Forgiveness

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I’ve been participating with the Cleveland Clinic’s Stress Free Now for Healers online program. It’s a wonderful program that offers meditation as well as different strategies for dealing with stress. I love the program and came across a piece I want to share with you. It’s titled The Science of Forgiveness. I believe we can all struggle with unforgiveness from time to time. Although I embrace forgiveness for my sake, I’ve had to give myself a talking to every now and again. I do hope the lesson on The Science of Forgiveness from The Cleveland Clinic blesses you as much as it has me.

The Science of Forgiveness

You may wonder why we are including an article on the benefits of forgiveness in this week’s lesson about how to improve your relationship with yourself. It’s because forgiveness is something we do for ourselves.

When our thoughts turn to people who have wronged us or to situations where we got hurt, the story those thoughts tell can be powerfully compelling and quite painful. We often become preoccupied with repeatedly reliving the details of how we were wronged. It’s like a gripping Hollywood movie. No wonder these story lines can, and often do, last a lifetime. Unforgiveness is stressful: Reliving negative past events in our minds and harboring anger and resentment toward others comes at a great cost to our health and well-being. When we are willing to let go of resentment, we reclaim our power from these past events and choose to move forward with our lives.

Three Types of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is experienced on a continuum. How deeply we are able to forgive determines the benefit we receive when we let go of resentment. Moving from lowest to highest, the three types of forgiveness are:

    1. Unforgiveness: In this state, we spend time and energy ruminating over the hurt we suffered. The thoughts that arise as we dwell on what happened often cause anger, resentment, hostility, bitterness, fear, depression and a quest for vengeance. All of these emotional states trigger a stress response in the body.
    2. Decisional forgiveness: Often the people who wrong us are people who are part of our lives—friends, family members and coworkers. In this instance, we can decide to set aside the resentment and forgive in order to keep the relationship functioning smoothly. This tactic reduces our hostility, but it doesn’t necessarily cool the stress response, because there are still negative feelings toward this person floating beneath the surface of our actions.
    3. Emotional forgiveness: Only when we can acknowledge our troubling emotions and then let them go can we get to this third stage of forgiveness. In this state, we create an emotional shift and are able to develop genuine compassion for the person or persons who wronged us. We can see how the situation may have looked from their point of view, and we can genuinely forgive them for how they handled things. Once here, we create a positive emotional state when we reclaim our power from the past and let go, freeing our mind and heart to focus on the present.As we discuss this topic, and as you consider where in your life you need to forgive, it’s important to keep in mind that forgiveness is not the same as forgetting an offense or condoning it. This is an especially important truth for people who have experienced a traumatic event inflicted by someone else.The Importance of Self-Forgiveness
      It’s important to note that forgiveness doesn’t just extend to other people. Being able to forgive yourself for your mistakes and missteps is just as important as forgiving your mother-in-law for criticizing your parenting style. In fact, without being able to develop compassion for and extend forgiveness to yourself, it’s much more difficult to do so for other people. Interestingly, studies show that there’s a connection between self-forgiveness and health: Higher levels of self-forgiveness were directly associated with improved mental health status, lower levels of chronic pain and higher levels of healthy lifestyle choices.

      The Cleveland Clinic’s Stress Free Now for Healers Program.

Ciao!

Savannah J.  providing a place of tranquility away from the stress of life. 

Http://www.thesavannahjpublications.com 

Follow Savannah on Twitter   http://bit.ly/1tBBC6o 

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Savannah is the author of The Prey now available in eBook on Kindle http://amzn.to/1xg0pgM and on Google Play Books http://bit.ly/1q5hncz

Also look for Raising Tristan on Google Play Books http://bit.ly/1pL4GqN and on Kindle http://amzn.to/1AlHl6g

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Making a Difference

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It’s easy to sometimes look at our lives and feel we are insignificant because we aren’t in the “lime light,” if you will. Okay, perhaps I’m dating myself with the term “lime light.”  For those unfamiliar with that colloquialism, it refers to persons who have positions that place them at the center of public attention.

I can remember wanting to complete music school and take Broadway by storm. But because of a series of unfortunate events and poor decisions on my part, I didn’t make it to Broadway. I thought my artistic contribution to society and those close to me was insignificant as my name wasn’t in lights. I wanted to travel and sing before thousands; I wanted to make a difference. What I failed to see was, I had made a difference.

During my senior year in high school I was privileged to tour five European  with a choir and jazz band as the lead soloist. I didn’t sing before thousands in Europe but I’m sure I touched the hearts of those who heard me as I received standing ovations. At my home church and in school, I was often the featured soloist.

After graduation from high school, my mother came to me with a story of a gentleman who was bedridden and close to death. This gentleman was the father of a family friend. My mother told me he and his wife were sitting with the windows open on the day of my graduation to get some fresh air. They lived only a short distance from my school. Our ceremony was outside and so, the gentleman and his wife could hear our festivities.

I led the choir that day in a song titled The Omnipotence by Franz Shubert. It’s said, the gentleman told his wife my voice sounded like the voice of an angel. The couple told their daughter, who told my mother the story of how my voice blessed her dad on that day. It’s been forty one years since I graduated high school and that story still makes my eyes fill with water.

You see, I now realize our names don’t have to be in lights or on the tongues of every household to make a difference. If we are going about God’s will for our lives and touching those around us with His love, our deeds are significant in His eyes. Our accomplishments in Christ, however minor they may appear in our opinion, matter. We don’t have to be rich and famous to touch lives. We don’t have to reach millions to have an impact. Just as my voice blessed an ill gentleman and brought him a bit of joy, so do all our acts of kindness because, God notices every one.

I’ve included the link to The Omnipotence by Franz Schubert as sung by the Morman Tabernacle Choir for your enjoyment. And remember “great is Jehovah the Lord!”  The Omnipotence

Ciao!

Savannah J.  providing a place of tranquility away from the stress of life. 

Http://www.thesavannahjpublications.com 

Follow Savannah on Twitter   http://bit.ly/1tBBC6o 

on Google Plus http://bit.ly/1pnq9sP 

and on Facebook http://on.fb.me/10p1o32

Savannah is the author of The Prey now available in eBook on Kindle http://amzn.to/1xg0pgM and on Google Play Books http://bit.ly/1q5hncz

Also look for Raising Tristan on Google Play Books http://bit.ly/1pL4GqN and on Kindle http://amzn.to/1AlHl6g

Rethinking Our Way To Success

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As a child, I, as were others was programmed to think a certain way. This morning as I was walking to my car, a thought ran across my mind prompting an epiphany, if you will. The thought involved my son and I realized the context of it, was clearly influenced by my upbringing. It was at that moment, I said to myself, self you need to work on retraining your thought pattern.

Some well known motivational speakers call negative thinking, “stinkin’ thinkin’,” others call it “ruminating”. Now, the essence of my thought about my son wasn’t negative but it wasn’t affirmative either. My focus was more on what he hasn’t accomplished instead of on what he has. Now, I’m a firm believer that our thoughts have as much power as our words.

This is why I believe we should be cognizant of what we say as well as what we think. My son is a gifted photographer. When he was a teenager, I used to tell him he’d call me one day from the Amazon Rainforest as he sat swatting flies, waiting on the perfect shot. In retrospect, I decided to rethink that. It’s my dream for my son to work for National Geographic, but not necessarily his.

How many times have you inadvertently said something or thought something only to have your thoughts or words manifested. I’ve heard countless successful individuals state how they professed what they would one day accomplish. They spoke and believed what they wanted for their lives. I’ve begun to work on this process. I have affirmations I read aloud on a daily basis and I’ve added a in couple for my son. I now see myself where I’d like to be in 3 – 5 – and even 10 years. It’s a matter of retraining myself to think on the outcome I desire and more so the outcome God wants for me. I’m learning to rethink my way to success.

Many people have already mastered the art of positive thinking, perhaps you’re one of them. If however, you’re like me and still working on it. I invite you to join me as we rethink our way to success. For the most part, I’m a pretty positive person, but there’s always room for growth!

P.S. As for my son, I’m focused on the fantastically creative photographer his is and applauding his growth. I’m rethinking my role as mom and cheerleader. It’s my place to offer kudos from the sidelines and only come into the game when invited. By the way, my picture for this blog is one of his. It’s a shot of the bridge over the Mataponi River in King and Queen County at night. If you’re interested in knowing more about my son and his work, just let me know.

Ciao!

Savannah J.  providing a place of tranquility away from the stress of life. 

Http://www.thesavannahjpublications.com 

Follow Savannah on Twitter   http://bit.ly/1tBBC6o 

on Google Plus http://bit.ly/1pnq9sP 

and on Facebook http://on.fb.me/10p1o32

Savannah is the author of The Prey now available in eBook on Kindle http://amzn.to/1xg0pgM and on Google Play Books http://bit.ly/1q5hncz

Also look for Raising Tristan on Google Play Books http://bit.ly/1pL4GqN and on Kindle http://amzn.to/1AlHl6g