Category Archives: advice

Is There A Right Time To Forgive?

Cristina Bernhardsen | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Cristina Bernhardsen | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Sometimes we have to accept that everything in life is not supposed to happen as quickly as taking a Selfie and instantly posting it to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, or better yet, doing a Google Search on “finding easy ways to forgive.”  Just ask anyone still reeling from some type of betrayal; forgiveness can often be much more complicated.

Nonetheless, in a recent Huffington Post article on eight reasons forgiveness is good for your health, the author clearly outlined the spiritual, mental and relational reasons that forgiveness is good for overall wellbeing.  And I must admit, the reality is, the very act of forgiveness IS a good thing because it really is about YOU and not the other person.  Why?  Because it allows for forward movement in one’s life rather than being stuck in a place and time of pain and hurt.

Forgiving can hurt, too

But the problem often with articles on forgiveness is that it appears that the act should occur immediately suggesting that it’s not okay to feel the sting of betrayal or anger from a wrong.  Unless we are talking about some minor trivial infractions, the real truth is the severity of the situation can often dictate the forgiveness factor, and it can just take time, and that IS okay. After all, truly forgiving someone is a psychological and emotional process that is, described by the American Psychological Association, voluntary or intentional, and involves working through emotions such as feelings of betrayal, anger, sadness, hurt, pain, and just simply grieving. To suggest otherwise is challenging a person’s right to experience their own emotional complexities and denying their personal rite of passage into the dark side of real life human nature.

So just when is the right time?

There is no “right” time; no one wants to be or stay mad, angry or hurt. But the best time may be when the individual has the willingness to work through the process.  A lot of forgiveness deals with holding on to the actual act of feeling wronged and not wanting to give a pass to the person.  Ask any psychologist or therapist and they can share how painstakingly prevalent this belief system exists within one’s psyche. However, another Huffington Post author makes an argument against forgiveness and suggests saving it for those who have earned your forgiveness. And that could work, too, if emotionally not forgiving someone doesn’t keep you stuck.  We are all different so there is no magical one size fits all approach through life’s interesting journeys.

How About self-forgiveness instead?

© Yuryz | Dreamstime.com - Forgive Yourself Photo

© Yuryz | Dreamstime.com – Forgive Yourself Photo

However, if a person is really struggling with the when, why, where and how of forgiveness, maybe, just maybe, instead of the focus being on forgiving the other person, try forgiving yourself.  In a 2005 research study by Hall and Fincham, the authors describe aspects of self-forgiveness in a social science context as a show of self-love and respect, and from a psychological perspective as a set of motivational changes to decreasingly avoid feelings toward the offense and retaliate against self, while instead acting benevolently towards self).   Now, major aspects of this study suggest that self-forgiveness is cloaked in a self-perpetuated wrong-doing, but this is not always the case when someone feels legitimately wronged.

Even when you didn’t deserve the wrong treatment, forgive yourself for being blindsided by the other person’s behavior.  While it never feels good, “ish” just happens sometimes to us. When you forgive yourself, you own your emotions and decisions, and that allows you to determine when and how you move on from that moment in time.  Self forgiveness is also cathartic and self empowering because it shows courage and strength of one’s character, as quote-Mahatma-Gandhi-the-weak-can-never-forgive-forgiveness-is-337Mahatma Ghandi eloquently quoted when he said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”

As in any process, self forgiveness will take time, too. But allow yourself that time because as you forgive yourself you also derive equal healthy benefits that enrich your life’s emotional and physical well-being as in forgiving someone else, only without the guilt and resentment of giving someone else a free pass.  You will feel better about yourself, your decision making, and gain the confidence needed to stay in the moment for making the choices that best define your life experiences. And that, my dear, is always the right time.

Love…Date…Relate…

An OnlinLove rocke Radio Talk Show

Join me as I host a relationship talk show called Love, Date and Relate with Ask A Love Goddess, an online relationship advice resource, along with Ms. B, a licensed professional and national board certified counselor, life and relationship coach and author, and Blu.J, a relationship expert with TarotBound.

Recent Broadcasts

To preview recent broadcasts, visit http://www.askalovegoddess.com/love-date-relate-radio-broadcast.html. We are still working out the format and during the show’s pilot phase, we are broadcasting live on Sunday evenings with topic guests and co-hosts and uploading to Blog Talk Radio as well as to the Ask A Love Goddess website.  Eventually, the show will become more interactive and welcome live guests to participate with questions and commentaries.

Engage Audience Participation

In the meantime, if you have questions or topics of interest related to love, dating and relationships, please email them to my attention at divaninawrites@gmail.com for consideration as discussion topics.  As well, we are always seeking interesting love and romance stories to highlight and share on the website.

Follow the Show

Lastly, follow our show on Twitter at @askalovegoddess using the hashtag #finding4reallove, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/askalovegoddess?ref=hl.

Social Media as a Romance Connector

dreamstimefree_62569While attitudes about online dating being an acceptable way to meet people has grown in popularity because of its ease and convenience, there are still some people who don’t like the trend.  The good news is that’s not the only way to meet people in the 21st century.  But everyone you know is talking about online dating, so what’s a poor lonely person to do if they choose not to participate in online dating, or peruse singles forums and chat rooms?

Get Social Being Social

Dating is really about being social and making connections that may possibly turn into a romance.  The traditional face to face, in person meeting/introduction is still the best choice.  So, you are going to have to disconnect from your cell phone, tablet and whatever other mobile device you are using and get out of the house and become social.

But before you do that, be strategic about your approach to finding a date using technology and social media as your people connector.  Here’s how:

1)      Use your social media network to find out about local events and activities, including free festivals and outdoor park concerts.  If you are on social media, you are following either friends, friends of friends, people you admire, people within a common community, or people you want to get to know. Someone is talking about an event and as summer is winding down, there are still many outdoor activities still to get in, like day parties, which seem to have grown in popularity.  Then there is the sports scene.  Whether sports is your thing or not (because some men, and especially a lot of women are not into sports like that) there’s nothing wrong with checking out the atmosphere for lunch and a drink. There are many upscale bar environments that offer a wide menu selection and a great atmosphere to interact and be social.  Men and women, alike, go to sports bars not just to watch the games, but for the social atmosphere. Or how about trying free salsa lessons and check out the scenery while learning to dance the rumba or merengue.

2)      What’s trending in your industry on Twitter? If you are a career person, then you are more than likely digitally connected either through a professional membership organization or follow someone in the industry.  More than likely, they use social media to promote events, conferences, or social opportunities to connect with like-minded people. As you are staying in the know for business purposes, always look out for social opportunities to meet new and exciting people.

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© Photographerlondon | Dreamstime.com – Romantic Couple Holding Hands In Field Photo

3)      While we’re on Twitter, you can use this tool to professionally connect with someone who follows you or who you follow.  Now this can be tricky because you don’t want to come across as a stalker.  But let’s say they tweet information that is helpful.  You can tweet back or direct message them saying the information was helpful and thank them for sharing. I wouldn’t use this technique too often but you never know how a person will respond and it could possibly lead to a longer tweet conversation. Or not, but at least you are keeping your options open on other ways to meet people.

4)      The longstanding dating belief is that friends are good sources to meet people, so use your handy apps to find out where your friends are hanging out and ask to join them.  This may require thinking outside the box.  Let’s say a group of friends is at the bowling alley but you don’t bowl.  Doesn’t mean you can’t join them and cheer them on while exposing yourself to a new opportunity and new people.  You don’t drink but your friend is hosting a wine and cheese tasting for a worthy cause.  I’m pretty sure they will have more than wine there to drink, so stop in for an hour because again, you never know who may be present.

Leveraging your Social Media ROI

While these suggestions are just spins on traditional dating advice, consider a different perspective. This is about leveraging your return on investment of time spent on social media activity to create opportunities for finding dates in a way that may be more natural to navigate than online dating.  The bottom line is that there are options for meeting people who could be potential dates so don’t force yourself to jump into the sea of online dating profiles and your heart is not into it.  Finding real love is about timing and creating the right opportunities to connect with people.