Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

This is post 41 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to attract all that you need. I do it every day! Read the posts in this series to see how.

I often mention forgiveness as a good thing to do. I was thinking about how forgiving people sets the Law of Attraction onto a good course. Many people say in anger, “I’ll never forgive [person]!” But what does that tell the Universe? That you’re angry, which keeps the anger alive. It also keeps the person you won’t forgive on your mind.

It’s hard to forgive someone who hurt you. When you’re wounded on the inside, the mental pain can make you angry. Forgiving the person may seem like a gift for them. But you don’t forgive to make the one who did you wrong feel better.

You forgive for YOU. Forgiving is a loving gift for you.

When I was a DoorMat, I believed that if I let people get away with being wrong, I was forgiving them. But I wasn’t. I just couldn’t say anything. I was cutting them slack but it made them feel better, not me. I always felt anger churning, which made me feel lousy about myself. Now that I consciously forgive people, my anger level is way down. I still don’t like some actions but I’ve become wiser and feel more positive now.

Isabelle Holland said, “As long as you don’t forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy rent-free space in your mind.”

Holding onto bad feelings fuels aggravation. Forgiving lightens anger. If you don’t forgive, you give others power to ruin your day (or life). You keep them in your mind and relive whatever they did when you think of them. Thinking about them attracts more aggravation, or more incidents with the person you didn’t forgive.

Unresolved issues creates emotional baggage—the negative feelings you carry around with you. Forgiving unpacks the baggage and puts it away.

Forgiving someone who did something you consider really bad is a powerful and brave act. It’s easy for me to recommend doing it but it’s very hard to do when emotions make you want to hurt the person back, not forgive. It means stepping beyond what they did to understand this person is probably unhappy, wounded or has problems from past experiences that makes him or her do things that aren’t nice. I learned from the Dalai Lama that when people hurt you, they’re really hurting themselves. People do negative things when they’re unhappy or hurting so you should have compassion fort them, not anger.

Now I can often replace my anger with compassion. Doing this has GREATLY reduced how often I get angry, and made it easier to forgive.

Do you associate forgiving with forgetting? Not! Nor does forgiving condone or accept the action or behavior you forgive. You forgive the person’s distorted view of right and wrong or the pain that drove them to hurt you. You’re forgiving the PERSON for their shortcomings, the issue behind what they did to you, not the negative action or behavior itself. Compassion for why they do negative things makes it a little easier.

Separate the person from the action. “I forgive you but what you did was wrong.” Forgive, take responsibility, and respond differently in the future, or stay away from the person if you can.

People who feel good about themselves and who are happy don’t consciously hurt people. It’s the people with issues who do. There are many levels of forgiveness, depending on what the person did:

* If something unacceptable happens once, forgive the person and let it go if he or she acknowledges what was done and apologizes.
* If the behavior is repeated, warn the person that it’s unacceptable, which means that things will be different in the future.
*If unacceptable behavior is ongoing, forgive but remember enough to cut your ties or set stronger boundaries.
* If the behavior intolerable cut the person out of your life and forgive from a distance.

You can forgive in your heart and never speak again to someone who hurts you. The person doesn’t have to know you forgave. Sometimes there’s a lot to forgive and it can take time to really feel forgiving when you do it in your heart. In the past, anger churned in me for months after. But once I forgive in my heart, I let it go.

How do you forgive someone in your heart? I like to write a letter to the person telling them exactly how I feel about what they did. All the pain and anger. I write and write until I can’t think of another thing to say. Then I read it out loud as if the person were there. I express all my emotions, cry, sometimes yell. Then I say they must be hurting to do this and I forgive them for their hurtful actions. Then I burn the letter. As it goes up in smoke, so does my anger. Without the anger I can let it go.

When you forgive someone in your heart, light a candle and feel its warmth. Give thanks for the blessing of being able to forgive. It truly is a blessing.

Being able to forgive has added to my happiness immeasurably. Even if people aren’t fair, forgive them – for you, not them! It’s a relief to reduce the weight of anger. Remember it’s for you, and for the Universe to send the right message to the Law of Attraction. What does it attract—PEACE.

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I don’t normally do this but I wanted to let you know about a few things I have going on that I’m excited about.

For those of you in the NYC area, I’m doing a talk called Nice People CAN Finish First on Tuesday, June 9th, 7PM at the Orchard House Café on the Southeast Corner of 58th Street & First Avenue. It’s free and for both women and men.

I just started a Nice Girls on Top group on Facebook. I plan to start a Nice Guys on Top group too. Any of you guys interested? Let me know and I’ll let you know when it’s up. We’re gonna discuss what nice means and how to be a powerful version.

You can now follow me on Twitter.

I’m delighted to have an interview with Courtney Hazlett, columnist and Celebrity Correspondent for MSNBC, for my Embracing SUCCESS series. Courtney covers media and pop culture as a columnist and on-air personality for MSNBC and She is a regular contributor to “Morning Joe,” MSNBC dayside programming, and frequently appears on “Today “and “Access Hollywood.” I was impressed with Courtney when I met her and after the interview, I’m really inspired. She’s a woman who believes in pursuing your passions and living by them.

When you were in school, what did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a doctor. About halfway through college, it became painfully obvious that I was terrible at chemistry. I decided to head in a direction that played off my strengths—reading and writing. I majored in philosophy.

What was your first job out of school? I was a sailing coach and then became an editorial assistant at Boating magazine. I had no formal journalism experience in college so I realized I had to parlay my hobbies into a job.

How did you swing into what you do now? I made it up to senior editor at Yachting magazine, at which point I realized I liked journalism and media but didn’t want to get pigeon-holed. The only way to calibrate and reset was to go to journalism school. I went to Columbia and started focusing on getting more into pop culture. It was another one of my interests.

How did you learn to be so good at what you do? I dive into subjects, love them, become an expert, and be very good at the craft. I worked the whole time I was in school. I was at the Smoking Gun. By the time I graduated (it took me 2 years since I was going part time) I was at People magazine.

Did being a woman ever hinder you? I often have days when I feel like I’m in a man’s business. When you look at the management at the top, it’s mostly men. The majority take me for what my accomplishments and talents are. From time to time I get approached by someone in a position to further my career who says, “I hear you’re actually kind of smart.” (laughs) Would they say that to a man? I don’t think so. I’ve never felt that if I was a man I’d get a free pass or get away with something but I do think a woman has to come out of the gate a little bit stronger. I kind of only know one speed, which may be a blessing in disguise.

How do you handle criticism? I have fairly thick skin, which is essential in this business. There’s somebody out there who starts their day posting what’s wrong with my column, along the lines of “I can eat pen and paper and puke up a better column.” I just think go for it! But it can start to get to you. There’s this nasty thing called the Internet that provides a forum for people to say things that they’d never say to your face. I think that’s unfortunate, a misuse of the medium and I wish people would use their time in a more productive way. But it is what it is. You have to just move forward and past it. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

Have you experienced problems with celebrities you’ve reported on where the news was negative? No. There are times a publicist asks if I have to run that or can I kill it. But I’m not in the business of killing things because I like you. If it’s fair, it’s fair. I get pegged as a gossip columnist, which I sort of loathe. At the end of the day, I have sources and my columns go through the legal department and several editors and are well vetted.

What gives you satisfaction? I get a lot of satisfaction when I devote a lot of time to something that doesn’t have an immediate payoff and then it does. I love the idea of becoming an expert in a new subject every week. That’s not to say I don’t know what I’m talking about. For example, right now we’re going into upfronts so I thought I need to know a little more about advertising. It’s narrowing a focus and makes you see everything differently. I call I doing homework. That’s a very satisfying part of my job. I like taking some of my time away from 30 Rock to do homework and see that pay out over the course of time.

What’s the favorite part of your career? I like being on the leading edge, getting information and having the responsibility to put it out there in a way that interests people. I think right now more than ever is proof that you can put really god information out but if nobody is reading it, it doesn’t matter.

What qualities do you think helped you advance in your career? The idea that I never had a playbook helped me out. I didn’t feel I had to follow an A then B timeline. I was able to go full steam ahead. If I wanted something, I went after it. I guess I have this warped sense that everything will work out.

How do you separate your job from who you are? I don’t. What you see is what you get with me!

How would you describe yourself to someone who doesn’t know you? I’m a journalist who puts my work out there through every medium possible. I’m on television; I have a column online; I still do print pieces from time to time. I started doing some radio. I think now you can’t put all your eggs in one communications basket. I always had a sense when I was growing up that I would end up with a job that doesn’t have an exact job description, even when I went into medicine.

How do you see the current job market? Right now, people are looking at the difficult job market through the wrong lens. It’s a great time to get the job you want because you can walk in and if you have great ides, convince someone that it’s great. You can do things outside the box. Right now people want something different. Look at newspapers. They have great information but no one’s reading them or buying them. Take note of that. Think about “what can I do to set myself apart and make people interested?” This is a fantastic time!

What does success mean to you? I want to do well and be very good at what I do. I want to be respected in my field. That’s success to me. I love waking up every day at 4:45 and getting a run in before I go to work and those sorts of things. I’ve struck a good balance. It might not look like a balance on the outside, but for me it is.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? I have no idea! It will all work out. I didn’t think I’d be here three years
ago. I just kind of choose my interests and keep trying to do what I’m doing as best I can. And new opportunities pop up. I’m not afraid to go to somebody with a different idea and see where it takes me.

What gives you the balls to do those kind of things? Naivety? I just think what’s the worst that can happen? If someone says “no,” I’m not going to get fired for having an idea that doesn’t work. I just think why not? I guess I have a certain level of self-confidence that gets me to that place where you can knock on someone’s door, send that email or pick up the phone. I just don’t believe in having things happen to you. Life would be so boring. I prefer to make it happen.

How important is passion? It’s absolutely essential. I don’t believe in waking up in the morning If you’re not going do something you’re passionate about. Just do something you love! There’s nothing more unattractive to me in a person than someone who clearly hates their job. Do something else. I don’t mean to sound cavalier in saying this. But I truly believe that everybody has to have something they’re really interested in and there’s probably a way to make your life revolve around it.

What’s your best advice for someone who wants to follow their passion but is scared? Be inventive. I’m blessed with having had my upbringing. My parents were very nontraditional in getting to where they are. I was a sophomore in college before they were both out of school. I was really lucky to grow up with the example that you could have a family and a job on top of that and be really happy—busy but happy.

If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment and/or click on the bookmark and write a short review at some of the sites, especially Stumbleupon and Digg. Thanks!

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This is post 40 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to attract all that you need. I do it every day! Read the posts in this series to see how.

I’m a nice person and don’t want to be mean to anyone. But as I’ve become more conscious of my thoughts, I realize that I have some about others that aren’t nice. Did you ever see someone on the street and judge them? Maybe you wonder how she could leave her house wearing that outfit or doesn’t he know that his toupee looks silly? I do. It’s so easy to have critical thoughts that are silent. I used to think it didn’t matter since the person couldn’t hear them.

But I hear them and so does the Universe. I realized it’s not nice, no matter if they’re silent! Plus, it sets the wrong intentions into motion with the Law of Attraction.

I walk a lot. Living in NYC allows me to go almost everywhere by foot. That means a lot of walking and passing a lot of people. I love to people watch and observe different behavior. As a writer, it fascinates me. But I also notice things that make me think thoughts that are critical of some of the people I pass. It used to be fun. I’d wonder why she’s with that goofy looking guy or why he’s wearing that awful jacket.

Don’t they have eyes to see how awful they look?

I think that insecurity makes up pick on others, even if it’s silent. Finding their faults subconsciously makes you feel a little less bad about your own. Every one of us has some insecurity. No matter how good your self-esteem, there’s something you’d love to change if you could or a bad habit you can’t break. I love myself and feel great about who I am but would love to lose more weight if the fat fairy would oblige. I’m happy with my body but would still love to be more svelte. We all have things we’d change if a magic wand could be waved to oblige us.

Accepting our imperfections, especially things we can’t change—such as being what you perceive as too short or the big one, not being able to get younger instead of older—doesn’t mean we wouldn’t prefer to have what we lack. And we can’t help feeling a little envy when seeing someone who has what we don’t. You just need to keep these normal feelings in persepective and control your response to them. I’d love to be younger or thinner or have hair that doesn’t frizz in humidity, etc. What would you love to change if you could?

Criticism of others, even if just a passing thought, often reflects our own insecurity. But that doesn’t make it right!

When I finally caught myself, I became more aware that I don’t like that kind of criticism directed at me. Even if I don’t hear it, it’s a yucky feeling. Yet I was doing it to others! I needed to stop. Consciousness became my guide. Once I noticed this bad habit, I was shocked to realize how often I have negative thoughts about people. I used to think it was harmless. But no negative is harmless!

The Law of Attraction returns our thoughts. I didn’t want to attract negativity by being negative and had to stop!

So I’ve created a sort of self-warning system of consciousness and am still a work in progress. Breaking old habits takes time. But that’s okay since it’s better than not breaking them at all. And the process has been good for me! My awareness is very heightened now. When I notice someone I’d normally rag on mentally, I can stop myself mid-rag now. Sometimes sooner. The important thing is making the effort to stop myself.

When I notice something and begin a critical thought, I interrupt it by telling myself that isn’t nice and I must stop. And I do. I often say “I’m sorry” too.

Each time I put the brakes on a negative feels good to me now. I used to get a kick out of making fun of someone in my head. Now I enjoy being able to stop myself. It’s a great feeling of control. Each time I stop a negative thought about someone, usually a stranger, I applaud myself for breaking my habit of being silently mean. Mean is mean. I don’t want to attract that into my world!

While the person I’m making fun of in my head doesn’t know I’m doing it, I know, and so does the Law of Attraction.

I feel more in control since I’ve been working on stopping my habit. But I intend to break it entirely with practice. All habits can be broken with time and consciousness! Pay attention to your thoughts. Do you judge people in a harsh light in your head? Do you really want to do that? It seemed like a funny thing to me until I began studying the LOA. Now I know that it’s not right, and can attract what I don’t want. Thinking kinder thoughts about others attracts much better stuff. When you do think kinder thoughts, you attract more kindness and compliments.

See all the Law of Attraction in Action Series..

If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment and/or click on the bookmark and write a short review at some of the sites, especially Stumbleupon and Digg. Thanks!

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