A dear friend of mine asked the question: "How do you forgive somebody who constantly hurts you?"
This a BIG question not just for individuals but for society itself. When somebody's behaviour creates pain either emotional, physical or psychological distress, discord and disharmony within us, how can we forgive them?
There are two dimensions of forgiveness that need separating into their right aspects. First of all there is third party forgiveness which usually involves an incident or incidents involving somebody we care about being mistreated by another person or it can be from a societal stand point of a person we don't know personally committing an affront that affects us as a society and we feel the action as a society on this level. This type of trespass by it's nature is very individual and circumstance specific and whilst the objective remains to get to a point where we move past the pain, the path of forgiveness this requires is different under these circumstances than it is for the second and more generally applicable first person forgiveness.
First person forgiveness is the dynamic whereby somebody in our life consistently behaves in a manner that triggers us to experience feelings of psychological, physical and/or emotional pain. It is often sustained and repetitive behaviour that goes on over a long period of time often to the point where it becomes "normal" and our emotional compass is automatically set to deal and respond to this person.
When we are children we are taught what our value is by our parents, our schools, our friends and our society. If we are truly lucky to have been raised by a network of care givers and educators who nurtured and nourished our emotional needs with positive praise for the good things we did, gentle correction of our errors and received a consistency of Love; if as children we are encouraged to aim high and be the best because we are the best and there is nothing on this earth that we can not achieve with passion and dedication; if as children we were told that we were good enough, that we were worthy, that our bodies were beautiful temples and that a child or adult did not have the right to abuse us because we are sacred and that the fact that we are alive makes us worthy of being Loved, respected and adored then the odds are stacked in our favour that as adults we will grow up knowing that we are worth "it", confident, self assured and peaceful.
However, in reality most of us did not grow up with our sense of self esteem in tact. Nobody told us how amazing we truly are. Nobody told us we are literally diamonds in the sky and that we shine with very little effort. In fact no effort at all when you know who you are and what you are worth.
"But what has this got to do with forgiveness?" I hear you ask.
It's fundamental because it is our self esteem that determines what we will or will not tolerate in the first place. It is our self esteem that teaches us as parents what standards we set in our children. Knowing what you are worth turns a dial inside that sets the bar for how you interact with the world and how the world interacts with you.
Society has trained us to expect people to behave in a way that makes us feel good about ourselves when the truth is nobody has this power. If you can not identify within yourself what is acceptable behaviour, if you do not know where to draw your own line then you are open to having your heartbroken and your trust violated.
Every single human being on this planet wants to feel inner peace and harmony. Our pain may have developed highly sophisticated and intelligent reasons why we can't be happy but our heart knows different. It is our heart that knows right from wrong but if you're brain has been trained not to speak your heart's truth then you will always be searching outside of yourself for peace and it is this search that damages our self esteem. We look for peace where there is none, in relationships (family, friends and lovers) that are destructive because what we are searching for is validation. We need to know that we exist and that we mean something to someone and when our dial is set on low we open ourselves to repeating the same pattern of behaviour. The people may change (new boyfriend, different boss etc) but the pattern remains the same. It is the search for somebody to tell that part of us that never got told as a child that we are OK, that we are good enough, that we are worthy of Love.
So how do you forgive another human being who wrongs you? By going backwards and healing your own wounds first. Forgiveness is not about releasing somebody else from their behaviour or the consequence of what they have done. If a man hits a woman there is no justification for this action. If a woman sleeps with her best friend's husband, there is no justification for this action. Likewise, if your son steals from your purse or your daughter repeatedly lies to you, do not condone this behaviour. The action itself is not what you are forgiving, theft is theft, cheating is cheating! You're just choosing not to be hurt anymore. What you are doing by forgiving somebody who hurts you is releasing yourself from their action. "I forgive you." Should literally translate into "I release me."
Here comes the bit nobody who suffers wants to hear: "Nobody is coming to rescue you." If you want to move forward you have to stop wishing for a better past. You have to step right back and detach yourself from any feelings of guilt, shame, anger, hate and betrayal. All your negative feelings have to be relinquished because you need to heal those wounds in order to raise your bar. This draws your line, marks your boundary and empowers you to not let another person hurt you. When you know how much you are Loved unconditionally because you are the one doing the Loving you will not tolerate any other human being treating you with anything less than Love. When they do treat you with less than Love because you are coming from a place of Love you can stand your ground and reject being treated badly because their behaviour, (not them) is un-Loving. You can say "No, I will not allow you to treat me like this because I Love myself enough not to allow you to harm me." and mean it because the validation you were searching for from them i.e. the hope that they would one day be nice to you, has been found in you. It was there all along. Nobody told you when you were younger where to find it but that's OK because you know where the Truth resides NOW. It is in you, you are good enough.
Are you a half decent human being? Are you kind? Are you Loving? Are you caring? Are you willing to help others?
If the answer is yes to any of the above then lay down your sword, top up your glass and forgive yourself for thinking that you were ever anything other than amazing. We all have flaws but so do diamonds! So top up your own glass and let your Love for your Self flow and it will dilute and then flush out the pain of the past and reset your future. You will then attract into your life that which you are, Love! Like attracts like and people who want to harm you when you start to radiate your true Self will be blinded by your light and the choice then becomes theirs as to how they interact with you based on how you interact with you!
Love is like Teflon coating. It protects us from all life's dirty sticky bits. It's antiseptic! It does not let toxic judgments and negative beliefs fester inside lowering our ability to receive the Love we deserve, we then effortlessly pour back out into the world unconditionally and then receive back again eternally.
You are a valued and wonderful gift to the world. You have wisdom and insights to share. You truly are unique and a blessing, you always were. There is nothing dirty or shameful about you. I forgive you for thinking less than beautiful Loving thoughts about who you are :-)
I promise you that the gift of Forgiveness is Freedom. Freedom not from our past because you can not change what has gone but freedom from how we perceive it.
So take a deep breath, open your heart, let the tears flow, forgive and feel your freedom coming, you deserve Peace.
Lots of Love.
Saturday, 26 January 2013
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Today I posted the following question on my Facebook page: "Who is the most important person in your life that you communicate with?" and I was grateful to receive some wonderful responses. All of them fell into 4 categories - spouse, children, friends and parents.
My response is slightly different!
The people you communicate with externally are indeed very very important people. However of all the communication dynamics in the world, the most important communication you have is with your self because it is this the conversation that determines how you feel about your life. As parents we are often made to feel an obligation that our children are more important than we are but a parent who does not think Loving thoughts about who they are will invariable not set the example that self care is important to self esteem. Loving our children and lavishing attention on them is wonderful but our attitude, body language, facial expressions, words and tone of voice will demonstrate how you really feel. Children are extremely intuitive. They know when words don't match feeling just by instinct. Children learn how to feel about themselves by watching how their parents feel about themselves. This is why it is vital to demonstrate positive self regard so that our children can learn it directly from us because they see it in action.
Conversely in our relationships on a deep intuitive level we are attracted or repelled to particular people based on their disposition. Think about people you know who when they walk into a room light it up straight away without saying a word and conversely the people that you pray never talk to you because their inherent negative dialogue drains your energies and leaves you feeling like lead. These are all demonstrations of dynamics that our created based on what is going on inside us.
Your relationship with yourself indicates exactly how you then interact with other people and how conditionally/unconditionally you express the Love that you feel that resides inside. It is possible to Love someone in your heart but condition that Love by being negative in your thoughts, deed and actions.
Like putting on an oxygen mask on an plane when you take care of your own needs first you are then able to take care of the needs of those you Love because you do not need validation about who you are from outside of yourself. You become the keeper of your own worth. You radiate an inner peace. Whether you like it or not, your life is a direct reflection of the story you tell your self. It is the living dramatisation of the script you read internally and hand out to others.
The dialogue of your internal conversations is non verbal it is based on your self perception which determines your attitude. You may well think you're a positive and congenial person but if you're actual attitude is perceived as morose and disagreeable because of the things you say which are in fact a reflection of your own self beliefs, you will do more harm not only to yourself in terms of how others relate to you but to the emotional well being of others.
We are whatever we tell ourselves we are so choose your thoughts about yourself wisely and take the time to look after your own emotional needs. Be brave enough to ask the people who Love and care about you for honest reflections about the way you treat your self. If what you think is your behaviour and how you are being treated do not match up then feedback is vital. Ask for any additional support you may need.
You don't need a magic mirror to have a Loving conversation with yourself. It starts by just appreciating who you are and complimenting yourself on the things you can do. Focusing on negativity is not the way to improve the communications!
Nurturing internal conversations are the path to emotional balance and psychological well being. So celebrate what's wonderful about yourself by constructively sharing your insights with yourself (inbox me for a really simple practice). This is not selfish, narcissistic arrogant behaviour. Hell no! Being complementary about yourself to yourself by practicing positive Emotional Self Literacy is the habit of demonstrating the art of Loving Self Care and the fact that you are alive today means that you have earned the right to be unbelievably nice to you!
Now answer me this "What makes you so Lovable?". Simply repeat the answer to yourself every single day.
Lots of Love.
Wednesday, 9 January 2013
For centuries in the west, female sexuality has been a focus of shame, embarrassment, repression and cultural enslavement for women. Long before the monotheistic God of Abraham, women were adored, Loved, revered and honoured as Divine Goddesses whose strength and ability to bring new life (or death) made them worthy of glorious temples, shrines, holy days, festivals and priests. An invaluable equal sovereign to a King, female sexuality was sacred and celebrated.
Sex is the physical expression of primal masculine and feminine energy (nothing to do with gender) and it is in sexual union that this powerful healing and nurturing force that becomes creation, literally or metaphysically.
Why then do so many women struggle to express themselves authentically during sex? Why are women afraid to speak their minds and ask for what they need and want from their partners? The sexual revolution of the sixties may have given us more sex but it did not give us sexual liberation. What's the point in being given a Mercedes if you don't know how to drive!
The female role models of today have become twisted ideals of the male sexual ego which has been taught to perceive women as young trinkets and dolls or masculine, old and unattractive in both cases unequal to their male counterparts.
The reality is women will never know how powerful they really are until they are completely free to explore who and what they are sexually in an environment that takes them out of their heads filled with judgement, fear and shame and puts them firmly back in their bodies. Intimacy is about connecting on the deepest most honest level with another human being and the most powerful part of this exploration is the female orgasm. Not the kind of orgasm that just forces your muscles to constrict rhythmically for a minute or two following continued friction (if you're lucky) and then vanishes but the sustained vibration of pleasure that courses through your entire body like a warm wave of prolonged peaceful ecstacy that prevails long after the act itself is completed.
Like all relationships the female orgasm starts with getting to know yourself first. Name it and claim it! You can't understand what it can do if you don't know what "it" is! Take a look and see for yourself after all you know where your bellybutton is and that spends nearly as much time covered up as your vagina! So take the time to make friends with the most intimate area of your body. Give yourself complete permission to explore and discover how sensitive you truly can be. Touch, stroke and feel your own pleasure. Whatever feels good IS good so don't deny yourself. Enjoy each sensation and follow your own intuition and see where that leads you.
There are lots of different ways to deepen and nurture the female connection to the power of her orgasm but the most empowering connection comes through sharing. Knowing what you want and then allowing your partner to learn by watching and participating with you, the two of you focusing attention on creating the feminine orgasm together and sharing in the magic of the moment is truly wonderous to behold. And it's this level of intimacy, this level of connecting one soul with another that increases our capacity to Love and Love after all is what heals the world.