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When we stop wishing the past were different, we can recover from destructive relationships

Travis F. Vining

Travis F. Vining

Lovefraud Continuing Education webinar:
The Miracle in The Madness —Pathway to healing from destructive relationships
Presented by Travis F. Vining
Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 • 8-9 p.m. ET
More info

By Travis F. Vining

It may sound silly, or even impossible to some who read this, but all we need to change the misery in our lives from pain to joy is a simple realignment of our perspective. Experience reveals the truth in this statement, but unfortunately, the process that facilitates this shift from misery to miracle is one of the most widely misunderstood concepts in the world … forgiveness.

Not only is forgiveness commonly misunderstood, but in some cases, it is intensely disliked and invokes an extremely negative response. This is especially true for those of us that have been deeply hurt by a relationship with a sociopath. A negative response is understandable given the commonly held beliefs and misperceptions about forgiveness.

However, forgiveness, when properly understood and applied, can be the most powerful tool in restoring happiness to our lives. But first, for those that resist the idea that forgiveness could be of any real help in their situation, it is important to state what forgiveness is not.

Forgiveness does not condone behavior, nor mean that someone should continue to be victimized. Forgiveness does not ‘let someone’ off the hook, or ‘allow them’ to get away with whatever ‘crime’ that they have committed. Forgiveness does not encourage someone to continue to harm others, just as unforgiveness does not have the power to stop someone from doing these things.

Unforgiveness, on the other hand, is simply the unwillingness to let go of the wish that the past could be different. The one most harmed by this position is the one ‘holding’ the grievance. Unforgiveness is like drinking poison while hoping the other person dies. This discovery, it turns out, is good news.

Every so-called difficulty, tragedy, or apparent setback in our lives can then be used as a springboard to freedom from suffering. Through the process of letting go, what appeared to be a negative becomes a positive and leads to the discovery of an unexpected benefit. Every difficulty contains a treasure and is a doorway to peace.

For me, I found a miracle in the madness of the most unlikely of trials. My Dad murdered four people in three different incidents over a 17-month period in the late 80’s and told me some of the details of the crimes, including describing exactly how he killed two of the victims. He then used me to help him destroy evidence to keep me from going to police when he sensed that I might ‘betray’ him and turn him in.

For years I kept this experience a secret, and did not speak of it. Some say time heals all wounds, but this is an illusion at best, and simply not true. In reality, time does not create distance from our past; it only distorts and intensifies the pain from it. The unresolved issues and grievances from our past relationships become infected wounds hidden within us that warp our perception, cause immense suffering, and block us from experiencing intimate relationships, peace, love and happiness.

These experiences often cause unnecessary and immeasurable pain and suffering, both emotional and physical. For me it resulted in paralyzing migraine headaches, chronic back pain, sleep apnea, irritable bowel syndrome, recurring nightmares, depression, and an addiction to pain medication.

All of these ailments were the result of unresolved past grievances from childhood events that included being raised by a sociopathic father who spent 24 years on Florida’s death row for murdering four people. Today, miraculously, through forgiveness, the impossible became possible, and all of these ailments have been healed.

In an odd twist of irony, these ‘unforgivable’ experiences in life actually hold the key to our freedom from suffering. These experiences are, in truth, potential gifts, but we don’t see them that way. We view tragedy as an attack, an intrusion in life, and see ourselves as victims. These destructive relationships present a golden opportunity to transform a very hurtful experience into something greater than we had before.

In this course, I offer my story as an example of experiential healing, inviting you to give ‘the process’ a chance. The willingness to take a few simple steps will open the door to your own personal experience and then you will know. The experience itself is deeply personal.

The process I’ll show you is simple, effective, practical, and applicable to everyday life. Yes, there may be challenges and difficulties while practicing. As the saying goes, ‘it is easier said than done’. It may be simple, but it is not always easy.

My goal, as the course creator and facilitator, is to offer an example of personal experience that reveals exactly how to apply these spiritual principles to our own lives. The underlying purpose is not to convince the participant that certain beliefs are true, but to show a way that they can be explored, applied, and experienced.

I’ll provide detailed instructions for a step-by-step process with forgiveness that is simple, effective, practical, and works. When applied, the result will bring with it a newfound outlook upon life that offers more freedom, happiness, and dramatically improved relationships.

 

 



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