The Fitness Herald

 Unresolved Issues

Unresolved Issues are just that, issues in our lives that have not been resolved. As I have already stated we usually file the memory of these events somewhere away from our conscious minds because they are almost always painful. And since normally we don’t know how to process through our issues, we usually don’t want to go to those painful memories. We think, “What would be the point?”

It has been asked, “What are these issues?” “How did they come to be?” and “How are they resolved?”

These issues themselves are events that took place in our lives that were painful and caused a wound within. A wound is an internal injury that has not healed properly. Wounds are usually inflicted by others.

Something that someone said or did that hurt us. This is the real problem; this is what causes us pain, mental, emotional, physical pain and even disease as a result of them remaining unresolved. These wounds are the reasons we become involved in “Pain Covering” behavior and why many times we use food, alcohol, drugs, work, gambling, sex, and pornography or what ever we find that seems to ease the pain at the moment. The  remedy that we use becomes our chosen “solution” when pain is our motivator, and this is what we reach for when a painful memory is triggered by something or someone.

And without knowing what is really happening we are stuck in this “loop” of existence because we have not resolved these issues, which contain painful wounds. And as a result we have Unfinished Business because the issues don’t resolve themselves and the pain doesn’t go away until something is done about it.

How do we know we have Unfinished Business? In my last post I addressed that with a list of  “You Might Have Unfinished Business If..”

 The Need For A Standard

Should it be normal to feel stressed, fearful, anxious, angry, hostile?

It shouldn’t be.

Should our Internal Climate always be stirred up, unsure, uncertain, undefined?

The standard we “Facilitators” use is one of peace and calm, if the Internal Climate is not one of peace and calm we know something is not right, this way we can also know when things are “off”.

Without a standard we won’t have any idea as to what should be normal.

This is also the standard we use to determine if there is resolution to an issue that we have processed.

One of the ways wounds are caused is through abuse.

This is such an important topic that I’m going to interrupt this post long enough to give you some very sobering statistics about this destructive behavior that goes unrecognized all too often, yet has a tremendous impact on our wholeness and wellness.

 What is Abuse?

Types of Abuse

Cycle of Abuse

Are You a Victim of Abuse?

Domestic Violence

Abuse is an attempt to control the behavior of another person. It is a misuse of power, which uses the bonds of intimacy, trust and dependency to make the victim vulnerable.


The Types of Abuse include…


Hitting, punching, beating, slapping, pulling hair, use of weapons, mutilation, burning, biting, murder.


Any forced sexual contact ranging from unwanted touching to rape, harassment.


Threats, insults, name-calling, unjust blaming and accusing, swearing, shouting


Withholding love, sympathy or understanding, inadequate physical or emotional care, isolation, intimidation, extreme jealousy, destroying property, threatening to commit suicide


Stealing, withholding money and/or denying access to employment opportunities, preventing access to household financial information. Controlling every aspect of the finances.


Belittling, ridiculing or attacking a person’s spiritual beliefs or preventing them from attending the church, synagogue or temple of their choice.

 The United Nations (Commission on the Status of Women, 1993) defines violence against women as:

“…any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in public or private life.”One out of every four Canadian women will suffer some type of abuse during her lifetime and every year, one in 10 Canadian women is physically battered by her partner. Domestic violence and abuse occurs in all socio-economic groups and cultural/religious backgrounds and it affects women of all ages.

 Domestic assault is a crime.

 The Cycle of Abuse

Domestic violence (also called wife abuse, family violence and partner assault) is rarely a one-time occurrence. It usually takes place as part of a cycle that includes the following phases…

Tension-building stage:

Insults and other verbal attacks; minor abusive situations; victim tries to be compliant, “walks on eggshells,” and feels helpless; atmosphere becomes increasingly more oppressive.

 Violent episode:

Built-up tensions erupt into incidents ranging from severe verbal/emotional abuse to physical/sexual assault and can last from a few minutes to a few days, depending on the relationship. It is during this time that a woman is most likely to be seriously injured or killed by her partner.

 Honeymoon stage:

Following a violent episode the abuser is usually contrite and attentive; the victim once again recognizes the person she first fell in love with and may be inclined to believe his promises to change. Unless there is some form of intervention, the cycle usually repeats itself with the violent episodes escalating in frequency and intensity.


Are You, Or Is Someone Kou Know, A Victim of Abuse?

  • In your relationship, have you ever experienced verbal abuse, including put-downs or threats?

               Yes No

  • Have you suffered physical violence such as hitting, pushing, pulling hair, forced sexual contact?

              Yes No

  • Has your partner threatened to leave if you don’t do as he asks?

               Yes No

  • Does your partner try to isolate you from family and friends?

              Yes No

  • Is your partner bossy; does he try to control who you see and what you do?

             Yes No

  • Does your partner use guilt trips to get his own way?

              Yes No

  • Do you have to explain your whereabouts?

              Yes No

  • Does your partner have a bad temper and a history of violence? Does he brag about mistreating others?

                 Yes No

  • Does your partner blame you when he treats you bad?

              Yes No

  • Does your partner have a history of bad relationships?

               Yes No

  • Does he believe that men should be in control of his partner and family?

             Yes No

  • Does your partner treat you “like dirt” or humiliate you in front of friends and family?

             Yes No

  • Are you afraid of your partner? Do you worry about how he will react to what you say or do?

              Yes No

  • Does he abuse alcohol or drugs?

              Yes No

  • Have your friends or family warned you about him or told you they were worried about your safety?

             Yes No

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, your relationship may be abusive. Don’t ignore or minimize these warning signs. Get help.


Domestic Violence – Myths and Reality


Wife assault doesn’t happen that frequently and in most cases, the incidents are blown out of proportion.


In a study conducted by the Ministry of the Solicitor General, one in five Canadian men living with a woman admitted to using violence against her. Accurate statistics are difficult to attain since domestic abuse remains a largely under-reported crime – the police are called in just 25 percent of incidents.


Domestic abuse mainly affects the young and poor.


Abuse is a widespread problem and occurs in all racial, ethnic, social, economic and age groups.


Women often do things to provoke their partners.


Domestic violence is rooted in the perpetrator’s desire for power and control. Victims report a wide range of “reasons” for the outbursts, many as minor as “buttering the toast the wrong way.” Abusive partners may avoid taking responsibility for their actions by blaming the victim: “She made me do it.”


Alcohol and drugs are leading causes of domestic assault.


Alcohol or illegal drugs are often factors in domestic violence incidents and their use can make it easier for a person to be abusive. Perpetrators may blame their violent behaviour on alcohol, thus avoiding responsibility for their actions. The true cause of domestic assault, however, is the desire to have control over another person.


Perpetrators of domestic assault are mentally ill.


Batterers are generally not violent outside the home or with other people they interact with – such as their friends, colleagues and bosses. Mentally ill people would not be able to practice such selective violence.


Men are just as likely to be the victims of domestic assault as women.


More than 92 percent of charges involving domestic assault in Ontario are laid against men. In the majority of cases involving women as perpetrators, charges are due to acts of self defense or are counter-charges laid by abusive partners. Women suffer more frequent and extreme incidents of violence than men and are more

likely to sustain serious or life-threatening injuries.

I chose this unlikely Canadian Study because most people would not think that abuse would be so prevalent in Canada. The incidence of abuse is even greater in the US and other countries.




The Fitness Herald

You Might Have Unfinished Business If..

This post continues to answer my friend Dougal’s question dated 1/20/2009 about how can we know if we have UB. Borrowing the format from Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be A Redneck If..” over the past two years my wife Sue and I have compiled a list of what ifs when it comes to Unfinished Business. Here it is.

You Might Have Unfinished Business If…….


  1. You are not tranquil or at peace in most situations.
  2. If you feel:  bad, angry, bitter, enraged, vengeful, resentful, rightfully angry (for a long time), hopeless, fearful, powerless, shameful, tainted/marred, helpless, sad, or depressed.
  3. Someone makes a level 1 statement, and you respond with a level 10 reaction.
  4. You’re impatient with an innocent gesture, or get offended easily.
  5. You get called into the boss’s office and you start to sweat and begin to get anxious.
  6. You get a letter from the IRS and you feel fear. (Thinking the worst—when actually they made a mistake and you deserve a refund.)
  7. You have an argument with a friend and you think the relationship is all over.
  8. You don’t confront when you need to because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
  9. You come home from the office and “kick the dog”.
  10. You get angry if someone asks you about finances.
  11.  Innocent but important topics (life insurance, final arrangements) become sensitive issues not readily discussed.
  12. You resist the thought of going to counseling.
  13. You exhibit anger when fear would be a more appropriate emotion. (Child running into street).
  14. You insist that you never get angry.
  15. You overstate your own worth. (Self esteem issues)
  16. If anniversaries and special holidays cause you to withdraw.
  17. If you have seasonal sorrow.
  18. You “need” to do things (shop, drink, eat, etc.) to feel better about yourself.
  19. You can’t spend, or don’t feel comfortable spending money on yourself.
  20. A boss or authority figure walks by you without saying hi and you feel rejected.
  21. Your friends have a meeting and forgot to tell you and you feel left out or rejected.
  22. You think people are always talking about you.
  23. You feel you can never overcome your past.
  24. You feel your anger protects you from being mistreated by others.
  25. The boss never does any thing the way you think it should be done.
  26. You don’t feel you deserve to be blessed or prosperous or have good fortune.
  27. Your interest is in winning the argument instead of coming to a place of resolution.
  28. You blame others for your bad situation.
  29. You think “I was fine before you went and did that!” Or, Now look what you made me do!!
  30. You feel that someone made you angry.
  31. You feel that God will heal/bless everyone but you.
  32. You believe you are from bad stock.
  33. You feel that the weight of the success of a business or relationship is all on your shoulders.
  34. You believe, “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done. At least won’t get done right”.
  35. You are disrespectful of others (time, accomplishments, abilities, position).
  36. Can’t control your anger or fear.
  37. You have undiagnosed and chronic hurts, pains, headaches, stomach trouble, rashes, …
  38. You think others should change their behavior toward you if they love you. “You know I don’t like that!! Why do you keep doing that?!”
  39. I’m tainted/shameful/marred because of what happened to me.
  40. I can never forgive what they did to me. (family, or any one else)
  41. What they did was wrong!! And I’m justified in feeling angry and wanting “justice” i.e. revenge.
  42. You told yourself “That will never happen to me again.”
  43. You determined that “I will never let anyone get that close to me again.”
  44. You feel no one loves you for who you really are.
  45. You were told, “You’ll never amount to anything.”
  46. Your mother told you, and you agree, that all men are good for nothing.
  47. You feel better about yourself when you…(accomplish goals/tasks, stay disciplined, stay on task, buy new clothes, etc.).
  48. You feel bad about yourself when you…(mess up on your diet, are unfocused, get distracted, others do better than you, etc.)
  49. You believe you would feel so much better if you …lived in that neighborhood, owned that car, your spouse behaved differently, anything that isn’t the way you want it to be, etc.).
  50. You think that your conscience is the anticipation of someone else’s’ reaction, displeasure, or approval. 
  51. You feel that the way you react to circumstances is “This is just the way I am” or “I’m just an emotional person”.

This is not to say that there is anything wrong with being in touch with our feelings, quite the opposite, but there is a big difference between a triggered reaction which reveals Unfinished Business and being in touch with what, or how we feel.

At first glance you may not agree with these “qualifiers,” yet as Facilitators over the past 10 years we have discovered that these are some of the most common signals that there is indeed Unfinished Business “behind” these belief statements. That said, I welcome your questions or requests for further clarifications.





The Fitness Herald

Opportunity Knocks


In my last post I addressed something that is common to most of us although we don’t always realize it.

And that is the reality that almost all of us, to a greater or lesser degree have Unfinished Business.

My friend Dougal asks the question:


“Carlos, a fantastic perspective and one which I believe to be absolutely valid…a question though. What if we do not know what that unfinished business is? That is, what if we have supressed the UB to such an extent that it is blocked in our memory, but still effects our lives.”


What Dougal could not have known was that this was to be the topic of my next discussion. We are not always cognizant of the fact that we have Unfinished Buisness. But most of us are aware that we have had unpleasant events in our lives. Without the necessary skills we don’t always know what to do about them. So we devise mechanisms to help us “cope” with what we don’t understand. And so we attempt to file them away.


If the brain can be compared to a computer, we put these events into word documents and file them away in compartmental folders, and sequester them away from our daily reality so that we don’t have to look at them, and hopefully not remember them. On some level we know why we do that, we don’t want to look at them or remember them because they are usually mentally and emotionally painful, sometimes extremely painful. The more painful, the more we want to forget them.


And we cruise along in life thinking that we have duly (as Dougal states) suppressed them. Do these carefully sequestered memories ever effect our lives? More than most of us know. They can actually be a driving force in our lives. And the real reasons why we do the things we do!


How can we tell that we have Unfinished Business? One of the most common ways these sequestered events get exposed is through what we now know of as a “triggering mechanism”.


Something that happens or something that someone says, innocently or not, that triggers the memories of the events that we are trying to bury, and suddenly the Unresloved Issue surfaces, and at that moment we feel full force the old pain of that event.


But since we don’t see it for what it really is, we react to the pain and the situation or person that triggered the memory, and we realese a full dose of how we feel. And we believe that we have justifyably responded to that current moment.


So what really happened and why did we give a “9” response to a sometimes innocent  “1” situation?


Here’s where we can answer the door because opportunity just knocked!


Something or someone triggered us, because it was close enough to the original “offense”. And we reacted because the pain of  the original event was unearthed and the memory and feelings associated with it. And they become the recipient of our wrath, and we think justifyably so. We even blame them for our “anger”.

But we that are “Facilitators” have come to know that this is really an opportunity to get resolution to our Unfinished Business.

One thing we have to know about is that feelings are produced by our beliefs, i.e. the interpretations and conclusions we’ve made about the painful event. Amazingly enough, emotions both positive and negative are produced by the conclusions we’ve made in the memory event.

Stay with me here. This is really important. We come to current time. Something happens or something that someone says, innocently or not, triggers the belief that activates the emotions that are deeply buried in the event memories that we are so cleverly hiding from ourselves. Seemingly out of no where, we suddenly have the surfacing of these emotions of the Unresloved Issue, and at that moment we feel, full force the old pain of that event. Mind you, our brains have not realized this is our own history speaking, we only know on the brain level what we are currently feeling in the present situation, not why. That’s why it seems logical to blame the person who bumped into our Unfinished Business.


What ever we say or do to this other person or thing, it doesn’t usually make the pain of our Unresolved Issues go away, so this is when we reach for our “solution”. It could be something to drink, or smoke, or eat, or watch or do. Can you see that if this is the reason we do what we do, how minute are the chances that we will stop doing them by trying harder?


As strange as it might seem this really isn’t the time to reach for that self-made solution, this is an opportunity to get in touch with our own Unfinished Business. So what just really happened? We can begin by asking ourselves,

“What did just happen?”.

“Why do I feel the way I do?”

“How did everything so suddenly get out of control?”


The answer will almost always surprise us. We will probably realize that its not him or her, and it has nothing to do with, “If he would just quit that” because if that’s the case then sooner or later we might also be saying, “Now, look what you made me do”. Which is the theme song of the abuser! And what does anyone really make us do? These are all very good questions and the more we honestly ponder them, the closer we will get to the truth. That is what we want isn’t it?


Can I accept the truth that it’s not always someone else’s fault? At least usually not the person standing next  to us? This all started some other place and some other time. Our challenge is to discover what and when that was so that we can begin to process through our Unresloved Issues so that we can begin to get permanent, maintenance-free answers to our Unfinished Business, which will release us from our home made solutions. Get rid of the source and we eliminate the need for our “solutions.”