a combat: they’re hostile, even explosive. Others are milquetoast who expect to get trampled, and do. Your attitude of approach dictates what you get back. You may complain about the way people react to
you, but believe me, you create it, just as everyone else creates the reactions they get from the world. Honestly evaluate your style of engagement, and you will begin to understand why the world responds to you as it does.”¹

Unless we tackle the thinking that results in this self-defeating negativity, we’ll become more complaining, more resentful, and continue to experience more unfairness because that’s what we’re expecting. What are you expecting today? Dr. Sandy

¹Dr. Phil McGraw in Life Strategies

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

What is Grace?

Share

Grace is . . .
                           a caring look
                                                        quiet moments                         a tender touch
         being accepted                             tranquil snowfalls                                                                                                                                special people                                                                                                                                     renewal and rest                    sunsets                      time                                                                                                                             a warm blanket                                    abiding kindness                                                                  faith           long hugs                          sudden smiles                         IMG_0411(2)                                        helping hands                               laughter                                                             prayer                                                                                                                                         strength and guts                    children singing                                                                 unexpected good                           mistakes forgotten                              sins forgiven                                       caring words               a happy sigh                               compassion                                                                  open arms                            a Savior given                                                                                                                                                Christmas morning                                     God’s joy and embrace

Christmas Blessings!

-Dr. Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Do you long for past experiences?

Share

In our head, the past seems to always look worse or better than it really was. You don’t have a past to live. You have a present to live. Mulling over regrets and losses from yesterday will not allow happiness and enthusiasm to radiate from you today. Jane Eyre said, “Remorse is the poison of life.”

IMG_0505 - CopyYet, it is important to experience a stage of self-solace after regrets and losses otherwise incorrect conclusions and unprocessed thoughts and feelings will prompt depression, emptiness, and loneliness in the present.

Do not allow today to be a day you will regret tomorrow. -sn