They have not just provided first aid, in effect, for people in difficulties; they have provided the means for changing the world in ways that remove those difficulties. As Alan Wolfe says, "Religion can lead people out of cycles of poverty and dependency just as it led Moses out of Egypt". There is much for religion lovers to be proud of in their traditions, and much for all of us to be grateful for. The fact that so many people love their religions as much as, or more than, anything else in their lives is a weighty fact indeed. I am inclined to think that nothing could matter more than what people love.
At any rate, I can think of no value that I would place higher. I would not want to live in a world without love. Would a world with peace, but without love, be a better world? Not if the peace was achieved by drugging the love and hate out of us, or by suppression. Would a world with justice and freedom, but without love, be a better world? Not if it was achieved by somehow turning us all into loveless law-abiders with none of the yearnings or envies or hatreds that are wellsprings of injustice and subjugation.
It is hard to consider such hypotheticals, and I doubt if we should trust our first intuitions about them, but, for what it is worth, I surmise that we almost all want a world in which love, justice, freedom, and peace are all present, as much as possible, but if we had to give up one of these, it wouldn't — and shouldn't — be love.
But, sad to say, even if it is true that nothing could matter more than love, it wouldn't follow from this that we don't have reason to question the things that we, and others, love. Love is blind, as they say, and because love is blind, it often leads to tragedy: to conflicts in which one love is pitted against another love, and something has to give, with suffering guaranteed in any resolution. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. There's nothing you can do that can't be done Nothing you can sing that can't be sung Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It's easy. We all been playing those mind games forever Some kinda druid dudes lifting the veil. Doing the mind guerrilla, Some call it magic — the search for the grail.
Love is the answer and you know that for sure. Love is a flower, you got to let it — you got to let it grow. We have come by curious ways To the Light that holds the days; We have sought in haunts of fear For that all-enfolding sphere: And lo! Deep in every heart it lies With its untranscended skies; For what heaven should bend above Hearts that own the heaven of love?
If you believe in peace , act peacefully; if you believe in love, acting lovingly; if you believe every which way, then act every which way, that's perfectly valid — but don't go out trying to sell your beliefs to the system. You end up contradicting what you profess to believe in, and you set a bum example. If you want to change the world , change yourself. There are three lessons I would write, — Three words — as with a burning pen, In tracings of eternal light Upon the hearts of men.
Have Hope. But the season ends; the world moves on. And we need to move on with it. Sharing reminds us that everyone makes mistakes. Confessing what you've done also prevents you from slipping into denial, suppression, repression, and forgetting.
You don't necessarily want to reconcile with the person you hurt; you just want to get rid of the shame, release the blame, and feel calm and whole at your center. Most of us have a set of unconscious rules hovering in the back of our minds about how we expect ourselves to behave. But those rules, many of which we absorbed in childhood rather than actually thought about, are not always realistic. When my friend Susan's mom had a slight stroke, for example, Susan felt she should invite her mom to move in with her.
A daughter always takes care of her mother, right? But her mother was and had always been an absolutely miserable human being, a lot like mob boss Tony Soprano's hateful mother on the HBO series The Sopranos. There was no way to please her. Every word that came out of her mouth was a criticism, a put-down, or a complaint. And it was all delivered in a nasty tone intended to wither everyone around her with contempt.
With the help of her friends and husband, Susan realized that it wasn't realistic—or fair—to bring such overwhelming negative energy into the house. So she helped her mom move into an assisted living community with a pool of trained helpers on call morning, noon, and night. Realize that the hurt feelings, guilty thoughts, and tummy-tightening stress you feel whenever you think of your offense is what's actually making you feel bad—not what you did two minutes or 10 years ago, says Luskin. It's your reaction to it today that's causing a problem.
It's a habit that has to go. Replaying what you did over and over again in your head isn't going to help you or the person you hurt. It just makes you feel bad. So every time you catch yourself ruminating on your sins, stop, and refocus your attention on something more positive. When you can't forgive yourself because of something you've done to someone else, sometimes all it takes is a sincere apology to make things right.
Apologies are most effective if made in person, of course. But if that's not possible, consider wrapping your apology in a little humor. One woman who owed her husband an apology sent him a copy of the game "Sorry! Not to be beaten, her husband responded with a copy of the old Brenda Lee single, "I'm Sorry. It's a second strategy Luskin developed to use whenever you start beating yourself up over past sins.
Simply close your eyes, draw in a long breath that gently pushes out your belly, then slowly exhale as you relax your belly. Draw a second breath, and exhale. On the third deep breath, says Luskin, create a mental image of someone you love or of a beautiful place in nature that fills you with awe: a beautiful beach, a path through a majestic redwood forest, a mountain stream tumbling over rocks.
Breathe deeply as your mind explores the natural beauty around you.
When we are able to enjoy and fully experience each passing moment, we get more out of life and permit ourselves to be happy. I came to the conclusion that I was projecting my feelings towards myself on to her and that I was really hurting both of us. Will I ever be able to get over this and look at him with the same eyes I used to? Decide to let go of your hurt so you can create a serene satisfaction for yourself. Revenge is another thing that doesn't do anyone any good.
Notice how you feel, and allow those feelings to center on the area around your heart. If you spent half the family's monthly food budget on a new coat, make it up to them by turning out the tastiest meals ever cooked on a shoestring. Didn't get to your son's championship soccer game until the second half? Make it right by volunteering to be next year's assistant coach. Even if the person you hurt is dead or otherwise absent from your life, you can still make things right by providing a kindness to someone else, says Luskin. OK, you can't go back and change things now, but can you go out of your way to be an outstanding grandparent?
Well, I guess I shouldn't feel badly about being knocked around some more, as other commentators here evidently have misgivings about at least some of what the author has written. Perhaps what is truly sad is not that so many people struggle with negative emotions, but that when they seek help, they are mistreated all over again by the apparent abundance of egotistical, negative and inconsiderate personalities of those in the "helping" profession.
I cannot count the times I've encountered bullying within the therapeutic circles, and this author is no exception. Love and compassion are the best facilitators there are, yet these folks engage in the very kind of dialogue they lambaste their charges for. I honestly have to say that one of the greatest impediments to my own healing has been this, and not personal barriers such as ignorance, stubbornness and the like. A few recommendations: stop judging those in pain. Employ understanding and compassion. By all means, offer suggestions for healing, but use discretion. Don't rationalize the dynamics of their personal hurts.
Encourage any progress made. I guarantee you, the results will be more positive. I love this article very much. I read till my anger tears came out. Not point holding on to bitterness and ruin our future, our health and our well being. Instead, forgive, let go and move on in life. Thank you very much Mr. Leon F. Seltzer for this wonderful article. I am the youngest of my family male , troubled family, neglecting parents, depressive-aggressive father, careless and immature mother, we brothers grew up living in a hostile environment, that affected our personality, to relate healthy to others.
Me being the youngest, suffered the most, everyone belittled me, and took me for nothing. Now, as an adult, I just can not create healthy and meaningful relationships with other people, since I am intolerant to criticism, sarcasm and easily triggered short tempered distrustful, insecure, etc How can someone like me forgive , when I get fired from a job, lose chances, lose money, no progress, My failures in other areas of life because of my personality is a perpetual reminder of the people responsible of my troubled brain family toxicity , that I try to solve with no success I feel like I am dying slowly I usually don't respond to such comments 'cause I get s of them and constantly, so I can't possibly give them the time they deserve.
But I did want to take a moment that given what you've described if you could somehow get in longer-term therapy to develop new programs of feeling and belief,it could be invaluable to you. Obviously, the abuses you suffered have led to inner programming that can't help but be self-sabotaging and self-defeating. If you can't afford therapy, there might be a community mental health center that could see you on a sliding scale. If so, try to get the most senior person you can to work with you, 'cause it sounds as tho' there are no quick fixes for what you're describing.
There must have been a lot of personal trauma for you in your childhood and this needs to be confronted--and rectified. Thank you for the reply.
I have looked for counseling long term in the past, for 9 years, the psychologist just listened to me, no orientation, no advices, seemed to me a "placebo effect to vent my anger, frustration and depression" that eventually came back after a while. Then I tried PNL, same, "science not focused on troubled childhood" Then I tried EFT and has just worked for anxiety single moments, particular moments in which I feel anxiuos and nervous, does not fix more than that. What has helped more, is becoming more religious, stopped drinking and smoking, started a healthy diet, and doing cardio excercise.
These create a balance and good ground to notable improvements, but not fixed yet There is another technique called "visualization" in which someone told me that visualizing in deep concentration a past and faces that DID NOT existed, loving parents, united family, happy moments and things like that would eventually help a little, According to what I was told, the brain does not recognize if it was real or imagined, so the feeling is comfortable and healing, also visualize becoming more trustful, friendly, patient etc, eventually could lead me to start showing those patterns of behaviour.
I usually do not reed this online magazzine, articles are complex but your article on bitterness and the other one "The Pursuit of Happiness or the Quest for Wealth", got my full attention until reading the last line. I felt identified by what you wrote and easy to "digest" and understand, Thanks again for replying back. Self-awareness is the first step in getting better. And you sound like you have a lot of it!
So give yourself credit for that. Also, you need to put some distance between yourself and your family, as you could get re-wounded. Additionally, they may be impervious to reason. Then resolve to love yourself and get help. There's no doubt in my mind that you can heal.
Finally, when the time is right, seeking accountability is important. Everyone benefits whether they realize it or not from an accounting of what happened and how it hurt everyone. I think it's nice that the author wrote back, but I remain dismayed at the apparent entrenchment of the view that victims of abusive home environments are hapless, clueless people who do nothing but repeat the abuse. I much prefer the view that your experience has created mistrust and fear even contempt of other people, which has led to your relational and employment difficulties.
I am aware of my mental troubles social anxieties, frustration, depression, etc , I traced back the root of my failures, reading behavioral problems and seems that I have identified most of them and how my father and mother inherited that through example or DNA, one thing is to identify them, the next thing is solving them, which is the big challenge here. Doing it, is how one spend his life, trying to feel normal and happy for the first time, and in a matter of a blink, we are old enough I am 39 to start believing that we were marked forever and there will not be possible to feel free totally, perhaps just enough improvement to live with ups and downs, being conciouss that we may not be able to raise a family or getting married, so just to live alone and not being a burden for others and not getting next to toxic people and increase the drama.
I have seen people too, that lived a miserable childhood, then got married to a toxic couple , divorced, and again fell next to toxic person, repeating their suffering again and again is just really sad to know some cases. What about the responsibility of the perpetrator? If every victim is to forgive its perpetrator, then were is the consequence for the perpetrator?
In fact it sounds that by forgiving, you are actually enabling the perpetrator. After-all, he can just do wrong, be forgiven and then go on with no strings attached? I rather go with a 3 step process: let it hurt, let it heal, let it go. That way, you are actively working towards a goal but without the tabula rasa of forgiveness towards the perpetrator.
This piece if highly moralistic in nature, seems relatively unscientific and precedes to blame patients for their situations. I do not think this is appropriate behaviour for a clinical psychologist and think that you should be held in contempt. I find the disgust metaphors that litter this piece particularly distasteful. I imagine there may well be feedback loops at play. But I find the fact that a clinical psychologist fails to ask such very simple questions about the direction of causality but at the same time being certain enough to engage in lurid metaphor problematic.
I might suggest readers and the author Bad psychology, there. My particular story begins at age 4 at least that's my first memory of abuse.
No doubt there's more that's been repressed. So please tell me—what actions can a four-year-old boy be guilty of that would require retaliation from the ADULT abuser? In fact, the entire religious cult my parents were so into? But if you try to suppress your anger fillings by any method described here After all we are all animals If we do not show what we feel in the way that other can understand on their communication level You can not keep your head under sand and think - if i do not see anyone - nobody can see or hurt me I must add that forgiveness can be decided for or against on a case by case basis.
Not all matters can be just 'forgiven'. No way. What makes your anxiety triumph over anger—and vice versa? Have you ever acted out of spite? Who hasn't? Was it, finally, worth it?
Allowing: A Portrait of Forgiving and Letting Life Love You [Holly Riley] on oqyqeqyk.ga *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. REVISED EDITION Paperback Also available in Kindle, pdf and eBook formats at $ each. by Holly Riley (Author) REVISED EDITION INCLUDING PATHWAYS TO PEACE!.
Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. The Psychology of Creativity. Gender Segregation at Work. Leon F Seltzer Ph. Follow me on Twitter. Friend me on Faceook. Damage limitation? Submitted by The Chimp on January 15, - pm. Cruelty Submitted by Gloria on February 27, - pm.
Best article I have read in Submitted by Anonymous on January 15, - pm. Bitterness Submitted by Winslow Arizona on January 18, - am. Another great quote: "The longer you nurse a grudge, the longer it takes to get better". Surprisingly, found in MAD Magazine Seriously though Submitted by Winslow Arizona on January 18, - am. It is great to let go of Submitted by Anonymous on January 22, - pm. Bitterness and Anger Submitted by Hubie on October 11, - pm. Re: Bitterness Submitted by Lisa on January 28, - pm. Submitted by michael on April 17, - am.
Submitted by Melanie Pannack on March 23, - am. I have big problems with this article. Submitted by Mattie on September 19, - am. First, forgiveness is an action not a feeling. I intend to remain Bitter Submitted by Christian on July 7, - pm. Let's not diminish what forgiveness is Submitted by Luisa on July 20, - pm.