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Blame / Forgiveness

Below are the articles in the Blame / Forgiveness category. Each article title is followed by a brief summary introduction to the content. Click "Read Excerpt" for a more comprehensive review. Click "Add to Package" to buy or redeem the article.

Blame / Forgiveness

Are You Playing the Blame Game?

When things go wrong, blame is an easy way of taking the spotlight off oneself and shining it on others. This quiz will help determine if one is playing that game. Click here for an excerpt from the quiz.

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From the first excuse we used as a child, shifting blame often becomes an all-purpose gadget in our toolbox of defenses, so handy we often reach for it without even thinking. Blame helps maintain our self-image and preserve our dignity, it’s a convenient form of procrastination, it’s less painful than blaming ourselves, and it can be a potent psychological weapon. Basically, it lets us off the hook. Take this Thriving quiz to see whether you’re playing the “Blame Game.”

1. I have used the phrase “How could you do this to me?”

2. I would be more punctual, except my carpool is always late (or my spouse doesn’t have breakfast ready on time, or my son never puts the car keys where they’re supposed to go or…).

3. If I’m angry at someone, I usually start off my sentence with “You make me so angry!”

Healing the Roots of Self-Hatred

You may never silence the voice of self-hatred completely, but it is possible to lessen its impact, and find relief and healing.

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The Critic is a common and unfortunate constant in our inner lives. This internalized voice assumes the tone and language of our mother, father, religion and/or society. After every step forward there it is, doubting or damning our choice.

But for many people, “critic” is much too mild a word. The voice they hear is relentless, a vicious screaming that cripples and controls. They might call their voice the “Self-Hater” or the “Killer Critic.”

Not everyone hears self-hatred as a voice in their heads. Sometimes, it’s a way of being that manifests in myriad forms, including:

• sabotaging healthy relationships or good jobs,

• attempting to prove worthiness by being perfect or through high achievement,

• being drawn again and again into abusive situations.

Letting Go: Great Idea. How Do I Do It?

A woman’s husband had an affair 15 years ago and even though they’ve been divorced for seven, her stomach still knots up when she thinks about it. She knows she should let it go, but she just can’t. How might she begin?

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Just exactly how does one let go so that the residue of the past is put away, forgotten or transformed into memories that can be called upon at will rather than those that show up like telephone solicitors at dinnertime and demand attention?

Letting go has to do with living in the present moment rather than the past. It happens when the past isn’t projected into the future, but left behind where it belongs. It is about making amends when called for, taking care of that which needs attending to, forgiving rather than re-living.

• Try this: next time a thought about something that happened in the past floats into your mind let it pass through without jumping aboard and going along for the ride. If you focus on it, like a weed that gets watered, it will grow. But if you acknowledge it then disregard it, it will go away.

Repairing a Relationship After an Affair

Article explores the impact of an affair on both parties, offers ways to assess whether the relationship can be repaired and, if so, how to begin.

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Alison and Frank have been married for 12 years and have three children. One day, after taking their son to school, Alison spotted Frank in a coffee shop holding hands with another woman and whispering intimately. She felt as though the ground was slipping away beneath her. How could this be happening? How would they ever recover?

Exact numbers are hard to come by, but some studies reveal that about half of married people in the U.S. will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage. What do you do when it happens in your relationship? How do you know if your relationship is worth saving? And how can you repair such a catastrophic betrayal?

The Trauma of Discovery

When infidelity invades a relationship, it often permeates the atmosphere long before the affair is discovered. While one partner may cope with suspicion, low self-esteem and resentment, the other partner may wrestle with guilt and the fear of being caught.

Resentments and What to Do with Them

Some people spend hours dwelling on the wrongs done to them, the injustices, the slights, the snubs, insults, indifferences, slurs, and just plain bad treatment. But holding onto resentment eats away at self-esteem and peace of mind. What can a person do to free him- or herself?

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A life filled with resentments chains the one who would be victim and stifles any change that could make life easier, more productive and joyful. “Resentments,” as the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous puts it, “keep us from the sunlight of the spirit.”

From one perspective, any time a resentment takes up emotional space, it indicates there’s something at issue that has not been resolved. Maybe the best thing is to slow down and try to see what part of is still trying to get your attention.

Getting rid of old resentments isn’t as easy as simply saying, “Resentment, be gone.” Judgments, the need to be right, not taking responsibility for certain actions or behaviors, a feeling of being special or entitled, vindictiveness or a need for revenge, a simple (or not so simple) misunderstanding, or an inability to forgive — all these might be in the way of releasing resentments.

The Deepest Act of Forgiveness: Forgiving Yourself

For many people, forgiving others is liberation from anger and grievance that leads to a richer and happier life. But psychologists and others in the helping profession say there is an even deeper peace to be found through what might be the hardest act of all—forgiving ourselves.

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A friend forgives another friend for gossiping about her. A husband forgives a wife for lying to him about her intimate relationship with another man. A mother forgives the man who murdered her daughter. The human capacity to forgive even the deepest wrongs is awe-inspiring....

The first part of any conflict we must resolve is not between “me and my neighbor,” but between “me and me.” So believes author and therapist Thom Rutledge, who has written extensively on forgiveness and self-¬forgiveness.

In his book The Self-Forgiveness Handbook: A Practical and Empowering Guide, Rutledge writes that the resentment and grudges we hold against ourselves are every bit as destructive as those we harbor towards others. Every time we tune in to the inner dialogue that says we are not (smart, thin, rich, successful, good, etc.) enough or berate ourselves for what we did or didn’t do, we are choosing to live in blame and resentment—only it’s towards ourselves and not others. In the words of Buddhist monk and author Thich Nhat Hanh, to truly practice forgiveness we must first forgive ourselves for not being perfect.

The Road to Forgiveness Is a Journey Toward Freedom

Forgiveness isn’t something we do for someone else; it’s a process for healing ourselves.

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When people get hurt, they often react with resentment, anger, rage, even hatred. While some of these feelings may be appropriate responses, holding on to them can cause emotional pain and stress. Nurturing old wounds and resentments is like tending weeds in a garden. The more care you give them, the more they take over until there’s no room for the feelings that can nourish you.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning inappropriate behavior and excusing personal violations. It doesn’t mean giving up or hiding or denying what was done. To forgive someone of something doesn’t necessarily mean turning the other cheek so that you can be hurt again. To forgive doesn’t mean you forget that you were harmed. Or that you felt the way you did as a result.

What it does mean is letting go of the feelings of anger or resentment, so that you can get on with your life. Forgiving is a process—sometimes slow—that heals wounds and returns our power to us. So long as we hold onto old feelings, we give control of our lives over to those who have hurt us. Forgiveness sets us free.

When the Name of the Game is Blame, No One Wins

Whether we fabricate unbelievable excuses or blame others for what happens to us, we give up not only responsibility for our lives, but also our power.

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When things go wrong, blame is an easy way of taking the spotlight off ourselves and shining it on others. From the first excuse we used as a child, shifting blame often becomes an all-purpose gadget in our toolbox of defenses, so handy we often reach for it without even thinking.

Why do people blame?

• Blame is a ready outlet for anger, hurt and disappointment. “Pointing the finger at others and blaming them for your distress is a way of letting yourself off the hook,” said Jane Greer, author of How Could You Do This to Me?

• Having someone to blame allows us to maintain our self-image. In our own eyes, we can remain that punctual, efficient person we would be except for the interferences and inefficiencies of other people.

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