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Forgiveness: Letting Go Of Grudges And Bitterness

When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge — or embrace forgiveness and move forward.

Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. Perhaps your mother criticized your parenting skills, your colleague sabotaged a project or your partner had an affair. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness or even vengeance — but if you don’t practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

What is forgiveness?

Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

What are the benefits of forgiving someone?

Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness and peace. Forgiveness can lead to:

• Healthier relationships
• Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
• Less anxiety, stress, and hostility
• Lower blood pressure
• Fewer symptoms of depression
• Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

Why is it so easy to hold a grudge?

When you’re hurt by someone you love and trust, you might become angry, sad or confused. If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility can take root. If you allow negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice.

What are the effects of holding a grudge?

If you’re unforgiving, you might pay the price repeatedly by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Your life might become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can’t enjoy the present. You might become depressed or anxious. You might feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose, or that you’re at odds with your spiritual beliefs. You might lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others.

How do I reach a state of forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change. To begin, you might:

• Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life at a given time
• Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you’ve reacted, and how this combination has affected your life, health and well-being
• When you’re ready, actively choose to forgive the person who’s offended you
• Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life

As you let go of grudges, you’ll no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt. You might even find compassion and understanding.

What if I have to interact with the person who hurt me but I don’t want to?

If you haven’t reached a state of forgiveness, being near the person who hurts you might be tense and stressful. To handle these situations, remember that you can choose to attend or avoid specific functions and gatherings. Respect yourself and do what seems best. If you choose to attend, don’t be surprised by a certain amount of awkwardness and perhaps even more intense feelings. Do your best to keep an open heart and mind. You might find that the experience helps you to move forward with forgiveness.

What if the person I’m forgiving doesn’t change?

Getting another person to change his or her actions, behavior or words isn’t the point of forgiveness. Think of forgiveness more about how it can change your life — by bringing you peace, happiness, and emotional and spiritual healing. Forgiveness can take away the power the other person continues to wield in your life.

What if I’m the one who needs forgiveness?

The first step is to honestly assess and acknowledge the wrongs you’ve done and how those wrongs have affected others. At the same time, avoid judging yourself too harshly. You’re human, and you’ll make mistakes. If you’re truly sorry for something you’ve said or done, consider admitting it to those you’ve harmed. Speak of your sincere sorrow or regret, and specifically, ask for forgiveness — without making excuses. Remember, however, you can’t force someone to forgive you. Others need to move to forgiveness in their own time. Whatever the outcome, commit to treating others with compassion, empathy and respect.

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Dealing With Disappointment

Most of us will come up against disappointments, both big and small, as we journey through life. Often we choose to complain to anyone who will listen, or to blame others when things don’t go our way.

It’s important to acknowledge our disappointments and not just shove them under the table, and to maybe examine why we had certain expectations.

I firmly believe that our feelings are our own responsibility and that no-one else can make us feel good or bad. It is our reaction to other people and situations that determines how we ultimately feel. But how can we learn to deal with disappointment in an effective and constructive manner?

Coping with Disappointment :

The first thing you need to do in learning to deal with disappointment is recognize your coping mechanisms. Everybody has their own way of dealing with events and situations – their self-medicating strategies. For example do you reach for food, (chocolate, ice-cream, cake); alcohol, (get drunk and try to forget); take yourself off somewhere to hide, (under the duvet), or indulge in a spot of retail therapy, (credit card blow out)?

These strategies may make you feel better temporarily but rarely get to the root of the problem and often will bring new issues to give you grief, such as being overweight, in debt, or lonely. And then the cycle will start again.

So how about breaking that cycle and developing some new strategies?

5 tips for effectively dealing with disappointment:

1. Acknowledge what you’re feeling. You can honestly express the emotions you’re feeling without blaming or punishing others. This is about how you feel about the situation, not other people. Articulate your feelings without attacking others. Always be respectful, but don’t be afraid to let them know how you feel.

• There isn’t a right or wrong way to feel.

Your feelings are valid and if you don’t voice your opinion then you’ll harbour resentment and stress yourself out. Be honest with yourself about how you really feel about the situation. If you don’t have another individual to talk to, then journal your feelings. In some way or another get them out and expressed.

2. Put things in perspective. Even small disappointments can seem monumental at first, especially if we have built up our expectations. But once you’ve expressed your hurt, frustration, or anger, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. How much of an effect is this disappointment going to have on you tomorrow, next week, or next year?

• Take a deep breath, go for a walk, or go do something different for a few minutes and try to put your disappointment into perspective.

Taking time to reflect and step away from the situation will help calm your thoughts and emotions so you’ll be better able to handle the disappointment.

3. Refuse to doubt yourself. Sometimes disappointment can make you feel like a failure. You may wonder why these things happen to you or you may think you were stupid to get your hopes up in the first place. But none of that is the truth. Don’t allow yourself to give in to these negative thoughts!

• Disappointment is not unique to you.

Everyone has been disappointed at some time in their life. Instead of putting yourself down, think about what could have been done differently and learn from the experience.

4. Look for a solution or compromise. Things may not always turn out as you hope, but often there is another option or a different way of looking at things.

• Take a few deep breaths, relax, and look for the silver lining.

It’s possible to find something positive in almost every situation.

5. Re-evaluate and make changes if necessary. Sometimes when we experience disappointments, it may be a sign that we need to re-examine our priorities or expectations. Depending on the degree of disappointment you’re facing, you may need to make minor or major changes to your life.

• Learn to be flexible.

Refocusing your attention on your new goals and on what is really important to you will help you manage or avoid future disappointments.

Above all, don’t become discouraged and don’t give up.

All successful people have had to learn to deal with setbacks and disappointments somewhere along their journey. However rather than giving up, they learn from their failures and disappointments; and go on to achieve their goals.

You must not allow disappointment to lower your self-confidence. That’s not to say that you need to gloss over your feelings, but learning how to deal with your disappointments effectively will allow you to learn and grow, and then you will be better placed to move on to bigger and better things.

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Stop Feeling Useless

The ultimate potential of life depends upon the art of discovering one’s talent and making the most of it. Nature has given everyone some kind of talent. However, most of the people do not recognize their true talent. They keep themselves busy in a futile attempt of making comparison with others better in certain aspect of life and develop an inferiority complex, which lead them to feel useless.

Comparing oneself with others is a root cause of the sense of feeling useless. The moment you compare oneself or give attention to the idea of being compared with someone more successful in life, then the sense of feeling useless occurs in your mind. By making comparison you waste your mental as well as physical energy at such a level that you do not have enough energy available to concentrate on positive aspects of life.

Hence you should learn not to compete with others because you will always find someone better than you in any given aspect of life. According to the law of nature, the collective potential of everyone is the same, but no two persons have exactly the same talents. So there is no scope of true comparison left in life.

Therefore, you should learn to make use of your own unique talent and try to live with your limitations comfortably. No one is going to compete with you for being you. If you do not give importance to being yourself by discovering your unique talent and making use of it, then you degrade your reputation in your own eye and develop the sense of feeling useless.

Finally, life is a gift to cherish. Figure out your own gifted talent and make the best use of it. Do not waste your energy and complicate all things in life by making comparison. You are destined to enjoy the beauty of life by the virtue of your own unique talent. Be yourself and make use of your talent.

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How To Deal With Inferiority Complex?

Deal with your inferiority complex. First of all you must determine the root cause for your inferiority. This root cause may be as simple as a bad childhood experience such as rejection or being called names like dumb or stupid.

Determining the root cause for your inferiority is an essential step that can help you get over it quickly. Try to recall your childhood and remember the bad experiences you have been through. In many cases these bad experiences might be buried in the unconscious mind because of the pain associated with bringing them to the surface.

After determining the root cause of your inferiority complex you can use the following methods to overcome it.

1. Change your thoughts by changing your negative self talk.

Negative self-talk are the phrases or words you use while talking to yourself. Whenever you find that you are using phrases like “I know she won’t accept me because I am ugly” or “I am the worst dressed person in this party”, just stop and fix your self-talk. It is a very effective method that can help you fix your negative self-talk and get over your inferiority complex.

2. You don’t carry the blame for the ignorance of others. 

Always remind yourself that you can’t be worthless just because someone who was uninformed called you stupid. Do you believe that you’re of no value just because you met someone who shouted at you or made you feel worthless? You can’t determine your worth based on previous experiences that you can’t be blamed for. You just accepted the input you heard from others. If others called you stupid because of their own inferiority then this doesn’t mean that you must believe them. Keep on repeating those thoughts to yourself whenever you feel inferior until they become an unconscious thinking pattern that automatically fires whenever you feel inferior. You can control your emotions by controlling your thoughts, to create thinking patterns that can help you end your feelings of inferiority.

3. Fix your mental self image. 

In some cases when a person feels inferior his self image becomes affected too. Your self image is the image you have for yourself in your mind. Sometimes this image gets permanently modified as a result of the feelings of inferiority a person experienced. Fixing your mental self-image is one of the most powerful actions you can do to combat the inferiority complex. When the inferiority complex is based on a false belief (such as thinking that you are stupid/ugly) then fixing the mental self image will certainly end the inferiority complex. Once you convince yourself that you were fooled and that you were carrying a false belief you will be able to get rid of your inferiority complex.

4. Remove the labels that you have acquired.

Removing labels is another effective thing you can do to get rid of an inferiority complex. Labels are words that describe certain bad traits such as fool, idiot, stupid or whatever. Getting rid of those labels can give you a strong push forward towards overcoming those feelings of inferiority.

5. Install new beliefs.

Installing new beliefs about yourself is very powerful for combating inferiority complex. However, it might require a lot of effort for you to do it alone and you might need someone knowledgeable to help you.

6. Build your self confidence. 

Increasing your self-esteem or self-confidence will help a lot. Self confidence and inferiority are opposites. If you managed to acquire one of them the other will leave you. Building self confidence will certainly help you feel worthy and thus overcome your inferiority.

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