All Articles Tagged "forgiveness"
Have you been caught cheating on your partner? Even if you are both working to move past the affair, are you having trouble moving past your own shame? If so, help is on the way.
In this video, divorce coach and YourTango Expert Marina Pearson says that infidelity can be overcome in a relationship. “Learning is growth,” she says. “We’re not perfect and the fact that you can learn from this experience is amazing, because that way you’ll get to learn more about you, improve on what you can do and actually, you can start to change and tweak things about yourself that ultimately you didn’t even know you could.” She shares even more advice on how to get over your guilt.
See more on YourTango.com.
DMX is the reason why sometimes you really don’t want to know all the sordid details behind the making of the art.
Seriously, anybody with the first two DMX albums already knew the man had problems. The prayers? The good angel/devil voice fluctuation he used to do? His obsession with pit bulls? I mean, we kind of always knew there was something ’bout X that was hurting. But he was also a good looking, bald-headed black man who could rap and liked to bark aggressively on tracks. Not to mention the bedroom scene from Belly put many women on his side. In the past, most of us took DMX as unbalanced, but in a fun way – sort of like John Malkovich. But now that the covers have been pulled back on Earl “DMX” Simmons the person – thanks to his various appearances on reality television – it kind of puts a damper on DMX the artist. He is no longer the black and hip-hop version of the misunderstood eccentric we once thought. Instead, he is just like a Gary Busey.
But I still have love for DMX and I definitely extend my deepest well-wishes to Earl Simmons.
Based off of Saturday’s episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life with Iyanla Vanzant, DMX certainly is embittered by his past and fearful of facing his own mistakes. But so was his son Xavier, who had been estranged from Simmons for a number of years. Despite father and son claiming that they desired a relationship with each other, both claimed anger and pointed fingers at each other for why their relationship didn’t work. Simmons said it was because his son was distant. Xavier, however, charged that his dad was a controlling womanizer, who made him feel “valueless and like nothing.” His intention on the show was to confront his father; to make him own up to what he did. But as Vanzant asked, and then what?
Vanzant challenged Xavier to search for the root of his father’s faults; to understand that Simmons is likely of “diseased mind and a wounded heart.” His breakthrough came when he realized that his own anger towards his father and about his upbringing was sending him down the same destructive road as Simmons. And his father’s behavior might not be intended, but rather a reflection of how Simmons too learned to love from past pain. Instead of meeting and confronting his father in anger, Vanzant advised Xavier to instead go into this meeting with an open and compassionate heart.
I have my questions about the platform in which Iyanla Vanzant chooses to dish her brand of self-help, mainly about how she tries to squeeze months of intensive counseling into only a few hours of taping, which makes for good self-help television, but maybe not for good therapy for those direct recipients of her counseling. And I definitely cringed at the sheer exploitative nature of the whole #SupportDMX hashtag, which she promoted periodically throughout the show. While a great use for fan engagement (i.e., marketing), what a horrible way to really show your support of DMX. I mean, sure there was some really nice well wishes and thoughtful advice given, but there was also a lot of gossip and jokes made at both DMX and his family’s expense. But I have to give her credit for the delivery of a very powerful message about what it truly means to show compassion.
Compassion isn’t just about having sympathy for someone’s circumstances, but rather an acknowledgment that the pain and suffering from such circumstances is not exclusive and is likely a shared experience by many. Therefore, when we extend leniency or even forgiveness towards others forgiveness, we are actually offering compassion to the vulnerable part of ourselves, which has also been wounded and scarred by similar pain. Right before I watched Saturday’s episode, I was throwing things around in my place. As usual, I waited until the last moment to file my taxes and as usual, one of the important documents I needed to file was missing. I thought I had it with all my other tax documents but it was not there. I had no idea where it was, so there I was, running around, frantic, tossing around papers and screaming about how this always happens. “Things just always get up and disappear,” I’m yelling to no one in particular. I’m so mad, I want to take this anger out on someone. The IRS for requiring that I file taxes; the document-maker for not making the paper harder to misplace; basically anybody or thing else but me. That’s the hard part about accepting responsibility. I had to admit to myself my place in not only mismanaging my important documents, but also waiting until the last minute to file. And I have to admit that all the similar judgments I have placed on others for similar infractions now land squarely at my own feet. Not only will I have to admit that I am wrong, but I might also have to admit that I am a hypocrite too. The weight of imperfections and faults can be a very heavy mental and emotional cross to bear at times, and it is very tempting to want to hide from the responsibility. But then you have to also have mercy on yourself. To understand that you are going to make mistakes and that’s okay. And sometimes, those mistakes will have consequences that you will have to deal with and that’s okay too. The best thing to do is not to harp on what was done (can’t change it anyway), but rather what needs to be done next. So I stopped throwing angry fits and tearing up my place; owned up to my mistake, forgave myself, and got some filing folders for next tax season.
It is a lonely place when you are embittered by mistakes in your life. And as the show progressed you could definitely see that father and son were becoming aware of that very fact. For Xavier, being compassionate enabled him to meet with his father, not only to confront him about his feelings, but also to listen to what his father had to say in response. Being open to possible criticism enabled Xavier to then go and have those same objective conversations with people in his life, for whom he might have been unconsciously treating as he had been treated by his father. In a very emotional part of the show, Simmons apologized to Xavier, saying, “I tried. Really sincerely tried. I’m sorry. I tried.” It was a really emotional scene, which I imagine took lots of courage for him to commit to. It was also the start of some healing on the part of Simmons. Unfortunately, he has yet to be able to garner the necessary compassion needed to forgive himself for his mistakes. And until he does, he will continue to make excuse after excuse and wallow in the pain of it all.
Our memories can be spotty, until it comes to how someone’s wronged us. That’s when people can develop a photographic-like memory; and not just remember what you did, but who was there and what you were all wearing where you standing and what you were eating. Scientific studies have proven that people tend to fixate more on negative experiences, that’s why when people hurt you you can remember things well. If you’re lucky, you might get an apology from the person who caused you pain; however, there are times when you feel like you are owed an apology that never comes. What happens then? What about when you cut that person out of your life and they pop back in as if they are ignorant to the pain they caused you?
The world is a lot smaller than we realize. It seems that almost every week you can run into someone in your past or someone who is connected to your past and it brings up all types of memories. For me, I love seeing people from my past. I try my best to keep “my name good in these streets,” and usually end on a good note with almost anyone who has crossed my path. However, there have been a few moments when running into someone, or seeing someone has brought back unpleasant feelings that led this normally talkative person to become extremely quiet.
I’ll be completely transparent with you at this moment, this is something that I’m dealing with now. I learned that a person I thought was a friend had bogusly used me. Her presence has been, in a sense, almost haunting me. Both of our professions have just recently intertwined and I’m seeing her a lot more than I had hoped.
I struggle with trying to figure out what’s the best way to handle the situation. Do I confront her? Do I ignore her? Just pretend that she doesn’t exist? What about when we both interact with mutual friends and I have to see her?
While weighing my options, I’ve realized that confronting her about how she hurt me isn’t going to accomplish anything. At the very least I’ll get that annoying, passive comment of : ”Well, I’m sorry you feel hurt,” which I feel is a way that people absolve their own feelings and put the blame on you for being so weak to not let them get away from walking all over you. At the best I could get a sincere apology, but with my photographic memory of how I found out that our friendship was nothing but a sham will constantly play in my mind, and no real friendship can develop from that, because I will constantly be wondering if she’s faking or not (because she was extremely convincing when we were best friends).
For me, I had to put things in a way that would help me to let it go. First, I had to accept that ‘L.’ That friendship was a loss, and no matter how many times I replay what happened, and the times that I overlooked red flags is not going to propel me back in time as if I’m in a DeLorean and could change what happened.
Second, I had to remember that as perfectly that I can remember what she did to me, that there is someone undoubtedly remembering something that I did to them. As much as I would like to believe that “my name is good in these streets,” I know that I’m not perfect and that I have made bad decisions based off of emotion rather than logic and have conveniently forgotten about the hurt that I’ve caused others.
Finally, I had to learn that I have to get closure on my own. Closure is a luxury, not anything that is guaranteed to us. Holding on to something to get an apology later is only hurting yourself. Those moments of: ”I just need to talk to him/her, and let them know how they hurt me. I feel like if I let them know then I’ll feel better.” Honestly, most of the time that backfires, because sometimes you don’t get the response that you were hoping for, and it makes you relive those feelings.
Now, I’m not an expert, but these are things that I remember when my ex-friend’s beautiful face pops back in my life, these things help me to accept the things that I cannot change, and develop the wisdom I need to know the difference. I’m not there yet, but I know I’ll soon be in a serene place.
Apologies are a luxury, so are new shoes. Talk Kendra Koger out of buying a new pair on her twitter @kkoger.
There’s a cliché saying, it’s something like, “You haven’t spoken to a true friend in a long time, but when you speak again it’s like no time has passed.” This became apparent after reconnecting with a woman that I’d stopped speaking to, about a year ago.
Shana, my friend’s name for this post, was a huge part of my life. We met during a teen poetry slam and spent the entire competition exchanging stories about our lives thus far. Warm and genuine, I was eager to forge a bond with someone so different than the drama prone girls I’d become accustomed to. Several years passed us by and we experienced the significant moments that companionships should have:
She’d been around my family and knew all of their names and ages.
We spent hours, at dinner tables, laughing at inside jokes and things we’d faced together.
We argued about things in the news and other social issues.
For almost a decade we stood in audiences, cheering for one another, and comforted one another when things became difficult.
Two years ago, someone inquired about Shana after meeting her at an event we’d both attended. The inquirer asked surface questions: Age? Birthday? From? All questions that I knew the answer to. They started to dig a bit deeper:
Oh that’s interesting. Was anyone else in her family in that field?
How about her mom?
Sisters? Oh, she’s not an only child. How many sisters does she have?
While the inquirer, a brother that was clearly trying to holler, rambled on incessantly, something occurred to me. I didn’t know a lot about the woman I considered one of the most important people in my life. I’d certainly asked these same questions, but she’d deflect them. I decided to confront her with it. Why hadn’t I met her family? Why wasn’t she comfortable telling me about the things happening in her life? Did she not trust me? Coincidentally she’d just encountered one of the most traumatic moments, of her life, when I decided to impose my inquiry. She was so annoyed and what was supposed to be a simple conversation turned into a full out argument. Although we never truly said goodbye there was an unspoken severance that occurred, so we could both have time to cool off.
I don’t think we ever thought cooling off would take a full year. Our pride clung to our fingers, pulling them away from the screens of our phones every time we passed each others’ names on the contact list. We even saw each other once, at a lounge event, and she was swollen and visibly pregnant. My heart beat quickly and I was deeply saddened by the fact that my would-have-been godchild was sitting spaces away from me. We indulged in common courtesy and said hello, but nothing more.
I’d think about her every now and then, but then I’d remembered the anger in her voice and I’d shrug off my worry. I was okay with not being friends with someone who wasn’t willing to share their life with me.
And then she called…
This is the moment I was prepared for. I was ready to be smug and confident; ready to tell her that she’s no longer needed.
And then she said…
“I need you back in my life. On a daily basis. Please return.”
All my defense mechanisms unraveled. I disregarded my womanly, innate power to hold grudges and make all who want redemption, grovel. I listened to her explain that she had a hard time trusting folks and the action wasn’t exclusive to me, but she was going to try to do better. I forgave her in an instant.
You would have done the same.
You might cry or smile, but you will comply. It’ll seem as if no time has passed, as you catch up on old and new.
Forgiveness is a necessity.
Women who are meant to stay out of your life will spark no resonance in your chest; you will not mourn them when they are gone. But companions that are worthy of second chances will succumb to their wrong and so will you. The two of you will take ownership and mature in a single bound.
The only key is the willingness to let it happen. We are heaps of intuition and we have to learn to discern when mistakes are authentic.
If I didn’t trust my intuition, I’d be bereft of an unyielding comrade today. I wouldn’t trade the smile of her year old daughter or the ear that she lends, for anything.
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” -Anais Nin
RivaFlowz” is a teacher and professional writer living in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter: @rivaflowz.
When a bitter breakup has brought you to your emotional knees, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever love again. But like the saying goes, time heals all wounds – and if you open up your heart again, it’s possible true love can find you. I’m not suggesting that you jump right back into dating before your tears have dried and your hurt has healed; it’s actually wise to take some time to reflect and reconnect with yourself after a breakup. But once you’ve let some time go by, you may start to wonder if you’re up for the challenge of dating again. Not sure if you’re ready yet? Here are some signs you may be ready to give love another try.
We all have our dealbreakers. I won’t deal with a man who doesn’t have a college degree. I can’t work with a man who still lives with his mom. I really don’t want to date a man who has kids. Some are outlandish, some are personal preferences; but as Brande Victorian mentioned earlier in the week, there are two standards that are almost universal… at least in theory.
1. We won’t put up with a man who cheats on us.
2. We won’t put up with a man who hits us.
I wrote those in no particular order. Both are pretty terrible. And while we’ve heard women say that they won’t put up with cheating or abuse; when those things happen, exceptions are made. Sure, the relationship will never be quite the same but people work things out all the time. When it comes to love there really are no hard-fast rules on how to behave in any given situation. And if there were, we wouldn’t follow them.
If you ask me, I could see myself forgiving infidelity much easier than I could see myself going back to a man who’d put his hands on me.
Both are a betrayal , represent a lack of self control and hurt the other person, either emotionally or physically.
But there is something about a man, your partner, hitting you, especially in the context of marriage, that is so…unforgivable. I can understand that the dynamics in a relationship can and will change. People aren’t being fulfilled sexually or emotionally and they look to other people to meet those needs. But I just can’t understand why you’d feel the need to hit me in the heat of an argument or because I didn’t do something to your liking. That’s about power, you exerting power over me in a way you know you’ll “win.” That’s a type of sickness I couldn’t live with, eat with and sleep with every night. Who wants to live their life in perpetual fear of being beaten or abused by someone who’s supposed to be on your team?
I do believe that men who hit women and men who quickly resort of violence in general, seriously have some type of psychological issue. Those issues can be cured with therapy and what not; but how long does that take? How will I ever know that you’re truly reformed? If you hit me once, how do I know that the next time we’re having an argument, that you wouldn’t punch me in the face to shut me up? That’s a terrifying existence, yet there are millions of women, all over the world, who live this way.
What do you think? In terms of a relationship, which is a greater offense, infidelity or abuse?
Have you ever outwardly forgiven a friend or family member for some horrible offense they’ve committed against you while you inwardly still held a grudge about it? I have and it isn’t a pretty sight. Claiming to have forgiven a person while you are inwardly harboring feelings of resentment is not something that is always done with malicious intents and motives. One of the more popular examples of this is currently the strange relationship that has been depicted between Jackie and Laura of “Basketball Wives: LA,” where Laura pretends to be okay with Jackie to her face although she doesn’t actually care for her. Many have accredited Laura’s actions to being insincere or phony; however, it seems that most of her actions are a result of “unforgiveness.” In some cases you may actually posses the will and desire to forgive a person, but your heart is still healing and you’re having trouble doing so. Unaddressed feelings of resentment and “unforgiveness” have a tendency to fester and materialize into thoughts of revenge, and we already know that our thoughts can quickly become our actions. Not sure you’ve fully forgiven that person who hurt you? That’s okay, feelings and emotions can be difficult to decode sometimes, but lucky for you we are here to help. Check out nine signs that you have not fully forgiven a person even though you think you may have.
I guess at some point, you have to put things behind you.
If you follow boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather, you know he he served two months in jail for assaulting his ex-girlfriend and childrens’ mother, Josie Harris, in 2010 (he plead guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence). Josie said Floyd hit her a few times and threatened to kill her all while their kids were present.
Somehow, TMZ spoke to Josie earlier this week and she has decided to let bygones be bygones. She told them:
S**t happens. I’m not mad at him at all … I love Floyd to death. Floyd loves his kids and is a great father. He would never do anything like that again … I’m sorry the situation happened … now we will just progress and start over and move forward together.”
Now before we go reading her for this profession of forgiveness, we have to keep in mind that they have three children together and it is important that parents try to be as cordial as possible so they’re able to effectively raise their children. In that respect, I get it; you have to work to get to a good place so that your children won’t suffer. I know they haven’t been on the best terms in recent months so it couldn’t have been easy for her to say and believe her own statement.
That said, I’m not sure how she got to the “s**t happens” part or how she figures he’ll never do anything like that again. Abuse doesn’t “just happen” and the first time it happens does not tend to be the last. Of course, they aren’t together anymore so it just may not happen to her but she should probably be careful when saying he would NEVER do something like that again. I’m sure she didn’t expect him to hit her when he did either. I can’t understand why she’s sorry it happened; has he said he’s sorry for this too?
The profession of love and just the entire statement seems…weird. If you read too deep into it – and who doesn’t – it almost sounds like she was paid to say that or will be paid for speaking so highly of him. Whatever it is, I’m sure their children are just glad they’re getting along.
What do you think? Can you just “get back to love” after an assault at the hands of your significant other happens?
At every new stage of maturity, I loved him. When I was 18, naïve and green, I puppy loved him to death. At 21, when I realized relationships weren’t always going to be sweet nothings and passionate French kisses – I did my best to prove to him how willing I was to fight for us. He told me he didn’t want me anymore. I got familiar with the depths of depression, eating only three times and crying for the better part of two weeks. The only way to describe the hurt is that I felt like I was standing naked in the middle of a highway and I could see the truck coming for me, but I couldn’t move. That dose of rejection felt like I was hit by a truck. Head-on. Full-force.
And still, after months of not speaking, swearing I would never interact with him again, the moment he would text me, I would fall in love again. Dying to prove my adoration. Wanting him to want me just as much as I wanted him.
He didn’t and he never would.
Some say I was dumb. Some say I have daddy issues. Some say that it’s alright and that I can’t help who I loved. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and theories. And all of the above hold some element of truth. But was I going to live out the rest of my twenties, pining away for a BOY who could not make up his mind? Was I going to wait for him to catch up and get his act together? Was I going to shut out any and every possible “Mr. Do Right” for that one “Mr. Do Wrong” who did so much wrong I could never really get to the root of why I ever thought he could potentially do right?
I had some serious questions to ask myself. And I did. Even though I still loved him a great deal, I was weary of giving him my heart and ending up his victim. I was tired of putting myself on the line and looking around to realize that he wasn’t standing next to me. Was it time for me to walk away? Hell yes. Did I really want to? Hell no. How did I do it?
After the last offense (him making light of a serious near-death experience I had – to put it mildly) I shed a tear or two – nowhere near as many as I had in the past – and I deleted his number. I blocked him on Facebook. I told myself, “This is it. No more.”
It was all I could do every single day to keep from calling him to ask how his day had been or “accidentally” texting him to have ANY kind of conversation. But I realized for every day that I did not contact him, he did not contact me. Just like that. It hurt like nothing I would wish on my worst enemy. But I maintained. I kept telling myself, “In a week it won’t hurt this bad. In two months this will be a memory…” That’s how I got through. Moment to moment.
There comes a time when you really, truly, madly, deeply have to realize your worth. A time when you have to say, “Enough is enough.” You’re only treated the way you allow yourself to be treated. Your constant groveling for his love leaves you helpless, powerless. It proves that you have absolutely no concept of your own value. Groveling doesn’t have to be physically kneeling and begging. It’s in the little things like allowing him to come over at 4 a.m. when you know good and well he’s been out with other women. It’s in playing the role of the girlfriend/wife when he has made NO effort to give you the title. It’s in texting him constantly, deciphering every message he sends back, hoping there is some glimmer of affection reciprocated.
It took me some time, but I do speak to my ex now. I made that decision because I didn’t want to live my life hating him or being afraid to see him with someone else. I had to know that I moved on. For me this was the test to see if I was really over him. He has a girlfriend and contacts me on a semi-regular basis. I ask where his girlfriend is. He changes the subject. He’s unhappy. I’m single but in “talks” with an amazing guy who has been in my life for a few years now, waiting for the stars to align for us. *Cue cheesy grin* I’m content where I am. I gathered up all the love I had poured into him over the years and began showering it on myself, my family and friends.
When you make the decision to walk in your worth, wholly and completely – love and its full bounty open to you. We live in the era of over-the-top reality television where relationship problems are turned into complex quadratic equations for the sake of drama and Nielsen ratings when in reality it is NOT. THAT. HARD. WE choose to complicate things. Love, itself is as uncomplicated as a river’s flow.
So, when do you stay? When do you let it go? YOU know. You know in your heart when it’s time to walk away. You know when you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill and need to put more effort into the relationship. What are you worth? What is your time worth? What is your love worth? You choose. You know what you deserve. You know your own mistakes. You know his. You know what you can forgive and forget. You know your dealbreakers. You know what is unreasonable and you know what isn’t. Make no more excuses. Quit pinning your hopes to an unstable man. Leave all half-a**ing to the reality stars. If it’s right, you know. Do the work. If it’s wrong, you know that too. Leave the jerk. You hold all the cards. Pack them up and wait on someone who plays fair. The win will be worth the wait for the both of you.
La Truly is a late-blooming Aries with lots to say. Her writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and positive change. Check out her thoughts/jokes/rants on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and her young women’s empowerment blog: www.hersoulinc.com.
My mother is turning 58 next week on the last day of July. If there ever were black Spartans, I am sure she is a descendant of them. I learned from an early age that though she is far from perfect, her indomitable will and grace would make you swear before God she is. My mother’s marriage fizzled last year, and although even I thought she’d be down for the count, she’s emerged out the ashes of a love gone wrong…just like a phoenix.
Heartbreak has always been glorified as a matter of the young. Rarely do we get to witness the affects of the death of a relationship on women who are more seasoned. If we are to take society and the mainstream’s viewpoint, women’s hearts freeze up after age 50, and they resign to church activity and bingo games with their friends. Being the daughter of such an extraordinary woman, I should have known better than to take such simple advice from the world around me, but even I became indoctrinated with it.
After my mother announced that her marriage was coming to an end, my mind became a ceaseless cycle of worry. Who would take care of her in the years to come? Is she going to be alone for the rest of her life? How can someone possibly start over again this “late” in life? Of course, I did not utter these questions to her — the woman had enough on her plate. Besides, there really was no need to. My mother proved through her actions that you can bounce back from tribulations at any age.
One of the most brilliant things she taught me in the past year is that you are never too old to live the life of your dreams. After my stepfather left, my mother decided to dedicate herself to the things she has always desired. She started hanging out with her friends more, taking weekend trips to Atlantic City moreso for the laughs and company than the gambling. She went back to school and aced all of her courses with nothing lower than an A. She found joy in studying, in exercising her mind, and even in doing homework.
The difficult is merely difficult — not impossible. For years, mom always thought that in order to lose weight she’d need the help of a whole team like those seen on the Biggest Loser. And yet, in six months after her breakup she lost 35 lbs through diet and exercise. It wasn’t always easy to watch, but it sure was inspirational to have a front seat to this accomplishment. In watching her revolutionize her lifestyle choices, I too was able to realize the issues in mine and make proper and healthier changes.
Most importantly, mom has shown me that forgiveness is possible and needed. For so long I was angry with my stepfather — angry with him for breaking my mother’s heart, for abandoning a life he had created with her. As my mother healed and grew from this situation, she forgave him and urged me to do so. She asked me to show him compassion and kindness even when the contrary of these emotions nested in my heart. Her acts of respect for his humanity shamed me in my rage, and made me seek understanding and closure of the divorce for myself.
For all these lessons, I could not be more grateful. Wisdom comes not with age, but with experience from the rumbles and tumbles of life. We are never too old to learn new lessons not only from what our parents preach, but how they live and what they live through.
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