Forgiveness: You and the Past

How can something from the past continue to be so hurtful?

It continues to be hurtful because it is not really over. Even though it may have happened weeks or years ago - if it has not been settled in your mind and heart and emotions - then it is still a fresh wound today. You are reliving yesterday today. The burr is still there. Although the person may be gone - through separation, divorce or death - the unfinished business looms in your present-day reality.
Why is it so difficult to be willing to forgive? Could it be the mistaken idea that to forgive the offender lets him off the hook?  Choosing to forgive lets you off the hook of being the one who is responsible for his punishment. Choosing to forgive is giving all consequences to a higher authority - civic, federal, God. Giving the judgment phase to a higher authority may include your reporting and testifying.
Some feel guilty because - having proclaimed forgiveness - the memory and the pain linger. There are some offenses that, although forgiven, would be egregious to forget. There are some offenses that, once forgiven, are no longer worth remembering.   
My mom had been deceased six years before I made my peace with her. The reasons for my wounds are irrelevant. I had held on to them so they were still fresh. They were also affecting my current relationships. 
Psychologists say that our raw emotions react to someone. What we don’t know is that the person against whom we are reacting is - in reality - a mirror reflecting us to us.  The tender spot is trying to awaken us to something we have done (present or past; deed or thought) to someone. This nightmarish insight is our friend. It is a manifestation of something within us that has come to show us what we are like so we can take care of it. So we can make friends with our humanness. So we can be healed.
Are there some things you wish you could move past? Allow the pain to remind you that your evolution isn’t finished yet. That you are being call to a place of offering forgiveness so you can find healing.
There are two types of guilty people.  There are the guilty who acknowledge their wrongs, make restitution, are forgiven, redeemed and are restored. There are the guilty that fail to see anything wrong with their actions. We all fall into this category.
Ho'oponopono is a beautiful Hawaiian prayer that helps one take personal responsibility for whatever shows up in life.  “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” 
“I’m sorry.” This expresses compassion for you. I am so sorry that while doing the best I could, something happened to hurt me and I created this reactionary behavior as a coping mechanism. I am so sorry this has become my default-handling-hurts position.
“Please forgive me.” Please forgive me for those whom I have hurt or harmed in thought, word or deed. Please forgive me for harboring unkindness and hurt toward those who have hurt or harmed me in thought, word or deed. Please forgive me for forgetting how much God loves me - and you. 
“I love you.” (This portion is directed mutually to you, to the offender and to all humanity.) I love you for being the person God is creating you to be. I love you for recognizing the need to explore this area for your continued growth. I love you for the gifts you are bringing to the world.
“Thank you.” Thank you for showing me that I am ready to release anger and unforgiveness. Thank you for the challenges that propel us to awaken to the beauty of the world and of people. Thank you that when I release me, I also release those who offend me so they, too, can be healed. 
It is easier to choose to forgive another when we receive the reality that we are forgiven and that we are loved and loveable.


Life Plans

According to Success Motivation Institution, most people put more planning into a two-week vacation than into their lives. How sad. Yet, planning is vital to success in all areas.

We are self-determining and do not have to just take whatever comes our way. We can be pro-active in the say of which direction our lives will take.

Many times wonderful opportunities come to us and we do not recognize them, for we did not know what we wanted.

If you don't know where you're headed...
If you do not know where you are going, any old road will do.
If you do not know where you are going you may wind up somewhere you do not wish to go.
If you do not know where you are going you will become weary on the journey.
If you do not know where you are going, you will not know when you get there.

Life is in session. Are you present?

There are two important elements of making a plan. The "What" and the "When".

"What" is the actual planning - to decide what you want and what you are going to do, and guidelines for getting there. The quality of your decision making is an essential factor in determining your success.

"When" is the scheduling - putting in on the calendar so you know when to suit up and show up. Whatever is scheduled gets done. You will never rise above your clendar.

Elements of a good Life Plan:
1. Simple and easy to remember. Not complicated.
2. Accomplishable yet challenging.
3. Specific: defined and detailed. Is it something you picture yourself doing?
4. Reasonable: must make sense to you. What value do you see in doing it?
5. Positive: a doing plan, not a stopping plan.
6. Independent; not dependent on what someone else does or does not do.
7. Repetitive; something you can do each day or fairly often (80% success rate)
8. Reinforcing; pleasure producing - makes you feel good about doing it
9. Evaluate: you do not have to go back to not square one!
10. Make a commitment and keep it. In order to accomplish something, you must be willing to do whatever it takes to do so, and the first step is planning.

Don't Cope. Overcome. Life is in session. Be present.


The Freedom of Anger Resolution

Life hurts.

A physical wound heals through proper attention of cleansing, ointment and time. So too with an emotional hurt. Only the proper attention is not to nurse, curse and rehearse.

Thought is reflected in the body as emotion. Thoughts may not be conscious, but emotions are. As the negative thought is replayed, one stays emotionally overwrought (raw). Lack of perspective unconsciously causes one to identify with his emotions and that emotion becomes “you”.

Emotion is the body’s reaction to thought. Hostile thoughts build up energy in the body that is experienced as anger. The more one identifies with his thoughts (likes, dislikes, judgments and interpretations) the stronger the emotional energy charge.

Some things are so painful the only way to handle it is through denial. An important function of the mind is to remove emotional pain, thus the confused flurry of mental activity and the need to deny reality. Emotional pain is lessened through reflection that brings resolve.

Resolution involves opening the mind to consider all sides of an issue; to be willing to see the pros and cons of all parties involved. Resolution brings things to an end. Problem solved. Resolution declares the conflict is over.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: It takes one to resolve, two or more to reconcile.

The resolution within yourself frees you in several ways:
1) It frees you to be civil toward the offender.
2) It frees you to be open to your part in the conflict.
3) As your attitude sets a gracious atmosphere, it frees the offended/offending party to be receptive to your insights.
4) It paves the way for reconciliation.
5) It strengthens you to live peacefully with unresolved issues.
6) It promotes overall spiritual and physical health.
7) It gives you courage to set boundaries and/or to respect boundaries.
8) It builds tenacity within to embrace a spirit of forgiveness to self and others.

When we cease to draw identification from the pain, we are freed to be free. We are freed to find resolve whether through action or inaction. We are freed to experience love, joy and peace. Love, joy and peace transcend emotions all the way to the state of being.

Don't Cope. Overcome. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Forgive yourself for things you did do as well as things you did not do. Forgive yourself for things you said as well as things you did not say. Do it today.


The Beauty of Spring Time and Love

Winter is passing and the promise of spring is showing in small ways. It is enough to give hope that we can soon dig into flowerbeds and plant gardens and see new life budding forth.

The same is true of love; it ebbs and flows even in the most sturdy of relationships.

There is purpose in day and night and seasons and years; their continuation – the same yet ever changing – speaks life messages to those attuned to hear. January ended with Auld Lang Syne – to choose to forgive and move past. Choose to let bygones be bygones - while simultaneously choosing to value the personhood of the individual.

February celebrates love. Know this – sweetheart or no sweetheart - you are loved.

Some people are not so easy to love. Some people – although easy to love – are not so easy to get along with. God is love. In love God created you and I in his image. Every child, regardless of the circumstances surrounding conception, is brought into being from a source of pure love. This infinite, unadulterated love becomes distorted when exposed to our toxic world and tainted relationships.

Perhaps we long for love like what is pictured in Victorian Valentines or Elizabeth Browning poetry. We all have quality-world pictures in our mind that we try to bring into real-life focus. The human heart beats the same whether in the 1st Century or the 21st Century, before or beyond. We really do all face the same issues, just in different flavors.

What if all things really do work together for good? Could it be that the difficult person – you or me – acts out unconsciously to demand the emotional love and nurturing of which we feel deprived? We can easily miss love if we are pre-occupied by responsibilities or activities or a seeming lack of appreciation. We cannot make the sun rise; but we can be awake to experience it. We cannot make seeds grow, but we can plant and nurture. We can choose to be awake to express it and to be open to receive even those clumsy small tokens of gratitude.

Take a moment to assign a number to each infraction from one to ten; with one being an irritation and ten being a crisis. You may find that - once you analyze the stack attack – then the ordinary-day-to-day stressors have less impact than you think. Example: The frustration you assigned to your mate may be a ten, and upon reflection of over-all value of the relationship, reduce the time-attention-demands to an easier to handle five.

Don't Cope. Overcome. You are loved completely by God. Embrace the love that has surrounded you from the moment of your conception. Love yourself and one another as a unique child of the same Father who loves us all. Whether we avoid the downfall initially or whether we overcome, it is all "Thanks be to God." It is as simple – and as difficult – as that.

Need a speaker? Contact Mona at mona@solutionprinciples.com. You’ll be glad you did?


To Be More Loving

February is famed for its limited number of days, the last hurrah of winter and as being the month of love. In proclaiming love to others, do not forget to be more loving to you.
Insight comes in all shapes and forms. Sometimes those things we do not want to acknowledge is the most healing.

After a speaking engagement I graciously received compliments on my presentation as well as on my appearance. When I viewed the video – although I was pleased with the message – I was not quite so pleased with the messenger (i.e. with me). I was critical of my performance and my appearance. Every feeling is a pro-survival mechanism.
  • I did not like my hair. Although all natural, it appeared grayer than what I see in my mirror.
  • I looked heavier than what my scales suggest.
  • I deemed my hand gestures to be a little too dramatic.
Criticism is an ugly (disconnecting) way of making a request. I changed my focus. Rather than allowing critical-self to condemn me, I ask myself what "personal requests am I making of me?" Instantly I was more accepting of my looks and mannerisms.

I shared this positive awareness with my accountability partner, Gloria. She cut to the heart of the issue. “Maybe your request is to be more loving.”

How freeing it is to face the way we hide from our feelings. The choice to move from acceptance to loving is amazing. Send love to the pain and the pain will dissipate.

Sending love is done with a deliberate intention to be kind. Yes, be kind to others but also be kind to you. Sending love quiets the nagging critic. Love acknowledges flaws and what to do about them: either to accept and joyfully move on or to receive insight and courage for correction. Sending love engenders compassion to one’s own ego as well as to family, friend and even to foe.

Sending love releases inner limitation and long-held hurts. It relaxes the body, calms the mind and floods your being with peace. It quiets the drama and equalizes emotions so your true spirit shines through.

Sending love releases restorative chemicals into the blood stream; natural meds that heal and repair. A healthy body lends to clearer thinking and improved relationships.

Choose to be more loving by approaching all aspects of life from a place of love. There is an invisible connection between you, God and humanity at large. The more love is sent, the more the separating gap narrows. The more love is denied, criticism and rebellion ensues from a place searching for love.

With the billion of souls in the universe, we can never exhaust all the air available for us to breathe. Love is an even greater resource available to us without thought and becomes powerful with mindful intention. Although our love may be fledging, when joined with God’s unconditional love it is restorative.

Start with being more loving to you. And let it grow. This Valentine's day - and beyond - be more loving of you to you. Quiet your inner self-critic about your perceived shortcomings

Don't Cope. Overcome.  You are created in God's image, a work of art with a designer label. As His creation, you have infinite worth and value. You have been gifted with talents to bless yourself and others. Live your authentic self; do not become a generic brand.

I’d love to hear your insights.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”