Tag Archives: Healing Process

FORGIVENESS AND THE VIRUS

This blog may be hard for some people but very very important. These days of uncertainty we don’t know when a person may die. Don’t know if we will have a chance to say goodbye, or even have a chance to, without saying we’re sorry or forgive them before it is too late. We may not even be able to have a funeral. Please hear this, please.

So many times, I have worked with people and helped to comfort them when they are in deep deep sorrow and loss of someone, they really did love BUT became angry for whatever reason, in hindsight these reasons are never important. Or they decided to distance themselves from these people in their lives because they decided never to forgive them. I am not talking about situations where there is danger.

This is also true of the other way when people decide that we have done something so horrible so awful that they can’t forgive us and they decide to punish us for years. And there’s nothing that we can do to change it no matter hard we try.

It may sound like “I will never love you.” “you will never be welcomed in my home again.” ‘I will never talk to you again.” “You will never see your grandchildren again.” They My have believe lies about us that others or family members have said. Or they may create lies about us and get others to believe them.

It could be that WE choose to keep our distance physically, mentally and emotionally and not talk to them or share with them or share our lives with them. And we decide not to be around them. But whatever the reason or whoever does it is because they or we decide they or we are hurt. This may be true or not true. Or we couldn’t handle any more pain from them. Or they couldn’t handle any more pain from us.

At this point I am saying to you is it does not matter. What matters is bringing peace and healing to the situation. Healing is all that matters and is all that is important. Holding on to old hurts or pains or things you don’t like about somebody is wrong. We all goof, we all make mistakes and we all need to and have to forgive to be free of pain.

So, the pain and anger are handled all the wrong ways. We have to feel our feelings fully and appropriately, we do not hurt something else alive like people or animals. Hurt only causes more hurt and pain. It never feels good it never does what we think it should do like hurt somebody else that has hurt us.

Whatever has happened this is a time of forgiveness. Forgive them. Ask for forgiveness, forgiveness has an absolute miracle in it that God has put there for us. The three words” I am sorry.” And “Forgive me.” Are some of the most powerful words that can ever be said. Please, please hear me, please don’t let another day go by without bringing forgiveness in a situation that you may have hurt and pain and anger in it. This is so important.

If you choose, God forbid, not to do this then you may live with major regrets for the rest of your life. Those regrets don’t heal for a long long time and are very painful. You may become bitter for the rest of your life. Medical research says holding on to hurt anger, etc. hurts our physical body and we will get sick and die early.

Reach out to those people in your life where there has been conflict, hurt, anger, and unforgiveness. People that you need to forgive. People you need to ask forgiveness from. The miracle of forgiveness is so powerful it changes our and other’s lives.

Sadly, if the other person will not respond they choose to stay angry, God still has the miracle of forgiveness for you and will bring you peace. Still forgive. Don’t hesitate, Risk everything to do this. It helps you, others your family and it help the world to have less anger in it, and help everyone to heal.

Praying for all of you. Peace and blessings

VIRUS AND LONELINESS

I have been talking about loneliness. Now with the virus in everyone’s life one way or another, loneliness has a new difficult dimension.  We are meant to be social, helping and encouraging each other. Now we have a stay at home and six-foot rule. This creates more loneliness world wide that we ever could have imagined.

We do have to feel what is happening to us. Do it safely. All our feelings are good and help us get information from our world. Right now, the big one is anxiety/fear. So, release it but feeling it appropriately. REMEMBER WHAT WE DO WITH OUR FEELINGS IS GOOD AND BAD NOT THE FEELINGS THEMSEVLES!

To release your feelings appropriately so they don’t build up inside of us, we have to follow these three rules. We have to use these to feel our feeling fully and safely:

  1. Can’t hurt yourself
  2. Can’t hurt something alive – plants, animals, PEOPLE –no yelling or hitting
  3. Can’t damage property you don’t want to damage – no phone throwing….

What else can we do with this? There are a number of things we can do to help us and other through it. The important thing is to know we are going to get through this and I know that good will come out of it even if that doesn’t seem possible now. Here are some ideas:

  1. Call people
  2. Skype or Zoom with people
  3. When you see people, we can still wave, smile and say Hi!
  4. Pray for people, the world and the ending to this virus
  5. Attend religious services online
  6. Use this time to develop a hobby, clean, organize, play with your family, do projects, read, etc.
  7. Take time to get to know who you are and explore goals you want to accomplish
  8. Go for a walk, exercise
  9. There are good things happening in this world with the virus, the media seems only want to focus on the awful stuff. Look for the good stuff
  10. The more positive we are, the more we are going to feel better, less stressed and less anxious.

We are going to come out of this.

Please see next on helping our children

STAGES OF LONELINESS CONTINUED

The stages of loneliness continue in this blog. Remember, like grief stages, these may occur in random order.

2. Bitterness – Painful Feelings channeled. When we do not deal with our painful feelings, they may fill up and spill over and come out in ways we never intended. One of those ways is becoming bitter. When this happens, we may feel helpless and not have any survival skills that are working. The painful feeling turn into anger and we lash out at others.

This is a big one because we become someone usually, we do not like. Bitterness can consume us. We may seek vengeance. Again, when we don’t do our feeling work by feeling our feelings fully, they build up affect all aspects of our lives.

When I have become bitter, there is nothing okay in my life, everything is wrong, horrible and I feel like I want to lash out at anyone and everyone. Everyone is fair game.

I may even rationalize that it is everyone else’s fault and blame everyone for everything. I am critical, angry and obnoxious. This drives people further away and create more loneliness, the more loneliness the more bitterness. Often loneliness is so intense, the person gives up trying to be around people and isolates, which leads to more depression, fears, anger and bitterness.

3. Abandonment. A deep-seated fear, terror and panic is abandonment. These feelings are powerful and the core of our survival. As we all know, when we are born, and for many years as children, we have to have others taking care of us. HAVE TO! Or we will not literally survive. We will die. This is genetically ingrained in us. So, when we are abused/ neglected the fear is triggered and we know we will not make it. This is a primal fear. I then combine with the sadness that no one is there for us. We then have loneliness and terror of the most profound kind, literally- survival. This is a deep, deep seated terror because life always strives to live.

Underneath the loneliness is the fear, terror. It is part of the trauma, yes, but it is also part of the abandonment. We usually learn early that we have to hide the fear or we would get hurt worse. So, our protection system works to keep us away from it so much so we are not aware of it at all. We couldn’t face it, deal with it and keep going. It would have stopped us because it holds devastating truths about our lives.

To deal with this fear, we have to allow ourselves to be in the loneliness. We have to put our protective system on a shelf so we can allow ourselves to feel the feelings and go deep inside of us. Then these powerful feeling of fear surface and we can heal.
They are intense and have worked to take care of us all of our lives. These feelings have worked to protect us from the world as well as from the pain inside of us so we could keep going. I wanted to use ALL my OLD protective survival skills, we never lose them, just don’t need them, usually.  I choose to go after the healing and gifts it had for me. Here is some of getting to the core experience and its entanglement:

They will find out about the real me! Panic! No! Please no! They will then know for sure I am not okay, bad, awful, terrible and defective. They will know am the shame! Why would anyone be around me? I can’t survive! I decided because of what happened to me and how I was treated that I am the problem, actually many people in my family told me that I AM the problem. If I would just change then everything would be better and I would be accepted.  What a lie, it is an illusion on their part, using me as a scapegoat and desperate hope on my part. Since I am not okay, it then follows that people don’t like me because I am not okay and they don’t want to be around me. That is why I am lonely. Its’ all my fault. Whew! What a complicated way to not be okay.

Invitation to Breaking Free from Trauma class every third Thursday in Muskegon , MI. It is Live-Streamed!

SPIRITUAL LONELINESS

Spiritual Loneliness: The Ultimate Loneliness

The ultimate loneliness is a deep core spiritual loneliness for God. Some people tell me, I don’t believe in God, I don’t need Him.  He wasn’t there for me when I was being hurt. The reality is – there is a God. God loves you beyond what you can ever imagine. God wants to help you heal. God cries with us and we are told He even collects our tears. Whether you believe in God or not, God is always with you. You can’t get rid of Him/Her. All healing happens with God whether we know it or not.

One of the strongest areas of loneliness is missing God. We even have a physical spot in the upper abdomen, solar plexus, which is considered the spiritual area in our bodies. When we are lonely, that spot often feels like an emptiness, a gnawing deep inside of us that never goes away causing a deep dark depression and desperation. It may even feel like a never ending hunger and we try to fill it with food! Or we may go to the doctors thinking we have physical problems. This type of hunger can only be filled spiritually. Please understand that it may be a physical problem so see you doctor. And it may be a spiritual emptiness that nothing physical can fix.

I believe we are spiritual being, having a human experience in a very intense, difficult lifelong school. We are here to grow and learn how to love and be loved no matter what happens to us. It is hard and we have to work to transcend and go above and beyond not just endure and get through what life throws at us. For me, I need God to help me graduate with honors.

Whether we decide to be connected to God or not, we have been created to be in a relationship with God. We are not complete or whole without developing our spirituality.  Without being connected there will be the existential loneliness or depression constantly in our lives.

So what do we do if there has been no connection to God? To start, take time  to meditate, walk in the woods and ask God to let you know He/She is there.  Nature has a wonderful essences of love and lifts us through biological and chemical process just by being in  it. It is a choice! Choose to be open to developing and learning about your spirituality.  Everyone has a spiritual part, everyone.

 

Breaking Free from Trauma class is live streamed on Facebook. Come join us! Every Thursday at 6:30 PM at 1560 Leonard in Muskegon MI. Under Donna LaMar.

LONELIINESS AND TIME

Loneliness and Time 

Here is a BIG one when we are dealing with loneliness. When we have been traumatized, we usually learn to live the future. Living in the present is not an option because in the present is where we have been so hurt, abused, terrified and LONELY. The present time, terrifies us. In the future, we see a ray of hope that life could possibly be better. So our focus in and on the future where there is hope.

Sometimes we live in the past going over and over the hurt, pain and fear. We put past memories into memory block where we don’t really don’t remember them. Some do become stuck in the past. For most, our hope is in the future. This is one of the main reasons we are lonely. We can’t live and be fully present in the future. The only place to we can live is in the present moment. So we are lonely not only for others, but desperately for ourselves too.

Sadly, the older we get, the future seems never to comes and aren’t able to create the life we dreamed and hoped for no matter how hard we worked and tried. We may see us running out of time maaybe we are older and we see little or no future to live or hope for. For whatever reason, our hope may fade and depression sets in with its fear and loneliness.  P.S.– If they have not nailed your coffin down, there is hope, life and purpose ready to be embraced in your life. It is not too late. We have worked with 90 year olds who changes their lives and their relationships before going home to God.

The reality, we can’t live in the future. To live in the present, we need to make a decision and then correct ourselves gently and lovingly to come back to the present moment. That takes effort and we have to feel all of our feelings that come. We can only feel feelings in the present moment. Another reason we like the future so much.

What happens is that because we have lived in the future and past, again, we are lonely for ourselves, others and God. Relationships occur only  in the present moment. The present it the only place we can truly know ourselves, be in fellowship with others and God. It is truly the only place we can live, heal and grow and not be lonely.

So, all that said, we need to remind ourselves to stay in the present and live our life. When we find ourselves in the past, we need to gently bring us back into the present and ask ourselves what was painful about it.  Do your feeling work and gain the wisdom it offers you.

 

Breaking Free from Trauma class is live streamed on Facebook. Come join us! Every Thursday at 6:30 PM at 1560 Leonard in Muskegon MI. Under Donna LaMar.

TRAUMA & LONELINESS

This blog starts discussion on loneliness and surviving and transcending trauma. I hope it helps and please let me know your thoughts and feelings.

TRAUMA AND LONELINESS

I am sitting on my bed and feeling sorry for myself, playing spider solitaire and rarely going out and actually blaming God for just about everything. Mostly I am intensely lonely. Horribly lonely with my whole being wanting to crawl under the covers and never come out! But the push the write is strong I can’t ignore it. How I wish I could. To help others I have to feel and fully and come to understand it. So this chapter is on loneliness

Being a Transcender, I have come to know loneliness in ways I wish I never had to know. It has been a constant companion beyond anything I could ever have imagined. It has filled me with its dull, aching, gnawing, emptiness and throbbing for days at a time. It has taken my life energy more times than I can count.

As I look back, and am truthful, I remember always being lonely in childhood. No one really there. Any friend I had and bring home was ridiculed so I learned not to bring them home anymore. I learned to raise myself the best that I could with no one to help me. I would watch others and learn by observing them and listening to them. I wish there had been one person to share the pain and loneliness. Of course then I probably wouldn’t be writing this book.

While growing up, it seemed like I was always by myself. So as a child, I found comfort in making clay images and fantasizing about how someday I would be important. Someday I would matter. I even remember pretending that I helped other people and rescued them. In the fantasies, I was not alone and was a heroine like in the westerns. I saw me as important to other people and they wanted to be around me. People talked to me and I wasn’t be hurt or ridiculed. I was okay and accepted. And I wasn’t lonely.

Then finally went to college and got out. Then work, marriage, kids and more work and then more school, I was extremely busy. That kept me out of the pain as well as the loneliness. Sadly, I divorced and when I look back I was extremely lonely in the marriage.  It all kept me out of the loneliness.

A dear soul sister, Betsy, stood by me through helping me raise the children and the divorce. We went on to create an amazing nonprofit farm program to help people heal and grow using animal and plant therapies. It was a success! For twenty years, we had a good team of staff and animals. People healed and grew. I loved very part of it.

Sadly, Betsy, my precious soul sister passed away three months after moving in to our beloved farm. Loneliness started to surface along with the devastating grief but the program demanded much I was constantly running. So I was able to keep busy for years and keep the loneliness as bay most of the time. I spent time with people and the precious animals when I needed comfort.

BITTERNESS – HOW DO I COPE?

When we are bitter, it affects our all our lives – thinking, feeling, speaking, behavior, and all our relationships. This is because of the pain and hurt inside of us. Sometimes we will even feel it in our physical bodies and the physical pain lodged from trauma can be intense. Please know, we have to go to doctors and have be examined and make sure something is not wrong.

When we have been so hurt for so long we may not even remember how feeling good feels like. We may just know the bitterness, anger/rage, hurt, fear, jealousy, sorrow and loss.  We may have many ways to cope with it, some healthy and some not so healthy trying to settle and stop the turbulence and battle down inside of us.

Here are some NOT healthy techniques;

  1. Ignoring my feelings – feeling literally grow stronger inside of us if we do not feel our feeling appropriately. (See below).
  2. Bitterness grieves even our spirit – ignoring God and our religion hurts us even more
  3. Substance abuse (any kind) – a drug is a drug is a drug that include alcohol. It doesn’t not matter how we get the drug in our system they all damage us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
  4. Food – either over or under eating can help comfort us but may hurt our bodies.
  5. Any kind of addictions – food, exercise, shopping, stealing, work, etc.

Note: an addition is a repeated behavior we use to help us deal with pain that creates a chemical change in our bodies. We often get an Adrenalin rush from most addictions.

  1. Hurting yourself – cutting, hitting, burning, sexting, etc. This often gives us a high and reduces the emotional pain inside of us. Surprising isn’t it?
  2. Emotionally putting yourself down – we can be our own worst critic and even punish ourselves for any misbehaving as we perceive it.
  3. Staying in abusive relationships
  4. Yelling or hitting others – includes our children
  5. And the list goes on….

Here are some healthy ways to deal with feelings.

  1. Feel the feelings fully and appropriately. This is so important! Appropriately means to follow these three rules: (1) Can’t hurt myself, (2) Can’t hurt something alive – plants, animals or people; (3) Can’t damage property I don’t want to damage. Children get – you can’t damage property.

These HAVE to be followed. Following them we can do many things to release the feeling from inside of us.  We can cry, write, journal, draw, sculpture, etc.

Let’s talk about anger. Anger often gets us into a lot of trouble and we need a safe way to release its physical energy as well as the Adrenalin that comes with it.  Following the three rules, we can beat a pillow, mattress, punching bag (stuffed duffel bags are great); yell/scream (if you don’t want anyone to hear your, fill your sink with water and then scream in the water …or swim and do it; twist a towel real hard or have someone hold an end of a sheet and twist; yell/scream; slam doors (not refrigerator or glass doors – good strong ones); etc.  Again following the three rules we can release any feeling safely without hurting ourselves or someone else.

Note: If you were abused and have a fear of hurting someone when you are angry, always do your anger work by yourself when no one is around. Know also you may be afraid of anger because of what you experienced.

  1. Get into counseling or psychotherapy and stay there until you find more of you, have less intense painful feelings, gained insight and wisdom and life has gotten better.
  2. Talk with trusted friends about how you feel
  3. Pray and spend time with God.
  4. Attend religious services
  5. Find your passion and purpose. That often involves using what has happened to us in a way that makes a difference in the world.
  6. Start thanking God for everything in your life – the good, bad and ugly. This helps the brain physically shift old patterns of thinking to more positive ones.
  7. Develop the skill of forgiveness, forgive often.
  8. Forgive and pray for those who hurt you. This is a process and takes time. I usually does not happen overnight. The more we heal, the more we can forgive. The more I heal, the more I forgive, the freer I become.
  9. Exercise, but not to the extent it becomes excessive and abusive to you

These are only some of the way to cope, I am sure you can think of many more. We usually have to try different ways to find the ways that work best for us. People seem to have favorite ways to release them appropriately.

Feel free to contact me.

Blessings

 

BITTERNESS – OUR LIVES & OTHERS LIVES

We have talked a lot about bitterness because it can take over our lives so much if we do not decide to approach our pain and hurt in a healthier way.  Pain and hurt are usually the feelings under anger. Anger is often a cover feeling. We flip the pain to anger because anger is easier to feel, it has energy to it. Then if we are angry long enough or work to not to show our anger directly at people, we can create bitterness.

Bitterness is not a subject that makes people happy and inspired to go do great things. It stops us in creating enriching relationships with ourselves and others. So we don’t like talking about it. We can, however, make a decision to heal and create a healthier, less violent world. Wow! If we think about that, really think about it, we have the power to help make this world more loving and less violent!

If we choose to be less bitter or angry that in turn changes my interactions with just about everyone I come in contact with. Did you ever think about the cashier at the grocery store for instance? They check us out, pack our items and tell us to have a good day. Do we look at them? Smile? Ask how they are doing? Maybe they are having a discouraging day and a smile, kind word or even a thank you would mean so much to them. So often we can give them a hard time and complain or ignore them as if they were robots.  Again, it is a decision about what we are going to do with our feelings. Care, support and encourage or hurt, put down and damage?

To change, we have to make the decision to heal and grow from our wounds. We can continue to brood and “lick our wounds.” Brooding is what a hen does with her eggs when she is working to hatch them. She spreads her wings over the eggs, settles deeply down in the nest and stays there keeping them warm for many weeks. She rarely moves from the brooding until the eggs hatch. We don’t hatch eggs but we sure can brood well as humans hovering over our pain.

Our other choice is to heal, grow and gain wisdom from the trauma experiences we have endured and been damaged by. I don’t know about you, but I do know  what I do not want, I don’t  want the trauma and those people who hurt me to win! I want to show them that no matter what, I have chosen to be a different and caring kind person and I refuse to let their actions win.

Letting them win means I become like them –giving into the pain, acting out so I add to the world’s problems and hurt people like they did. I have personally chosen to be different than what happened to me. I choose to be different than what they did to me. I choose to be stronger, kinder, more courageous and smarter than the people who hurt me and not let what happened to me continue to rule my life. That does not me I am perfect and don’t hurt people sometimes, I am human and make mistakes

We make this change by healing and overcoming. It is hard work and we have to feel the feelings appropriately of what has happened to us to heal. We have to grieve everything that we got –hurt, neglect, pain and everything we didn’t get –love, caring, developing of our talents….. Yes it is hard and so worth it. We gain so much from the healing journey.

When we heal we learn we can forgive and become truly free! Remember forgiveness is not saying what they did was OK, it was not and never will be. But we can heal and rise above, that is transcend what has happened to us. We may have things we have to forgive ourselves for, and we learn we can!

Note: Please don’t give up, freedom from the pain is possible. Overcoming and becoming a Transcender is totally waiting for us. It becomes our gift to us, those around us and the world.

 

BITTERNESS – THE CRITICALNESS

 

What is looks and sounds like:

“I don’t want to be like this, I want to be me, I am not mean I am really a nice person. But I hate everyone and everything. I want to be different, be the real me. I need to change, I want to change. It’s time to heal. But how?

“I am critical of everyone and everything. I judge, condemn and want to argue and fight with everyone. I fight for my time with God, beg people to pray for me so it think I am ok…. but I am still not aware of have become bitter……BUT I HAVE!  Lord help me I am bitter, angry and want to destroy and hurt. I think I think it will help with the pain…..nothing helps with the pain….nothing.

“I fight each morning to get my brain under control, to get the darkness out of it, but the pain seeps back in and I want revenge again. I know I won’t do it but love planning it…it feels good.  Thinking that, I hate me again. Life is lousy, lousy, no one likes me or wants me around…I don’t want me around!

“I begin to see life and people as mean and they are out to hurt me. It seems they are working to shun me. They have mean looks on their faces…no that is not true, I know I have a mean look on MY face and they are responding to it. I am desperately lonely, but I am so critical and afraid others will hurt me more.

“I view others out to get me, hurt me…I long to go home and hide. It is too hard in this world, too hard. I cry a lot, scream in the water, and try to keep going, giving and all I want to do is sleep and make all this pain go away. But I have to keep going pretending I am not bitter and hide it from everyone. Pretend to be nice when I don’t feel nice.

“I see and believe no one likes me. I am awful, horrible, mean, terrible person and no one wants me around. I know it is because of what I have gone through. I have a RIGHT to be bitter, look what happened to me! So I have a choice –bitter or better. Bitterness is like acid, inside of me. It’s like having ground up glass surging through me, hurting me over and over again. It cuts me and I am bleeding  profusely all the time…. then I lash out to hurt others. Sometimes I can control it for a while and pretend I am okay, but then I have to run and hide so it doesn’t show. Trying to make the pain go away. It’s grinding me up, eating me away like acid. It is destroying my real self, the nice me, the one that loves people and wants to help them. I never heal. I’m never okay. It comes out in zaps, hurts, explosions, misunderstandings, jealousy, enviousness, looks…..”  And the list goes on.

Bitterness crushes the soul. It is like a wound that never heals, never because the hurts and wounds form the world continue and the person does not know how to make it stop. So it devastates the spirit. The result is the hurt is so intense it feels like it is slicing through us—we keep bringing up the hurts over and over again, because they are inside of us physically until we heal—over and over again. The brain is brings it up because we are actually trying to get rid of it. But we can’t until we heal.

Until we feel, deal with and heal from the embedded deep wounds, we will be crushed and we can’t let go or go on. Our struggle to cope becomes habitual then it shapes and changes our internal frame of reference, how we see ourselves in the world, it becomes skewed. We then can begin and continue to see the world as hurtful, people as cons and out to get us, use us, liars, and manipulators. Or we can see us as being nice so we can get something back, even a little something.  Thankfully, we can heal.

Becoming bitter takes time and comes from having been traumatized, wounded. It does not happen overnight. Wounds include disappointed, put down, abuse, violence, not valued, not respected, bullied….wounded in many ways. Sadly, when we lash out from our pain, we then feel bad having been so critical. We can then hate us for what we did; we devalue and judge us.

Healing also takes time, not as long as it did to be abused usually. It is hard, painful, wonderful and awesome. At the time of the trauma we don’t know how to get rid of it. It’s all one mess of glass and blood. It churns inside of us affecting every part of us –inside, outside…our entire life and all our relationships. But we can heal, we can forgive and when we do we gain wisdom and joy from the strength we earned and learned.

What to do about it:

In our world today there are many people who have become bitter and angry.  Healing is possible, always possible. We have to feel the feeling fully and appropriately to heal. We have to forgive. (See my blog on forgiveness.) I will talk about this area more as we continue our journey together.

 

FORGIVENESS OR BITTERNESS?

 When I or others are struggling with forgiving others who have hurt us, there is a process we go through which leads us to a important choice. Are we going to forgive and get better? Better, that is, to choose to become kinder, nicer, wiser, more understanding person with others as well as with ourselves. OR we will choose not to forgive because “I want them to suffer and feel my anger at them until they die!” Sadly, what unforgiveness does is hurt us – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. We usually stop growing and end up angry, hurt and our bodies feel pain and we can develop different diseases including the possibility of diabetes, heart disease and cancers. Diabetes has a direct line from trauma to our bodies. Deep grief also attacks the immune system.

Without choosing to forgive and heal, we often become bitter. So our choice is bitter or better. It is a choice and only we can make it. I was talking to a person who had been sexual, mentally and emotional abused. She was deeply struggling to recover and heal from trauma. The pain in her eyes was over flowing with tears. The hurt seemed unbearable. I felt it with her. It is overwhelming her and seemed like it would never end.

She said, “I can’t forgive that thing. He did horrible things to me, horrible. I haven’t told you about some of the worst. I can’t speak the words yet. My doctor is worried about me having diabetes. I can’t keep going like this but I can’t forgive. If I forgive, he wins! He can’t win I have worked too hard to win and stay angry so he never gets control again, never. But I can’t keep staying in this pain, it is torture.”

Becoming bitterness is the process that takes our hurt, anger, despair and fear and changing our Internal Frame of Reference. The internal frame of reference is a philosophical concept. It is the view we have of ourselves and the world that was developed and came from our many experiences in life from people, situations, experiences, traumas, etc. It is how I decide to feel and think about it about me and the world I live in. Often victims start as happy, loving children who after being traumatized change to depressed, fearful and angry children/adults. This is a shift in their internal frame of reference.

If I have been hurt and angry and see no way of getting out of it, or bent on vengeance, my internal frame of reference will see the world as out to hurt me or get me. I then may choice to avoid the pain by becoming aggressive, shy, class clown, bully, negative, bitter, etc. This behavior is how I have chosen to be in my world, often because I had to protect me. This is my Being in the World. How I behave is based on how I view the world, my internal frame of reference which influences my feelings, thought and behaviors, or Being in the World. Now you are philosophers!

John came into my office, upset, panicked and very angry. “I’ll never forgive him. He hurt me, he destroyed my life.” We had been working on forgiving his father for molesting him, father was now deceased. He understood intellectually that forgiveness was something he had to do for him. The hard part was he needed to feel the feelings of the betrayal to heal and forgive. He said “I understand it is for me! I get that! I hate it! Hate it! I won’t ever forgive him, may he rot in hell for what he did to me. I hate him.” He then began to cry with deep, painful sobs. He cried and cried. He yelled at him, cried some more…then when the deep anguishing tears were done, he became quiet. “I do forgive him, I loved him in spite of what he did to me. All I wanted was love from him. He called it “love” that it wasn’t for sure. I will never understand why he could do such a horrible thing to me, never. I don’t think he intended to ruin my life.”

John chose to forgive, so he could heal and let the deep anguishing pain go. “I had such a hard time letting go of the pain. I had tucked it away deep inside of me in a coffin-like box where it would stay forever. But it didn’t stay there. It keep changing my how I acted and I end up hurting others and myself. I coped the best I could but it always got out somehow.”

“I thought if I could stay angry and not forgive him then I could keep going. I kept going but I became angry, bitter and started hating my life and people around me. I tried and tried to change, but I had to let the deep pain go. I had to forgive. That made the difference.”

 

Next time more about forgiveness and bitterness and its process.