Life Questions

How to Forgive Someone Who Has Let You Down

It may seem difficult to forgive someone who has let us down. However, before we get lost in a haze of anger and indignation over the perceived let-down, it might be a good idea to look within to understand our own role in the issue.


Could I Be to Blame, At Least in Part?


No one likes to feel let down, but it is important to look within to see where the source of these feelings may be coming from. You might think this is an odd thing to do. “The feelings are coming from the person who let me down, of course,” we hear you say.


The trouble with this is that it makes you into a helpless victim of the actions, or inactions, of others. They do or don’t do what you expect, and you feel let down and disappointed.


The phrase to “let someone down” implies there was an expectation that was not met. Let’s imagine a few common situations so we can get a better grasp of what might be going on.


For example, imagine your romantic partner agreed to meet you for dinner at your favorite restaurant, then canceled at the last minute. The first thing to consider is whether or not it was unavoidable. Do they have to work late, did their car break down, and so on? In these instances, it is disappointing, of course, but not something the other person should be blamed for.


“If they really cared about me, they would…”. What if you were expecting a fuss for your birthday, such as a romantic dinner for two and a nice gift? Most people do give gifts to each other for birthdays, so that is not an unreasonable expectation. But what about the romantic aspect of it? For some people, a candlelit dinner is enough. For others, it should be no expense spared, with champagne, plus a nice gift at the end of the lavish meal.


The trouble is that most people are not mind readers. They might think pizza with a bottle of wine and a movie is the perfect way to celebrate your birthday. They did make an effort, and as the phrase goes, it’s the thought that counts.


Giving Up on Notions of Perfection


People are not perfect. Nor are birthdays, meals, gifts and so on – except in the eye of the beholder. If we expect things to be “perfect” all the time, we are going to be let down a lot of the time. If on the other hand we cultivate an attitude of gratitude and are happy that the other people in our lives are doing their best, we will feel a lot more appreciative and a lot less disappointed.


Feeling less disappointed means that you won’t feel let down so often, and that means you will have a great deal less to forgive.


When Is Forgiveness Required?


If you offer unconditional love without expectations, then forgiveness and deciding whether or not to forgive someone isn’t really a question that will ever arise.


If you are 100% certain that they have deliberatly set out to hurt you, then you might need to consider it. Remember, you are in the driver’s seat – not the other person. Living a life of honesty and integrity will allow you to love without expectations because you understand that everyone makes their own choices for various reasons which often have nothing to do with you.


Be honest when your feelings are hurt, but don’t fly off the handle just because you were expecting one thing and got another.


Is it possible to forgive people when they let us down? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.



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You Are the Co-Blogger

“First of all, thanks for coming to the site and reading about what I’m doing. I have a favor to ask of you! Now that you are here, what would you like to know? What question would you like answered? What is causing the most pain for you right now? Go on, Ask Me Anything! Tomorrow, I will select one or two (or a few questions) and answer them for you! So, leave a comment below and ask me a question!

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To My 14 Year Old Self

I was asked recently, “If you could be in this present moment, look back through the span of time and talk to yourself, what would you say to you?”

My very first thought was, “Oh how simple and unreasoned this question is!”

Then I started thinking …

And thinking some more …

As I sat and deliberated the conversation I would have with the 14 year old me, I couldn’t decide whether I would say something profound from 30,000 feet up or if I would dare to travel step by step over the questions I had as the young, inexperienced kid.

Even as I sit here typing this very line of text, my awareness is all over the place debating the pros and cons of how to talk to myself through this time warp.

I frankly am just on this side of really not caring for the person who asked me this question but it was designed to get me, and others, to think outside the box! So, I guess I’ll keep writing… I’ve prolonged this enough to wrap my head around the enquiry.

Assuming that my 14 year old self would be able to see me today, I’m pretty sure I would have to explain being blind.

“What the hell,” the 14 year old me would say.

“Oh stop it! I know you’ve never seen a blind person before but just don’t freak out about us being blind. Frankly, I’m pretty surprised that you’re not panicking more about talking to your damn self 24 years in the future, but I digress.”

At this point, the 14 year old me would roll my eyes but wouldn’t dare talk back because I was raised better than that.

The me of today would say:

“Look kid, I’m not going to give you a run down of two decades worth of ‘stuff’ but what I will tell you is that you’re going to experience heartache, joy, love, hate, fear, courage, disappointment and your expectations being met. You’re going to run the gamut of emotions from feeling like you’ve let everyone down to feeling pretty damn good about yourself.”

The 14 year old me would say, “I kind of figured that. Life is not a bed of roses. You do know you right?”

Then it’s my turn to roll our eyes so far to the back of our head I get a little dizzy and almost fall over. Shut up … I’m older now and can’t do that the same anymore … especially after a nice glass of red wine! Okay, I’m getting off track …

“Okay kid, we turn out to be a pretty good guy. You still have a smart ass mouth, although no complaints here from our perspective. Seriously, everything you thought we knew about family, the world, disability, politics, work and every single thing else is going to be turned upside down.”

At this point in the conversation, the 14 year old me is quiet with a slight look of concern on our face.

I whisper to me, “I can’t tell you that we won’t be concerned. It’s not going to be easy many times but I know something that you don’t know yet.”

“What’s that …”

“Kid, you’re going to be just fine …”

The 14 year old me has a wisp of a smile as I turn back towards today … and I have that same exact smile of knowing that things really do turn out alright …

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Better Political Conversations – Is it Possible

“Communication is downright hard at times but at least we’re still talking to one another…”


Since the start of modern-day politics, which is the beginning of 24-hour news, The nation has steadily grown farther and farther apart.


As you will hear in the video below, the thesis is that we can eventually reverse our current state of politics if we just learn how to talk with one another.


Watch the video and let me know your thoughts in the comment section.



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What is Emotional Intellegence?

I’ll go ahead and admit this from the very start; I’m stressed out! For anyone that knows me, I’m a politics junkie.  I’m not necessarily drawn into the showmanship (e.g. TV) portion but the working to make things happen aspect of politics.


With our current President, I’m not able to take a break from the noise and my mood has been a bother…even to me. That’s not good so I’ve been doing some reading and I came across the concept of emotional intelligence.


Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to control and express our emotions in a healthy way, and to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others in an appropriate way. Many people focus on their IQ or Intelligence Quotient, but psychological studies have shown that there is also a thing known as an Emotional Quotient (EQ), and that those with a high EQ tend to do well in both their careers and social situations.


Emotional intelligence (EI) was first explored in the 1930s in the US and by the 1990s had become a mainstream concept used to help people with anger management and other issues monitor their own feelings and actions, and better grasp the effects of their emotions on other people. By also learning how to read the feelings and emotions of others, better communication could take place, and relationships improved.


The Four Aspects of Emotional Intelligence


Researchers have created a model of EI that is said to have four parts:


  1. Recognizing emotions
  2. Reasoning using emotions
  3. Understanding emotions
  4. Managing emotions


  1. Recognizing


The first step in understanding emotions is to recognize them, and be able to identify them accurately. This will often include tapping into one’s own inner truth to sort out anger, disappointment, embarrassment, and other emotions. These might all be expressed in the same way by a person lacking in EI, who might demonstrate anger in all of these instances.


It might also be a case of recognizing their own body language and the unconscious messages they are sending, and picking up on the non-verbal cues others are giving them, such as facial expression and body language. Standing too far away or too close to someone, for example, sends out certain messages they need to be able to read in themselves and others.


  1. Reasoning Using Emotions


Human beings are not robots. We make many decisions in relation to our emotions, though we might not realize it. We will often do things on the spur of the moment due to mood. However, reasoning means getting the emotions under control and using them to make logical decisions based on who the person is and the life they wish to lead. Emotions help us focus on what’s important to us and filter out what isn’t important.


  1. Understanding Emotions


We can usually identify emotions, but are not always able to interpret what they mean. For example, we can all spot anger in most cases, but need to get at the heart of why the anger has been triggered. However, not everyone who experiences anger shouts or throws things. Sometimes their reaction is a lot subtler, such as silence, sarcasm, or simply walking away.


Understanding emotions is also about not taking things personally. Is your boss really angry with you, or are they angry at the guy who cut him off in the parking lot?


  1. Managing Emotions


Managing emotions is an essential part of EI, with your expression of emotions appropriate to the situation and context. Shouting, screaming and throwing things might be appropriate when you are two, but not when you are an adult – and certainly not in the office in front of all your colleagues.


Those who are able to regulate their emotions and not get ruffled no matter how stressful things get, are seen to be a reliable person in control of their life. Those who fly off the handle at the least little thing are seen to be unreliable and out of control, and therefore someone who needs to be dealt with cautiously.


If you’ve been struggling, it’s time to learn more about your EI. Of course, I cannot fit everything into one single post so I will be writing more in the coming days.


Have you heard of EI? I would love to have a conversation so let’s get started in the comments…



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What Is Resilience?

Resilience is often spoken of as a very important quality to possess. But what does it really mean, and why can it be so valuable?


What Does Resilience Mean?


If we look up the word resilience at, we get two definitions:


  1. The power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity


  1. The ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.


The origin of resilience is Latin, dating back to the 1620s. It comes from the Latin word “resiliens” (present participle of the verb resilere), meaning to spring back or rebound.


Today we often comment on a person’s ability to rebound (or “bounce back”) after a hard time, such as when they have been “compressed” (that is, put under pressure) or stretched to their limit. We need to be resilient at school when we are tested, and in our jobs when we are expected to perform well, even under difficult conditions.


Why Is Resilience Important?


All sorts of obstacles can arise in life, both internal and external. It is how quickly and successfully a person returns to normal, or a new normal, that marks how resilient they are.


There are many occasions when being resilient can make all the difference between rising above the circumstances – being buoyant as it were, or sinking like a stone. Becoming ill, being in an accident, or facing tough times such as a house fire, the loss of a loved one, and so on, can happen in the blink of an eye.


It is how a person deals with these difficult challenges that can make all the difference between becoming “stuck” or being able to move on. In some cases, a resilient person might even grow stronger as a result of the adversity.


Is It Possible to Develop Resilience?


Some people think you have to be born with resilience, but the truth is that it can be developed over time. It is only through being tested that you can show what you are really made of. It is sometimes only through failure that you can truly grow into a resilient person able to handle whatever life presents you with.


It is a process that starts when we are young and learn that life doesn’t always go the way we want it to. We might flunk a test at school, get bullied, or get cut from the school football team because we aren’t good enough. We might long to be the star of the school play and get stuck doing the lighting and scenery instead, far out of the limelight we longed for.


It is how we deal with each of these situations that demonstrates resilience. Over time, we will get better and better at “bouncing back” and not letting the tough times affect us. We will see that we are not powerless, but have choices.


If you wish to be more resilient, challenge yourself with new roles and situations and see how your resilience can grow!


What are your thoughts?


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