Tag Archives: Attachment

To paraphrase…

Hello.

It’s been a while.

Did you miss me?

Right, I have some instructions for you:

1) Turn off the lights, close the curtains, close your eyes. Maybe even put some headphones on.

2) Turn up the volume, press play and… listen. Really listen. To every word.

And now, for the sake of clarity, here they are, those words:

Joni Mitchell

 

There is so much here. So much said between the lines and try as I might (and I have begun to a gazillion times) my efforts to paraphrase just sound trite.

So, in a nutshell:

1) You look at the world through fresh eyes, and it looks amazing. You dream. Big. You are filled with optimism. It’s a rainwashed street, shiny and fresh. It’s a blank canvas, full of promise. It’s castles in the air.

2) You are dealt a blow. Given a lesson. You are sobered up. Fast. You grow up. Your world becomes real. You challenge your beliefs. You change your perspective. And it hurts. Hell, it really hurts.

3) You emerge from that cave.Β  You understand now that it isn’t what you dreamed it was. But, and here’s the thing, it isn’t what you thought you learned it was either. In fact, you don’t really get it. You just know what it isn’t.Β Your eyes are open, but – now – so is your heart. And your mind. And you have lost so much. But… hey. Look. You have gained so much, too. It’s okay. Let it go.

So, look back at what you believed, at that younger, more naive and innocent you, with fondness. It wasn’t all wrong. And you know? It got you to where you are now πŸ™‚

And, as I heard Wayne Dyer say the other day:

So many things that I did in my life, I look back and think that I would never do those things today. And yet all of my past actions have contributed to helping me be the man I am today. Say to yourself, β€œI had to be that person and I’ve learned from him (or her).” Forgiving yourself is every bit as important as forgiving other people. You did the best that you could, given the conditions of your life, and you can’t ask any more of yourself or of anyone else.

 

Joni Mitchell. I salute you.


If this… then…

First of all Happy New Year! I love this time of year. I know, I know, it’s only a calendar date, it has nothing to do with the seasons, the equinoxes, it’s all made up… But still, somehow… It’s New, isn’t it? And there’s something almost irrepressibly optimistic about something New.

I disappeared for a while. That’s kind of symbolic, I think. Various technical complications meant that this site was unreachable for a spell, then reappeared in some bizarre form, and today I have found it again. Funnily enough, I rather feel like I’ve found me again recently, too.

Last year, the year behind me, became rather unfocused towards the end. Or perhaps mono-focused is a better way of putting it. Too much was overlooked and fell by the wayside. I say this without guilt or rancour because it was very positive, if exhausting, and because I don’t believe in regrets, but in lessons learned. This Christmas season has brought a fabulous refocusing.

The mot du jour is balance. And it is I this I shall endeavour to hold onto into 2014.

There we have it – my rather over-worded Resolution. Because, you know, I don’t think it does any of us any harm at all to refocus on a fairly regular basis. Stop, take stock, whittle away what doesn’t make your soul sing, nourish what does…

I was listening to Jack Kornfield today. Again, somewhat by accident, I appear to have managed to sign up for Google Play and I haven’t the faintest idea how to unsubscribe, so I’m making the most of it πŸ˜‰ And I was very pleasantly surprised to find one of my gurus there.

And the part that stopped me mid-mushroom chopping was breathtakingly simple.

It always is, isn’t it?

And then, when you try to explain it to somebody, you’re in danger of being considered a simpleton yourself.

I’ll give it a shot anyway.

He said this:

If this…. then that.

If not this… then not that.

And, he said, that’s life.

It is a simple string of actions and consequences.

But the problems (and I’m no longer paraphrasing Mr Kornfield here) begin the moment we start to personalise those actions – your actions, my actions, his actions – we get into hot water. Forget all that, it mires you in anguish, anger, guilt, the desire for vengeance. And the only thing any of that will do is keep you locked in that time.

In that past.

In that last year.

Why not try:

If I let it go, then I can move on.

See, I said it was simple. And I’m not convinced I’ve conveyed it the way it makes sense in my head. I mean, I hope it’s obvious that if your actions were detrimental to another, you make amends, you make your peace, you take your lesson and you move on a better person. Or that if you were the person ‘wronged’, you can forgive, whether it is desired by the other person or not, take your lesson and move on a stronger person… Those parts, I hope, don’t need saying.

After all, as wonderful Jack says:

“In the end, just three things matter:

How well we have lived
How well we have loved
How well we have learned to let go”

 


My Two Wolves

I’m sure this story isn’t new to many of those reading this. But it bears repeating since, like so many things in this adventure called life, it is just a strand of the tapestry that has recently taken a more discernible form in my consciousness.

So here it is:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

β€œMy child, there is a battle raging inside us all. It is between two wolves.

β€œOne is Evil – It is anger, fear, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

β€œThe other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thinks about this for a minute or two.

β€œWhich wolf wins?”

β€œThe one you feed.”

It’s simple, isn’t it?

But, like so many things of such apparent simplicity, although 1) it’s true, 2) it’s much more easily said than done. Partly because the battle isn’t confined to an arena within ourselves. And ye gods, it’s a tough enough battle when it is confined to that arena.

Before I go any further, I’m not talking here about good and evil. There is no evaluation or judgement in what I am trying to say. What has become abundantly clear to me is that so much human relationship goes wrong when the relating is fear-based, and love is forgotten.

There is of course, the moment you start talking about love, a very real danger of sounding like a blissed-out hippie (which is no bad thing in itself, incidentally πŸ˜‰ ) I mean, the Beatles, man. They said it, right? “All you need is love”? And YES! I want to shout. It’s TRUE! And if everyone is operating from the same field, removing ego from the game, without becoming a doormat (another fine balance) then there’s nothing to fear. You’re safe to love, and to be loved.

Trouble is, as I see it, if one person is operating from love, and the other from fear, the wolf driven by fear will keep on, teeth bared, until one of you backs down. Usually Love, because Fear will just continue attacking, for fear of being attacked. At which point, after repeated attempts to stop the fight, a few bite-marks and battle-scars acquired, Love shrugs his shoulders, patches up his wounds, and whispers (inaudibly, to Fear) “When you’ve lost your snarl, retracted your teeth and claws, I’ll be here. Until then…”

It seems to be another truth that people will suspect you of operating as they do. Their prediction of your response is based upon the way they would respond in the same circumstances. And if you are driven by fear, then attack is your predominant modus operandi – kill or be killed – and you will expect attack from everyone else, regardless of the wolf they feed. You feed fear, so you expect everyone else to.

It is a very difficult thing, eschewing fear and embracing love. (It is actually also proving rather difficult to talk about without sounding… oh, I don’t know, trite, or naive, or as though you have all the answers – hah!) Maybe it’s something you can achieve once and for all. Eventually. When you attain enlightenment. πŸ™‚

But for most of us, it is a battle we are invited to on a daily basis. And the most important thing I have learned about this fight,Β every single time it comes around, is:

The more you feed love, the stronger it becomes.

And fear? Well, it just kind of ceases to matter….

 


Wisdom

 

Synchronicities abound once again.

I hear something.

I like it.

Maybe I make a note of it.

I move on.

It snags my attention elsewhere, in a new guise.

And I smile to myself, grateful for the signpost. πŸ™‚

wisdom

So, (you might be forgiven for thinking you’ve read this sentence before) I was listening to Wayne Dyer: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. At times of increased stress / distress, I find his gentle voice and helpful interpretations of Lao Tzu’s Tao Teh Ching have the power to ground and balance me more quickly and efficiently than I can manage alone.

He quoted Henry David Thoreau, including the line from the photograph above, and it got me thinking.

It’s all about worry, really, isn’t it?

And, like all ‘spiritual tenets’, voicing it aloud puts you in danger of being thought naive. But I’ve long given up caring about others’ opinions of me – that one is a lesson well learned (remember our mantra? “What you think of me is none of my business“) πŸ˜‰

While you are forming in the womb, after you are born, in your early months as a baby, you don’t worry. You’re not concerned where your next meal is coming from, or if it’s coming at all. You don’t lie awake at night hoping you’ll still have a roof over your bed the following night. Frankly (and sadly) even if you are born into a horrendous situation, you just accept. You expect your next meal to arrive when you’re hungry and, for the majority of us reading this post (and the person writing it), it does.

If you translate that to your life now, the vast majority of us, again, have made it – we’re still here; nothing we spent hours, days, weeks, months or even years worrying about actually killed us. We wake up to embrace, fight, love, struggle, soar, work through another day. The things we wasted so much now worrying about, have become a then we can barely even remember.

worry

But there is more to it even than that.

When you’re a baby, and your hunger is being alleviated through the next meal that didn’t fail to arrive, and your tummy is full, you turn your head away. You don’t stockpile your food in case the next meal doesn’t come. You don’t demand more, regardless of those around you who are also hungry, simply because you believe that your needs are greater than anyone else’s.

And then a friend posted this (click to read it):

greed2I love this guy’s intensity. πŸ™‚

He’s right of course. We all need just what we need to survive, in comfort is nice but not necessary; in luxury is fortunate, but not necessary. The pressure we put on ourselves in desperate pursuit of the ‘more’ that we feel we need can only lead to suffering. We lose sleep. Our health – both physical and mental – suffers. Our relationships fail.

Is it worth it?

I remember listening to another of my favourites – Jack Kornfield – some time ago. He told this story (cut very short here):

Two friends attend the funeral of a wealthy man.

One whispers to the other:

“How much did he leave?”

His friend, visibly surprised, replies:

“Why, everything of course!”

Follow your path, keep your integrity, work steadily towards your goal, and you will be okay.

Finally, for today, this too is one of my favourites (there is some debate about who this quote should actually be attributed to, but I struggle to care about that either – it’s the meaning that is important after all):

the-endPeace out πŸ˜‰ x


Too many cooks

I was in another room.

This is what I heard.

“No, you can’t have any more! You had loads on the last one!”

Uh-oh.

That’s like the starting bell at the beginning of a round at a boxing match.

I’ll set the scene.

It’s breakfast. Which on a school day is big American pancakes made, thanks to various dietary anomalies, with spelt flour and rice milk. They’re eaten in various ways, but the most popular is with golden syrup, which I now buy in bulk πŸ™‚

Bertie, aged 6, coming in at number four of five boys, and possibly the most audible member of the household, applied his own syrup this morning. But the plate is small, had two pancakes on it one atop the other and, once the first was consumed, the second looked tragically bare.

So he’d come back for more.

Only to encounter two older brothers, who had their own opinions on what he should or shouldn’t have, was or wasn’t allowed… With, it appears, no regard for Bertie’s breakfast.

It would only have taken imagining the paucity of their own pancake under similar circumstances to ignite a little compassion, wouldn’t it?

Control.

It’s not the first time, either.

With an age range of children under this roof from 3 to 13, we have a wealth of books, something for every ability. They wander, these tomes, between bedrooms according to who wants to read what and when.

At bedtime the other evening, Bertie was trying to choose something to read. He bypassed a whole pile, and when I questioned him, replied: “I’m not allowed to read those ones. I’m too little.”

Of course, it emerged that he had wanted to try, but been told not to by an older brother. I had become quite cross at this point, and asked said older brother how he was to learn if he wasn’t allowed to try?

I am a firm believer that we learn from our mistakes. Perhaps a more positive way of expressing that is that we learn from what we do that works, and what we do that doesn’t. But that does, of course, require our being allowed to experiment. It’s no good trying to mould yourself to fit someone else’s idea of what life is, means, requires of you, or someone else’s idea of who you should be, no matter their status in your life, perceived or biological.

The way I see it is that your need to control others is directly proportional to the necessity to learn self-mastery. The more you learn to control yourself, the less you feel the need to control anyone else.

The questions for these big brothers are Why does it matter to you? Why is it important to you how much syrup your brother has? Why do you mind what books he reads? Teaching them to turn that spotlight inwards and examine their driving forces…

I am also aware of the necessity to avoid making assumptions or ascribing motivations, such as “Are you jealous of his ‘extra’ syrup? Is it because you didn’t get more?” It is all too easy to make terribly ungenerous assumptions about people’s motivations. I read yesterday something that was rather synchronous, given the various lessons on autism going on under our roof just now, too. Don’t assume: ask questions. Make sure you have it clear. And try to assure that your questions themselves do not contain evaluation. Keep your mind entirely neutral as you seek the truth.

It’s going to be a lengthy process attempting to pass this wisdom on. After all, if we teach by example, and these are all lessons I am still very much needing to practice…

And lest we are feeling overly sorry for Bertie, he is unfortunately already learning by example and is capable of giving as good as he gets.

Self-mastery. It’s our lesson du jour. (…du mois… de l’annee… pour la vie) πŸ˜‰


Built on sand

I found one of my boys on the stairs today. He looked… well, actually, he looked sulky. He has a great line in sulky looks. But, being his mum, I know that this is something that can often work against him. Because, very often, it isn’t hiding sulkiness at all, but some other rather difficult emotion. And he can find himself getting short shrift for being moody when in fact what he actually needs is to talk to someone.

So, once I’d told him off for being moody, walked away, and had a little flash of mumspiration (I take no credit for those. They seem to pop into the head at the right moment by way of MotherAid, and I’m always surprised and delighted that they have appeared in the nick of time. Of course, sometimes they occur after the event, which is not so useful…)

I went back. He had started to shuffle slowly up the stairs, shoulders slumped.

“OK…” I tried again. “What is it?”

It turned out that all his friends hate him. (I didn’t mention he’s also prone to exaggeration, did I? πŸ˜‰ )

So we thrashed it out a bit, and it’s actually his best friend he’s having trouble with. Funny, since there wasn’t a day last week he wasn’t in and out of our house after school… But I’m not so ancient that I don’t remember those particular growing pains. The love/hate relationships. The intensity of the ‘best friend’ and apparent ease with which all that can be flicked off, like a switch.

I spoke to him about all that of course. But I remember precisely how much importance I attached to my own parents’ reminiscences of those ‘days of yore’. They didn’t understand, naturally. They weren’t me. I sighed with exasperation as I rolled my eyes and tried to listen. (I also love the cyclical nature of these things…)

But the bit that got to him, I think, was this:

“If there’s one thing I want you to know about life, to really understand, to remember, it’s this: Everything Changes.”

He nodded slowly.

“Of course, that’s pretty rubbish sometimes. After all, it also means that happiness doesn’t last forever. It comes and goes, just like sadness. If today is difficult, it doesn’t mean that tomorrow will be. If it’s raining today, it doesn’t mean that the sun won’t come out tomorrow. If you’re finding today, or your friends, or life, tricky, it won’t last.”

The trick, I suppose, is to try not to get too attached to any of those states, ‘good’ or ‘bad’… Which, I am very well aware, is easier said than done!

He seemed to take it all in.

The whole gang assembled, had their supper, got on with rather over-zealous larking. Walking past me, he stopped.

“I don’t think he really hates me.”

Impermanence. More a blessing than a curse? πŸ™‚


Leave the earplugs at home.

I’m in a bunker, hunkered down, eyes squeezed tight shut, head between my knees and hands over my ears.

I’ve been here for a while.

I’m not thinking, hearing, listening…

And then a little voice starts the pep talk.

“You know the drill…” it says, rather incompassionately, I feel. “You talk the talk. But it isn’t enough to talk the talk. You need to walk the walk, too.”

And therein lies the Practice.

“I’m busy being stressed right now!”

Then stop.

“I’ll stop when I’ve got this really stressful thing out of the way.”

No. Stop now.

“I’m not listening to you. I’ll listen to you when I’m good and ready, and not feeling stressed any more.”

No. Listen now.

“I can’t. I’ve got lots of things to finish, or I’ll just feel more stressed.”

How will that help?

“Stop telling me it won’t help! You’re not helping, telling me it won’t help!”

Then a third little voice chimes in: “But you know she’s right, don’t you? You’re just choosing not to listen. Why are you choosing not to listen? It’s okay. It’s your journey. It’s your choice. And when you choose to listen, you will have chosen to make it easier for yourself…”

*Slump*

That Inner Voice can be a bitch. She doesn’t corroborate your victim story. She doesn’t put an arm around you and tell you to go back to bed and only get up when it’s all gone away. She just, oh-so-calmly, tells you the truth. And you can choose whether or not to listen. And some days, it’s really easy to listen. And other days, it feels damn-near impossible.

And those are the days to practise walking your talk.

Everything changes.

Except the reality that everything changes.

That doesn’t change πŸ˜‰

“Muddy water

If let to rest and settle

Always becomes clear.”

LAO TZU


Eureka… ! (Phew)

I just had an epiphany. πŸ™‚

I’ve been in a shocking grump since yesterday evening.

Yesterday morning, the sun was shining for the first time in what feels like forever. I was beginning to think we had moved to Narnia – the land of interminable winter. But the sun didn’t so much stream as positively gush through the window and I stretched into it and felt instantly energised. I was positive, buzzing, happy… But by the evening, the grump of the previous day had returned.

I can list my grievances: the cold is back, it is snowing again, I have two very poorly people at home and feel rather run ragged, I’m tired (when my alarm went off this morning, I was more asleep than I have been in an age). And on a bigger scale, my family situation is more screwed up than any I have heard of, other than in books giving extreme examples of how wrong families can go…

So, I was hanging out the laundry this morning, with that catalogue of disaster running through my head. On loop. Again and again and again. And above it all I clearly remember these two sentences registering:

“I feel like I’m on a fucking rollercoaster. I hate it.”

“So get off. “

Now I read and listen to people I admire and respect speaking about the power of thought all. the. time. And intellectually I get it. I totally understand that your thoughts can change your life. That what you think is what you become. After all, the man in my life had begun to cower in a corner as I quite literally became my grump. My head was aching, my brow knit, my shoulders slumped.

But I’m not kidding – when I heard those words (which I guess I thought to myself anyway, huh?) “So get off.” it was as though a lightbulb had switched on over my head.

I got off.

The headache lifted that instant.

I straightened up, smiled. It had gone.

I remember reading both Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie talking about moments of total turnaround. I suspect theirs were much more profound and life-altering, and permanent. I’m not claiming for an instant to have cracked it.

But for today, at least, my world has changed.

And isn’t today all we have?


Beware the Honey Trap…

I am disappointed in myself.

I know that’s not the Practice. I know that if you fall off the horse, you get back on, and don’t berate yourself for falling. Instead, you learn the lesson about the fall, and sit a little tighter, or to a slightly different angle, or readjust the saddle, or… You get the point.

Nonetheless, I am disappointed in myself.

I allowed myself to be dragged into a powerplay, from which I know there is never a happy extraction.

I believe the kind of situation in which I was, once again, embroiled is called a ‘Honey Trap’. The sort of thing where, whilst repeatedly punching you in the face (metaphorically, you understand), you are told “But I love you!”

You can explain a situation from a thousand different angles, from a thousand different perspectives. The problem is not that you don’t understand that you are being punched in the face. You can wax positively lyrical about the ways in which you are being punched in the face, and indeed therein lies the problem: if I explain it this way, they will surely understand… There is great temptation to keep trying. But the problemΒ  lies in the fact that the person punching has absolutely no awareness whatsoever that they are bloodying your face. I choose face-punching as a metaphor quite deliberately, because it is that obvious to you. It is so obvious to you that you are almost entirely unable to understand how the person punching cannot see what they are doing.

And, of course, the problem lies also in the hope that if you can just get them to see, then they might stop.

I could go on, but there is little point in going into detail. After all, this is not a lesson about victim consciousness. I no longer feel a victim of this behaviour. I no longer feel the need to ‘tell my story’, or to have people feel sorry for me. I am not interested in pity, or victimhood. What I am interested in is steering a course through adversity that causes the least emotional and spiritual damage to me (and my family, and indeed my aggressor), whilst maintaining my own integrity and equilibrium.

And, you see, that is where this kind of situation drags you off kilter. My equilibrium was not kept intact. I took my eye off the ball. I allowed myself to be bent out of shape. I lost my cool, half-burned the children’s tea, gave them a fraction of the attention they deserve, spent almost 48 hours being sucked back in. It leeches your life. And, in the simplest of terms:

It is not worth it.

Because, at some great cost – of time, energy, emotional stability and presence – I have learned over many years that there can be no other outcome than an escalation of frustration and a very unsatisfactory parting of the ways, that leaves you feeling less than, and a little poisoned.

The way it works is this:

1) The hook.
Maybe a little message, perhaps of ‘love’, perhaps of guilt, something designed to draw you in.

2) The conversation.
During which you can plainly see that nothing has changed since the last time you communicated.
By now, your warning alarm is going off like crazy in the back of your mind. It is, most likely, shouting “Run away!”

3) The position.
Which usually means ‘I want to keep punching you in the face whilst telling you I love you’.

4) The argument.
In which, in the gentlest terms possible, you try to explain that being punched in the face doesn’t work for you.
This escalates, as the aggressor continues to insist on their right to keep punching. But they love you.
And your frustration grows, as you try to explain that love is not punching in the face.
And they fail to see it.
And you become angry.
And ask repeatedly for it to stop, and to be left in peace.

5) The kicker.
The tables are turned, and suddenly the aggressor is the victim. “I see I have made you furious, when I just wanted to tell you I love you”.
Followed, even after your repeated requests to be left in peace, by “Let’s just leave it there.”

And you sit, stunned and dazed, flummoxed and furious, with nowhere to go with it all, having to process the poison and try to regain your equilibrium.

So, you see, I am disappointed in myself. This pattern is not new to me. It is dyed in the wool, tried and tested, and has worked for years. But, until this last experience, I had begun to master sticking to the solution.

Because there is a solution:

Don’t engage.

It is enormously difficult at first. It feels rude, cold, uncaring. But it isn’t. It is a healthy boundary, and self-protection. When you have experienced the same situation, more times than you can count, and the outcome has never been different, in spite of the many different approaches and angles you have brought to it, then it is sheer madness to expect it ever to change.

Walk away.

Register the sadness that arises in you out of the situation. Recognise that your wishing it could be different is simply a denial of reality.

And then, with a few deep breaths, focus on being here now: cook the supper properly, cuddle your children and hear about their day, tuck them up with a kiss and focus on what you do have, what you can do, the person you can control.

And let the rest go.


A few more thoughts on forgiveness.

Today, I have been listening to the dulcet tones of Jack Kornfield. He has the most soothing and calming voice, which helps a lot, but it is the content of his talks that is the most enlightening. For anyone who hasn’t heard of him, he is the author of such excellent books as “A Path with Heart” and runs the Spirit Rock Meditation Centre in California.

I was pottering about my kitchen, everyone else in the family occupied, listening to his guided meditations. Possibly not the best way of meditating, but better than not at all, to my mind anyway πŸ™‚

And, in his inimitable fashion, he fed me some gentle food for thought.

The way it works for me is this:
I’m washing up, listening, drifting away, my mind snags on something. I stop what I’m doing and focus better. This is what snagged me:

“Stand up for yourself.
Tell the Truth.
It will be okay”

Which was just what I needed to hear at that moment. (Another fabulous way this universe works).

But he went on to do a lovingkindness meditation, which led me down the forgiveness route again.

I often write about the same theme many times. Sometimes I worry about that. About repeating myself. But here’s the thing:
These themes are things that we, as human beings, can struggle with our entire lives. I can’t write about it once and just ‘get it’, like flicking a light switch. It is tidal. The tide comes in and you have it. It ebbs away again and you struggle to hold onto it . But the difference here is that it never goes out quite as far as it did the first time, and eventually, instead of a turbulent and stormy ocean, you find the water has stopped at the shoreline, and you have a still, peaceful lake.

You have it.

So, forgiveness.

Forgiveness is vital to the healing process.

But it isn’t a sticking plaster. You can’t paper over the hurt with it. You can’t force it, even. And this is important.

You cannot force yourself to forgive.

It is a process.

And there are many stages to this process, not dissimilar to the stages of grief. For those unfamiliar with the five stages of grief, the Kubler-Ross model is this:
1) Denial
2) Anger
3) Bargaining
4) Depression
5) Acceptance

And anybody who has been badly hurt will experience most if not all of these stages. My understanding of it, though, is that it is not until you get to the Acceptance stage of the process that you are able to forgive; it is not until you have worked through it all, and truly understood and assimilated, that you are able to let go.

I have said before that we have this perception that forgiveness lets your aggressor ‘off the hook’. In fact, the person being let off the hook is you. You no longer have to dwell in that world of holding on with hate, of clinging desperately to your injustices., of being locked into a cycle of vicim consciousness, which is disempowering to say the least. You are free to move on, unshackled from the ball and chain you’ve been dragging behind you for too long, empowered and in charge of your own life, responsible for your own happiness, no longer at the mercy of someone else’s responsibility for your unhappiness. From victim to conqueror!

Many victims of abuse become angry at the suggestion that they must forgive in order to move on. It has often taken such an enormous effort of will to stand up for themselves in the first place, that they fear that forgiving will set them back into a vulnerable position, that they will have to go through this all over again. And at that stage you are not ready. Your anger fortifies you, stiffens your resolve not to allow such things to happen to you again. It is natural, healthy and in the order of things that you feel it. But it is not a place you can live healthily in forever. The time has to come when you have strengthened yourself enough there to shed the anger and move on with your life, the lesson learned, the boundary strengthened, your happiness lying ahead, and not behind.

Anger, hatred, all those negative emotions are a chain around your heart. They may be protecting it from past (or present) abuse, but they are also preventing you from letting love in, from future happiness, from freedom.

So, when the time is right – and only when the time is right – cut the chain and let your heart fly free.

You cannot lose.

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