Forgiveness – It’s not just for others

It’s not only important to be able to forgive other people.  It’s important to be able to forgive yourself.  Healthy forgiveness involves accessing mistakes and releasing resentment for those mistakes.  You learn from the mistake.  Make amends when appropriate.  And work at improving future behavior.   

Forgiving yourself involves humility: the recognition that you’re human and humans make mistakes.

Shame, guilt, and regret are emotions that are meant to make us notice when something we did hurt our self or others.   Once you’ve paid attention to that message and made adjustments accordingly, it does not serve you or anyone else for you to wallow in the shame, guilt or regret.  Forgiving yourself helps you move on.   It helps you break free of burdens that can keep you stuck.

“Show me a person who’s never made a mistake, and I’ll show you the person who’s never made anything.”  – Anonymous
©Ann Silvers, MA, LMHC; 206-660-9840

Dignity in-tact

A wedding invitation I received included a request to compose and bring a haiku poem for the couple. It was a fun exercise. Here's what I came up with:

Treasure the good times
And work your way through clashes
Dignity in-tact
-Ann Silvers

The last line has a double meaning: dignity will remain intact if you use tact in your communications.
intact definition: untouched especially by anything that harms or diminishes (Merriam Webster)
tact definition: Saying your honest opinion in a respectful way. Knowing when it's appropriate to express your thoughts and feelings. (Relationship Booster card set by Silvers Publishing)

A marriage poem

I wish you not only love, but like.
May you like each other
most of the time
for the rest of your lives.
And may those moments you don't like each other
be dealt with in ways
that don't maim or mutilate
the body, mind or spirit.
-Ann Silvers

Abusive behaviors continuum

Abusive behaviors can be placed on continuums which span from totally healthy behavior to totally abusive behavior.
  non-abusive -------    -- very abusive 

This spread is one of the things that makes abuse so confusing and complicates determining whether specific behavior is abusive in a specific situation.

Examples of behavior continuums:

clearly non-abusive: warning someone of immediate danger
in the middle:  speaking loudly to press a point
very abusive: loud, aggressive threats or demeaning comments

Click read more
for more examples

Courage quote

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues,
but the form of every virtue at the testing point." 
CS Lewis


We don’t just have relationships with other people; we also have a relationship with our self.  And that relationship is foundational to all other relationships.

If you don’t accept yourself, you probably don’t accept other people either.
“The happiness, the peace, and the love you crave cannot happen without Self-acceptance.” - Robert Holden
Shame, guilt, perfectionism, old negative messages repeating in your mind, can all contribute to being down on yourself.
Being unhappy with yourself taints every aspect of your life.  If you don’t recognize that your unhappiness is rooted inside, you may mistakenly attribute your unhappiness as being caused by something or someone else: your job, your partner, your house,. . . . You might then conclude that you’d feel better if you could just change your job, dump your partner, move. . . .  But there’s a saying about the disappointment that can come when you do something like move in order to feel better and then discover you’re still unhappy: Everywhere you gothere you are.
click read more for: How to improve your self-acceptance.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (a.k.a. EI or EQ) is wisdom about, and ability to deal with, emotions.

Emotional intelligence is developed, not automatic. Increasing your emotional intelligence makes life better.

Ideally, year by year we grow in emotional intelligence. As we experience various emotions we can recognize them faster and identify what has worked or not worked for us in the past when faced with that same emotion. If we feel rejected, recognize it, and work through it, we have developed wisdom that will help us the next time we feel rejected. When we go through life pretending we don’t have painful emotions, we don’t develop that wisdom. We may be 55 years old but are 14 emotionally. Still, all is not lost; we just have to play catch-up.

© Ann Silvers, MA, LMHC