Prison bar background to header that says, "Are You In The Prison of Unforgiveness?"

Unforgiveness: The Prison of Unforgiveness

Let’s talk about unforgiveness–not forgiving others–and it’s consequence to you.

Are You In the Prison of Unforgiveness?

Forgiving is the way to not let the past hold you prisoner to your own pain. Today, we’ll consider this question, “Are you holding yourself hostage in the prison of unforgiveness?:

Holding on to anger, bitterness, hatred and feelings of vengeance is like YOU drinking poison yourself and expecting the OTHER person to die.  It just isn’t a good thing to do because it backfires!

False Ideas, Cleverly Disguised

Feeling justified in not forgiving someone feeds the false idea of having power OVER someone else, and is so cleverly disguised that you think you are NOT the one getting hurt.  You may never in a million years even consider that you are only hurting yourself because your blame of someone else for your own pain keeps you blinded to the role your own thoughts and feelings play.

Blame and Unforgiveness Are Connected

In the article, Blaming Others: Hurts You More Than It Hurts Them , Holly Brown, LFMT says, “Don’t get me wrong.  Sometimes other people are to blame.  Sometimes you are completely and totally and utterly correct in thinking that it’s someone else’s fault.

But once you’ve tried to get them to see that and failed, once they refuse to take responsibility, or if you are habitually blaming others rather than formulating a solution–then what?

The problem with blaming others is that it can often leave you powerless.  For example, you confront the person (your boss, your spouse, your parent, your child), and they say, “No, I didn’t,” or worse, “So what if I did?”, then you’re left with all this anger and hurt and no resolution.

All your feelings are legitimate.  It’s important to feel them fully, and then move on.  Nursing your grievances indefinitely is a bad habit, because (as the title goes) it hurts you more than it hurts them.

…  It is true that living well is the best revenge, and if you’re fanning the flames of your anger toward others for long periods of time, then you’re certainly not living well.”

Can you see the truth in what she says?

Ossie

Photo of Ossie, a Holocaust survivor, dressed in gray slacks with a maroon sweater.

In 2016, I was privileged to speak with a Holocaust survivor named Ossie, for about ½ hour, just the two of us. As we talked, with riveted attention, I soaked in his experiences but mostly absorbed, straight into my heart, some of the lessons he learned through that atrocious experience.  The most memorable to me was the fact that he saw many fellow survivors after the war.  He said the ones who did not forgive were eaten up inside themselves with hatred.  They were consumed with anger and rage, and stayed that way.  Those who forgave went on to live more productive lives.  It was apparent that Ossie had forgiven.

Sharing the Lesson of Forgiveness vs Unforgiveness

Ossie’s first-hand perspective about a principle I already knew to be true, impacted me so much, that, later in the day, after his presentation to High School Students, I asked him to share what he learned about forgiveness with my oldest grandson—hoping that that powerful life lesson from a Holocaust survivor might continue have an impact through the generations in my own family.  The ripple effect of his sharing this powerful life lesson will continue to ripple though many lives—the lives of each student, teacher, or loved one in attendance that day—especially if those stories are written in journals, to be remembered after life gets busy and hectic and things are easily forgotten.

Oprah

Photo of Oprah Winfrey having one of her famous "AH HA" moments.

Oprah Winfrey is a notable public figure whose own eyes were opened to facets of forgiveness she had not thought about before.  Viewed by the world as highly successful, she has been innovative, hard-working and influential which led to her achieving the distinction of being a billionaire.

Whether you agree with her points of view or not, her life story carries within it a particularly poignant example of rising above the odds. Personally, I am an advocate of not judging a person’s life by the chapter I happened to walk in on.  We all have our own sorrow, pains and things we’ve overcome and are still overcoming.  In that spirit, I’d like to share some powerful things Oprah had to say about her transcendent moment and paradigm shift relating to the concept of forgiveness.

Oprah’s Difficult Life Challenges

As a matter of background and according to the Internet Movie Database, Oprah was born to a teenage mother, was raised in abject poverty partially by her grandmother, and she was raped at the age of 9 by a 19-year-old cousin who was babysitting her. She was also sexually abused by a family friend, her mother’s boyfriend, and her uncle. When she was just 14, she gave birth to a baby boy who died after 2 weeks due to complications of being born 2 months premature.

She had a lot in her life that could have held her back, and she had a lot to forgive.  In one of Oprah’s Life Classes on the Oprah Winfrey Network, she said this, “After 25 years and more than 30,000 guests, … it was one man’s definition of forgiveness that changed my life. In her interview, she said, ‘Harold, you mentioned that the secret to really finding true happiness is forgiveness. What do you mean by that?’  Harold responded, ‘It really means letting go of the past.  It really means letting go of our perception that we need to hold a grievance the rest of our lives. If we really want to hold on to grievances, we’ll never really be happy. It’s really a willingness to see the person in the light of love rather than in the action that happened.  So, it’s really changing the perception, and it really means LETTING GO OF THE PAST THAT WE THOUGHT WE WANTED. You know, we can’t really change that past, so it means really releasing the negative perception of it and coming back to the present. [Hold on until you see how this affected Oprah]

Oprah’s Transcendent Moment

Oprah then said, ‘that was a transcendent moment for me. Bigger even than an Ah Ha. He said, FORGIVENESS IS GIVING UP THE HOPE THAT THE PAST COULD BE ANY DIFFERENT.  I think for myself, and I know many of you, you think forgiving means accepting what has happened to you.  Well, it is accepting that it HAS happened to you, not accepting that it was okay for it to happen, it is accepting that it HAS happened, and now, what do I do about it.  Forgiving is giving up the hope, not holding on, hoping, wishing that it could have been any other way than it actually was. Giving up the hope that the past could be any different. And, when I got that, I think it took me to the next level of being a better person because I don’t hold grudges for ANYTHING or any situation! And neither should you. It’s letting go so that the past does not hold YOU prisoner—does not hold YOU hostage.

Watch on YouTube by clicking here.

Oprah is known to have said,
“The best advice touches the part of you that knows it’s true.”

Can you feel the truth of these statements about forgiveness?

The past CANNOT be changed-no matter how much you spend your time and energy wishing it could.  It cannot be different.  It is what it is.

Tyler Perry, shares this.
“When you haven’t forgiven those who’ve hurt you, you turn your back against your future.
When you do forgive, you start walking forward.”

Forgiveness is the way and means by which we do not pull the past into our present moments and project it into the future. It is one significant way we free ourselves from living in bondage to our emotional pain. -Carolyn Calton

Forgiving Can Be Hard

Remember that sometimes you need help outside yourself.  Reach up.  Look toward heaven.

Jesus Christ made possible both repenting (obtaining a change of mind and heart) and being forgiven. He also can empower us to forgive others. God has the power to help you rise above your own perceived capacity to forgive—even with things that sometimes appear unforgivable. I know I have been helped by Him as I have called upon Him in prayer.  He has the power to help you see forgiveness in a different light, if you desire it.

Following God’s laws is what brings happiness, true security and inner peace. Don’t let unforgiveness stand in the way of true happiness and satisfaction at the deepest levels of your soul. Be sure to take care of not only the physical and emotional parts of your “self”, but the spiritual as well. Access the help you need to increase your spiritual vitality and learn to live in harmony with who you really are..

Three Questions Worth Considering

1) Is unforgiveness (a lack of forgiving others) affecting the harmony you could have within yourself, and in that way entangling you and derailing your thinking into unproductive efforts that subtly affect your inner worth, overall?
2) Who do you need to forgive?
3) What will you do with this knowledge?

Turn Your Pain Into Purpose

I’d like to remind you that you might benefit from journaling your thoughts as you process any uncomfortable, yet life-freeing emotions. The JOURNALriffic Method of Journal writing may help you turn your emotional pain into purpose.

Writing out your thoughts on paper or typing them on the computer can help you see clearly and understand what your hurt is all about. It can also help you find the life-changing, sustainable, principle-centered solutions you seek in order to be happy. Turn your back on being stuck in ruminating thoughts about your emotional pain and its cause. Take a step in the right direction. Integrate journal-writing and journal keeping into your emotional health routine today.

YOU are TODAY’s ChangeMaker!

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we must proactively free ourselves from the prison of unforgiveness. We are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our lives as well as those stemming from our families of origin. That includes any situations in the past or in spite of what may be occurring in our life or in our family now.

Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families.  We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.

Check out my class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live according to the principles that govern happiness in yourself and in your relationships.  This excerpt has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. Class.  Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart.

CLICK HERE to see all free presentations and class offerings.

***
Disclosure of material connection: I am the author of JOURNALriffic -Turn Your Pain Into Purpose.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

emotional vitality tip of the day on white tile-like background

Need Emotional Vitality? Use your journal!

ReNEW YOU Emotional Vitality Tip of the Day.  Use your journal!

Turning Pain Into Purpose

Whether you grew up in an intact family or were born into a family that feels broken and full of destructive tendencies and influences, I think we can all agree that somewhere, deep inside us, there is a desire to leave our life story better than we found it.  Somehow, each of us wants to know that our life has meaning and purpose and that our personal existence makes a positive difference in the world.

JOURNALriffic guided-journaling is a perfect match for the needs of those who have experienced the ripple effects of divorce, mistreatment, addiction or abuse.

Harness the power of journaling using the 4 Steps of Discovery!
Get your copy of JOURNALriffic NOW!

*****
Disclosure of Material Connection: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” I am disclosing that I am the author of JOURNALriffic, and I’m an affiliate of Amazon.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

Fighting silhouette of couple fighting and sad teens and child on brown background about disrupted families

Disrupted Families: Divorce, Mistreatment, Abuse

Have your life been touched by the disruptive ripple effects of divorce as a child or adult, or mistreatment, or tremendous loss, addiction or abuse? If not, this information may be useful to a friend or family member that you care about.

Don’t forget the inter-generational influence that your ancestors have had on your parents and on you.  Sometimes learning about family disruption or trauma in generations before you will help you make sense of why things are as they’ve been in your family line.  Learning this information can help build bridges of understanding between the generations.

pink flowering tree on green spot of grass with description about how the mind is a garden

YOU hold within yourself the seeds of change. 
Re-framing your perception can change everything!

Are you forgetting that your ancestor’s stories may hold some answers for you?

Don’t forget the inter-generational influence that your ancestors have had on your parents and on you.  Sometimes learning about family disruption or trauma in generations before you will help you make sense of why things are as they’ve been in your family line.  Learning this information can help build bridges of understanding between the generations.

Start by asking questions of your living relatives. There are also free sites on the Internet where you can begin your search for information about your ancestors that may include access to stories of their lives or links to living relatives that may hold answers to some missing puzzle pieces in your own family history. One such site is Family Search. They encourage you to “find and discover yourself”. Learn where you came from, and get to know who you are.

Understanding their life stories and parts of their own history of facing adversity holds the possibility of creating a new perspective for you.  It can lead to the freedom of forgiveness, release of the past or to shifts in your point of view that can help create healing as you move forward toward living a happier, more peaceful life.

Bearing grudges, holding resentment and other negative feelings in your heart, including hatred, leads to unforgiveness, and unforgiveness is like giving someone else free rent in your head and heart.  You replay this history over and over again.

You don’t need to be close to them or trust them, but letting go of not forgiving them will free your soul to thrive. Not forgiviing only traps you in never-ending cycles of self-inflicted pain.


YOU are TODAY’s ChangeMaker In Your Disrupted Family!

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our families of origin or in spite of what may be occurring in our family now.

Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families.  We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.

Check out these class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live according to the principles that govern happiness in yourself and in your relationships.  This excerpt has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. Class.  Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart. 

CLICK HERE to see all free presentations and class offerings.

family trees, genealogy, forgiveness, patterns, dysfunction, generational change, generational healing, family, perceptions, beliefs

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

Black background, young child with tear from eye, young woman and young man sad beyond belief

Co-dependence: The Walking Wounded, Part 3 

Co-dependency can leave men and women feeling like the walking wounded. John Bradshaw in his book Homecoming, says, Codependency is to be out of touch with one’s feelings, needs and desires.” It is fostered in unhealthy family systems.  It can go for generations without being understood or noticed. It fosters the loss of self-identity. It is my belief that we can change this destructive tendency in our day and age.

As a refresher, I hope you’ve had a chance to read The Walking Wounded:  Co—dependence, Parts 1 and Part 2Now, let’s look at another sign of unhealthy co-dependence.


ENABLING

Enabling is another sign of an unhealthy co-dependence. Mary-Catherine Segota, a clinical psychologist at Counseling Resource Services in Winter Garden, Florida, describes enabling as a behavior that’s used to ease relationship tension caused by one partner’s problematic habits. Enabling behavior, which is rarely seen in healthy relationships, includes:

  • bailing your partner out
  • repeatedly giving him or her another chance
  • ignoring the problem
  • accepting excuses
  • always being the one trying to fix the problem
  • constantly coming to the rescue

Codependent personalities usually follow a pattern of behaviors that are consistent, problematic, and directly interfere with the individual’s emotional health and ability to find fulfillment in a relationship.”


Need Help Knowing What TO Do Instead of Following Co-dependent Patterns? 

For your understanding, make sure to read The Walking Wounded:  Co—dependence, Parts 1 and Part 2.

Access our Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E online class trainings to view at your own pace. There is a mini-class that helps you elevate your thought, patterns, habit patterns and family patterns (just the basics), and a complete class that takes a deeper dive into tips, tools and information that can help you make sense out of life. We put generational issues and addictive or abusive family patterns, and more, under the microscope for clarity of understanding. If you’re looking for small group support as well as online coaching, so you can put an end to the isolation of feeling alone, JOIN US for our Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles. We’re waiting for YOU!

CLICK HERE to view ALL the free presentations and other current support we have for you.


YOU are TODAY’s ChangeMaker!

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our families of origin or in spite of what may be occurring in our family now.

Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families.  We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.

Check out these class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live beyond
co-dependence.  This excerpt in this blog post has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. Class.  Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart. 

CLICK HERE to see ALL free presentations and class offerings.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

Black background, young child with tear from eye, young woman and young man sad beyond belief

Co-dependence: The Walking Wounded, Part 2

Healing Heartache in Family Lines

Co-dependency can leave men and women feeling like the walking wounded because
in co-dependent relationships people, including couples, who struggle with codependency often try to control each other. Control is a form of force, therefore, it does not suit our natural, intuitive desires to bond and connect safely and securely with other individuals. Safe, secure bonding promotes the happiness and well-being of both of the people in the relationship. The force and control found within co-dependent relationships do not achieve that kind of safety and security.  It is a false bond that can seem like true connection.

In order to heal heartache in family lines, we must first understand the cause. There can be many causes, yet in this series of three blog posts, we are continuing our discussion of one of those causes, namely, co-dependence.

John Bradshaw in his book Homecoming points out “To be co-dependent is to be out of touch with one’s feelings, needs and desires,” andCo-dependence is fostered in unhealthy family systems.”

Co-dependence fosters the loss of self-identity.

As you explore co-dependency, you will notice that freedom from destructive, dead-end generational patterns and beliefs, like co-dependence, makes room for healthy, productive, life-changing progress.  The way is not always easy, but it IS possible.  

Helpful Terms


Co-dependence should be distinguished as different from the inter-dependence found in healthy relationships.


It is helpful to understand the following terms and the meaning of each.

  • Dependent
  • Independent
  • Inter-dependent
  • Co-dependent

We are dependent as babies and in various degrees as we grow—In other words, we need others to be able to get what we want and need.  As we work toward becoming independent, we strive for self-mastery and maturity, or in other words, we seek to become fully responsible for our choices and accountable for their results.
Inter-dependence is combining our efforts with the efforts of others to achieve the highest good of all. When we are inter-dependent, we work together assertively—respecting our own feelings WHILE respecting the feelings of others. (This is Not passive and not aggressive)

Independence and Inter-dependence Are Not Selfish

Self-care is a crucial part of renewing our own energy to bring the best we have to offer to the table of cooperative, synergistic effort.  It’s important to note that we can take time to edify, nourish and take care of our own mind, body and spirit without it jeopardizing our ability to help and serve others.  Selfishness is about the attitude and focus we have in serving ourselves in relation to others. Entirely self-focused effort while interacting with others is selfish.

More about co-dependence

Beth Gilbert, in an article for Everyday Health says, “If your mood, happiness, and identity is defined by another person, then you could be in a codependent relationship.The word “codependency” gets thrown around a lot: There are codependent couples, codependent companions, and codependent caretakers. But what does codependent actually mean — and is it really all that bad?

“Codependency is typically discussed in the context of substance use, where one person is abusing the substance, and he or she depends on the other person to supply money, food, or shelter. But codependency is much broader than that,” says Jonathan Becker, DO, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

 “Codependency can be defined as any relationship in which two people become so invested in each other that they can’t function independently anymore,” Dr. Becker says. “Your mood, happiness, and identity are defined by the other person. In a codependent relationship, there is usually one person who is more passive and can’t make decisions for themselves, and a more dominant personality who gets some reward and satisfaction from controlling the other person and making decisions about how they will live.”

Codependency becomes problematic when one person is taking advantage of the other financially or emotionally,” Becker says.

Need help knowing what TO do instead of following co-dependent patterns?

Watch for our Healing Your Family The Walking Wounded:  Co—dependence, Parts 1 and Part 3 (upcoming).

Access our Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E online class trainings to view at your own pace. There is a mini-class that helps you elevate your thought, patterns, habit patterns and family patterns (just the basics), and a complete class that takes a deeper dive into tips, tools and information that can help you make sense out of life. We put generational issues and addictive or abusive family patterns, and more, under the microscope for clarity of understanding. If you’re looking for small group support as well as online coaching, so you can put an end to the isolation of feeling alone, JOIN US for our Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles. We’re waiting for YOU!

CLICK HERE to view ALL the free presentations and other current support we can offer you.

YOU are TODAY’s ChangeMaker!

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our families of origin or in spite of what may be occurring in our family now.

Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families.  We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.

Check out these class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live beyond co-dependence.  An excerpt in this blog post has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. COMPLETE Class.  Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart. 


About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

emotional vitality tip of the day on white tile-like background

3 Journaling Tips for Emotional Renewal

As you pursue emotional renewal, if you are seeking:

  • Less stress
  • Healthier relationships
  • Confidence
  • Positive self-development
  • Clarity of your life’s purpose
  • Greater peace of mind

then JOURNALing your thoughts, may become a strong consideration for you—but not just any journaling.  You’ll want to discover a method of organizing your thoughts that is convenient enough and comprehensive enough to help you elevate your thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns. You’ll want to make sure it’s a way that helps you create lasting change for the better and actually makes it worth your time and effort to write your thoughts on paper or on the computer.

JOURNALriffic-Turn Your Pain Into Purpose With 4 Steps of Discovery, is a method of guided-journaling that can help you create lasting change and an overall happier life. The JOURNALriffic Method, called the 4 Steps of Discovery, assists you as you so you can navigate your emotions in a proactive, rather than reactive, manner.  Thus, you can help, not hurt, yourself and others as you fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart. I developed the JOURNALriffic Method from a pattern that has worked for me through many years of some of my life’s most difficult trials.

Here are 3 simple tips to help you establish essential habits as you use your journal to assist you in establishing consistent mental and emotional renewal time.

Tip #1- Choose WHEN you’ll write.

Of course, you can always be spontaneous, but for best results, you will want to fit journaling into your routine.  After obtaining a journal that suits your purposes, choose a time of day to write in your journal that can become a consistent part of what you do.  I like to look at it as mental and emotional renewal. I prefer jotting down my thoughts in the morning before getting ready for the day.  Many people put on some calming music and enjoy writing in the evenings before going to sleep.  Others record their journal entries during a lunch break.  Use your intuition to find what time best for you.  Full, long-term benefits are best attained when this life-enhancing habit is set in place.

Tip #2- Choose WHERE you will write.

Ask yourself where you can find a quiet place to mindfully explore your thoughts.  Minimizing distractions helps you to keep your mind clear.

By taking the JOURNALriffic Challenge to write a record of daily events and the personal growth resulting from those experiences., you can steadily and consistently boost the power of your own positive influence.  Some welcomed outcomes include renewed hope, increased insight, fine-tuned perspective, improved meaningful relationships, and laser-focused access to the possibility of additional personal peace—just to name a few.  Writing daily will help you consciously recognize your thought patterns, habit patterns, and perhaps family patterns that are either helpful or hurtful, giving you clarity on what you want to change or what you want to keep implementing in your life and in your personal progress.

Ask yourself, “Is it worth using a few minutes today to be able to enjoy the benefits that JOURNALriffic writing can bring?”

Tip #3 – Choose WHY you are writing.

In any endeavor in life, knowing your WHY is one of the most important things you can know.  Having a clear vision of your purpose in writing in your journal is vital to being able to maintain the motivation and focus needed while establishing this life-changing habit. Otherwise, writing in a journal can become just another item to check off your already too long TO DO list, and who need that?

JOURNALriffic- Turn Your Pain Into Purpose With 4 Steps of Discovery was written in an effort to help men and women who’ve experienced distress or trauma as a child or adult- including the disruptive ripple effects of divorce, mistreatment, addiction or abuse in themselves, their family or family lines.

If you are a deeply discouraged or highly frustrated man or woman who would like to steadily, consistently and easily change your life for the better and leave your life story better than you found it, I would like to recommend using the JOURNALriffic method of guided journaling.  It begins with the commitment and clarification of your quest—which is the WHY of writing the JOURNALriffic way.

The JOURNALriffic Commitment is, “I am ready to grow in spite of insecurities, frustration and fear, with an intention to strengthen myself in this generation.  Courageously and consistently, I pursue my Quest.”

The QUEST refers to your desires to help, and not hurt, yourself and others.  The Quest is also known as your Family Tree Quest because you realize your choices today can positively influence future generations.

This commitment includes the letters that form the “riffic” portion of JOURNALriffic.  I will write in my journal daily because I am

R-eady to grow
I-n spite of insecurities,
F-rustration and
F-ear, with an
I-ntention to strengthen myself in THIS generation.
C-ourageously and consistently, I pursue my QUEST.

ReNEW YOU Emotional Vitality Tip of the Day

Take action on your self-doubts, insecurities, frustrations and fears.  Use JOURNALriffic to create increased happiness.. Get your copy today!

ReNEW YOU free presentations, class trainings and coaching are available to you, too.

CLICK HERE to see the full range of support that has been prepared with YOU in mind!

*****
Disclosure of Material Connection:  In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” I am disclosing that I am the author of JOURNALriffic, and I’m an affiliate of Amazon.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com.

As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

Black background, young child with tear from eye, young woman and young man sad beyond belief

Co-dependence: The Walking Wounded, Part 1

We all have innate need for warm, caring, loving relationships.  Then, how do we end up feeling like the walking wounded who have painful and sometimes tragic lives? Understanding co-dependence can begin to unlock some very troubling and often unanswered questions.

Questions from the Walking Wounded

  • How do we become men or women who feel out of touch with our own feelings, needs and desires?
  • How did we become full of self-doubts?  Why are some of us continually longing for something more than experiencing fear, shame, loneliness, depression, anxious-thinking, or deep sadness that seem to encompass our very soul?
  • What happened to our spontaneous sense of wonder and to our natural creativity?
  • What happened to our happiness and why?


We All Need Security and Healthy Modeling of Emotions

John Bradshaw offers an explanation relating to children, but since we need healthy modeling of emotions all during our lives, I believe this information can be appreciated and related to as applying to adults, at times of departure from our true worth, as well as to children.

Notice these two pictures of children. The first picture shows a child whose home is full of distress, and the next child represents a child that has a healthier home environment.

According to Bradshaw in his book Homecoming, he says “Children need security and healthy modeling of emotions in order to understand their own inner signals.  They also need help in separating their thoughts from their feelings.” He points out how, when the child’s experiences extreme distress or trauma in the family environment , “the child must focus solely on the outside.  Over time, he loses the ability to generate self-esteem from within. Without a healthy inner life, one is exiled to trying to find fulfillment on the outside.   This is co-dependence

What is Co-dependence

Bradshaw goes on to say,To be codependent is to be out of touch with one’s feelings, needs and desires.”

Co-dependence is not the same as becoming “one-in-purpose” like in a healthy, harmonious relationship where two people interrelate with each other without losing their sense of individual gifts, strengths and identity and without compromising their values.

In co-dependent relationships, people put aside their own vital self-care and innate well-being and values to maintain a relationship with another.  They often feed off the neediness of another or devote all their life’s time and attention to them.

As you’re growing up or, even as an adult, when you trust and depend on someone that’s, in reality, not dependable, you can develop co-dependence without even knowing it.  Emotional deficits begin to exist.  Painful patterns of behavior develop. Co-dependency can develop even if you’ve had a peaceful upbringing. It can begin even if you’re bringing your own best efforts to a relationship and are willing to do what it takes to create harmony and fun.  When things aren’t going like you expected, you just recognize something’s off, but may not be able to put your finger on exactly what’s going wrong.

The Loss of Self-hood

In a PBS special long ago, John Bradshaw used a mobile, which is kind of like a wind chime, to illustrate what happens in co-dependent relationships. The mobile is at rest, yet when one piece is tugged on, all the other pieces, of necessity, move.  That’s how it is in a family system, If there’s someone with control issues, anger issues or addictions and so forth, the whole system is out of balance and strives to regain equilibrium again.

Most professionals agree that co-dependency is about the loss of self-hood. Bradshaw also states that “Co-dependency is a condition wherein one has no inner life.  Happiness is on the outside.  Good feelings and self-validation lie on the outside. Pia Mellody’s definition of co-dependency is “a state of dis – ease whereby the authentic self is unknown or kept hidden, so that a sense of self … of mattering … of esteem and connectedness to others is distorted, creating pain and distorted relationships.”

Bradshaw also says, “Co-dependence is fostered in unhealthy family systems. For example, everyone in an alcoholic family becomes co-dependent on the alcoholic’s drinking. The alcoholic father is absorbed in drinking and the codependent mother is absorbed with the alcoholic.  Because the drinking is so life-threatening to each family member, they adapt by becoming chronically alert (hypervigilant).  Adaptation to stress was intended by nature to be a temporary state.  It was never intended to be chronic. Over time, a person living with the chronic distress of alcoholic behavior loses touch with his own internal cues—his own feelings, needs, and desires.The same is true for any … chronic distress, including addictions to work or …activities, eating disorders, addictions to control or perfectionism, or mental or physical illness.”

What’s Next?

Watch for Co—dependence: The Walking Wounded, Part 2 and Part 3.

Need help knowing what TO do instead of following co-dependent patterns? 


Access our Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E online class trainings to view at your own pace. There is a mini-class that helps you elevate your thought, patterns, habit patterns and family patterns (just the basics), and a complete class that takes a deeper dive into tips, tools and information that can help you make sense out of life. We put generational issues and addictive or abusive family patterns, and more, under the microscope for clarity of understanding. If you’re looking for small group support as well as online coaching, so you can put an end to the isolation of feeling alone, JOIN US for our Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles. Watch for the next enrollment dates. We’re waiting for YOU!

CLICK HERE to view ALL the free presentations and other current support we can offer you.

You Are TODAY’S ChangeMaker!

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our families of origin or in spite of what may be occurring in our family now.

Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families.  We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.

Check out these class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live beyond
co-dependence.  This excerpt in this blog post has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. Complete Class.  Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart. 

CLICK HERE to see all the free presentations and class offerings.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com. As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

A New Year For TODAY’s ChangeMakers

Every year on January 1st, it’s my delight to wish a very Happy New Year to sincere, determined men and women who do not give up on creating positive change in themselves, their families and family lines.  These are the people I call TODAY’s ChangeMakers.  Maybe that’s YOU!

As TODAY’s ChangeMakers (TCMs), we can look forward to a lot of joy in this new year.  As we follow our guiding purposes, we empower ourselves to create positive change.  For TCMs everywhere, I hope you will stay true to your guiding purposes as TODAY’s ChangeMaker which are to

  • Glean wisdom from the past rather than stay stuck in it.
  • Be happy and live a purpose-filled life as TODAY’s ChangeMaker.
  • Prepare courageously and confidently for the future—come what may.

This wonderful reminder from Jeffrey R. Holland is perfect for TODAY’s ChangeMakers.  It is a perfect fit for the first guiding purpose of gleaning wisdom from the past rather than staying stuck in it.

He says, “As a new year begins and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives.

So a more theological way to talk about Lot’s wife is to say that she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. Apparently, she thought that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as what she was leaving behind.

To yearn to go back to a world that cannot be lived in now, to be perennially dissatisfied with present circumstances and have only dismal views of the future, and to miss the here and now and tomorrow because we are so trapped in the there and then and yesterday are some of the sins of Lot’s wife.”

Let us embrace our present moments as we elevate our daily life circumstances throughout the year.

To your happiness in this new Year,
Carolyn

If you have experienced divorce, mistreatment, addiction an/or abuse anywhere in your family or family line, and you’re looking for some guidance and support in this new year, check out the upcoming ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles by CLICKING HERE.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com.

As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

What’s Your Story? Life’s Journey Prompts

This year I am posting the #52Stories Project links from FamilySearch.org. Using these prompts helps each of us become a positive INfluence on our family’s inter-generational narrative.

The idea is to follow a weekly prompt to write down just one story every week for a year.  By the end of a year’s time , you will be 52 steps and 52 stories closer to having written your personal history.

I use Personal Historian 2 Software to record and organize my personal history by topic as well as my daily journal entries.

Challenge:  Write down the details of your life to “define the dash” that exists between your birth date and death date.

Here’s the #52Stories life journey prompts by theme that will take us through the summer:

April’s theme is: Home and Health. Click here for more questions to answer for April.
May’s theme is: Mothers and Motherhood. Click here for more questions to answer for May.
June’s theme is:  Fathers and Fatherhood. Click here for more questions to answer for June.
July’s theme is:  Events and Milestones. Click here for more questions to answer for July.
August’s theme is:  Travel and Vacations. Click here for more questions to answer for August.

Why write down your experiences?

Your experiences as TODAY’s ChangeMaker™ are of great worthBe sure to write them down.

Ordinary events help people know who you really are from the INside out and how you think and operate in the world.  Happy times uplift us. Many of us have come through or are coming through some real rough patches along the way, too. The steps you take and courage you muster to do the almost-impossible has value for those who may follow in your footsteps as they traverse their own path in life.  Never underestimate the value of lessons learned through experiencing difficulty, adversity and personal trials.  Also, sharing happy times brings hope to others when they see that there’s more to life than drudging through it.

Through writing down your life experiences and observations, it may become crystal clear to you and others how an individual can become their best, most happy and capable selves.  You may learn what personal character traits contribute to strong, safe, secure family relationships, and in contract, you can see what detracts from and destroys them.  This knowledge can help you develop a healthy concern about contributing positively to the future of your family line.  It can become a major driver for living a purpose-filled life.  It can help bring direction to the course of life. You may be able to see thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns through writing things down that help you see what helps you stay strong and, on the other hand, you will be better positioned to identify what is destructive so you can take steps to help change it.

Ready, Set, GROW!

Heal the heartbreak of dysfunction and stress in yourself and your family line.
End the isolation of feeling alone in your journey to create positive change with these helpful classes, coaching and small group connections.
Check out our ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles.

Personal History Tool Tips for Spring and Summer:

Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner –  Portable, easy flip-and-scan-technology.  You can even scan pictures in the frame or while they remain in their photo albums!  I sit on the sofa in comfort and scan to my hearts delight.  My grandson’s love to help.  This is a great summer project that connects the whole family to their positive memories.

Legacy Family Tree Softwareis the software I use to easily preserve my genealogical information.  It is important to have a software on your computer for your records.  Don’t rely on online record-keeping alone.

Family ChartMastersCreate a beautiful, Family Tree Chart for your home to strengthen your posterity. Remember your roots and also your one-and-only, unique and vital place on your family tree.

JOURNALriffic– Use the journaling method—the 4 Steps of Discovery—in the ebook I authored.  It was written specifically for TODAY’s ChangeMakers like you. It will you how to put an end to negative thinking and destructive tendencies in yourself or your family line in order to enjoy more peace-of-mind and happiness.

*****

Note:  TODAY’s ChangeMakers™ are sincere, determined men and women who do not give up on creating positive change—in spite of obstacles.  If you haven’t already done so, I invite you to officially JOIN THE QUEST at Family Tree Quest.com.
*****
Disclosure of Material Connection: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” I am disclosing that I am the owner or a compensated affiliate of the hyperlinked companies, websites, ebooks, classes and membership circles mentioned in this post.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com.

As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.

Life’s Journey Prompts-What’s Your Story?

In my opinion, there’s nothing better than journal prompts to use while recording one’s personal history.  An overwhelming task, broken down into bite-sized chunks, becomes totally manageable.

This year I am participating in the #52Stories Project from FamilySearch.org. in order to become a positive INfluence on my family’s inter-generational narrative. Will you join me?

Follow a weekly prompt to write down just one story every week for a year.  By the end of a year, you will be 52 steps and 52 stories closer to having written your personal history.

Don’t worry about missing some prompts.  Start wherever you are.

I use Personal Historian 2 Software to record and organize my personal history by topic as well as my daily journal entries.

Challenge:  Write down the details of your life to “define the dash” that exists between your birth date and death date.

Here are the #52Stories life journey prompts for January through March:

January Theme: Goals and Achievements.  Click here for questions to answer for January.

February Theme: Love and Friendship.  Click here for questions to answer for February.

March Theme: Occupations and Hobbies.  Click here for questions to answer for March.

As you write your Life’s Journey experiences  as TODAY’s ChangeMaker™

  • It will help you see and evaluate your own life more clearly.
  • It will provide INcouragement and awareness for your loved ones who come after you.
  • Family members, including your posterity, will be able to become acquainted with who you really are, not just with who you seem to be, because your thoughts and feelings will be accurate since they come straight from you
  • Some of your loved ones may be able to avoid some pitfalls because of the lessons you’ve learned and passed to them through your written words and through your experiences.
  • You are helping to light the path and lead the way for them to follow, as you gain and maintain physical, emotional and spiritual security for yourself in this topsy-turvy world.

Do not be afraid of your imperfections.  You are not your history.  You may be the catalyst for positive change your family line is waiting for.

Heal the heartbreak of dysfunction and stress in yourself and your family line.
End the isolation of feeling alone in your journey to create positive change with these helpful classes, coaching and small group connections.
Check out our ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles.

Personal History Tool Tips for Spring and Summer:

Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner –  Portable, easy flip-and-scan-technology.  You can even scan pictures in the frame or while they remain in their photo albums!  I sit on the sofa in comfort and scan to my hearts delight.  My grandson’s love to help.  This is a great summer project that connects the whole family to their positive memories.

Legacy Family Tree Softwareis the software I use to easily preserve my genealogical information.  It is important to have a software on your computer for your records.  Don’t rely on online record-keeping alone.

Family ChartMastersCreate a beautiful, Family Tree Chart for your home to strengthen your posterity. Remember your roots and also your one-and-only, unique and vital place on your family tree.

JOURNALriffic– Use the journaling method—the 4 Steps of Discovery—in the ebook I authored.  It was written specifically for TODAY’s ChangeMakers like you. It will you how to put an end to negative thinking and destructive tendencies in yourself or your family line in order to enjoy more peace-of-mind and happiness.

*****

Note:  TODAY’s ChangeMakers™ are sincere, determined men and women who do not give up on creating positive change—in spite of obstacles.  If you haven’t already done so, I invite you to officially JOIN THE QUEST at Family Tree Quest.com.
*****
Disclosure of Material Connection: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” I am disclosing that I am the owner or a compensated affiliate of the hyperlinked companies, websites, ebooks, classes and membership circles mentioned in this post.

About Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Calton Carolyn Calton

Serving people who have hidden heartaches and unresolved personal struggles, Carolyn Calton is the founder of FamilyTreeQuest.com and HealingYourFamily.com.

As a ReNEW YOU Self Worth and Relationship Revitalization educator and coach, Carolyn teaches individuals and families how to turn from heartache to happiness in themselves, their families and family lines by understanding how to live true to who they really are as TODAY’s ChangeMakers. Those who join her ReNEW YOU Classes and Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles learn how to turn stress, anxious-thinking, anger and dysfunction to hope, direction, happiness and peace. She is a teacher and facilitator of principles that can set the hearts of men and women free from the pain and chains of guilt, toxic shame and the effects of oppression. Her students are then empowered to walk forward with courage and confidence as they fill their highest priorities with stability and full purpose of heart.