The Fitness Herald

How Forgiveness Works

Forgivness is important because unforgiveness imprisons the person who holds it and affects them emotionally, physically, as well as spiritually.

It’s important to think about how we get to the state of UNforgiveness in the first place. Usually what happens is that someone does or says something that hurts us, injures us, or carries out some kind of injustice against us. They may or may not be aware of all of this. It may have, or may not have been deliberate. Almost always we have “good” reason to be angry, upset, fed up, bitter, and offended. The challenge comes when we think about forgiving someone who has wronged us in any way. They are in the wrong! They should pay! Somehow!

So you’re asking me to let this person completely off the hook after what they did?

“Are you out of your mind?” you ask.

Yes! No matter how wrong they are. You need to forgive them. Yes, YOU NEED to forgive them. Your body, heart and soul will thank you when you do.

To forgive is to release them from your constant vigilance of hoping for some kind of revenge, repayment that satisfies, hoping that they’ll “get theirs” very soon. Or we want them to realize on a core level how very much they have hurt you. Most of the time they have long since gone on and have forgotten what happened. You are now the one left holding the stinking “garbage” that’s now rotting on the inside of you.

Unforgiveness is a constant energy leak, quietly robbing you of your life’s energy and physical and emotional health and well-being. It takes a lot of effort to hold offense. Wouldn’t you like to use that energy in a more productive way?

It’s vital that you know that in reality, You, my friend are the captive in this matter! Who gets angry all over again when you think of the situation, or see that person again? YOU do! Until you can think about it or see that person without your emotions being stirred up in any way, you have not fully released or forgiven that person. The person holding the unforgiveness pays a dear price in the body, with diseases, cancers, arthritis.

In our minds with anguish, depression, rage, anger and bitterness of soul, i.e. a lack of inner peace and tranquility and a sense of personal power. It is now well known that there is a link between thoughts, emotions, and our physical and emotional health. You hold your own health hostage by holding on to unforgiveness.

The longer you hold the unforgiveness the deeper the effect on your emotions and body. Every year that goes by it gets buried further and further, and pretty soon people just say about themselves, you know “I’m just an angry person.” No, that’s not the truth. The truth is that you are not generically angry, you are angry about some very specific things that have happened, but the details have gone underground because life has covered it over with time and distance. Life has just gone on and what you carry with you is the essence of the unforgiveness which is residual and what remains is a globally angry person.

In criminal cases it doesn’t even seem to matter what the legal system does, even if they set punishment to the full extent of the law, it will never fully satisfy, it will never make the wound go completely away. We are going to have to forgive to find inner resolution which brings peace and quiet on the inside of us.

Forgiveness is letting go of your need to be proven right, and your need for them to admit their wrong.

Forgiveness is done from the heart, not just with words. Your body and heart know the difference.

At some point you have to accept that what has happened has happened and it’s happened to you or it’s happened to your family, or children, and you must reconcile with it. You must find a way to release what you feel about this person, or persons, or organization, or system, or country for what they have done.

There’s a fascinating story of two cancer victims. One was the boss, the other a subordinate. I’ll call them Bart and Sam They didn’t get along well and they made life totally miserable for each other. They had tremendous bitterness and offense against each other. After a period of years they both came down with cancer and retired. Sam did all sorts of cancer protocols, traditional and non-traditional. He tried everything. Nothing seemed to be working and he wanted desperately to live, so he started to find and interview cancer survivors, asking them this question. “What caused your cancer to turn the corner and your health start to improve?” “What made the biggest difference?” “What caused you to be a survivor and an overcomer against cancer?”

The one thing they all had in common was they told him that they learned how to forgive. They learned how to release how they felt about it all from the heart (the emotions), and release their specific offenses they held against specific people.

So he searched his heart for every source of offense and unforgiveness and began the process of release from the heart. One by one found as a person would come to mind, Sam made the release from his heart. His biggest offense was with his former boss Bart. He decided that this one needed to be done in person.

He went over to Bart’s house and knocked on the door, hoping they would let him in. When Bart’s wife came to the door he quickly explained why he was there. “I came to ask forgiveness, and to forgive. I’ll be here just for a minute if you would allow him to see me.” Sam went in and he cleared his heart, he told his former boss, “I was wrong in how I treated you, I was wrong in the resistance to your leadership, please forgive me. And I forgive you for everything that has happened between us.” Bart began to issue his own forgiveness, so they both forgave each other. Sam went back to his car with a huge sense of relief. He began to weep. He wept with deep heaving sobs and tears sheeted down his face like a fountain of waterworks. He wept like this for some 30 minutes. He was finally able to start his car and drive home. The end of the story is that he did overcome the cancer. He joined the many others that he interviewed who say that the turning point of their physical crises came when forgiveness and offense where released and their Unfinished Business was finished.

There are many ways to find this release. Only you know what will bring complete release and resolution for you. Hmm..that sounds like the “Experiment of OneTM”!

Do you need to talk face-to-face with that person? Or write a letter and then burn it? Or call them? Or work with a professional counselor? Or walk through this with a trusted friend? Or use a punching bag. Or shout it out.

Only you know. Trust your gut feel about this. If you listen to yourself, you will find what is right for you. It may be a combination of things.

Sometimes the person who has so wounded us is no longer alive! You can come to complete resolution all by yourself. You don’t need that other person around at all.

If you feel you must do a face-to-face or phone call, I recommend you come to complete resolution within yourself first, then re-consider if you need to do anything else. If you still feel that a personal contact is necessary, then remember, don’t expect them to reciprocate or admit any part of wrong. You are doing this for you. They don’t need to reciprocate. Though that would be an extra bonus, it’s not necessary in order for you to find complete resolution and release. Do your part regardless if they do what you hope they will or not.

Though there is no right or wrong way to do this, there are components that help make the process more complete and effective.

Steps to Forgiveness

1. VISUALIZE: Picture yourself in the event if you can.

2. EXPRESS: Since unforgiveness always carries with it the anger and frustration about what happened, find a way to fully express your anger in a way that works for you.

Some just begin to express what you feel (or some neutral party). Expressing all that is in your heart. How you feel about what happened, why you are angry, what disappointments you have carried, what bitterness or hatred and why.

Keys: Express everything in your heart about it no matter what it sounds like. Totally unload all the emotions that are a part of this, however you have chosen to do it. Typically there is anger, rage, bitterness, hatred, anguish, hurt, sadness, sorrow, disappointment, helplessness, hopelessness, confusion, regret. As you express, other emotions will surface. Stay tuned into your heart and express what comes up.

At each pause ask yourself, “What else?” “Is there anything else?” “Is there anything left that is uncomfortable or not resolved?”

Go through the event frame by frame looking for different aspects of the offense until you can think through what happened with a sense of total resolution. Check your heart at each point of your story.

3. RELEASE: Now Give it away. Let it go. Give your mind and your body permission to let it go. Others will burn the letter that was written, symbolizing the release. See yourself cutting the chain that connects you to the person or situation. Visualize what you need to see the release.

Remember to forgive yourself for your part of things. This may be the hardest part for some.

Finally, when we forgive others- it is we ourselves that is “off the hook”. Essentially we are doing ourselves a favor.

Advertisements

The Fitness Herald

The Process of Resolution

A Current Situation
It all starts out with realizing that there is a present situation that’s causing us grief of some sort, or trouble. Either we don’t like how we felt in a situation, or we don’t like how we responded. And so we realize that we want help!

The process of resolution includes identifying something in the present that is uncomfortable in any way, and then getting in touch with how we feel now, and then find what matches that emotion that happened back in our past. It really is the feeling that is the thread that connects us to our past. Remember, time separates the original event from the emotion that remains. Because of this we usually don’t know why we feel a certain way, or why we have responded or reacted in a particular way. By the time we are adults, these feelings and behaviors seem to just be a part of us. We just know that we are angry, or upset, or annoyed, or procrastinate. Or, we just “feel bad,” are sad, or depressed—any of these “things”. We usually don’t know how to articulate them, but we do know how we feel, and at some point we become aware that we don’t like it.

Getting in Touch
Once we are in touch with what we feel, the search is on to find the matching event in our past that produced those same feelings that have remained. If you will sit quietly, ask yourself. “When was the first time I felt like this?” Or, “when did I learn to respond like this?” Most often, it will come to you. Once there is a connection of “Oh, I know when this started”, or “I remember the very first time it happened, or the very first time I remember feeling this way”. Then you have the “container” that is holding the keys to your pain. Now it is a matter of finding out “What was I thinking?” “What do I believe about this situation?” or, “What conclusions did I come to based on this event?” “Did I make any vows?” “What happened here that changed the course of my life?” You will find that your emotion will match your belief, or conclusion.

Only a Slice of the Pie
Because our understanding in this place is based on one small slice of the whole pie, there many aspects that we have no clue about. It’s very possible to come to wrong conclusions based on circumstantial evidence, i.e. we come to conclusions based on what appeared to be true to us, with limited understanding of the whole. Our conclusion made perfect sense to us at that time. Our conclusions most often are about our self value, the core of our selves.

A vow of “I will never let this happen again” is a determination of self protection from future pain. I felt really bad here and I don’t ever want to feel that way again, so I’m going to take a certain action. If we were hurt by someone who said they loved us, we might conclude that “I will never love again.” This conclusion or determination of action will dictate our lives from this point on, and our ability to enter into a love relationship will be hindered. We will find ourselves self-sabotaging without knowing we are doing so. We’ll just never figure out why our relationships never last and usually blame it on the other person.

Very often people who have been sexually abused will get fat with the underlying belief that “If I’m fat, I won’t be attractive, and no one will want me, and I won’t get abused again.” Fat become self protective, all the while hidden in the subconscious. On the surface they wonder why they can’t lose weight or why they can only lose X pounds before it all comes back on!

A Self-Imposed Prison
Unknowingly, our conclusions in the place of our hurts and wounds and “feel bad” situations dictate our future from that point on. In a very strong way we are held captive to these places of Unfinished Business: they are subconscious prisons, telling us how we will live our lives and limiting our potential. Once we understand their power to rule us from behind the scenes, we can begin to recognize present opportunities to break these bonds and gain our liberty and freedom to be the very best “Me” there is.

An Example of the Unfinished Business of a Wound
The following is based on a true story.
Let’s say when I was very young I was starved for my mother’s attention. It seemed that she was always busy with things, work, relationships, etc. Anything but spending time with me. And at times she would ask if there was something I would like that she could buy. I didn’t want something that she bought me; I wanted to spend time with her. But she would still buy me things. When I would ask her if we could talk about different things she would just look at me looking somewhat puzzled and just walk out of the room.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

What did I conclude from that?
If someone walks out of a room when you are trying to talk to them, then we don’t love you or care about you. At that moment are we aware that we are coming to a conclusion that we will not bother to question for years to come?

No.

We don’t and it is normal human behavior to attempt to understand our experiences by coming to conclusions. In other words we all do it. We try to make sense of things.

We are not done yet!
So now 20 years later, I am talking to my busy room mate about the fact that not only has our rent increased but it is also due right now (something I think is important) and he walks out of the room.

Guess what happens to me?
That’s right! I take a trip at warp speed down forgotten memory lane to a place of emotional pain and yes, an unresolved issue where I made a conclusion 20 years ago which I had not updated because there was “no reason to”.

The emotional pain hits me like a speeding train, I morph the pain into anger and (for no apparent reason to Bill), I find myself screaming at my room mate like he has never heard before telling him “Don’t you dare walk out of this room when I’m speaking to you”. Anyone want to guess what just happened? That’s right, I just got triggered, in this case turbo-triggered because this was a very sensitive issue.

An Innocent Trigger
Is Bill my problem? No Bill has just (without consciously trying) become my innocent Triggering Agent.
This is that place we were talking about where a #1 spoken word gets a #10 response or reaction. And Bill is scratching his head saying, “What is your problem, I was just going to the bathroom, now what did you want to talk about?”

Here’s where I say, “Uh oh, what just happened?”

It was close enough! My current situation was not identical to the “source and origin” with my mother, but close enough to feel the same. And my “conclusion” combined with the old wound took on a life of its own.

That’s why I call it Unfinished Business.

Although it didn’t look like it- it was opportunity knocking. Know it or not, my present situation was an opportunity to get in touch with why I was feeling and reacting the way I was and find freedom and break the power of a past hurt.

Resolution is the state of emotional neutrality.
Some would call it peace; some would call it no pain. Some would say “I can now leave this because it has no emotional impact on me any more”. Some will say, “I now understand.” To find resolution means the “container” has been gutted of all pain and discomfort, and filled with knowledge of the Truth. Knowing the truth about the past situation is sufficient to put it to rest forever. This means that any time you choose to look back on that memory event, no pain or discomfort is stirred. You remember what happened, but it doesn’t cause you any distress at all. You may have a whole new perspective about what happened, sufficient to render it emotionally inert.

So what was the truth about my mother? The truth is that she loves me very much. Her way of showing me love at the time was to give me gifts. As a child, it turns out I didn’t understand her, I just knew what I wanted. If you think about it, we can’t be expected to know things like that at that age. But that doesn’t prevent us from coming to our own conclusions that hurt! Given the circumstances, I came to a wrong conclusion and created Unfinished Business. Now however, the Issue is Resolved. I have permanent Resolution. The once Unfinished Business—is finished. And I am done…with that one.

Next:
Real Forgiveness

The Fitness Herald

Feelings and Emotions Part 3

Correctly Interpreting feelings and emotions is the key to solving the mystery.

The role of emotions is a very good one; critical in fact. They provide a big service for us if we can see them for what they really are. They are front line messengers that are in touch with our subconscious. They hold the clues to why we feel the way we do and why we respond the way we do. There are at least 2 ways to look at emotional messengers.

1. We can deny them, suppress them, or attempt to manage and control them externally, even funnel them into something “good”. We can corral them, hopefully in a “right” direction, and not harm yourself or anyone else.

2. Or we can learn how to become effective detectives and solve the mystery of why we feel the way we feel by following the clues brought to us by our emotions that are “informants.”

It’s a good thing to be in touch with our feelings because they are trying to tell us something important. Our conscious mind is not always aware of the inner workings of why we feel the way we feel, or why that person “makes me mad” or that thing ticks me off. We accept that this is a normal part of life, we get angry, sad, confused, hurt and offended and I just can’t help it, or do anything about it. “It’s just the way I am!” The truth is we rarely see our emotions in their true light, or for their beneficial function, nor recognize the opportunity they bring to us. If we would do this, solve these mysteries, we would remove what is hindering our progress and success in life and relationships that we have some control over.

Some Examples
We know that people who have been in combat come back with some degree of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many times what has actually happened is that they are traumatized by their experience and they have come to conclusions about their experience, and their feelings and responses reflect what those conclusions are. Often when a soldier returns to civilian life they are “jumpy” or afraid of elevators, or they are afraid of sudden loud noises; a passing car back fires and to them it sounds like a gun shot, and they are ducking for cover; or they see an accident on the side of the road and they see someone “wounded” not injured (this one actually happened to me). In that moment, in a flash they are back in a previous experience flooded with all the emotions that were there at the time.

Most of us haven’t been in a war, but have had our own kind of combat experience—Life! We have had parents that have been unkind, or siblings or classmates who have said very hurtful things to us. Like it or not, we always come to conclusions or learn “lessons” in these situations. We even make vows during these moments to “never allow/do that or let that happen again.” Even if these conclusions or lessons were not based on truth, they are set up as truths and become Our Truth. We now function in life with this foundation. The feelings associated with these events now accompany us along our life journey, lying below the surface. These have just become Unfinished Business and are the very things that can hold us back.

My wife has given me permission to share one of the things that happened to her that illustrates what I’m trying to convey here.

My wife was told as a child that she was lazy. Different people will respond to the same situation differently and conclude different things about it. In her thoughts she determined to “prove” her parent wrong. What did she do? She became super diligent, a very hard worker, driven to give 150%.

Being industrious and hard working looks like a good thing on the surface. Most would label these qualities as admirable! But on the inside she felt tremendous pressure to keep producing, with a lot of fear that if she didn’t, she would be “lazy.” And she “learned” in her youth that being lazy was “bad.” So there was a great deal of inner turmoil “motivating” her industriousness wrapped in a fear that in spite of all she was doing, it wasn’t going to be enough to not be lazy! Rest, and take time off? She had a hard time doing that because she felt guilty if she wasn’t busy doing something. Even though on one level she knew she needed rest, at another level she felt that “If I lay around doing nothing, I will be lazy!” Look at all the emotions are that going on here.

After a while she lost contact with the original reason she worked so hard, even taking “pride” in her “work ethic.” It became a pattern of life. And of course it gets reinforced along the way with kudos from people. But who wants to be driven like that all of their life? Why not be motivated? Inspired? Who wants to feel guilty when they sit down to rest and take time off? Or feel compelled to do?

When investigated, the truth was that the label came because my wife didn’t always do what one of her parents wanted her to do, and so in frustration, in the heat of the moment, a carelessly spoken declaration was made, which happened not to be actually true. She was just a young child at the time.

We can now see the power of this one word, spoken by a trusted authority figure. If they said it, it must be true! But we carry the impact of it until we realize we don’t have to do that anymore. She was actually afraid that if she gave up the pressurized work ethic that she would actually become lazy! Talk about layers of untruths!

The outcome is that now, while she’s diligent, working with a standard of excellence, she no longer does things because she feels “compelled” to do them. Now she does things because she’s internally inspired and “wants” to do them and with a standard of excellence minus the slavery of “perfection.” She’s also not driven to work for acceptance or validation. She can now really relax and takes time off to recharge without any guilt.

Another person might respond to the same words with depression, anxiety and give up, accepting that label.

Another example is the child who is told, “You are never going to amount to anything”. These people will “self sabotage.” At some point they will lose contact with the original event and won’t be able to figure out why they are not succeeding in life. Every time they start to make progress “something” comes in to derail them. But the root of it, if they were to investigate and solve the mystery is that they sabotage themselves because at some level down deep they believe “I’m never going to amount to anything” so why try? Why bother? I’m not going to win anyway, I’m not going to prosper anyway so even though I want to prosper, even though I want to succeed, I don’t deep down really feel that I am able to do it.

This happens to all of us: with time we become disconnected from the primary reason why we respond to certain situations or people in that certain way. What is left is the emotional messenger, or “trigger” that gets “activated” and we don’t really pay attention to why we do what we do, or why we respond the way we do because we haven’t solved the mystery. We just know that we feel certain ways, we feel bad, or we feel stressed or we feel angry, etc. We don’t know that we can stop and ask ourselves why we feel that way, and that there really is a solution. We don’t have to feel like that, there is a remedy.

In summary:
Rightly interpreted, Emotions and Feelings carry messages and clues that are waving a flag saying “Hey! Pay attention to me, I’m a clue as to something that has gone on in the past that holds the very key that will unlock a mystery as to why you respond the way you do.” And if you pursue where these come from you can solve mysteries and find genuine freedom!

Next time:
The Process Of Resolution

The Fitness Herald

Feelings And Emotions Part 2

Emotions Give Us Clues.

 What does that look like?

A clue is evidence, or a trace, or a fact or object that helps solve a mystery. Are the purposes of emotions a mystery?

I think they have been a mystery for a long time. One of the proofs of that is normally we don’t know what to do with them, so we put them in a dead file, and we usually don’t go back to explore it because we are so sure we know that they aren’t very useful. Just tuck them away where they are out of “sight” and out of mind. Ignore them or control them is what’s best. So we’ve been taught or so we sometimes think, and as a result- believe.

 Emotions are our “Front Line Messengers”. They let us know when we are uncomfortable. But they don’t  tell us why. They are not just “thoughts” as some would suspect or imply. One glimpse at a physical altercation that was fueled by words would convince the staunchest of skeptics.

 Words exchanged that have a triggering effect can very easily become an out of control physical fight.

If the voice of reason (along with sufficient force) is not present there is hardly any need for restraint. I cannot count the times I witnessed this phenomenon growing up on the streets of New York in the 1950’s. Street fights, gang fights, injuries, and deaths resulted from words that triggered aggressive behavior.

 Why?

 We almost always seem to know the “what’s” but we hardly ever know the “why’s”. We know what someone said or did that triggered someone else. But we hardly ever know the “why’s”.

Why did he/she say that?

Why did he/she do that?

We don’t always know.

Then, why did the other person react like that?

We don’t always know that either.

The only “thoughts” in this situation are thoughts of hurting this person who just hurt me, either in word or in deed!

But why is that?

Because this other person just “stepped over the line”.

What line?

The line that divides this present existence with a hurt or wound of the other person’s past. Into a place of our Unfinished Business.

 The person who reacted just took the express jet down memory lane to a place that could have been similar to the present situation, similar enough to remind them of that hurtful place (that hasn’t been resolved) and they remembered and felt the pain of that place, time or event. And that is what just got unleashed on the usually innocent by stander!

 

How is this usually dealt with?

Well first we go after the one who just “caused us pain” (if we can)

Then we reach for our pain-covering solution.

This gives new meaning to “I need a drink” or “I need a smoke” or “I need a whatever”. We feel pain and we want it to go away. What will it be? Food?  drugs? alcohol? gambling? sex? porn? work? What ever has been proven to ease the pain, that’s what we reach for.

 

Next time:

Part 3

Interpreting the feelings is the key to solving the mystery.

The Fitness Herald

Feelings And Emotions

 

They Are There For A Reason

 You are driving to work one morning and you hear an unfamiliar sound coming from the front of your car. You are not a trained mechanic so you really don’t know what to think, but the sound turns into a noise and the noise isn’t going away, in fact it’s getting louder. The noise continues to be persistent so you decide to take your car into the shop, and you learn that that was a very good decision because your mechanic tells you that you had an oil leak which could have potentially caused your engine to overheat and burn out which would have cost you hundreds of dollars to replace. And the noise you were hearing was because there wasn’t enough oil for the engine to run smoothly. No problem…now, your mechanic repairs the leak, fills your oil back up to level and you are back on the road. Because you took action you averted a potentially costly inconvenience.

 What’s that got to do with emotions?

Quite a bit, actually. As you read the account above it sounds like a very ordinary story, and it is. Yet when it comes to the part that emotions play in our lives most of us draw a blank. We have some very interesting reactions and responses to how we feel. Some of us ignore them, “I am not going to be ruled by my feelings”. Some of us feel that emotions are things we need to overcome and conquer. Then others may “over react” and place too much weight on our feelings.

 I am going to take for granted that if you are reading my blog you believe that we are like cars- intelligently designed. I have not found a part or system that is in or on my car that doesn’t have a function. And I think we are potentially designed the same way. Everything has a purpose or function. (I hope I don’t have to get side tracked and address the fact that there are disorders, hence “potentially”.)

 That said we have emotions and feelings for a purpose and a reason. And for the parameters of this discussion I would like to submit that most of us don’t truly know why they exist. I didn’t. I know, how many people even think about this kind of stuff? I do. More now than I ever have, now that I have learned more about the “whys”.

 We Deny Our “Signals”

 That’s right. Take a scenario and place the two different people in them and watch what happens. Here it is.

A child runs out into the street chasing a ball and almost gets hit by a car. A mother hears the tires of a skidding car, looks out the window only to discover that it’s her baby boy in the middle of the street, eyes glued on the ball running undaunted by this three thousand pound killer. She drops her dishes in the sink and runs outside not realizing that the water is still running. She runs into the middle of the street, sees the innocence of her 6 year old looking back at her holding up the ball hoping for her approval that it didn’t get lost.

She scoops him up and runs back to the safety of their fenced in yard all the time expressing her relief that nothing worse happened and saying “honey didn’t we tell you it’s dangerous outside the yard? All the while she is ever so grateful.

OK. Now put my buddy Bob in the same scenario. What do you think would happen? Most likely he will feel the same paralyzing fear, but he’s a guy so what he shows is what he thinks is socially acceptable for a guy so he yells at the top of his voice in anger and proceeds to scold the child all the way home, all the while shaking on the inside and hoping no one sees him. Are you thinking, hey I know a gal that would do that. Is there any difference? The point is we present one emotion over another because we believe that it isn’t socially acceptable, shows weakness, or “makes us look bad”.

In our intelligent design our emotions are attempting to communicate with us and they are beneficial to our lives because they are signals. And for the most part we haven’t been taught what all of their functions are so we ignore them or attempt to control rather than listen to them.

Next: Emotions Give Us Clues.

The Fitness Herald

Vows, Conclusions, and Lessons

 One reader asks, “What are these issues?” “How did they come to be?” and “How are they resolved?”

 In the last post I mentioned that abuse was one way we come to have Unresolved Issues. There are other ways we accumulate Unresolved Issues and in this post I want to address the three that most often are the biggest contributors.

 The Vow

We don’t call it that when it’s happening. We just know we never want this event to ever happen to us again so we make a solemn promise (even a solemn determination) to ourselves and whether it is verbal or not the brain hears it and records it because it is made on the heels of some very unpleasant event in our lives.

Almost always we make these vows when we are young and we don’t know what else to do. Often it stays with us for the rest of our lives for at least 2 reasons.

 1. We make this promise to ourselves at an extremely emotional point in our lives because it is either associated with pain, shame or fear.

 2. We hardly ever revisit this event to see if what we said to ourselves was and is still true. We hardly ever come back to that event and say, “You know, I spoke too hasty that day, it was out of distress fear and shame that I spoke back then. This wasn’t true then and it’s not true now”

 So this vow is recorded, remembered and filed as a truth and we usually don’t return to question it because it was so painful or shameful at the time. This is a very common occurrence, and it is also one way we accumulate Unresolved Issues.

 Real time Snapshot.

So what does it look like when we make a vow? At the time it seems like a good idea, a good way to protect ourselves in the future. We think it is a “normal” reaction to life events and that this will protect us from it ever happening  again.

 When Mary was 11 years old her teacher had all the students of her class give an oral book report of a book they had read during the summer. Mary was a little nervous about remembering so she put together some notes on small slips of paper to remind her of important points.

 As the other students were taking their turn with their reports Mary was studying her notes, when to her surprise her teacher asked her to give the next report. Her notes were out of sequence and since she had not numbered the slips of paper she was completely out of sync with her delivery, most of her time in front of all the other kids was a frantic effort to put the notes into a sequential order.

 It didn’t help that the other students listening were making grunts and teasing remarks. When she finished and sat down she was embarrassed and ashamed “because she felt she didn’t measure up to the class standard” there was a silence for one minute which seemed like an eternity before the teacher picked the next student.

That very day after having sensed the ridicule of her class-mates and feeling “the shame of falling short”, she said to herself, “This will never happen to me ever again”. “I will never put myself in a position to be ridiculed and made fun of”. Would that be a death sentence to public speaking, it could be, or at best public speaking would be something that Mary would have tremendous anxiety about and “naturally” shy away from.

Or she could on the other end of the scale over prepare, over rehearse and become obsessive about it. On the surface that may not seem like a bad thing, but when we are “driven” to excel, it takes more energy, and it also is a sign of an Unresolved Issue. And unless she resolves this extremely emotional event she will always either avoid public speaking, or overproduce in her preparation.

 In Summary:

Here is the sequence of events:

We have an experience, i.e. something happens to us.

We interpret the experience or event based on what little we really know, but what makes sense to us at the time.

 This becomes our belief about it and is integrated and established as part of our belief system, and our feelings are the link of this association. This becomes our “truth” at the moment!  This conclusion we’ve come to is almost always never based on actual truth, because in our child thinking we do not have access to all the facts or genuine truth. So what we have done is base our “truth” on a lie. And this lie masquerades as “truth” in our thoughts. To us it IS the truth. Because we don’t know that our truth is actually a lie, we never feel the need to reexamine our beliefs or conclusions or lessons we have learned in life.

 We sometimes make a vow or determination that we’ll “never” or “always” be like that, do that again, or let that happen again. Who wants to repeat an experience, especially if it feels bad!

 But this now becomes a driving force in our lives.

So now our subconscious is “programmed.”  Belief and Feelings are linked. The actual event fades into our subconscious but our feelings are alive and well, ready to be “triggered” by like and similar experiences. Close enough is all it takes. And we have set into motion a driving force in our lives. We may not even be consciously in touch why we feel a certain way, or why we’re so driven or passionate about a given thing. We may even think it’s part of our personality! This is just the way I am!

 Now as we walk through our lives, whenever a situation is similar enough to the original event, our emotions are “triggered”. The feelings come rushing to the surface and all we know is that we FEEL a certain way about it. We may not know consciously why unless we take the time to trace our feelings back to the original event, the source and origin of our belief and find out why we came to the conclusions we did at the time.

 Most of the “lessons” we learned in childhood are never revisited to see if they still apply or need to be modified.  Most “vows” are never reexamined to see if they were based on actual truth or reality.

But we feel the effects of these all the same. Only when they cause us trouble in our relationships or we don’t want to react that way anymore is there real reason to revisit these. And revisit these is what we must do if we want to genuinely change our responses to life, and finish our Unfinished Business.

What is the process to resolve our Unfinished Business?  Finding the truth.

How is that done?

Stay tuned!

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…

Physical:

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

Sexual:

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

Verbal:

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

Psychological/Emotional:

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

Financial:

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

Spiritual:

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

Myth:

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

Reality:

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.

Myth:

Domestic abuse mainly affects the young and poor.

Reality:

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

Myth:

Women often do things to provoke their partners.

Reality:

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.”

Myth:

Alcohol and drugs are leading causes of domestic assault.

Reality:

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.

Myth:

Perpetrators of domestic assault are mentally ill.

Reality:

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.

Myth:

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

Reality:

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.