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Putting Yourself First

Putting yourself first

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to share with you insights about letting go, forgiving and putting yourself first.

First a quick update:

“Family in crisis” Mark your calendar for Friday July 11, 2008 to watch another appearance of mine on the Montel Williams TV show when I work with a family in crisis, using Hypnotherapy and specific intensely emotional exercises and tasks to help the family face and break through their fears, build trust, and rekindle the romance between mom and dad

In the past two Success Newsletters, I listed some of many reasons we choose not to forgive those people that we believe have hurt or wronged us and I mentioned that the missing link to forgiveness is to understand that whatever the other person did or did not do was not and is not about you.

This week I would like to outline the long list of negative emotions that come with a lack of forgiveness and answer the controversial question: Is it still real forgiveness if we forgive but cut off the other person?

I believe the most powerfully negative and destructive emotion is revenge while the most empowering emotion is gratitude. Revenge is one of the diseases of a lack of forgiveness. A few of the others are: hatred, bitterness, resentment, blame, condemnation, shame, anger, rage, fear, apathy, lack of trust, cynicism, the need to control or dominate, suspicion and skepticism. May I add that if you are having problems reducing weight despite healthy eating habits and exercise, then ask yourself who you have not yet forgiven or towards whom do you still hold any of the above negative emotions. It might even be yourself that you need to forgive. A lack of forgiveness will also lead to elevated stress in the body, fear, lack of motivation, depression and anxiety.

While we carry around any of these heavy, destructive emotions in our heart, it is impossible for us to be happy or even allow love into our heart and life.

Once we arrive at the point of understanding that the other person did what they did (or didn’t do something) because of who they are, that there is nothing innately wrong with us then we forgive them and ourselves if need be. Thus, we also release our expectations of them and we stop seeking their approval. It is our expectations of others that create such harsh judgments and vast disappointment in our lives. With understanding and compassion, we can let go; let go of the judgments, negative emotions and expectations. Now the question that so many clients and readers ask me is, “Can I still forgive someone and cut him/her off?”

Yes, you can.

While our lesson might be to love unconditionally, we also have to love ourselves – unconditionally. We need to always keep ourselves safe – physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Let me give you an example. I was in a relationship with a girl who had low self-esteem and didn’t love herself. Accordingly, she would subconsciously do things to sabotage the relationship because she didn’t feel that she deserved to be treated well. Thus, she also betrayed and cheated on me. And when she asked for another chance, I chose to express understanding and compassion and I forgave her. Unfortunately, she didn’t change and I discovered that she did it again almost a year later. She again profusely apologized but this time, I had to love myself and put myself first. In other words, I had to protect myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Thus, I cut her off. While her apology and regret might or might not have been sincere, it was obvious to me that she was not going to change and she would continue to hurt, disrespect, use, manipulate and tear me down. It was time to put myself first, to love and respect myself and thus, walk away.

In other words, you can chose to love and forgive someone by expressing understanding and compassion for their actions, for the way they are and behave, but that doesn’t mean you become a door mat for people to walk all over you or to wipe their dirt on you. If you do not love and respect yourself then people will treat you the same way. You must set the boundaries and parameters for what you will and won’t accept in any relationship – at work, at home and with your friends. Every relationship begins with you and you must love, respect and value yourself.

If someone is being abusive to you in any way, verbally, physically, mentally or emotionally, then you need to put yourself first: You need to protect yourself. If someone is being so selfish, that they chose only to take but never give to you, never support you or be there for you in a time of need, then you need to cut them off. Would you allow someone to abuse your little child again and again? Of course, not. Then why allow someone to do that to you again and again?

I teach the same principle to my clients with regards to their family. If your family members continue to lash out and hurt you, despite your pleas and discussions with them, then stop the toxic game. Choose to love them by praying, blessing or wishing the best for them and also choose to love yourself by choosing to surround yourself with people who will also love, respect, support, praise and encourage you.

This action is an example of letting go: letting go of some people from your life, letting go of the expectations of other people who choose not to change and letting go of something that is destructive for you! Love yourself so that others can love you!

Remember to check out my Blog on my website to read my past Success Newsletters, post your comments and take a few exciting quizzes.  If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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