Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spiritual Healing Through Forgiveness

We have all been hurt by the things others have said or done (notice I didn’t include “to me/us” at the end of that sentence).* Very often, we say or do things that are inconsiderate or hurtful to the other party. Sometimes, we commit an offense by failing to do what we need to. Whether intentional or not, our actions, or lack of, can cause considerable suffering to another.

How often are you willing to forgive the imperfections of others? Do you choose to let go of past offenses or do you hold on to your anger? Are you understanding of their weaknesses or do you hold them hostage to their bad behavior? Have you ever sought revenge or chosen to “get even” for what they’ve said or done?

Many don’t realize that forgiveness is a choice. It is a conscious decision to be understanding of another,s imperfections. Each of us has inflicted pain on another: we lash out in anger or fail to be patient when necessary; we take advantage of another,s generous spirit rather than show them appreciation; we are disrespectful or argumentative instead of honoring each individual and their opinions.

Forgiveness does not release one from being held accountable for an offense. Rather, it recognizes that each of us behaves poorly at times because we are all imperfect. Forgiveness is a choice I make for my own well-being. It is not contingent upon whether or not the other admits to any wrongdoing or if they even apologize. To hold on to anger long after the offense has been committed only hurts me. It holds me hostage to the past and inhibits me from fully enjoying the present.

Twenty years ago I fell and broke my elbow. I remember the circumstances of the fall and the intense pain I experienced. The bone gradually healed and I regained full use of my arm. There is not more pain. Forgiveness is the spiritual equivalent to healing a physical injury: I remember the event but I no longer feel the anger, bitterness or resentment. All negative emotions have healed. I am free to experience the joy and wonder of living in the moment.

While it is not wise to “forgive and forget” (to forget carries the risk of the offense repeating itself), forgiveness is the ultimate act of self-love. Forgiveness is the path to inner peace and when you have inner peace you have it all. 

Watch a very powerful 3 minute video on forgiveness @ 

Order your copy of The Secret Side of Anger and The Great Truth @

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Saying, "I'm sorry" doesn't come naturally to a lot of people. For some, it's viewed as a sign of weakness putting them in a vulnerable position. Yet apologizing is anything but weak. It is actually a sign of great strength. Imagine the risk of acknowledging that we have done something wrong without knowing how the other person may react? They could easily reject us and not accept our admission of guilt. Or they could attempt to inflict guilt or shame on us for our incompetency. Some may choose to manipulate us by conveniently referring to the transgression when seeking to obtain something. 

Yet in reality, apologizing is first-and-for-most a sign of intelligence. I as wise enough to recognize that what I said/did was insensitive, rude, mean-spirited, and such. Secondly, it takes great courage to openly admit our wrongdoing, for the reasons stated above. Third, it shows sensitivity and compassion. I am aware of how damaging or hurtful my actions have been to the other person and on some level I want to alleviate their pain. And lastly, it shows concern for their well-being. In my sincere desire to right a wrong, I am motivated to do so out of love (concern) for the one I wounded.

Yet sometimes, even when we feel compelled to ask for forgiveness, we try to justify our actions thereby alleviating us from following through. "He got what he deserved!" "If she hadn't criticized me I never would have cursed at her." Yet in God's eyes, there is never justification for hurting any of His children. 

Remember when you were a child and you and your younger brother got into a fight? Mom came along and made you both say you were sorry. At the risk of a more severe punishment, you complied with her demands. With a look of disdain and refusal to make eye contact, you begrudgingly mumbled under your breath, "Sorry," then quickly made your get-away before being told you had to kiss and make up.

The key to a successful expression of remorse is sincerity and personal responsibility. It must come from a place of genuine concern so that the other party understands your intent. Secondly, an apology filled with excuses and blame (examples above) are lame and disingenuous. Many years ago, I went through a long and painful estrangement from three of my adult children. I was not always the best mother when I was raising them and they had just cause to be angry with me. This separation, however, was due in part to some fabricated lies concocted by a vindictive and jealous person. Every attempt I made to reconcile went unacknowledged by my children. They were not interested in hearing my explanations, excuses, or truths about who was/wasn't responsible for what. Five and a half painful years passed before I finally realized that what I owed my children was a pure and sincere apology for the times I failed them. This is the letter that finally reconciled us:

 "Dear _____, For anything I have ever said or done that has hurt or offended you, please know that I am truly sorry. That was never my intention. In whatever ways I failed you as a mother, please accept my apology. I know I let you down. If I ever did anything that made you feel unloved or unwanted, I can't even begin to tell you how saddened I am by that. I wish I had known because I have never loved anyone as deeply as I have loved you. Love, Mom."

Don't hesitate to offer an apology. It is the first step to emotional healing and a possible reconciliation of the relationship. "It matters not who caused the problem. It only matters who initiates the healing."*

*The Great Truth
Order your copy of The Secret Side of Anger or The Great Truth @

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is oftentimes misunderstood and difficult to put into action. For some, when another offends or betrays them, moving beyond the anger and the need to get even can feel impossible. 

Forgiveness is a conscious choice to let go of all anger, pain, bitterness, and negative feelings associated with a particular individual or incident. It allows for human imperfection by recognizing that it is impossible for any of us to journey through life without ever hurting or offending another. Even those who are kind, thoughtful, and polite have moments of poor judgment when they unintentionally inflict pain and suffering on others. Forgiveness allows us to move beyond the incident rather than remain tethered to it for eternity.

"Forgiveness replaces judgment and anger with understanding and compassion."*

Imagine for a moment suffering a painful injury such as a broken bone. With the proper medical treatment, the wound will heal, the pain will cease, and the bone actually becomes stronger at the site of the fracture. One can recall in vivid detail the incident but they no longer suffer any residual pain. They have experienced a complete healing.  So it is with forgiveness but on an emotional and spiritual level. One remembers what occurred but no longer feels the emotions. What remains in its place is an acceptance of what has happened and a sense of peace.  One can forgive without forgetting. 

So why, then, do some refuse to forgive? They mistakenly believe that to do so negates the seriousness of the incident (it doesn't) or that it gives license for the offender to repeat the wrongdoing (one can set boundaries). For others, holding on to the anger gives them a sense of power and control over the other party ("I'll never forgive you for what you did to me!"), inflicting guilt and shame on them. Some use this as a form of manipulation. I once heard it said that to not forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. You only hurt yourself.

Imagine what it would feel like to actually forgive someone who you are holding a grudge against? Imagine being comfortable with what has transpired (even though you may not be happy about it), taking back control of your happiness, and restoring inner peace and serenity? In truth, forgiveness is the path to inner peace. Be at peace. You have suffered enough.

"To forgive is to allow for human imperfection 
without thoughts of judgment or retaliation."**

For more, read "I'll Never Ever Forgive Again!" @

*The Great Truth by Janet Pfeiffer
** by Janet Pfeiffer

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


First it was Dan "Buck" Brannaman, the horse whisperer; then Cesar Millan who whispered to dogs. A Google search revealed there are whisperers for cats, babies, donkeys, skunks, reptiles and (no joke) one for serial killers. In this week's edition of the Daily Record, a unique category emerged when a gentleman named Jim Conroy referred to himself as the "tree whisperer." He believes that trees and plants respond to touch, bioenergy and alternative forms of healing. While those of the animal kingdom use their special abilities to train difficult members of their designated species, Mr. Conroy uses his gift to heal and balance plant life, specifically trees. The serial killer whisperer, well, you can Google that one yourself.

Never being one who kept up with current trends (a quick glance at my wardrobe will attest to that), I've decided to jump on the bandwagon of this one. Henceforth, from this moment on, I want to be identified as the "Anger Whisperer". Cool moniker, isn't it? I hereby claim exclusive rights to it (if that's even possible).

What does it mean to be an Anger Whisperer? Too often, when people become upset with another individual or in a particular situation, they become aggressive and loud. Yelling, screaming, cursing or threatening becomes a method of expressing their discontent. Many believe that situations ("I can't get the stupid lid off this jar!") respond best to loud noises. We can all attest to the fact that lids react favorably to an increase in vocal volume. And certainly, we've all witnessed the positive impact on others when we scream at them. I know I have. I suddenly develop a fervent desire to comply with the other party when they raise their voice at me.

An "anger whisperer" is one who chooses to speak with confidence rather than hysteria. (The above behaviors are hysterical - and not in the comedic sense.) Secure in their position, they speak clearly and concisely, make requests rather than demands, avoid blame like the plague, are respectful of all parties, and actively seek solutions. Being an "AW" conserves energy, too. It takes far less exertion to speak calmly as opposed to harshly. Additionally, you avoid alienating or offending those around you or damaging the task you are working on. And no one needs to "clean up your mess" when your rant is complete.

I invite each one of you to become an "anger whisperer" disciple. When confronting another person:
~ Speak your words softly but firmly (as my above "whispering" colleagues do);
~ Build trust;
~ Gain the cooperation and respect of those around you;
~ Work towards finding a solution that benefits all concerned;
~ Be a voice of peace and healing;
Whispering works. Try it. Just don't steal my handle. : >) 

Order your copy of The Secret Side of Anger and The Great Truth @

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Disproportionate and Distractive Anger: When Emotion Outweighs Event

We've all experienced moments when we, or someone around us, over reacts to an incident.  Your husband forgets to pick up the dry cleaning on his way home from work and you blow up at him. You neglect to use your turn signal when exiting the highway and the driver behind you blasts his horn repeatedly. While anger is a normal response to what does not go according to our beliefs or desires, there are levels that are deemed reasonable and those that far exceed what is considered healthy.  When this occurs, there are underlying issues spurring the exaggerated response.

Disproportionate anger is comparable to a shelf where one places more objects than the lumber is designed to hold. Each item, in and of itself, is manageable. However, the final object (although light in comparison to the others) is the preverbal straw that breaks the camel's back. Seemingly minor incidents of anger that are left unresolved can result in any one occurrence causing an explosion of emotion.

Distractive anger seeks to divert the attention off the one who is misbehaving by projecting it on to the other person, thereby avoiding having to be held accountable for their issues and inappropriate actions. This can be accomplished by making false accusations, recalling a separate issue where the other party acted in an unbecoming manner, changing the topic to something unrelated or several other methods.

In either scenario, it is critical to be aware of what is transpiring so that one may uncover and resolve the real issues. Here are a few tips to practice to help you accomplish this:

1. If you are over reacting, take a step back and re examine the situation. Ask yourself if your feelings are fair and reasonable based on what is occurring. If not, seek to uncover what other issues you may be harboring that have not yet been resolved.
2. Put everything into the proper perspective. How serious is this issue really? Will it even matter in ten years?
3. If the other party is trying to distract you from the real issue, set boundaries. Be firm. Keep them on point. If they refuse to address the actual issue, cease the discussion immediately.
4. Be fair to all parties concerned. If you're actions are or have the potential to harm anyone, reconsider your choices. Take into account how your behavior and choices will affect you and all those concerned now and in the future. 

Once unleashed, anger cannot be retracted and in its wake it causes devastation for many. Think first - there are healthier options available.

For more, read "What Were They Thinking?" @
Order your copy of The Secret Side of Anger and The Great Truth @