Thursday, January 28, 2010

Forgiveness; Fr. EHow. Tick the title to be redirected there.

Forgiveness is one of those concepts that most people have difficulty grasping. While we all have a mental image of what forgiveness "should" look like when others forgive us, knowing how to forgive ourselves or someone else isn't as easy to understand.

When someone else causes us emotional harm, whether unintentional or intentional, learning to let go of this pain can be one of the most difficult transitions we go through. Social workers in the prison system work with families on the process of forgiveness to help ease the transition between incarceration and life on the outside. Similar to restorative justice programs which involve the victim of a crime and the offender, these prison programs seek to develop an understanding of the offenders act(s) and come to terms with the eventual return to society.

The families involved tend to view forgiveness as an admission that the past is completely forgotten and life can return to normal as if nothing happened. As you can imagine, this effort at denying the behavior has a negative effect.

Carrying emotional pain, anger, anxiety, and other distressing thoughts about a situation or someone often is easier for us than beginning the forgiveness process. Cognitive-behavioral therapists often stress positive thoughts since it can be easier to invest more time in negative thoughts and redirect energy toward positive change. The more we concentrate our emotional energy on carrying a grudge and not forgiving someone, the more likely we are to become anxious, depressed and negative about the general situation.

Since it is often easy to think of forgiveness in terms of forgetting, we need to examine how we forget. Human memory does not work like computer memory. There is no way to reformat the past. Instead, we look at situations through different lenses. Psychologists often refer to these lenses as perspective. Reality of our situation is how we view it at the time that the impression or memory was formed.

Forgetting a past hurt refers to relearning the circumstances surround the situation, reprocess it through a fresh perspective, and move toward forgiveness. When we look at the outcome of what happened, we can either become bitter and angry or view the end result as an opportunity for personal growth and change.

5 Steps
1. The first and most important step is allowing yourself permission to forgive. When we focus more on the consequences of not forgiving ourselves, we shift the focus to ourselves and how we can move beyond the past hurt and blame. The situation becomes less about the person who wronged you and more about how you are able to heal and develop a sense of peace.

2. Forgiving someone else first involves recognizing that forgiving is not giving that person absolution for a previous wrong. Forgiveness is often confused with absolution since the terms are used almost interchangeably in most religions. What if the person who wronged you is not living? What if the person is someone who caused you extreme embarrassement during school 20 or 30 years ago? These people are not available to you to discuss the situation, nor do they have to be. Letting go of emotional pain does not mean that nothing happened; it means that you no longer want to be controlled by it.

3. Recognize that forgiveness is not denial. Whatever caused the pain was a real incident. Denying that it happened and calling it forgiveness means that it is too painful to work through the emotions. There is no timeline on forgiveness. Some steps take longer to get through, and it is acceptable to work through some of it and set it aside for a period of time. Part of forgiveness is understanding that whether or not someone takes responsibility for it (and may even demonstrate remorse), does not control whether or not you intend to continue investing emotional pain and distress each time you revisit what happened.

4. Understand that not everyone who forgives reconciles with the person who caused the pain. There are relationships that are toxic and even physically dangerous. While it is possible to forgive the past and move beyond it, it may also mean that the person who was involved no longer can play an active role in your life. If a person or situation is not safe, it may be best not to reconcile the relationship and then work on forgiveness at a time when you are emotionally healthy and physically safe.

5. Make a conscious decision to forgive someone. Even if they never apologize for what happened, determine within yourself that it is fine to proceed without this apology. Apologies should not be about permission to us to forgive someone. Apologies should be offered as an effort of true remorse and acknowledgement that taking personal responsibility for the situation is important. Even without that apology, make up your mind to forgive, forget, and eventually let go.

Sounds a bit like the 12 steps program developed by Bill W. Food for thought thought.
I allow myself to forgive myself, the people in my sphere of influence, and to forgive our government. Now I have to go work on the next steps.

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Banana This; Recycle Old Peels~ fertilizer or silver polish

There are things you can do with that old peel.

1. Do you have a green thumb? House hold plants and outside gardens require fertilization. A great way to give your plants nutrients is with a banana peel. The banana peel is very rich in potassium and phosphorus, which give that added boost to your plants soil, especially so with roses. Here is how to use a banana peel to fertilizer your soil for your plants. Remove the peel from the banana. Place the banana peel on a cookie sheet to let it air dry. Grab a paper bag or envelope. Crumble the dried banana peel and place it in the bag. Let the banana sit at room temperature for about two days. When your caring for your plant, give it a potassium treat of crumbled banana peel. Mix well in the soil to ensure the roots are fed evenly.
2. Have you been thinking about pulling out that old silver? Well there is no time like the present. Bananas peel can also be used to polish silver. Yes, polish silver. Take the old peels and place them in a blender. You want the peels to become smooth and creamy. Once they have, grab a cloth and small amounts of the creamed banana peel and begin polishing your silver. The shine will be breath taking.


Wild yeasts exist in the air around you and to some extent on the wheat berries. There are wild yeasts on grapes (unsulphured) and apples and other fruits. It is those wild yeasts which are 'captured' to make a sourdough starter. The process takes from 3 to 5 days. I wish I had specific amounts for you, but you could start with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour and mix in enough warm (not hot) water to make a thin paste. DO NOT make it too soupy. That, in fact, is the trick to a good starter, according to the French bread makers, and I think they should know. And after you've fooled around with the flour and water thing, you might wish to branch out into adding those unsulphured grapes, apples, sour milk, etc as a catalyst in order to capture other strains of yeast. Each of these strains has a slightly different taste. In fact if you move to another area, you might end up with a starter that produces an entirely different flavor. For instance, San Francisco sourdough bread is well known and has a distinct taste due to the wild strains in the air there. On day one you mix the flour and water (and add any catalysts to encourage fermentation) and place in a warm spot. After 3 days, the dough should be moist, inflated, and slightly sour. More flour and water is added (mixed in) and left to sit in a warm spot. After 2 days the process is repeated. Then the next day it is done again. Note the order: 3 days, 2 days, 1 day. At this point you should be able to make a loaf of bread using part of the starter and adding back what you took out in the form of more flour and water. Rule of thumb: Use about 10% starter to size of loaf. In the case of a 2 lb loaf this is a bit over 3 oz of starter (3.2 to be exact). For a 1 lb loaf 1.5 oz would be used. A book that describes this process in great detail is The Village Baker by Joe Ortiz, copyright 1993, published by Ten Speed Press, Berkley CA. If it's not still in print, try the used books stores, that's where I got mine. Or try your local library. If they don't have it, they might be able to get it for you. ©2008 by Ernestina Parziale

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