I'll need a question to answer each week, so leave me an anonymous comment if you don't want to be identified. No topic is off limits, so ask anything! You can also send me an e-mail(all info is confidential and will be deleted after I read it...I won't even tell Jasmine).
Baby Jasmine forgives
Disclaimer: I am currently a grad student in Clinical Psychology-I'm not a doctor or a licensed counselor, and what I say is purely novice advice with a bit of study thrown in. I find it disrespectful to the world of Psychology when people do not go to the highest level of learning, get experience before telling others what to do with any authority. I wouldn't go to a surgeon who had an "honorary doctorate" or has not absorbed every piece of knowledge possible. Any short comings in the therapist will transfer to the patient. You're dealing with people and the human mind-there is no wiggle room. That's why I'm calling this an "advice" post. So-If something is weighing on your mind, let me know and I will relay to you and others my 'Penny is not a doctor" advice! :)
Today's Topic: ForgivenessHere we go-
The collection of habits and conditioned responses that renders us unique serves as a kind of gyroscope, lending our responses to life a predictability that is of value both to us and to those who seek to know us. Our former selves can also serve as a sort of anchor, providing stability while sometimes inhibiting adaptation to new circumstances.
Few of us had ideal childhoods. It is easy to get caught up in self-definitions that involve past traumas as explanations for why our lives are not what we wish. The problem with living in the past is that it inhibits change and is therefore inherently pessimistic.
Certainly it is true that understanding who we are depends on paying attention to the history of our lives. This is why any useful psychotherapy includes telling this story. Somewhere between ignoring the past and wallowing in it there is a place where we can learn from what has happened to us, including the inevitable mistakes we have made, and integrate this knowledge into our plans for the future. Inevitably, this process requires some exercises in forgiveness--that is, giving up grievances to which we are entitled.
Widely confused with forgetting or reconciliation, forgiveness is neither. It is not something we do for others; it is a gift to ourselves. It exists, as does all true healing, at the intersection of love and justice.
Apple computer cupcakes forgiveTo acknowledge that we have been harmed by another but choose to let go of our resentment or wishes for retribution requires a high order of emotional and ethical maturity. It is a way of liberating ourselves from a sense of oppression and a hopeful statement of our capacity for change. If we can relinquish the preoccupations and pseudo-explanations that are rooted in the past, we are free to choose the attitudes with which we confront the present and future. This involves an exercise of consciousness and determination that is a certain antidote to the feelings of helplessness and anxiety that underlie most of our unhappiness.
Pastries forgiveAs we contemplate the inevitable losses that we have had to integrate into our lives, the way we grieve and the meaning that we assign to our experience determine how we face the future.
EVERYONE you meet screws up royally-If they haven't messed up and hurt you even a tiny amount yet, be assured it WILL happen and YOU will be the one who will be asking for forgiveness too. When you forgive someone very close to you, it should be a learning experience and help you understand the real person. If you want to help your relationships, protect the person your with even when you feel person strongly-so many people deserve to be forgiven.
Don't let the past limit you with it's main henchmen-FEAR!