I know, it’s cheating to just use something I’ve already published but, I kind of liked it, several other people have told me they like it and it IS a message I want to spread. SO, here is last week’s column. xoxoxo
FOR PUBLICATION 1/ 19/12
Word of Mind, Word of Mouth by Lady Tie Di
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that that situation is over, you cannot move forward.” (Steve Maraboli, “Life, the Truth, and Being Free”)
Love of My Life asked me last night, “How is it that you seem to have moved on from your past, that you don’t seem to hold onto all that crud and stay happy?” Funny, I’d just read a magazine article the day before which presented an answer to that question, “Forgiveness.” (“Can You Really Forgive?” Whole Living magazine, Dec. 2011). Heaven knows I’ve asked for it enough times. I long ago realized it was too hard on my heart not to forgive others.
Although at times it appears as such, I’ve never known anyone who honestly wanted unrest in their lives. Why couldn’t they change that? It’s hard to say. My guess is that they’re too afraid to step outside their sphere of strength.
As uncomfortable as their situation may be, they are certain it will be even more uncomfortable trying to remedy it by admitting they misunderstood or spoke too soon or such a thing. People are afraid of feeling vulnerable. They don’t realize the power vulnerability yields. Believe it or not it builds respect and trust.
While parenting, my love and I similarly shared, there were moments when we lost our cool, shall we say. For whatever reason, we “reacted” instead of “acted,” yelled or otherwise behaved badly. Immediately or at the latest, the next day, we apologized to our kids, explained what was going on in our heads and confessed our shortcomings not as an excuse but to help them understand how we’d made a mistake, how we all make mistakes and how to make amends. They in turn learned to apologize for what it was that pushed us to that limit. It was a valuable lesson for them in how to interact positively with others.
This is from a piece I read on vulnerability:
“Here are a few statements that crack open a beautiful vulnerability within everyday situations:
¨ “I was wrong.”
¨ “I don’t know.”
¨ “I am sorry.”
¨ “Thank you.”
¨ :I love…”
“As with all tools, these statements become meaningful only when used sincerely and appropriately.” (http://www.dailygood.org/view.php?sid=161)
Our former school psychologist, Susan Dever, and I used to teach a parenting class, “Positive Parenting: Redirecting Children’s Behavior”. Inevitably, about three sessions into the class, someone would have the revelation, “Hey this is really more about changing the way WE act, isn’t it?” We also pointed out how much of what they learned could be applied to everyone in their life.
“Beliefs and Feelings-
You cannot change anyone else, only yourself. Improving your child’s behavior comes from changing the way you respond. Your children have beliefs about how they belong and from these beliefs come emotions and actions. You also have feelings and beliefs. Becoming aware of your feelings and beliefs and making changes can make the difference in influencing your child’s positive behavior.” (http://www.lifematters.com/step.asp)
Whatever the motives are for people behaving the way they do, the only way to grow and heal and regain stable footing is to forgive. That involves taking responsibility for ones own actions, for making oneself vulnerable and for being honest about what truly matters most in that situation.