I wanted to title this post “The Surprising Relationship Between Forgiveness and Productivity,” but I thought, if you’ve suffered from procrastination like I have, then pointing out forgiveness’ beneficent effects on procrastination might feel more useful to you.
So let me share a little bit of my experience.
I’ve struggled to consistently pursue my dreams. I’ve done it in fits and starts. One of the reasons for this is the significant amount of often very subtle emotional abuse I experienced growing up.
My family is profoundly affected by addiction and family addiction, and one of the ways these dynamics play out is to undermine, and at times outright emotionally crush, anyone who’s “getting a little too big for their britches.”
I’ve been in family recovery for 16 years now, and I’ve experienced a tremendous amount of healing around this. But one thing that stuck with me for a long time was thinking that achieving a dream or reaching a goal would somehow show up all the people who had tried to keep me down.
Denial is a funny thing because, with all that experience in family recovery, it took me a long time to realize that thinking my achievements were somehow going to “show them” meant that my actions were still revolving around them. In other words, I was keeping the focus on others and not on myself.
I have a dear friend in recovery who does vision cards (like a vision board, but just one idea/image per card.) I was privileged to be able to make vision cards with her for the people on our 4th step lists. These cards were a visual representation of praying that everything I want for myself to be given to these people on my list, just like it suggests in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’d write their name on one side of the card, and put an image representing what I want for them on the other.
I started meditating on these cards almost every morning, and wouldn’t you know! I have become much more productive and consistent in the process. I am much better at nipping procrastination in the bud.
Not that I should be surprised. I mean, wouldn’t a loving Higher Power want me to use my goals and my dreams to fill my heart up, rather than nurse a resentment?
But this level of resentment for me was a layer deep within the proverbial onion. There were other layers that needed to be released before I could recognize this one. Nevertheless, it’s incredibly freeing to be released from it.
So now I’d like to hear from you. Is there a particular goal you are pursuing from which a resentment is holding you back? If so, how might get support for letting it go so you can be freer to pursue your dreams?
Share your experience, strength, and hope in the comments. I read every one.
The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
~ Anna Quindlen
What can I say, dear readers? I’m really not feeling like writing this post today. It’s a very familiar feeling.
But, see, that’s where I get stuck. The idea that I need to “feel like it” to get something done.
And sometimes it absolutely does work better for me to wait for a time when I’ve got more energy. This is usually only true, though, of things that don’t require me to be vulnerable or think too much, like housework. I’ll be much better – and happier – if I tackle that, say, in the morning when I’ve got more energy.
But for the other stuff? The stuff that requires me to show up, put myself and my work out there. The stuff that requires me to be vulnerable. To perhaps doing something different? The stuff at which I might fail, and for which failure means a missed opportunity. Waiting, putting that stuff off, is almost always about fear.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
I know, I just wrote about this, but ya know, this is a big one. Why? Because, like I said in my previous post, it’s the path to personal freedom. Freedom from all kinds of shiz.
>Got false beliefs?
Got low self-esteem?
Got a lot of crazy negative thinking about yourself?
Is the everything-you’re-doing-wrong-committee meeting several times a day in your head?
If you answered yes to any of these questions and you wanna nip that shiz in the bud, I suggest you give forgiveness some serious consideration.
What does forgiveness have to do with negative thinking?
Well, where do you think we learned to think like that? As my mother would often say, “You didn’t lick that stuff up off the floor.”
I know for myself that I learned to think this way. I learned it from the people who hurt me. And holding on to resentments about those people just allows my own ego to maintain its grip on the negative self thoughts.
You can’t let go of the negative thinking and hold on to the resentments. Yup, resentments are sneaky that way. (more…)
As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison. ~Nelson Mandela
If you’ve got a life history like me, the list of people that need to be forgiven can be daunting. What’s worse, you probably know you’d be better off forgiving and letting go. And maybe you already understand that forgiveness is about you, not them, but trying to do that for people who have so heinously harmed you – and some who keep right on doing it – can feel like the Universe is asking you to climb Mount Everest without oxygen.
I mean, I’m tryin’ to chanel my inner Nelson Mandela here, but seriously, good luck with that!
Lots of people talk about forgiveness like it’s this shiny nirvana-like experience in which you walk through to these beautiful pearly gates to freedom. And sometimes it does feel like that, but only when you FINALLY get to those gates.
The thing is, few people talk about the messy, convoluted, emotional and spiritual journey one has to take to get there. Remember, Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years! This does not diminish the magnitude of his forgiveness by any means, but the man had some time to work on it.
For some people, sometimes, there is a momentous experience of sudden freedom. But often it’s just a gradual release. There just comes a moment when you realize the resentment is gone. You don’t know when it left, but it’s gone.
For me it’s often the usual two steps forward, one back. Just when I’m gettin’ all serene about things, it goes, “I know you’re feeling really loving and at peace toward that person right now, but you forgot about that time he…!” And then I’m back at the races.
If you’re trying to let go and forgive the Ike Turners or the Joan Crawfords in your life, here’s a few suggestions to help you along the way. (more…)