Understanding the Cycle of Pain: How to Transmute Anger into Empathy

“When we get angry, we suffer. If you really understand that, you also will be able to understand that when the other person is angry, it means that she is suffering. When someone insults you or behaves violently towards you, you have to be intelligent enough to see that the person suffers from his own violence and anger. But we tend to forget … When we see that our suffering and anger are no different from their suffering and anger, we will behave more compassionately.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

There is so much to be angry about every day because life is unfair.

My own situation right now is infuriating. I left my job and my home country in large part to return back to the US and help my mom care for my father. During that time, my mother’s frustration with her role as caregiver, along with the emotional stresses and practical limitations it placed on her, often boiled over into rage directed at me. This situation persisted for ten months.

Immediately after that, she herself became terminally ill, and now my role is caregiver. My whole life plan has had to change as a result, so my hopes of going back to my old life now need to take a backseat to my mother’s illness, which was brought about by her own behavior (smoking). For so many years I had asked her to quit, to which she reacted—you guessed it—angrily.

When it was clear she wasn’t doing well, I encouraged her to see a doctor. She got angry with me.

While in the hospital, she was frustrated at being confined to a bed. She took her anger and frustration out on me for that too.

Now, faced with difficult treatments and limitations on her lifestyle, she lashes out at me every day or two. Me—the only one at home with her, and the only one of her four children who has the will and/or ability to care for her in this way.

I’m not going to lie—it’s difficult to refrain from reacting in kind, and sometimes I do just that.

In my cancer caregiver support group, I found this is a common thread—people are angry, and they have difficulty directing and dealing with that anger.

One woman has a husband whose blasé attitude toward his cancer puts him in a lot of dangerous situations. This completely stresses her out because she is in a constant state of worry about his health and safety. But, rather than expressing these sentiments, she has internalized them, allowing anger to slowly fester.

It was a significant and therapeutic step for her to actually admit that she was angry. Her way of coping thereafter was to withdraw from her husband in order to preserve her own emotional well-being.

Another woman was angry because her husband, sick on-and-off with cancer for nearly twenty years, was also depressed through his illness, leaving her as the sole caregiver and breadwinner. Needless to say, her marriage was far from the storybook version she’d originally had in mind. Her way of dealing with her anger was to be productive—to be the best mother and caretaker she could be—and occasionally vent or break down to some trusted friends or our group.

There is nothing wrong or shameful about either of these two approaches. Both women have shown incredible fortitude in the face of difficult situations. Furthermore, their reactions were certainly much more constructive and peace-promoting than simply popping off and reacting temperamentally.

However, I have found it helps take me to an even more peaceful state to remind myself of the cycle of pain.

In this cycle, as succinctly described by Thich Nhat Hanh above, people act out in negative ways (e.g. aggressive, uncaring, etc.) as a result of inner pain. Even if that pain is difficult for us as outsiders to understand, it is there as a matter of fact.

Though it may help to intellectually understand the specific causes and dynamics of the individual’s pain, in most cases that isn’t possible because you cannot get inside someone else’s head. But we can still accept that the other person is in pain. Once we accept this, we can relate it to our own and therefore feel empathy.

This is very difficult to do in the moment. What helps me when I feel the flush of temper is to take a deep breath and close my eyes. When I take in that breath, I imagine myself “breathing in” the other person’s pain, which appears to me internally as smoke or pollution.

I then imagine in my head what they are going through. That is why it helps to understand what the pain is. In my mother’s case, it’s the fear of her disease as well as the discomfort with suddenly having to deal with the restrictions it places on her time and activities.

I imagine them dealing with that pain, and as the breath comes in I feel a sensation permeate my body. I then let out the breath, which I imagine to be a vapor of peace. I feel lighter and calmer.

I call this alchemy for the soul—transmuting anger into empathy.

When I expressed this in the group, I was met with crickets, except for the woman who was angry about her husband’s careless attitude about his condition. She had two comebacks.

First, she said although that was a “nice” sentiment, she needed to take care of herself at this point and not worry about her husband’s emotions. After all, as the cancer sufferer, he was receiving all kinds of sympathy from every corner. Fair enough.

Secondly, she said that it takes a lot of energy and effort to “suppress” your feelings when you’re already feeling exhausted from being the caregiver. I understand that too.

At that point, I dropped the matter, firstly, because I sensed her slight agitation and secondly, because I thought it might strain the dynamics of our safe place if I came across as a preachy teacher in a group of equals.

What I wanted to say was that this is not about her husband’s feelings. In fact, quite the opposite—doing this would be all about her emotions.

To hold onto anger and need to direct it somewhere, to me, is draining. I need to carry it around and find where to put it. I need to put effort into not blowing up at someone. To me, this exercise of alchemy for the soul feels like the opposite of “suppression,” whose Latin origin literally means to “press down.”

When I perform my little alchemy ritual, the feeling is much more of a lightening up or dissolving kind of sensation. Rather than doing someone else a favor, I feel like I am treating myself well, which allows me to treat others well too (and not begrudge them for it!).

Even when someone else is clearly the “cause” of your anger, it helps to remember that it isn’t really him or her—it’s his or her suffering that is at the root of the hurtful actions. Yes, they are responsible for what they do, but it helps to remember that it’s human to sometimes act out when you’re hurting.

If you feel that this thinking lets the person off the hook too easily, remember that however hurtful someone’s actions are, no one can “make” you feel a certain way. Ultimately, how you react internally to someone’s actions, what you choose to focus on and how you think about it, is your own responsibility. To blame another person for how you feel is to give him or her power over you.

To be clear, I’m not making excuses for bad behavior. If someone does something cruel or thoughtless or aggressive to you, it is his or her failing for doing so. But however hurt you may feel in the moment, that person does not have the power to make you carry that hurt with you in the form of anger.

Once again, this has nothing to do with you being a saint and deigning to give that person compassion or forgiveness; it’s about you taking care of yourself by stopping the angry chain reaction that can lead to all kinds of hurt and unfortunate behaviors.

Why not just allow yourself to just be angry and make up a sad story about what was done to you in which you are cast as the victim? In a sense, you’re totally justified in doing so, but where does that lead? How does that help you? The truth is, you very well might have been a victim of someone’s aggression in that moment, but only you can make yourself remain a victim by carrying around the negativity.

When you help yourself by letting go of your anger, you help everyone else around you too.

This is a practice that has very much helped me, but it’s not the only way to deal with anger. I’m always in search of new strategies myself, so please feel free to tell me what’s helped you cope.

About Joshua Kauffman

Joshua Kauffman is a recovering over-achiever and workaholic. Leaving behind a high-powered life in business, he has become a world traveler, aspiring coach, and entrepreneur of pretty things. Amateur author of a recent memoir Footprints Through The Desert, he is trying to find ways to share his awakening experience, particularly to those lost in the rat race like he was.

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3 Ways to Stop Worrying and Feel Less Anxious

“There isn’t enough room in your mind for both worry and faith. You must decide which one will live there.” ~Sir Robertson

Do you consider yourself a worrier?

Maybe even a perfectionist or Type A personality?

When I’m not at my best, I can be all of those things combined. (Not cute, I know.)

Because of this, I know exactly what it feels like to be stuck in my head, with tightness in my chest and emotional wrenches in my gut.

If you also struggle with worry and anxiety, then I feel you. I rode the worry struggle bus for a long time—until I finally addressed my psychology.

Why Your Psychology Matters Most

My aunt once told me (after I called her in the middle of a freak out), “You’re worried because you’re trying to control the future Kari, and that’s impossible.”

Woah. Paradigm shift. That’s when it all ‘clicked’ and I realized that my issues with worry and anxiety were all self-created.

Then it got me wondering… If I created this worry and anxiety with my thoughts, maybe I can create relaxation with my thoughts too.

After researching the psychology of worry, I learned some practices that helped transition me from an uptight chronic worrier into a pretty relaxed person. I still have my moments, but it’s nothing like before.

Today, I’d like to share three of my best practices with you. I hope they can help you reduce your worry and anxiety too.

Let’s start with the most practical piece of advice.

1. Practice using coping imagery.

This involves visualizing yourself handling worst-case scenarios with confidence.

And just to be clear: You’re visualizing the worst-case scenario, not the best case. It’s like defensive pessimism, which can actually help with anxiety more than positive thinking.

So instead of worrying about being crushed by the worst-case scenario, try visualizing yourself handling it with confidence.

Here’s an example (that I cringe to share with you because it seems so silly in hindsight):

I recently started dating a guy who I developed some serious feelings for. I had the most successful first date of my life with him, and it’s been amazing ever since.

But instead of getting excited about the potential, I started worrying about all the things that could go wrong. (Like I said, being a worrier is self-created misery!)

Specifically, I was worried that in the future we wouldn’t be able to see each other for weeks because he was crazy busy. I grew anxious over feeling devastated in the future by the potential lack of quality time I crave.

Although it wasn’t even a problem yet, I started worrying about making plans to the point where I started sabotaging the romance by “trying too hard.”

I let my anxiety consume me, and I became the chaser instead of allowing something beautiful to naturally unfold. I hated that I started to sabotage something beautiful, but in that moment, (it felt like) I couldn’t help myself.

And this is where the switch happens.

Instead of worrying about how devastated I would feel if we couldn’t spend time together, I started visualizing myself feeling okay if I didn’t get to see him. (I chose “okay” instead of “happy” because it needs to be realistic.)

Instead of thinking about the void, I thought about all the other wonderful things I could do with my time, like surf or entertain my hobbies.

This seriously helped put my mind and body at ease! Here are more details for the process:

How to Do It

To practice using coping imagery, start by imagining the situation that brings you anxiety. How do you feel? What are you thinking?

Then, start to imagine a warm glow of confidence radiating from you. Imagine being in that situation feeling totally confident and capable. How does it feel? What are you thinking?

Then, imagine something going wrong—something that you’re worried about—and imagine yourself handling that situation with confidence and ease too. What thoughts and feelings helped you handle it

Get comfortable with these thoughts and feelings and keep mentally practicing them.

This “mental rehearsal” helps activate neuroplasticity, your brain’s ability to rewire itself and form new neural connections, like new thought loops.

The more you practice using coping imagery, the more you strengthen the new thought loops for positive thinking (or defensive pessimism) and weaken the thought loops for worrying.

In time, you’ll naturally become less of a worrier because your brain has been trained to think confident thoughts instead of worrisome thoughts.

2. Be willing to feel uncomfortable.

Worry and anxiety often come from trying to protect yourself from pain. And I don’t blame you. Our primal brain is wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain; and anxiety is often caused by worrying about the potential pain that we might feel in the future.

Sometimes we’re so afraid of emotional pain and loss that we forget that they can’t physically harm us.

And this is where the saying “make peace with discomfort” will serve you very well; because your ability to be uncomfortable is directly related to your ability to be a relaxed person.

Sometimes we assume that we need to be comfortable in order to be relaxed. But sometimes being relaxed simply means feeling uncomfortable and being okay with that.

The more discomfort you’re able to tolerate, the less you’ll worry about preventing it from happening.

For me, I had to develop the skill of tolerating uncertainty (which is an uncomfortable feeling for me) in my dating life. Although uncertainty feels uncomfortable, I learned to make space for it instead of worrying about making it go away.

If you want to develop the skill of tolerating discomfort too, here’s how you can do it:

How to Do It

A great way to train yourself to tolerate discomfort is to take cold showers. Yup! Even just a five-minute cold shower a day can train your brain to tolerate discomfort.

Not into cold showers? Another great practice is setting aside fifteen minutes every day as your “uncomfortable practice periods.” These practice periods will help you develop the skill of tolerating discomfort.

So whenever you start to feel uncomfortable in your daily life, use it as practice. Hold space for the discomfort and make peace with it as best you can.

For example, if you really hate public speaking, then use your weekly company meeting as a place to practice being uncomfortable by speaking up at least once.

The more you practice feeling uncomfortable, the better you will get at being uncomfortable. And the more uncomfortable you’re willing to be, the less worry and anxiety you will feel.

You’ll learn to let life unfold naturally without worry.

3. Plan what you can and let the rest unfold.

During the months preceding graduation from college I experienced the biggest bout of anxiety and worry that ever consumed me.

What if I don’t get any interviews? What if I totally flunk the interview I get? What if I get the job and hate it? What if, what if, what if?

Fueled by tons of stress, I worked really hard to apply to dozens of jobs before I graduated. In constant panic mode, I refused to leave my desk to play because I was convinced that every ounce of my energy needed to be dedicated to solving this problem.

In the end, I ended up getting a job through a friend who happened to mention the opportunity through random conversation.

I couldn’t have planned for that.

All my preparation paid off, but there was one lesson that I took away from all the unnecessary worry and anxiety:

If I had done everything the same, but did it all in a relaxed fashion, I would have created the same result.

“Let go of the idea that gentle, relaxed people can’t be superachievers… One of the major reasons so many of us remain hurried, frightened, and competitive, and continue to live life as if it were one giant emergency, is our fear that if we were to become more peaceful and loving, we would suddenly stop achieving our goals.” ~Richard Carlson

Sometimes we get tripped up thinking that stress is somehow essential for getting things done. And while some stress is beneficial, extreme stress and anxiety are not necessary for success.

You can be a totally relaxed person and still get everything done—without worry.

How to Do It

Sit down and write down all the things you’re worried/stressed about. Then pretend like you’re coaching someone else with those problems.

What advice would you give them? What steps would you have them take?

Then, follow those steps and stop there. Don’t worry about whether or not you did enough. You followed your own advice, and you can relax about the rest.

Plan what you can, and then breathe. Don’t let your mind continue to race about all the things that could go wrong (unless you’re using Coping Imagery).

Just have faith that what’s meant to be will be, and let the universe carry you for a while.

You’ve Got This

Together, these three steps helped me seriously reduce my anxiety and worry. Will you join me and try them too?

Start by making coping imagery and “uncomfortable practice periods” daily habits. This will help you develop the skill of tolerating discomfort, and your worry and anxiety will lessen.

In time, you will get better at letting life unfold the way it was always meant to be.

Some days you might still find yourself on the worry struggle bus. But maybe this time you’ll feel like you’re in the driver’s seat.

About Kari Dahlgren

Kari Dahlgren is an anti-diet weight loss coach with a radical philosophy: You can love yourself lighter. Learn the tools to stop binge eating and love your body by subscribing to her new YouTube channel and following her blog!

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How Forgiving Yourself and Others Changes Your Brain

“Be quick to forgive, because we’re all walking wounded.” ~Anonymous

People often behave in ways that we find irritating, annoying, or worse. This can happen especially with people close to us.

They can speak with little consideration for the impact of their words. They can criticize us and pounce on our mistakes. Sometimes they do unfair things that seriously disadvantage or damage us. Or they let us down when we’re counting on them.

All these behaviors can lead to us feeling wounded. The scars can persist for years or even decades. The closer the offenders are to us, the greater the impact tends to be.

Most of us would like others to understand us, to act reliably, and to be approachable when things go wrong. We’d like them to be kind in dealing with our mistakes or offences. We’d like them to understand that we aren’t set in stone, that we aren’t just the sum total of our mistakes.

We deserve a chance to recover and show our better side. We’d like them to be more understanding and put a more favorable interpretation on what we did or failed to do.

However, it can be different when others behave badly. Often, we spend a lot of time and energy going over the way we were wronged, mistreated, disappointed, disrespected, or disregarded.

Dwelling on the perceived wrong kindles the fire of a grudge. The more we dwell on it, the bigger this fire grows.

Can this fire burn us?

When I was in high school, some of the coolest kids formed a band. Everyone wanted to be in that band. I played the piano, so I too wanted to be in it.

One of my closest friends also played the piano, but not as well. It became a bit of a tussle between us. I was chosen, to my delight.

When we started playing gigs, a piano was not always available. So I took to the melodica, a little instrument into which you blow. It has a keyboard.

We started playing gigs, with quite a good response from audiences. Everything was going well, until we were invited to play a gig in a venue right near my home.

The melodica was at the band leader’s house, because we rehearsed there. I asked for it to be brought to the gig.

On the evening of the gig, my bandmates turned up. Unfortunately, the melodica could not be found. Apparently, it had been brought to the venue by the band leader but had disappeared.

This was a bitter blow. I had so looked forward to strutting my stuff before a home crowd. I rushed around to various people who might have a melodica, but could not find one.

The gig happened without me. I was downcast.

Eventually, the real story came out.

The melodica had been brought to the venue. The close friend I mentioned, who also played the piano, had simply taken it away and hidden it.

I was outraged. I felt betrayed, violated, and angry. I felt ready to run my friend over with a large truck.

We didn’t speak for a couple of years. Then I got an apology of sorts. Somehow, things were never the same between us.

I went off to medical school and our paths have never crossed since.

What happens to your brain when you cling to a grudge?

The parts of your brain that specialize in criticism grow more active. They feed on your thoughts about the grudge. The neurons involved lay down more connections, strengthening this response.

The next time someone behaves in a way that you disapprove of, your brain more readily jumps to criticism and judgment.

All that is understandable, you’re not alone in practicing criticism. But there’s a price to pay for this practice.

The same parts of your brain that criticize others also criticize you. You tend to become more unforgiving about your own mistakes. Self-acceptance recedes. It becomes harder for you to like yourself.

Further, this can lead to a cycle of mutual criticism between you and people who matter to you. It tends to weaken the supportive relationships we all need.

A recent study among 5,475 men and 4,580 women aged over 50 showed that a single point increase in negative social support score resulted in a 31 percent rise in the risk of eventual dementia. Negative social support is where you experience a lot of critical, unreliable and annoying behaviors from others, especially people close to you.

What can you do to start breaking this downward spiral of mutual criticism and self-criticism?

First, ask what stresses or problems may have led to the undesirable behavior. Try to find explanations that weaken the impact of the “bad” behavior on your mind. This is as true for self-criticism as for criticizing others.

Perhaps there were circumstances that led to you acting in regrettable ways. If you regret it, don’t wallow in the regret. Find explanations to understand why you did what you did.

Give yourself the gift of forgiveness, strengthen your resolve to do what is good and important going forward, then move on. This same gift of forgiveness may be given to others, recognizing that all human beings are vulnerable to errors or even terrible behavior.

Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation with the offender. Reconciliation is the re-establishment of mutual trust. That requires a further step as part of negotiation.

But forgiveness can proceed regardless of reconciliation and mutual trust.

The more you practice understanding and forgiveness, starting with yourself, the more you strengthen the self-reassuring parts of your brain. These are the same parts that show empathy and compassion to others. They make you more accepting of yourself, with all your flaws and stumbles.

We all have flaws and stumbles. That’s okay. It’s part of being human.

If I could go back to my youth and replay my friend’s apology, I hope I would respond with more understanding. After all, if our positions had been reversed and I’d been blinded by envy, who knows what I might have done.

For a better quality of life right now, with more self-acceptance, and for a lower risk of cognitive decline, try loosening your grip on grudges. And be gentle with yourself when you slip up in this effort. The steering wheel of your life often requires a little time, patience and practice before you can turn it reliably.

I’m still practicing. That’s okay.

Illustration by Kellie Warren. Find her on Instagram @kellistrator.

About Joel Almeida

Joel Almeida PhD mentors busy doctors and other professionals to protect the one thing that makes all of life better: their brain. His science-based Brain Care guide reveals 10 one-minute practices for better brain health at any age, with more peace and joy now and lowered risk of Alzheimer’s. Now you, too, can get the guide (free today).

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

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Easing a Broken Heart: 5 Ways to Reframe Rejection

“When the wrong people leave your life, the right things start to happen.” ~Zig Ziglar

The end of a relationship triggers many grief emotions, but when a couple breaks up because one person decides that it’s over, there is a very distinct pain: the sting of rejection. It doesn’t matter whether things had been difficult for some time or if the split came out of the blue; either way, rejection feels cruel.

At the end of my marriage eight years ago, I had no idea that the breakup was coming. On top of the shock that the relationship was suddenly over, I carried the intense and overwhelming feeling of rejection; I was no longer valued, wanted, or needed.

Rejection can trigger feelings of shame, low self-esteem. and diminished confidence as well as helplessness and victimization. If you are left for another person (which was my experience) the intensity of rejection increases further. I experienced anger and resentment about betrayal; this makes healing feel much harder than in those cases where a decision to split is mutual.

When I began move through my initial grief, I found that the biggest shift in moving forward came through changing how I viewed rejection. I realized that by identifying with the feeling of rejection I was telling myself that something was wrong with me; that the marriage was over because I hadn’t come up to scratch and, therefore, needed to be let go.

Of course, this was not true but in the mind of the injured party, it was natural to feel this way. By shifting my perspective, I eventually began to realize that my husband’s decision to leave was not a reflection on me.

It is always hugely important to acknowledge and process feelings of grief; reframing is not about burying your emotions. However, as I’ve learned from my experience, rather than simply waiting for time to be your healer, you can move through pain far sooner and more effectively by viewing your situation in a different way.

Here are five ways I helped myself reframe the rejection.

1. It’s not necessarily about you.

It’s almost impossible not to take rejection personally. My ex-husband said he left because he wasn’t getting what he needed from our relationship; he needed to follow his “truth,” which no longer included me. His narrative of the breakup became about my inability to be what he needed.

This is where shame really kicks in. Rejection tells you that you weren’t enough to keep your partner from leaving and, in some cases, you’ve been replaced with someone who can make them happy.

But what if it’s not all you? As personal and hurtful as the rejection feels, sometimes it happens because the other person is unable to give enough or be enough of what the relationship needs. When someone is unable to love you fully, they will either reject you, or stay in the relationship and treat you badly or indifferently enough until you decide to end it.

We are all human and it’s very rare that one person is flawless within a relationship. I felt far less rejected when I realized that my ex-husband had his own considerable struggles and issues that led him to choose to leave; it wasn’t all about me.

2. Relationships are assignments.

There is a spiritual school of thought that views the people in our lives as lessons. The theory goes that we meet no one by accident; we are all in relationship to further our growth and deepen our connection to ourselves and the universe/each other. Partnerships with a significant other are huge vehicles for growth, but when the learning has gone as far as it can go with one person, it must end.

Sometimes people leave our lives naturally and comfortably, other times we face the pain of rejection. The lesson is not always obvious at first, especially through the pain of grief, but what is initially perceived as rejection can also be viewed as a release from a completed assignment and an opportunity to learn.

Consider that you still have much more to achieve with your life, and maybe your partner was not the person to show you the way. Perhaps being released from your relationship will allow you to find what you really need to become the person you are meant to be.

This reframe can be wonderfully comforting if you choose to find love again in the future. If you learn your difficult lessons from the old relationship, you will grow, and the person you share the next stage of your path with will bring more fulfilment and easier challenges.

3. Change the ending.

When someone chooses to leave you, they not only decide that the relationship is over, they also determine “the story” of why it ended. So, why did my marriage end? The event that ultimately broke us apart was his leaving to be with someone else. However, on another level, there was more to it than that.

I had changed within the marriage; I had been working through a deep personal issue a year or so previously, and had come out of the other side stronger, more content with life, and ready for a happier future with our family. I had grown, but my husband had not changed with me.

When I became aware of this, I started to view the ending as less about rejection and more about an incompatibility between who we both were. It was an empowering reframe because it allowed me to feel far less victimized. The way he ended the marriage was not excusable, but it held far less of an emotional grip over me.

Think about ways that you might have been rejected, not for anything you did “wrong,” but for something that altered the nature of the relationship.

  • Did you refuse to have your boundaries crossed or to put up with certain behavior?
  • Have you changed for the better in a way that your ex-partner could not handle?
  • Were you simply yourself and refused to change to please them?

If you can view the ending in a way that empowers you, even a little bit, it can really ease your pain.

4. Remember you are still whole.

The feeling of rejection is greatly fuelled by the beautiful, romantic idea that two people “complete” each other. The conclusion is quite demoralizing; are we are no longer complete because someone doesn’t want us? What is our role in life now that we are not required to complete the other person?

Losing a partner is painful and the grief of loss is real, but the pain is heightened and prolonged unnecessarily when we believe that we have been rejected by “the other half of ourselves.” It can feel like life has no purpose or meaning anymore. When I began to accept that I was still whole and valuable, it took away the feeling of despair that I was somehow diminished and “less than” because my husband had decided to walk away.

5. Focus on gratitude.

I love using gratitude as a tool for helping to shift into a more positive state of mind. Admittedly, in the early days of grieving, it’s not easy to feel grateful for anything at all, so I found it easier to start with making a list each day of the small blessings in my life—the day-to-day things we usually take for granted. I really recommend this as a practice.

As your mindset starts to shift, you will come to realize that there are genuine reasons to be grateful that you were rejected. Mine included:

  • Finding out about my husband’s affair and my divorce. Who knows how long I could have remained unaware, believing my marriage was something it wasn’t?
  • The chance to learn to value myself more highly and to become aware of how resilient I am.
  • The new life opportunities which came my way once I began to see the loss as an opportunity to have a better life; I know for certain that I would not have the career, and sense of purpose which I have now, without that crisis in my life.
  • The chance to understand myself more fully and begin a new healthier and happier relationship.

A heart broken by rejection can be a perfect example of a blessing in disguise. The best way to move forward is to allow yourself to feel the pain, then go on to reframe the loss as an opportunity. Trust that the right things will start to come!

About Marissa Walter

Marissa Walter is a counselor and the author of Break Up and Shine, which inspires those struggling emotionally with breakup and divorce to heal and see opportunity from the loss. Check out her free guide 10 Ways To Change How You Feel About Your Break-Up. You also can follow Break Up and Shine on Facebook and Twitter.

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

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