Conflict


Forgiving, How Important Is It?


Posted By on May 27, 2017

Are you having challenges forgiving someone in your life?  Have you tried and it just keeps coming back? We all have someone in our life that has hurt us and we have trouble letting it go.  My first husband years ago left me for another woman and I was six months pregnant.  He walked out for good and did not want to take responsibility for being a father.  I was left alone to raise my son.  I had help from my very supportive family, but I was so bitter and angry for 2 years, that I had trouble moving on with my life. I realized over time that He could care less about me and what I was going through.  I wanted him to feel the pain that he had caused me and I wanted him to suffer.  Through reading and therapy, I realized that I was developing a victim mentality and not taking responsibly for my life.  I was giving all my power away to him, somehow thinking I was making him pay for what he did, but in reality I was the one reliving the pain everyday. I heard recently that not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and then expecting them to die.  Forgiving means accepting the pain that the person has caused us, letting go of bitterness and anger and moving on.  It is like getting hit by a car and getting a broken leg.  We can blame the driver all we want, but we are responsible for accepting the situation, knowing that life is not fair, and then making the best of it.  Through the pain of life not always being fair, we grow and mature. Never let the reason for difficulty be an excuse for helplessness. Forgiving is not easy and it is an act of the will.  We have to choose to forgive and accept the pain the other person has caused us.  We cannot forget, but we can choose to forgive and move on with our lives and learn from the experience. For every tragedy in our lives, there is a window of opportunity. I would not want to go through the pain, I went through, when my first husband left, again, but looking back, I would not change the experience for anything.  I learned so much about myself through the process of taking responsibility for my life and realizing that pain can be good, because we develop the tools we need to grow and manage life better.  I am much more confident and I know that I can survive enormous amount of pain and survive.  I have chosen to be...

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Cognitive distortions are things that we believe as truth, but they are not reality.  If we live our life based on our cognitive distortions, it will hinder us from living a productive, healthy life.  That is why it is important to be aware of cognitive distortions, so we can check our thinking and work on changing those false beliefs about ourselves and the world we live in. There are basically 15 cognitive distortions that have been named by David Burns, MD who works at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.  He is a psychiatrist and has written many books.  My favorites are “Feeling Good”, and “When Panic Attacks”. These are 15 Cognitive Distortions: 1. Filtering. We take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation. 2. Polarized Thinking (or “Black and White” Thinking). In polarized thinking, things are either “black-or-white.” We have to be perfect or we’re a failure. 3. Overgeneralization.In this cognitive distortion, we come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. 4. Jumping to Conclusions. Without individuals saying so, we know what they are feeling and why they act the way they do. 5. Catastrophizing. We expect disaster to strike, no matter what. This is also referred to as “magnifying or minimizing. 6. Personalization. Personalization is a distortion where a person believes that everything others do or say is some kind of direct, personal reaction to the person. We also compare ourselves to others trying to determine who is smarter, better looking, etc. 7. Control Fallacies. If we feel externally controlled, we see ourselves as helpless a victim of fate. For example, “I can’t help it if the quality of the work is poor, my boss demanded I work overtime on it.” The fallacy of internal control has us assuming responsibility for the pain and happiness of everyone around us. For example, “Why aren’t you happy? Is it because of something I did?” 8. Fallacy of Fairness. We feel resentful because we think we know what is fair, but other people won’t agree with us. As our parents tell us when we’re growing up and something doesn’t go our way, “Life isn’t always fair.” 9. Blaming. We hold other people responsible for our pain, or take the other track and blame ourselves for every problem. 10. Shoulds. We have a list of ironclad rules about how others and we should behave. People who break the rules make us angry, and we feel guilty when we violate these rules. 11. Emotional Reasoning. We believe that what we feel must be true automatically. If we feel stupid and...

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What Are You Thinking?

What Are You Thinking?


Posted By on Mar 3, 2014

It isn’t what happens to us that makes us feel a certain way, it is what we think about what happened that determines how we feel.  We all have a belief about things and we interpret everything that happens to us through our brief systems.  If we believe we are unworthy of love, then no matter how much someone loves us we will interpret their actions as unloving.  We will sabotage our relationships. If we want to change our beliefs about our world, then we have to challenge those beliefs and ask ourselves “Are the beliefs that we have rational or irrational beliefs”?  If we are depressed and do not want to take an antidepressant, because we do not want to take medications even if it helps us feel better, it is important to identify the real beliefs about taking the medication. If the belief is “We do not want a substance to control how we feel, because we will become dependent on it”, Is that a rational belief? Do we take vitamins?  If we are diabetic and need insulin, don’t we take that?  It all helps us feel better and live longer, hopefully. Why is taking an antidepressant different?  We are lacking something in our brain that is stopping us from thinking rationally and we feel bad. Antidepressants help balance the chemicals in our brain so we can see our world more objectively and realistically. It gives us hope that we can work through difficult things. Research shows that if we are depressed we do not live as long. Being depressed affects our health. So what is our real belief about taking the antidepressant?  Maybe it is because we do not believe we deserve to be happy or we do not want to give up control.  Something inside of our brain is telling us an irrational thought that we should not enjoy life.  Antidepressants alone do not help us feel less depressed.  It is important to examine our thoughts and change our beliefs about our true identity and give ourselves permission to be happy. As we change our core beliefs about ourselves and learn to love ourselves that will help us feel better. Being able to connect with others builds confidence and can help our depression, and sometimes we need help to think more clearly and give ourselves permission to reach out and trust people close to us. If our belief is that we do not deserve to be loved and be significant, then whenever we have those feelings we are going to feel guilty about being happy.  We will quickly sabotage anything good that is happening to...

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The Shame of Emotional Abuse


Posted By on Jan 23, 2014

Emotional abuse is often unintended but it is real and often more damaging than physical abuse. It brings powerlessness, fear, hurt and anger and comes couched as guidance, teaching and advice though its outcomes are belittling, erosion of self-confidence, esteem and value.

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