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15 January, 1998 - Holding on to Anger?

In an article in Parade Magazine Jan. 11, 1998, Archbishop Desmond Tutu was quoted, "Without memory, there is no healing. Without forgiveness, there is no future." As our Releasing Strategy is at root a forgiveness process, we readily agreed. The statement is a powerful truth.

The idea that retribution will not bring peace goes against very basic human programming in our psyches. We are conditioned by primitive responses and current sayings such as, "Don't get mad, get even!"

In our (at least U.S.) society, we are addicted to assigning blame and punishment. There are no accidents. There are just happenings that need to be analyzed to find out who is the evil perpetrator. We are obsessed with punishment.

A woman was convicted of child neglect (and had been even charged with murder). Her daughter had a terrible eating disorder and died because she was so fat (at 650 lbs.) She had bed sores because she could not move. Her mother had taken her to doctors 90 times to no avail and was helpless to stop the tragedy. To current thinking, however, we have to punish someone because it simply shouldn't have happened!

In another case, a tragedy occurred when a family was walking on the Golden Gate Bridge. Their small toddler squeezed through a tiny opening in the bridge, and was killed in the fall. The bridge authority moved immediately to seal up the opening which was thought previously to be small enough to prevent anyone from slipping through it. No one could have anticipated the freak accident. There is no one to punish, but there is talk of a lawsuit. Should the parents be punished? Should the city or Bridge authority be punished? Will that help?

We are addicted to the adrenaline hit of vanquishing the enemy. Of winning the righteous war. Have we become a species of whiners and jailers and even killers?

Take a look at this in your own life. The Releasing Strategy we teach seems too simple and even unacceptable at times. It is not an easy thing to go against very core beliefs and responses. The truth is, however, the more you feel you have been wronged, the more you must, as Desmond Tutu says, "Remember and forgive."

As we analyze the subconscious reasons underlying an issue for a client, we help you remember. What you remember, or what we find, is about what you "believe" at an inner mind level causing the block or limit now. Those beliefs were taken on for what at the time seemed good reasons. Those inner memories may be factual or imagined. That is not the issue. You were seeing some situation or action from your point of view at the time. It may have been when you were 6 or 10 years old. Your world may have been vastly different than it is now.

You may be blocked from action or frozen in an emotion because you are blaming yourself for some sin (which defined means error). You may be blocked now because you identify with your reaction to a situation or pain you endured many years ago. You may be blocked because you have not forgiven yourself, or someone else.

Forgiveness is not only (or really much at all) for the benefit of the forgiven. It is for your benefit! It is so you can go on with your life. You may think you can go on after you have punished or attacked one who has hurt you, but you'll always be looking over your shoulder. You will have to stay involved with the pain. You will end up holding it to you to justify your own actions and anger. It is fun for a little while (it feels like winning). It feels like power. That feeling doesn't last without continued replay. So you have to continue to be the victim. Ugh! Let it go!

In a recent episode of the Ally McBeal comedy/drama on television, advice was given by her usually shallow boss to Ally who was suffering with inner blame for actions she had taken years before. The advice was useful. He said, "You just have to 'fast forward' over events in the past that make you unhappy. As you look back at your life, simply 'fast forward' past the bad parts.

Without the need for revenge or self-punishment, you can allow yourself to fast forward to the present and the future you want to improve and enjoy.

Try The Releasing Strategy below. (Say aloud).

Sharon and Clark Cameron

The Cameron Group
Helping People Create Attitudes That Work For Them


"Attitude makes all the difference!"

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