7 – Day Forgiveness Challenge – Day 6

Hello to all who are joining in on the forgiveness challenge! You are awesome for hanging in there! How did yesterday go, writing your not-so-hot behaviors and actions down?

Today, we’re going to look at a key factor in your ability to get to a place of forgiveness. Let’s jump right in…

Now that you have identified that your gripe is legit, i.e., that you don’t do the same things for which you are angry, and you didn’t get the ball rolling, it is time to look with new eyes, from 180 degrees.

Consider the ways in which your resentment has taken its toll on your life emotionally and physically. You may be trying to cope with damaged relationships, a divorce, etc., because of your resentments. So, the emotional toll for you may well be poor relations with others. I would suspect you are stressed over the issue and revisit it frequently, which leads you to great angst.

Physically, you are most likely affected by constriction of every part of your body, by a sour stomach, by clenching your gut, your jaw. There are many ways our emotional stress manifests physically. What is true for you?

You know, medical research has shown that being in a state of forgiveness leads to decreased risk of heart disease, heart attack, and cancer. Obviously, the opposite is true, and that’s something to consider as you look from a 180 degree perspective.

So, now look 180 degrees from where you are currently looking. Consider that you want peace in your life… peace for yourself… peace for your heart.  Remember, you forgive for yourself, not the other person. Is it worth the emotional and physical toll your resentment is taking? It never is, in my experience.

Here are the next steps to take. It involves some writing…

  • List out the ways in which you are consumed by your resentment; how does it affect you in your daily life – your work life, your home life, your life out in the world?
  • Consider that you want something different for yourself. Consider that you want to have emotional peace, no matter what it takes.
  • List out the things you want to be different in your life, or, if you have a need to hang on to the resentment, write about it and why that might be.
  • Consider the possibility that you can leave this misery and create a new story.
  • Visualize yourself in that story. How does it feel? What do you like about it? Write about it. If you cannot see yourself in a positive story, know it will come in time.
  • Spend some time and energy becoming willing to hear about how to devise a new story. Write about any resistance.

Sit with this desire to make changes in your life. It will resonate with you and feel good. Tomorrow, I shall talk about the one way to create forgiveness, as we wrap up the challenge. If you are struggling with this, I offer my coaching services to you so we can work together to get you unstuck. Simply call me at 415-883-8325 to schedule a session.

I’ll see you tomorrow. I wish you well in the writing exercise.





7 – Day Forgiveness Challenge – Day 3

Good morning to each of you! May this be a glorious day, a fabulous week for you all! Today I continue with the forgiveness challenge.

I’d like you to turn your attention to looking at your willingness to offer forgiveness to that person you identified yesterday. Now, we’re going to look at the way your anger has affected your life. I suggest you follow the next sequence of steps:

  • Consider how your anger has consumed your life and darkly colored it. It may even be affecting your physical health. Numerous studies have shown that when you forgive, you have less chance of developing heart disease, heart attack, and cancer.
  • List out the ways in which you are consumed; how does it affect you in your daily life – your work life, your home life, your life out in the world?
  • Consider that you want something different for yourself. Consider that you want to have emotional peace, no matter what it takes.
  • List out the things you want to be different in your life, or, if you have a need to hang on to the resentment, write about it and why that might be.

Now, consider the possibility that you can leave this misery and create a new story. Visualize yourself in that story. How does it feel? What do you like about it? Write about it. If you cannot see yourself in a positive story, know it will come in time.

Spend some time and energy becoming willing to hear about how to devise a new story. Write about any resistance. Remember to write with your “other” hand, as this will bring forth your deepest feelings.

When things get tense emotionally and you need a break, take a brisk walk. Talk to someone about what is going on for you. Meditate or do yoga, if you do these things. Practice stretching and deep breathing as a way to reconnect with your body.

The above are all the things I suggest to my clients when we are working together on how to find forgiveness. Many times, they are resistive, are not willing to go to the place of forgiveness, are not able to get to willingness, but after we work together, they become willing and are able to work toward forgiveness.

This concludes day three of the forgiveness challenge. How is it going for you? Would you leave a comment about that? Thank you.




7 – Day Forgiveness Challenge – Day 2

Hi to each of you! I hope your exercise for  yesterday went well and that you are willing to read on and participate in the challenge, to consider forgiveness as an option in your life. Remember, you’re starting with just one person.

Today the task is to identify one person with whom you are angry and resentful, with whom you are holding a grudge. Just one. That way, you can focus your attention clearly and razor-sharp.

So… you have the one person identified. What I want you to do now is to write down what it is they did that you resent. Be specific in your writing… describe the event, the happening. Remember to write with your “other” hand, as that will bring up more feelings and thoughts from the subconscious part of yourself.

Allow yourself to feel the feelings of anger, hurt, etc., that arise, and write about these feelings. Feel how wrong what they did was, but don’t go to the place of pity, or playing the victim. Just acknowledge it. Then, write about what comes up for you.

Try not to numb these feelings with substances. Instead, merely notice what you are feeling as objectively  as possible. I know that’s hard to do… just try. Otherwise you’ll be fuming all day and you don’t want to go there for the entire day.

See a lot of your anger as hurt and try to write about this, again, as objectively as possible. Certainly, you are going to get some “charge” out as you write. Allow it to flow through you and onto the page.

When you have written this down, set it aside for the day. We will return tomorrow and continue with the next step in the forgiveness process.  Rather than be rattled all day over this, be calm in the knowledge that you will come to resolve this issue within yourself.



Living in the Past with Resentment or Longing

Good morning! I hope you each are well this morning. Today, we will continue with living in the past, and will address living with resentment and longing for better days.

Let’s look at resentment first. Resentment is the reliving of an anger again and again, not letting go of it. In these cases where you are doing this, there is a key you can learn that will benefit you for the rest of your life; you can learn to forgive.

Forgiveness is a process; it doesn’t happen overnight, yet, when you get to a point of being ready to forgive, it quietly happens in the moment. There are some things to consider about how to forgive. First, see the other person as a wounded being, and feel compassion for their woundedness. From that place of compassion, forgive.

Second, learn to do a self-appraisal, look honestly at your negative behavior. Determine if you got the ball rolling or if you do the very thing for which you are resentful. In these cases, let go of your resentment; forgive and let it go. Apologize if it is indicated.

Third, accept that the other person is incapable of giving you what you want. For whatever reason, they cannot meet your expectations. Accept that about them and let it go; forgive. This brings up the issue of expectations. When you expect things from others, it is a set up to be disappointed and resentful when they do not meet those expectations. Watch for that, and try not to expect anything. Then, when good things happen, you can be surprised.

Let’s turn our attention to longing for the “good old days.” Many people spend a lot of time in the unproductive and sadness-producing activity of wishing things were like they used to be. They lament that those days are gone. The danger is that, when you do this, you are not living in the present moment where the gifts of life reside. You make yourself miserable.

It is nice to have fond memories of the past and to long for them to return is a danger signal to your happiness if you spend your time wishing things were different than they are in current day. Accept that those days are gone and instead of lamenting, choose to make today the best possible. Get involved in new activities to create more “good old days.”

Living in the past is non-productive, a waste of time and energy no matter what the reason. Visit the past for the purpose of healing from it and otherwise, don’t live in it. Learn to live in the moment.

How are you living in the past? Are you feeling guilty, resentful, or longing for days gone by? Take a look at those things and realize you are making yourself miserable. You have a choice to stop living in the past. Make it. : )



Letting Go of Childhood Resentments Against Our Parents

Hello! I’m a little later than usual today. I tried to do a post this morning, and the computer kept freezing on me. So, I am back to try it again…

The issue of our letting go of resentments from our childhood, resentments against our parents, is a big topic that was searched for and I’d like to address it. I personally spent 38 years angry and bitter toward my folks because of my upbringing. Much of that time, I drown my sorrows in the bottle.

And all of the time, I blamed them for my woes, my emotional difficulties. I never realized it was my responsibility to straighten out my messed up psyche. Never even occurred to me. It was easier to blame them. Yes, I was a very bitter and angry person, but you’d never know it because I hid it from everyone, even myself.

But when drunk, the rage would raise its ugly head and I said some nasty things to the men in my lives. I used to yell at them that they were worthless, would never amount to anything. I realized I’d said this when I got sober at the age of 48 and I was doing a self-appraisal, looking at my actions and behaviors throughout my life.

Whoa, I was stopped short, and was devastated that I had denigrated their souls so badly! I realized I had repeated what I’d been told by my father nearly every day while growing up. I also realized that when I said that to the men, I didn’t mean it about them… I meant it about me. Oh, I felt horrible! I have since apologized to them for those words.

More to the point, I began to think, after a few days, gee, if I didn’t mean that the men in my life were worthless and actually said it because I felt it about me, was it possible my father didn’t mean it about me when he called me worthless, that he said it about himself? The answer to this was yes, it was possible he was, in his extreme frustration and anger, yelling at me but meaning he was worthless.

The world opened up the second I realized that. It brought me up short, with new information. I had a new angle to consider. I began to recall stories about the abuse he endured while he was growing up, and I began to realize he was doing to me what was done to him, just like I did to the men in my life what was done to me. This was very powerful to acknowledge.

I began to see myself as a wounded person, and looked with compassion. I recognized that my father was a wounded man also, and began to see him with compassion. Over time, as I considered him with compassion, I began to forgive him for the abuse of my childhood. My resentments began to melt away… over time… and I experienced the greatest freedom and peace I have ever known. To this day, I still experience it, and it has been eight years since I was able to forgive.

You, too, can experience that freedom, that peace, from your childhood resentments. First, take a look at yourself and see if you have ever repeated the behavior that was done to you by your parents. If you have, then you may get to compassion for yourself and them faster than if you haven’t. But it is still possible to find compassion, even if you haven’t repeated your parents’ behavior.

Consider them as wounded people at the time that they did what they did to you. Then, see them with compassion, just like you would see any wounded person. Revisit this compassion again and again, and over time, you may be able to forgive them and get past your childhood resentments.

Let us know if this process helps you by leaving a comment.



To Move Forward with Purpose

Good morning, all! May this be a day of joy and peace for you each. There was no search term that spoke to me, and today I am going to talk about what is on my mind… I am in the process of trying to move forward with purpose… The moving forward part would be about my up-coming radio show and my nervousness and excitement in anticipation.

That’s right. I was asked to host a radio talk show, and I accepted.  I am both nervous and excited…

My show is called Transform Into Forgiveness. It will air for an hour every Monday at 3 pm PST at www.w4cy.com. It will be a call-in format, so people who are struggling with resentment in their lives can call in and we can talk about it on the air. My desire is to be of service to all who call in.

What I mean by that is, I hope each caller will walk away from the call with more peace in their heart. I have experienced the great seething energy that is behind a resentment. For 38 years I did. You see, I resented my parents for my upbringing all those years and was very bitter and angry about it. But I turned it inside rather than showing what I was feeling. I drank and drugged to numb my feelings. That worked for 26 years and then it no longer worked.

I became so distraught and debilitated from my drinking in the end that I finally sought sobriety. After about four years of sobriety, I discovered how to forgive my parents. The result of that has been a great freedom and a huge peace… more than I ever imagined possible.

So, back to the show… I wish for others to be able to get past resentment to that great peace and freedom, but I cannot approach the show with an agenda such as that. I can only approach it from the standpoint of trying to be of service, of trying to share my experience in hopes that it will benefit another.

My excitement is because of the newness of it all, the chance to be on the air and put forth my message of forgiveness, of peace. I am very excited about that. My nervousness starts with the technical aspects, first of all. Will I be able to skype in and technically do everything I’m supposed to do? I have been prepped, so that question remains to be seen.

The nervousness goes on to the content of the show, and my hope that I do not steer anyone in the wrong direction with what I say. I resolve to approach the show from the standpoint of “this is what I did and it worked.” I am so hopeful that my experience can be of use to others. Again, that remains to be seen.

That is all I have to say about my nervousness and excitement. I shall move forward with purpose from here-on-in. Feel free to join me on Monday the 4th, and every Monday at 3 pm PST, for Transform Into Forgiveness. Until then, may you have peace and joy as you journey. : )


Being Judged by Others, Even Though They’re Flawed

Good morning! So sorry I missed yesterday. My computer would not allow me to access the back end of the blog, so I couldn’t write the blog. Today, it is cooperating… The search phrase I picked out is being judged by others, even though they’re imperfect themselves, even though they are displaying negative behavior.

It is my belief that we are being judged by others when they feel insecure and unsure about themselves. They are blowing out our light to make their light shine brighter. They feel “less than,” and putting us down builds them up – in their mind. The thing is, if we’re wise to them and their method, they don’t have to be built up. In fact, if we realize they’re putting us down to build themselves up, we can stop their behavior in its tracks.

We can bring to the attention of others that they are judging us negatively and to stop that behavior. Of course, this will most likely bring on a confrontation. None-the-less, speaking up against the verbal abuse is an option. When we are being judged by others, we can also just ignore what they say, knowing the reason behind their judgment. This is known as turning the other cheek.

So, we have a choice here and it depends upon the situation. If we are likely to enrage the other person who is judging us negatively, putting us in a dangerous situation, we may wish to just know deep within that what they are saying is not true. If, on the other hand, they are rational, and a conversation can be had in which we can bring up their judgment of us, then we will want to do so in the hopes that they can see their behavior and alter it.

In any event, know that when we are being judged by others, they are actually reflecting how they feel about themselves, and we would do well to not take it personally. If we do take it personally, we will likely develop anger and resentment toward the other person. I did this with my father when I was growing up, for the verbal abuse he slung my way. It took me 54 years to get past that to an understanding of his pain, and to get to forgiveness.

How do you treat others when you are feeling less than and insecure about who you are? Do you judge them harshly?

In closing, I have two points: First, I will be hosting the radio show W4CY.com every Monday afternoon at 3 pm PST. The name of the show is Transform Into Forgiveness. I imagine we will have discussions about how to get past being judged by others.

Second, I am starting two support groups called Opening the Gates of Your Heart. These groups will be in the San Francisco Bay Area in Marin and will focus on getting through grief and past resentment to forgiveness. Group one will meet every 2nd and 4th Monday from 10-11 am PST, starting February 11th. The second group will meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 1:30-2:30 pm, also PST, starting February 14th.

Both groups will run for 3 months and cost is $35 per month. Both groups will meet at the Wells Fargo Bank in San Rafael, 1203 4th Street, 2nd Floor, 94901. There is parking in the rear of the building, and you would go through the double doors in the rear. Take the elevator to the 2nd floor. For more information and to register, call me at 415-883-8325, or email me at carolyncjjones@yahoo.com.  




What Are Resentments & How To Get Past Them

Good morning, all! I am having a slow morning getting started, as I am unwinding from a wonderful event I went to yesterday for aspiring speakers. I am slowly getting to my daily tasks, including this blog. : )

The search term I have chosen is “what are resentments,” and I have added “how to get past them.” Resentments are anger we hold against another about which we go over and over and over again in our mind. We stew about our resentments, turning them around and around. They keep us awake at night, as we seethe, and burn and churn inwardly. Often, we plot a revenge for the wrong done to us.

Resentments are deadly, especially to an alcoholic or addict like myself, as that is what we often used and abused about. They cause our health to suffer through raised blood pressure, heart disease, and increased incidences of cancer. They are bad news for us and rob us of any type of inner peace we seek.

So how do we get past resentments? We start by doing a self-appraisal. In that appraisal, we are looking over our actions and behaviors with the person we resent to see if we actually started the ball rolling on what has turned into a resentment for us. When we look at ourselves, we are honest, and we look for behavior to which the other person reacted in a normal, human way. i.e., we consider if we, ourselves, started the whole thing.

If we did, we need to own our behavior, admit our wrong-doing, and let go of the resentment. An apology may even be in order. We approach the other person humbly, without shame or groveling, nor defensive and abusive. We just simply state what we did, accepting the fact that we were acting in a human fashion.

If we were not responsible for setting the stage for our resentments, then we begin to look at the other person as being sick emotionally and spiritually, which they most likely are. We show compassion, just like we would for any sick person. We also try to understand what their experience(s) was that led them to act in the manner in which they did. Again, we can then see them with compassion.

With compassion comes forgiveness, and we offer them that forgiveness. This frees our heart and mind of our resentments.  We offer forgiveness, not to condone what was done to us, rather, to free ourselves emotionally.

What are the resentments you are currently experiencing? What steps have you taken to resolve them? Leave a comment and let us know.

And, if you are interested in dealing with your resentments, I invite you to attend my up-coming support group, Transform Into Forgiveness. This group will meet the 2nd and 4th Monday from 10 am to 11 am, starting February 11th, or the 2nd and 4th Thursday from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, starting Feb 14th. Both groups will meet at the Wells Fargo Bank in San Rafael, CA. 1203 4th Street, 2nd floor. 94901.

There is parking in the rear of the building, and a double door to go through, where you will find an elevator. Take it directly to the second floor. For more details and to register, please contact me at 415-883-8325 or email me at carolyncjjones@yahoo.com. Get past your resentments and experience inner peace like you have never experienced it.


How to Show Compassion

Good morning, everyone! May this day bring you peace. May it also bring you the gift of showing compassion to those in your life. The search term I have chosen today is “how to show compassion (to your husband).” I have dropped off the “to your husband,” in the hopes that we can learn how to show compassion to anyone.

Fields of Compassion

Compassion is defined as the ability to show sympathy for another’s plight, to have empathy, coupled with a strong desire to help. In the process of getting to compassion, we will end up clearing out our anger, our resentment, toward the other person. That means we need to look at our anger.

To do that, first look at what is behind your anger. Usually, it is hurt, betrayal. Allow yourself to acknowledge and feel those feelings. Remember, what we resist, persists, so we want to shine light on our anger, our resentment. Next, we always want to so a self-appraisal to see if we did anything to start the dispute, the situation about which we are angry.

If we find we did do or say something to which the other person is reacting like any normal person would, then we need to take responsibility for that and apologize, at the same time letting go of the anger. We need to own our behavior, honestly and completely.

If we didn’t do something to provoke the other person, then we need to look with the eyes of compassion. So, how do we do that? We acknowledge the difficulty the other person is experiencing, or has experienced in their life that leads them to behave as they do, and we have sympathy, empathy, for them. To do this, we think of what we would feel like if we had experienced what the other did or does experience.

Once we have compassion for another, we can move toward forgiveness. As we forgive, it is easier and easier to expand our compassion toward them, and we are able to forgive more and more completely. The depth of the hurt will dictate the length of time this process takes, with more hurt leading to more time needing to forgive.

This is all a process and we would do well to have compassion for ourselves as we move through it all.

In what way do you try to show your compassion toward another or yourself? Leave a comment and let us know.

I’d like to let you know that, if you like what I blog about, then you may be interested in a support group I am starting. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to find peace-of-mind, want to find a way through any emotional turmoil, then I invite you to join me. There are two groups. One meets every 2nd and 4th Monday from 10 am to 11 am in San Rafael, in Marin. The second group meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 1:30 to 2: 30 pm, also in SanRafael. Both groups will run for three months.

We will cover how to identify the gates of your heart, learn the keys to unlock these gates, and understand how to push the gates open. In month one, we will deal with how to do a self-appraisal. Month two will be spent on getting through grief, and month three will deal with forgiveness so we can find peace.

If you are interested, call me to get more information or to register. The groups will start in February, 2013. Space is limited to twelve people per group. 415-883-8325. 


How to Manage Resentment

I spent 38 years of my life carrying a resentment against my parents for the things that occurred when I was growing up. I was a bitter, angry person, filled with self-pity. I drank heavily, saying, “You’d drink too if you’d had an upbringing like mine.” The thing is, the resentment was only hurting myself, and did nothing to move me forward in life.

Resentment is defined by Webster as a feeling of bitter hurt or indignation, from a sense of being injured or offended. In recovery circles, it is distinguished from anger by the thought that a resentment means to feel again and again.

Today, I have resolved my resentment and enjoy a fine relationship with my parents, as well as with others. How did I do that, get to that place?

First, I looked at what was behind my resentment. I found it was usually because I was hurt or disappointed by something someone did or said. I took that hurt and disappointment and ran with it, feeling it again and again, feeling indignant that “this” was done to me. As I mentioned, I was filled with self-pity.

The second thing I did was to conduct a self-appraisal. This involved looking at my positive points first, and then my negative ones, my negative thoughts, behaviors, and actions. What I discovered was that I had very high expectations, higher than, for example, my parents could meet, given their own wounds they received while growing up. They were incapable of being who and what I wanted them to be. When I realized this, I was able to let go of my expectations and enjoy the positive things that came my way.

Also in that appraisal, I discovered ways in which I had gotten the ball rolling on a resentment. In other words, I did or said something to hurt another and they reacted in a human way back to me. I then resented them for how they reacted. But I started the whole affair. I had to learn to identify my part in things, and in the case of resentment, I found it was caused usually by my behavior and actions.

That was an embarrassing thing for me to realize, as I thought I was “justified” in my resentment, but when I saw that I started the whole thing, I had to let go of the resentment. I had to learn to identify what was behind the resentment and it was most often hurt.

It was also because I was disappointed by something and blamed it on the person I thought disappointed me. After doing my appraisal, identifying when I was disappointed, I began to learn not to expect anything from anyone. This way, when something happened that was nice, it was a pleasant surprise.

To recap, my resentment was almost always caused by my high expectations that someone couldn’t meet, or by something I did or said to get the ball rolling. How did I get past my resentments?

Well, after the self-appraisal, I began to develop compassion for others. For example, when I allowed myself to look at my parents and what they endured during their childhood, I began to realize they were just repeating what was done to them. Knowing what that was like, I felt compassion for their childhood, and for them. From this compassion, I was able to forgive. That does not mean I condone what happened; it just means I am pardoning their behavior, having seen its root causes.

I hope this is helpful information that you can put to use now or in the near future. Here’s to the resolution of resentment in your life.