Posts Tagged ‘intertainment network’

ABCE: ANGER, BOUNDARIES, COMPASSION, ENABLING

No matter who we are or where we go in life, we encounter people who are struggling with personal issues and are not easy to engage with. They can prove challenging to deal for a variety of reasons. Often times, we feel ill-equipped to effectively deal with them. Some, feeling overwhelmed or unprepared, simply disengage and avoid any interaction at all. Others may become defensive or hostile toward them in an attempt to manage them or pressure them to change. Those who feel sympathetic, in an attempt to be supportive, can sometimes become enablers. Yet none of these fully resolves the situation.

Let’s take a moment and examine the differences between anger, boundaries, compassion, and enabling and which are productive choices and why:
Anger is a normal, healthy, useful emotion if understood and properly channeled. Anger, as are all emotions, is a messenger, a warning, that there is something in our lives that does not meet our standards. It could be a moral issue, personal or social one. Anger alerts us to the fact that something needs our attention in order to rectify it according to our beliefs and preferences. Once the message is received, there is no longer a need for anger. The entirety of our energy and efforts can be channeled into making positive changes.

Boundaries are the rules and guidelines we establish that create balance in our relationships and keep them healthy. Each party has a right to determine for themselves how they want to be treated, what they will not tolerate, and the consequences others will face should they disregard them. Boundaries can be interpreted as controlling, rigid, demanding or selfish. But in truth, if applied correctly, are an act of self-love as well as one of respect for the other party. All parties determine for themselves how they want to be treated and mature, caring adults will respect each side.
Compassion is the ability to feel another person’s pain and suffering. Similar to empathy, which also identifies and understands the person’s feelings and difficulties, compassion also encompasses a strong desire to alleviate their suffering. When we are able to put ourselves in the other person’s position and imagine how it would feel if we were experiencing it, we gain a deeper understanding of the seriousness of the incident from the other’s perspective and in that regard feel compelled to make matters better.

Enabling is characterized by making excuses for one’s poor behavior as well as engaging in ways that allow the other party to continue their self-destructive behaviors. Enablers sense the other person’s pain but are at a loss to alleviate it. They need to make themselves feel some sense of relief by not imposing further hardships on the individual and therefore don’t hold them accountable for their actions. Additionally, the troubled person is not challenged to find solutions on their own nor change their behaviors. The enabler takes full ownership for protecting that person, covering up the truth, and being fully responsible for their safety, care, and well-being. They believe that without their efforts the offender would not survive. This is certainly a grandiose way of thinking as they see themselves as saviors and martyrs and the only one capable of helping this person.

Having said that, people often have difficulty determining which approach to apply when dealing with someone who exhibits disturbing behaviors, particularly those struggling with an unforeseen hardship. Here are some common examples and how each of the ABCE apply.

Scenario 1:
Many parents find themselves with adult children who have moved back home after completing their schooling. Unable to find a job or perhaps unmotivated to do so, they become users, living off the generosity of their parents. The parents absorb all of their expenses while the child fails to pay rent or even help with household chores. “The job market is bad. Bob is searching for a really great job and doesn’t want to settle for just anything. He’s trying to figure out who he is.”

Clarification /Solution:
The parent may become angry with their child yet feel a continued sense of responsibility for their well-being. Others may feel guilty should they allow themselves to become irate. And still others may bypass anger altogether going directly to compassion instead. It is nearly impossible to seperate our child’s emotional pain from becoming ours. From this point, it’s easy to progress to making excuses: “The job market is weak – it’s not my child’s fault that he can’t find a good job as an art critic.” It’s easy to then proceed from compassion to enabling. But in doing so we prevent the child from being challenged to find his way in the world and determine for himself how he must survive on his own. Enabling cripples the child’s emotional growth and maturity, keeping them locked into the role of a dependent child.
However, by imposing limits, guidelines, and boundaries, the parent challenges the child to find their own solutions, thus forcing him to take full ownership of his life, tap into his creative genius, and push himself into maturity and independence.

Scenario 2:
You’ve been dating your boyfriend for nearly six months and realize that he is very controlling and oftentimes verbally unkind, maybe even abusive. You know his history of having grown up without his father. Being the oldest of four children and having a mother who worked two jobs to support them, he took on a lot of adult responsibilities at a very early age. He had to discipline his younger siblings, telling them what to do and not do. The pressure of raising them left him with little patience so it’s not uncommon for him to become irritated, fly off the handle, and say hurtful things.

Clarification /Solution:
Being mistreated by anyone should send up red flags and needs to trigger our anger, warning us that we are in some kind of danger. Our moral code of behavior is being violated and requires immediate attention. While it’s perfectly normal and admirable to feel compassion for any person forced to grow up under such unfortunate circumstances, one must take extreme caution not to become an enabler and make excuses for their pain and frustration. Who among us has not had to deal with hurt in our own past? Adults must take ownership and address these issues so as not to perpetrate them on others or continue to suffering themselves.
In this case, setting strong boundaries expressing how you expect to be treated and the consequences for ignoring them, is critical to the safety and well-being of the observer. Failure to do so could have deadly consequences.

Compassion is a healthy and vital attribute in all of our relationships. It shows our humanity towards one another, binds us together emotionally, and strengthens and fosters healthy caring relationships.

Enabling is fear-based (that the other party will not be ok without our intervention and protection) and satisfies our own need for grandeur and importance. Viewing oneself as a selfless savior and humanitarian is self-serving and egotistical. The dynamics of the relationship shows a predominant concern for the so-called savior’s own emotional peace of mind over the actual welfare of the other party. The offender remains emotionally crippled and dependent on their benefactor, thereby continually reinforcing the guardian’s illusion and unhealthy need of being their redeemer.

Boundaries are a healthy act of self-love (making certain one is treated with dignity and respect at all times) and respect for the other person as well, adhering to their preferences as to how they expect to be treated. While not always easy to create or enforce, boundaries are essential to the well-being and longevity of any relationship. Both parties learn to make the necessary sacrifices and accommodations to maintain the relationship (aka compromise), communicate more clearly and honestly, and ultimately value one another more as a result.

Anger, boundaries, and compassion all play a vital role in our long standing relationships. Enabling is a selfish, self-destructive behavior that ultimately wears down the enabler on an emotional, psychological, physical, and sometimes financial level. This is the only behavior of those we’ve discussed that is always destructive. So whether you’re dealing with an alcoholic, drug addict, a family member deep in debt, or a pleasant coworker who is undeniably incompetent, allow the anger (as a messenger only), set and enforce reasonable and fair boundaries, add an healthy dose of compassion, and eliminate enabling completely. And in doing so, you can have healthy, happy, respectful, and mutually satisfying relationships for a lifetime.

Love is caring more about the other person’s well-being than your own discomfort. Sometimes love means saying “no”.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
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FORGIVENESS: HOW TO, Part 2

In last week’s show, we spoke about why some people choose not to forgive and why it’s essential to do so. There are many reasons and two of the biggest are: they feel the person is not deserving of being forgiven; 2. they feel that should they grant pardon, the other party will think the incident was not serious, will not have to be held accountable, or may very well repeat the offense. Although none of these is true, they are considered by many to be valid reasons. However, as I stated previously, to withhold absolution can have dire consequences for the one who was harmed.
“Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” (unknown)
The act of exoneration has multiple benefits including freeing one from anger, animosity, bitterness, hatred or thoughts of revenge. It restores inner peace and joy. It reduces the risk of physical and emotional maladies or from interfering with having other healthy relationships. It also keeps the door open for a possible reconciliation of both parties at some point in the future. Forgiveness is not for the other person; it is a gift you give yourself, the gift of serenity.

Assuming you have made the decision to let go of the incident, how do you proceed? Forgiveness, for many, is not immediate. It is a process of healing emotionally and spiritually and can take some time. Keep in mind: one need not forgive and forget. To forget what has transpired, such as an assault, puts one at risk for the incident to reoccur. Forgive but remember without negative emotions. Keep in mind, too, that while some believe the old adage that time heals all wounds, in truth time heals nothing. It is the act of pardoning that heals.

Here are some steps you can take to let go of the anger and move beyond the incident.

1. Keep in mind that all of us are human and mistakes, selfish acts, fear, betrayals, disappointments and such are all a normal part of the human experience. One cannot journey through life without ever offending or disappointing others. To forgive means to refrain from judgment and to make allowances for man’s imperfections.
2. Change your perception of the person or incident. Life isn’t about truth and reality; it is about perception – how we choose to see others or the world. Perception is simply a thought. We choose a thought, either one that is kind or judgmental. So ask yourself, “Am I being fair in my assessment of this person or incident? Was there a misunderstanding? Am I over reacting to what happened?” Your thoughts create your feelings (refer to T~E~~C~O Magic*). Therefore, all one really needs to do to change how they feel is to change what they are thinking. See the offender through the eyes of kindness, understanding, and fairness.
“Do not judge me until you have walked a mile in my shoes.” – Native American philosophy
3. Realize that every experience that enters your life is a critical part of your life’s journey. Each person and situation provides the opportunity for you to fulfill your Divine Destiny and to bring you into closer communion with God. Rather than find fault with or complain about what happened, find its value. Be grateful for the opportunity to further your spiritual development. Gratitude thwarts anger and bitterness.
4. Pray. Prayer is a powerful form of communication with the Divine. It’s like holding on to the hand of a fire fighter as he guides you out of a burning building to safety. Conversation with God provides us with guidance, comfort, and the strength to do God’s Will rather than succumbing to our anger or desires, for our need for justice. Our first responsibility is always to abide by the Father’s directives, not to surrender to our ego. “Align with the Divine” is a simple but powerful mantra to remind us that we must always respond to life from a spiritual perspective, in a way reflective of God’s Love.

Also, it’s important to pray for the one who committed the offense. Rather than seeking revenge, pray for their healing, for whoever commits a hateful act upon another is in need of healing not punishment. God’s Way is to heal and our way must be His Way. James 5: tells us to “Pray for others so that you may be healed.” This is a prayer I recite for those who have betrayed me:
“Heavenly Father, please help _____ to keep their heart and mind open to you today and everyday, allowing you to work through them, with them, and in them, helping them to become the person you created them to be. And help me also to remember every day that what is happening between them and me is not between the two of us. It is always between you and I. Amen.”

If necessary, one can also take the following steps towards forgiving:

1. Discuss with the other person what happened and why for the sole purpose of understanding their position. Clear up any misunderstandings. Discuss facts only. Refrain from blame or excuses. Accept responsibility for your part.
2. Discuss how each person felt. This may be uncomfortable but is necessary to more fully understand the impact this incident has had on both parties.
3. Decide what you both want to happen now. Do you want a reconciliation, a chance to rebuild your relationship, or would it be best to part ways, amicably? What can each party do to accomplish this?
4. Focus on and remember everything good about the person. Remember, thoughts dictate feelings. One act of bad judgment does not erase all the good in someone.
5. Separate the behavior from the individual. Behaviors are not who we are; they are outward expressions of our internal environment and issues. Remind yourself that this person is still a sacred child of God, deserving of love and forgiveness.
6. Detach and let go of all negative feelings. Revisit the incident as an objective observer, not an active participant.
7. Extract the value of the experience. Learn the lessons, be grateful, let go, and move forward.
Keeping in mind that this experience is a process and may take time and effort, how does one know if they have in fact truly forgiven the other party?

When the following elements are present:

1. Have you let go of the need to discuss it? It has served its purpose and needs no more of your time or energy.
2. Can you think about the offender without anger or animosity?
3. If you came face-to-face with them, would you feel at ease?
4. Are you at peace with what happened although not necessarily happy about it?
5. Does the thought of the other party suffering for their offense cause you sadness?
6. Can you be grateful for the experience and see how it has actually been a blessing in your life?

Remember, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. It is the ultimate act of self-love for it enables you to live in the peace and joy that God intended for you.

Mark 11: 25 “And when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone forgive them so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins.”

I invite you to watch a very powerful video on the importance of forgiveness at www.FromGodWithLove.net.
*T~E~~C~O Magic* in The Secret Side of Anger

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
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FORGIVENESS: WHY WE DON’T, BUT NEED TO AND HOW Part 1

Is there someone in your life that you either refuse to forgive or are having a hard time with? I’ve often heard people make statements such as “I’ll never forgive them for what they did!” Or, “Some things should never be forgiven.” Still others feel that some people simple do not deserve exoneration. Why are some reluctant to do so when others believe it is absolutely necessary and must be offered to the offending party? Shouldn’t the choice to extend absolution be a personal one?

Let’s first examine some of the reasons why people withhold this act:

1. People believe that some offenses are too heinous to be worthy of forgiving. Rape, murder, an affair, embezzlement, betrayal and others are considered too serious by nature to move beyond.

2. Some feel that forgiveness opens the door for the offending party to recommit the transgression as it appears to remove all accountability. Holding on to one’s anger and judgment imposes guilt and shame on the offender and therefore offers some reassurance that it will not occur.

3. Holding on to arrogance and judgment makes us feel powerful. It enables us to damage the offender’s reputation and credibility, influence others to rethink the nature of their relationship with the guilty party, and inflict pain and suffering on them, thus offering us some distorted sense of satisfaction and restitution for their crime. (We’re getting even.) Forgiving may make us appear weak. Ghandi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

4. Smaller wrongdoings are understandable as for the most part we all realize that people are not perfect and will make mistakes. But by a certain age, we feel they should know better. That is, they should know right from wrong, how to treat people, to recognize their own weaknesses and refrain from acting them out. We impose our values and expectations on others (“They should know…, they should do/be…”) and those who fall short are not granted exemption.

5. Those we are less fond of are often judged more harshly than those we care about. We deem them unworthy of forgiveness. They simply don’t deserve it. Yet were that same offense committed by a loved one or someone of greater importance to us, we might be more inclined to extend compassion. Our feelings towards the individual can play a role in who we determine is deserving.

6. The individual continues repeating the same offense or commits additional affronts against us.

7. Those who refuse to acknowledge their wrongdoing, take ownership, apologize, or make amends are often denied absolution.

8. If we forgive we fear it will send one of two messages: either the offense was not as serious as first believed or we are allowing the person exemption from facing the consequences.

However, those who choose to withhold absolution put themselves (and others) at grave risk. One can easily become consumed with anger or rage which can lead to an assortment of physical maladies, interfere with the health of other relationships, and impede one’s ability to be fully happy and enjoy life. It can also become a crutch for hindering one’s successes, such as in the case of a person who was bullied as a child and suffers with self-esteem and trust issues as an adult. The object may hold the other fully accountable and blame them for their continued suffering and failures. Long-term unresolved anger and blame can easily lead to bitterness and self-pity which will ultimately destroy a person’s life.
“Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” (unknown)
Although one may not seek a reconciliation with the other party in the moment, holding a grudge will obstruct their chances of ever making amends and possibly reuniting in the future.

While all of the above grounds seem reasonable to a many people, each fails in comparison to the reasons why forgiveness is essential.

1. We need forgiveness because it neutralizes our feelings of anger, judgment, resentment, and thoughts of retaliation. Louis Smedes: “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

2. It thwarts any chance of seeking revenge or retaliation, thus preventing both side from further harm.

3. It is the first step towards a possible reconciliation and at the very least enables both parties to part without feelings of animosity or hostility.

4. It restores inner peace. Some say that when you have your health you have everything. I say, if you have inner peace your life is truly blessed beyond measure. You have all you need and need nothing more. You cannot achieve optimum health or happiness if you harbor feelings of hostility towards anyone. “Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. It prevents it from destroying your heart.”

Choosing to pardon someone from an egregious act in no way condones their behavior nor does it minimize the serious nature of the offense. One must still be held accountable, accept the consequences, and offer restitution whenever possible. Ephesians 4: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Forgiveness is freedom from the past; it heals all wounds and enables the individual to move beyond the incident and fully embrace the present. It’s akin to breaking a bone: in time, the pain subsides as the bone heals. One remembers the incident and the extent of the pain but no longer feels it. Forgiveness does not erase nor diminish the serious nature of what transpired. One remembers but without emotion, for they have been restored to wholeness.

One of our primary goals in life to continually improve the quality of our lives: to become healthier, not sicker; to gain intelligence, not to become more ignorant; to have more fun not less; to be happier, not miserable; to be more loving and less judgmental; to gain courage and relinquish fear; to be more peaceful and tranquil, not more hateful. Therefore, it is only logical that to forgive is a life-affirming method of self-improvement.

Mark 11: 25 “And when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone forgive them so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Watch a very powerful video on the importance of forgiveness at www.FromGodWithLove.net.

Tune in next week for the “How To’s” of forgiving.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+