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A Heartfelt Blog. Thursday May 29, 2014

"The most powerful agent of growth and transformation is something much more basic than any technique: it is a change of heart." John Welwood.

Last week I took a risk to write in a deeper way about forgiveness, using my own background to ensure that the authenticity was 'felt'. (

What resulted was for me a rich response where people responded by offering their own feelings and challenges.

There is no doubt we all struggle in some ways to deal with emotional challenges, and for me at the moment with the depressive door opening again, what do I write and say?

I often start with a quote and the one above 'feels' right following last week, when I talked about the challenge of forgiveness of others and some of the comments quite rightly pointed out that the start of that can often be forgiving ourselves.

There were also some comments about the difficulty in forgiving someone who has been, in our eyes, bad to us. If you remember, when depressed, I called my father to tell him I loved him and thus to forgive him all his 'wrongs' from his violent and alcoholic past. What changed was, in feeling my own frailty - rather than more of my ego where he was wrong and I was right- I had a change of heart.

I will often say that the only person you can change is yourself. Now, that can mean that you move away from someone which may be the right thing to do, as much as a move towards someone or something. The key is that you cannot expect anyone else to change unless you do - even if you think or even legally know you are 'right'.

Solutions are created by a coming together and if you wish any situation to change and have the courage to act on that wish, you will 'move' first. The key is, as the quote states, a change of heart.

With a change of heart comes a different 'spirit' and even although you may be saying similar things, the spirit in which you say it alters, most likely to seek a solution, rather than proving yourself right and even someone else wrong. We all know that it is not what people say that we remember, but how they made us feel!

Feelings(EQ) are way more important than facts(IQ), so no point in 'proving' you are right, if you are seeking an alignment. The most important aspect of what you are saying is the 'intent' not the content.

How can you look into your heart to achieve a more harmonised outcome for some of the challenges you face? Or, how can you find the strength to leave/move away from and to forgive your own previous mistakes?

A Moodscope member.

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heather Thu, May 29th 2014 @ 10:29am

I really loved this, Les, as I know how my life has changed in the past when I have just "opened my heart". Sadly, I can't always keep it up and little prejudices creep back in but reading this makes me feel anything is possible ! This blog, plus Lex's about "breathing" have been inspirational for me.

Eurik Thu, May 29th 2014 @ 10:46am

Thank you, Les. I loved this. Truly inspiring.

Julia Thu, May 29th 2014 @ 11:36am

Your writing is a victory over depression Les.(as Leonard Cohen once said). I read the following quote this morning and thought of you.
"Experience is the basis of communication; to see yourself reflected in someone else means you are half way to winning the battle" This was written by Albert Espinosa, a Spanish writer in his book The Yellow World.

Silvia A Thu, May 29th 2014 @ 5:08pm

It is so important to forgive our own mistakes. My process so far is:
- acknowledge the situation
- recognize my error
- accept that this was my fault
- as an exercise of empathy, notice the suffering or harm I may have caused
- return the focus to myself and see my excuses, explanations, the conditions etc
- after a reflection, see what I can change in my behaviour or elsewhere in order that this does not happen again.
- I have to accept that for the minor problems they will happen again despite my efforts
- for the big faults I pay more attention and I am less prone to repeat

Usually I have to write some of these steps.
As a Catholic, the process involves prayer and private confession. If the situation is too difficult I look for counsel and accept that it will take time to recover.

As for other offenses I consider two aspects: first the lack of consciousness of who caused me harm, second, how I am going to react to protect myself and avoid more harm.
This process also takes time, much time. But I also pay attention if I do not cause a similar harm, even in a most diminutive fraction to others, too.

Once I talked to young man, a retail clerk in a store. It happened he told me that he loved his grandmother and that she was quite old, 103 years old! So I asked what was her secret to be so fine as he told me she was and he said she always says him that: "do not have any anger in your heart. Forgive. And you will be happy."

Silvia A Thu, May 29th 2014 @ 5:11pm

Should correct one term: "I have to accept that for the minor problems they will happen again despite my efforts". No, better to say, despite my intention.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Thu, May 29th 2014 @ 10:14pm

Lovely post Les, thank you. So true, that we can only change ourselves.

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