Forgiving Yourself and Others — Not just “forgiving”

This article originally appeared on the Support4Change website, and is reposted here.

Learn how to forgive both yourself and others with a technique that recognizes we all do the best we can and that we can’t control the behavior of others.

ReconciliationThere is a great deal of confusion about what it means to forgive and about how to do it. Hopefully these ideas, which over the years I have discovered work best for my clients and for myself, will also be valuable for you.

What does it mean to forgive?

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The Magic in Your Differences

 

This article originally appeared on the Support4Change website, and is reposted here.

The following is the first chapter of The New Intimacy by Judith Sherven, Ph.D. and James Sniechowski, Ph.D., and reprinted with permission. You will find other articles by this husband-and-wife therapist team here, on the Support4Change Blog.

rough diamond

The Promise of Differences

Everything that happens to you is your teacher. The secret is to learn to sit at the feet of your own life and be taught by it.      — Polly Berrien Berends

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As we learn to truly respect one another’s differences, the much sought after ideal — loving partnership that fosters emotional and spiritual growth — is becoming a reality.      — Art Klein

Did your relationship start out with great promise, filled with excitement, throbbing with life? Were you certain the two of you would create a vital and passionate future together? Did you see in your lover all the qualities you wanted, so that just the thought of being together was enough to fire your desire and make your skin tingle? Did you imagine your family with beautiful, loving children and two caring and protective parents all together in a warm and comfortable home? And as you imagined growing old together, did you see yourself sitting back, content and confident, knowing, “We lived and loved and we did well!” Read More

Passing On Our Possessions

This article originally appeared on the Support4Change website, and is reposted here.

Discover how one family had great fun in deciding, while their parents were still living, what the children would inherit.

I’m so glad I’m alive to watch our children choose the paintings they want.
—Comment of my father as his children were deciding what items we wanted to inherit

fallIf you’ve never had the pleasure of choosing the things you want to inherit from your parents while they are still living, you’ve missed a great opportunity. Fortunately, I had that chance more than ten years ago when my parents were going into a retirement community and needed to pare down their possessions.

During a family reunion, my three siblings and I divided almost everything they owned into separate categories, such as kitchen items, tools, paintings (both were amateur painters), furniture, etc. The idea was to make selections of what we’d like to have for ourselves and for our children. We’d be able to take with us those things they had to get rid of right away and would mark other items we’d receive after they died. Read More

My Special List of Friends

This article originally appeared on the Support4Change website, and is reposted here.

Several years ago I got a Christmas card with a poem that was almost identical to the following and the next year we sent it with our greetings. I believe it expresses what each of is thinking when we send greetings to a list of people with whom we don’t communicate more than once every year.
I recently discovered that a variation of this was originally written by Helen Steiner Rice. No matter how it is said, the message is wonderfully true. Read More

Pick Your Battles Carefully

This article originally appeared on the Support4Change website, and is reposted here.

The idea for this article grew out of a compromise I made which is, as my assistant reminds me, the “nuts and bolts” of marriage.

Ivy vineLines are drawn in every marriage. Sometimes our positions are relatively unimportant and scratched in sand, where they can be easily erased and moved. However, basic values and principles on which we won’t compromise are chipped into cement. Getting us to budge on those requires major reconstruction. But sometimes we—especially perfectionists—can draw non-negotiable lines over insignificant issues because we need to be in control. Unfortunately, we often don’t know until we’re in the middle of a disagreement the kind of position our loved ones have taken—or how strongly we, ourselves, want to defend our opinion. Read More