Archive for the 'Forgiveness' Category

Aftermath of Sandy

November 27, 2012
posted by Admin

So it was not the results of this past presidential election that connected all of us, but rather the Frankenstorm that took out Halloween on the east coast that drew us together on a most human level. Why is it that we take for granted simple pleasures – like heat, food and hot water? It isn’t until we no longer have these readily available to us that we realize their importance. The same is true for our shared humanity. As we turn on the 4, 5, 6, or 11 o’clock news we stare at the images of neighbors huddled together over a makeshift fire in someone’s driveway trying to stay warm. If we allow ourselves to go there in our minds, we recognize that we could be huddled with them. That we are them! We are the lucky ones! We are the ones that escaped Sandy’s wrath. The wind just didn’t destroy our home in the same way that it destroyed their’s. The water by our home just happened to recede more quickly then those who were flooded out! The occasion of Hurricane Sandy presented us with a level of awareness that is not to be missed – we are all vulnerable and through our vulnerability connected to one another.

Short-term Forgiveness Therapy Groups to Start

April 25, 2011
posted by Admin

Jed Rosen, MSW, LCSW, an expert in Forgiveness Work and trained by Fred Luskin, author of Forgive for Good, will be starting short term Forgiveness Therapy Groups. These groups will focus on helping members “let go” of past hurts and grudges that stop them from moving on in their lives.
It is true that suffering is a part of life. When we hold on to our suffering, we emotionally cripple ourselves and impede our personal growth. Forgiveness therapy, as a cognitive behavioral approach, is a way of letting go of suffering that has not been resolved. The group participant will be able to sensitively explore the source of one’s suffering and receive guidance to let go of it.
Jed, a highly skilled and experienced group clinician, has been teaching Forgiveness for the past five years to groups of various sizes. This time around, groups will be short-term (5 weeks) and small to provide for more individualized attention to each member. Through his professional guidance, Jed will facilitate therapeutic connection and support among group members. The goal is to help each member move past the areas of their lives in which they have suffered for too long.
So, if you are “stuck” with a life partner, child, parent, boss or therapist this is the place to come! Come and learn how to let go of the suffering from difficult relationships, losses, mistreatment by others or by life, health problems, and career frustrations.
If you are interested in joining a group or know someone who would benefit from this type of group interaction, please contact Jed Rosen at (201) 825-3672 or email Jed directly at: jed.rosen@verizon.net

Anxious?

March 4, 2011
posted by Admin

Do you wake up in the morning filled with dread or a quiet terror that the day is starting? Do you think it will pass if you jump out of bed and start your day? Or are you more likely to cover your head with the blankets or pillow and hoping and pretending that the morning has not quite arrived yet? Do you fear going to a party or traveling in unknown places? Do you fear new situations or illness or bugs? All of these fears can be generally listed under “anxiety.” The way I look at it you are either an anxious person or you are not. So for all of those anxious people out there…the reality is if you “cope” translate
“live with” your anxiety here are a list of antidotes that I recommend you try. None of these are new ideas, as I don’t believe I have to re-invent the wheel. But these are tried and true ways of correcting or distracting oneself from one’s own worries. This is not a complete list. But pick out one activity and run an experiment on yourself. You don’t even have to tell your therapist you are doing it. Just pick out one and try it.

So here’s the list to combat stress and anxiety and worries or whatever ails you in that category.

1. Relaxation Exercises: this is includes visualization, guided imagery and providing a safe place for your body and brain to relax for a short period. The goal is to slow down your breathing.

2. Breathing. Try taking a breath, long and slow. And then take another. Try to slow your breathing down breath by breath!

3. Take a beginning yoga class locally. Try a community yoga class.

4. Meditate! Put aside 5 minutes at night or first thing in the morning to sit still and listen to your breathing and clearing your mind!

5. Try to be creative. Paint, draw, sing, play an instrument, sculpt, mold. Do something that makes you feel highly inventive.

6. Learn how to relax your muscles. Lie down and as you follow your breath, scan your body with your mind’s eye and relax each area of your body section by section.

7. Plan a week or a weekend away! Don’t break the bank! Make it simple! Enjoy!

8. Listen to music that sings to your heart and calms your brain.

9. Find a pet and pet it! This experience releases endorphins that make us feel better.

10. When was the last time you experienced the feeling of getting your hands dirty in great, rich soil? Planting anything will ground you to the earth and return you to your rightful self.

11. Massage – We don’t utilize this approach to healing enough. One good massage can cure, and I mean cure a list of ills including our anxious self. If all you can handle is a sit-up back massage, try it. But it must be with trained someone that you can consistently trust.

12. Biofeedback.

13. Is the same old schedule boring you? Change it up….throw in a lunch with a friend or take an unplanned 20 minute walk.

14. When was the last time you walked through nature? No explanation needed here.

15. Practice Gratitude. Thank someone for something!

16. Practice Forgiveness. Whatever hurt you are holding onto is preventing you from living the rest of your life.

17. Water, water, water! Swimming in it, dreaming about it, walking along it…..is all good!

This list is not complete in and of itself. Certainly, professionals can medicate all of us into comatose states if that is what is needed. We need to discipline ourselves to utilize other natural means available to us. Happy searching for what works!

Active Tolerance

January 18, 2011
posted by Admin

Today was a typical day in my life. I grabbed my cup of coffee and sat down to read the New York Times. After reading the lead article, the title of which is not important, I can’t help but reflect on the polarization of our country and people. I am infinitely sad at the way my country is so polarized; the way that people are so angry. By highlighting differences, the average politician winds up inciting anger in his constituents. The result is confusion and upset in the minds of all citizens.
Politicians want to seek solutions. I get that! It is tempting for all of us to seek easy solutions. Find what you think is right, stick to it, and then categorize all other points of view as wrong! This standard black and white thinking reduces our struggle towards compromise and fully understanding other points of view. It feeds into a false belief that if we think that we are right, we are safe. But, it seems to me that we have shoved our fear into a box and covered it over with our anger towards opposing points of view. It doesn’t matter if this is left- right; liberal-conservative; Democrat or Republican. We are all entering into this kind of thinking that separates us from our friends, neighbors and fellow citizens. We become more and more isolated from each other and fearful.

Does everything in this country come down to right and wrong? Are we that frightened of each other?

We will never truly know who is right or wrong in the way that we think or believe. We will never live in a world where everyone agrees with us. No matter what we believe, there will always be others who believe that we are wrong. We will not be able to exist or to create a future without the collective efforts and talents of all of our citizens, those that we think are right and those that we think are wrong.
In the end we will have to forgive those that are different from us if we are to heal and move on as a country. What is happening in our nation right now is important! We need to pay attention to our anger, fear and helplessness. In reading the paper today, I came across this quote:
“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope……Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.” Reinhold Niebuhr
May the New Year bring you peace!

Forgiveness and Compassion

November 29, 2010
posted by Admin

On Thursday morning I attended a United Nations celebration of the one year anniversary of The Charter For Compassion honoring Karen Armstrong. As you may know, I was invited by my friend and partner, Fred Luskin. I sat and listened carefully to all of the speakers. The theme that stood out in my mind is this: Forgiveness and compassion in the abstract doesn’t work.
Forgiveness and compassion cannot just be ideals that we try to attain, but rather they must be practiced in a daily way. When Fred spoke he referred to the Forgiveness training program as a model for interpersonal healing through forgiveness which is very much a part of compassion. Fred explained that forgiveness is a central part of the cultivation of compassion because forgiveness brings us back to our heart, the seat of compassion.
Our practice must begin by loving and being patient and kind to the individuals that are closest to us, those we live and work with daily. If we are to take forgiveness and compassion seriously, we must allow ourselves to become vulnerable with those we live with. Becoming vulnerable naturally brings about honesty in a relationship. Honesty is a magical energy that purifies our minds and souls. Honesty allows us to be real with those we love and therefore, we live more truly in our own skin!
I feel strongly with Forgiveness and Compassion when it is rooted in living, struggling, suffering people because that is who we are! “World peace must rest on the solid foundation of love between individuals.” Gandhi. It is this individual focus which makes forgiveness and compassion more believable to me.

Losing a pair of earrings…

November 22, 2010
posted by Admin

I lost my favorite pair of earrings. They were gold leaves connected to a single beautiful real pearl and anchored by a tiny clump of jade. They were so pretty and handmade by an artist in SoHO…therefore a one of kind piece! My husband bought them for me on a spontaneous, romantic jaunt to the city. At first, I thought I could locate them, somehow, but as hours passed, the truth of the matter had settled in and I was heart broken. Then, within twenty four hours, I had lost my inhaler and my favorite black golfing jacket. Again, I searched and searched and again to my dismay, I couldn’t locate either. So, I resigned myself to re-order the inhaler and to skip on the jacket until I play golf again, sometime in the spring. Disappointed and despairing, I was angry at myself and unable to “let up” on myself, at all. I turned to my piano for comfort. Practicing only distracted me; as soon as I finished I was in my sad, sorry state of upset. I told myself that I was careless; I didn’t care much about my things; I didn’t pay attention to the details in life. It may sound dumb, but I was heartbroken over these losses. I understood that I was much more attached to objects than I had realized.
Later that weekend, on an unusually cold Sunday morning, when my body was tired and I didn’t want to relinquish the ease and warmth of my bed, I had a strange, out-of-the-box thought. A tiny voice in my head said “Pat, the first part of your life, you collect and the second part, you let go!” Realizing that I was clearly into my second half of life, I was titillated by this thought from beyond my consciousness. I pulled myself to wake up more fully. I felt a tug of war go on in my mind: One end there was the ghost of fogginess; the other end serene clarity!
During the day I contemplated on the idea of “letting go of things,” I experienced myself as less confused and more still inside. It is time to “not collect” things. It is a time to be open to other ways of comfort other than what I have known.
Knowing that I take everything to an extreme, I asked myself, does that mean food should no longer be a comfort? Should I put myself on a diet purchasing beautiful romantic earrings? Should I sell my golf clubs? (You know, the clubs that went along with the lost jacket) These questions were enough for me to run to grab my inhaler, which as you will recall, I have lost and need to replace. Calming myself down, I realized that it means something simpler. Something that is like self-forgiveness, you know…where the mental attitude is one of taking myself off the hook of perfection and materialistic neediness. Instead of anxiously moving in the direction of control; move in the direction of letting go! Releasing! Giving in! Not having control over every detail. It is time to let go of different objects and expectations that I carried around the first half of my life. That in the tiny ways that life reminds us, letting go is the process of seeking peace!

Forgiveness at the United Nations!

November 13, 2010
posted by Admin

I (Jed) was transformed four years ago at a conference on Forgiveness presented by Fred Luskin, Ph.D. I took an instant liking to Fred and found his work simpatico with my philosophy of life. I learned a great deal about the method and details of forgiveness from Fred. I had an instinctive feeling that I was at the beginning of an important journey.
I hunger to share this journey with you and others. Once I studied and learned the forgiveness methodology, I presented forgiveness with Fred. Out of this friendship, we formed The Forgive for Good Center for Forgiveness Education and have been training others to teach Forgiveness to their communities. We now have in operation a certified forgiveness training program and have proudly graduated three classes. Today, hundreds of psychotherapists from various disciplines have incorporated this forgiveness methodology into their clinical practices.
On a personal note, I have found that when I forgive, anyone even for the smallest offense, I am significantly healed and the world feels more open and accepting. Forgiveness has not ended my suffering, but it has enabled me to ease my mind and body, so that I am not dominated by past, personal hurts. For me, forgiveness leads to compassion for self and others and eventually to Peace.

Recently, Fred called me to let me know that he had been invited to speak on Compassion at an event called The TEDPrize@UN which will celebrate the one year anniversary of the Charter for Compassion. This event will take place on November 18th, from 11a.m. to 1p.m. at The United Nations and will be broadcast on a special Webcast.
I felt honored that Fred would invite me to this event as his guest. I am so grateful to be a part of this momentous work. I want to share this with all of you! I hope you will get a chance to view the Webcast www.charterforcompassion.org.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about it.

Jed

Jed Rosen speaks about Forgiveness

October 15, 2010
posted by Admin

The Adventures of the Forgiveness Warrior

October 10, 2010
posted by Admin

When I teach forgiveness, participants think that forgiveness means that they must eliminate their anger. They visualize a “forgiving person” as one who is rarely annoyed while maintaining a state of peaceful equipoise. I have a friend, named John who taught me quite the opposite.
My friend, John found out that his father, along with two of his brothers, had made a profitable financial investment. They had not told John about this and in fact kept it secret from him. As a result, John felt betrayed and rejected. He had grown up accustomed to being excluded from family activities. But he never expected to be betrayed in such a blatant manner. The sting that John felt from this information, while not surprising to John, still took up a lot of space in his mind. Needless to say, John was furious.
As time went on, John did not want to remain stuck in this rejecting cycle with his family. This is the way his family has often behaved in the past. He had accepted that! Instead of feeling cheated and angry all the time, John took his anger and channeled it back to his original dreams of being successful in his own business. John let go of the disappointment by aggressively focusing on his own business and the vast potential. He thought about his wife, Ann, and the wonderful life that they had made for themselves, without the help of his parents or siblings. John appreciated and felt grateful for having Ann’s love in his life. John dedicated himself to nurture and protect what he had in his wife and his career. He decided to let go of what he did not have in his parents and siblings.
Certainly, forgiveness brings peace. But, we cannot forgive without sitting with our anger for a time. John felt his anger and let it be. John creatively channeled his anger towards his positive goal of making his business improve. By getting in touch with what he wanted before he was hurt, John used his anger to propel his life in a more meaningful direction. When John set himself back on the road of the life he had already created, he used his anger to re-charge his business. (Note: If your anger keeps you locked in to thinking about the person who hurt you and how hurt you feel, then you are nursing a grudge. You will continue to feel stuck, until you re-direct your anger towards your original dreams.)
John taught me how using my anger and managing it, can help me forgive. My brain enables me to have emotions of all kinds. I know and realize that I am wired to love and to feel angry. I can not eliminate either emotion from my life. What I can do is learn, through forgiveness, to use all of my emotions wisely to achieve peace.

Take note of the Goodness in your friends!

October 4, 2010
posted by Admin

Drinking my coffee this morning and a good friend, Lou Baretti emailed me this story… I loved it so much I wanted to share it with you! Enjoy and have a great week! Jed

STONE
TWO FRIENDS WERE WALKING
THROUGH THE DESERT.
DURING SOME POINT OF THE
JOURNEY, THEY HAD AN
ARGUMENT; AND ONE FRIEND
SLAPPED THE OTHER ONE
IN THE FACE
THE ONE WHO GOT SLAPPED
WAS HURT, BUT WITHOUT
SAYING ANYTHING,
WROTE IN THE SAND,
TODAY MY BEST FRIEND
SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.
THEY KEPT ON WALKING,
UNTIL THEY FOUND AN OASIS,
WHERE THEY DECIDED
TO TAKE A BATH
THE ONE WHO HAD BEEN
SLAPPED GOT STUCK IN THE
MIRE AND STARTED DROWNING,
BUT THE FRIEND SAVED HIM.

AFTER HE RECOVERED FROM
THE NEAR DROWNING,
HE WROTE ON A STONE:
‘TODAY MY BEST FRIEND
SAVED MY LIFE’
THE FRIEND WHO HAD SLAPPED
AND SAVED HIS BEST FRIEND
ASKED HIM, ‘AFTER I HURT YOU,
YOU WROTE IN THE SAND AND NOW,
YOU WRITE ON A STONE, WHY?’
THE FRIEND REPLIED
‘WHEN SOMEONE HURTS US
WE SHOULD WRITE IT DOWN
IN SAND, WHERE WINDS OF
FORGIVENESS CAN ERASE IT AWAY.

BUT, WHEN SOMEONE DOES SOMETHING GOOD FOR US,
WE MUST ENGRAVE IT IN STONE
WHERE NO WIND
CAN EVER ERASE IT’
LEARN TO WRITE
YOUR HURTS IN
THE SAND AND TO
CARVE YOUR
BENEFITS IN STONE.
THEY SAY IT TAKES A
MINUTE TO FIND A SPECIAL
PERSON,
AN HOUR TO
APPRECIATE THEM,
A DAY
TO LOVE THEM,
BUT THEN,
AN ENTIRE LIFE
TO FORGET THEM.
SEND THIS TO
THE PEOPLE YOU’LL NEVER
FORGET.
I JUST DID…
IF YOU DON’T
SEND IT TO ANYONE;
IT MEANS YOU’RE IN A
HURRY AND THAT YOU’VE
FORGOTTEN YOUR FRIENDS.
TAKE THE TIME TO LIVE!
DO NOT VALUE THE THINGS
YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE, BUT VALUE
WHO YOU HAVE KNOWN IN YOUR LIFE!
AND IF I HAPPEN TO GET IT BACK,
THEN I KNOW MY PLACE IN YOUR LIFE
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Anonymous