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Travis Vining

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.

Travis Vining, son of a serial killer, talks about healing from destructive relationships

We try to ignore the agony of betrayal, hoping it will go away. Paradoxically, says Travis Vining, author of Transforming Darkness to Light for Giving, it’s not in spite of our difficulties that we find freedom, but because of them.

Travis Vining will be presenting a Lovefraud Continuing Education webinar  called, The Miracle in the Madness – the pathway to healing from destructive relationships. He will explain how to gently, courageously, overcome the pain of betrayal by a sociopath.

Travis’ goal is to offer the example of his personal experience to reveal 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.


What is forgiveness? Does it condone evil or defeat it? (Part II)

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

Special note from the author, Travis Vining:  Some of the content in this article may be unsettling to some.  I would ask that the reader please recognize that the following definition and interpretation of forgiveness is from years of personal experience, reading, learning, practicing and teaching.  It did not come easy, and in the beginning, I was just as unwilling as most to accept forgiveness as a possible solution to my problem. It is very “normal” to experience an emotional response to the idea that we play a part in our own suffering when the pain is still fresh.

If you prefer words like acceptance, letting go, etc., please use them.  They are all valid descriptions of forgiveness.

What is forgiveness?  Part II

What is forgiveness? Does it condone evil or conquer it? (Part I)

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

Forgive, as a word, and as an ideal, is very misunderstood in our world. Not only is the idea misunderstood, but the word itself is often intensely disliked.

The act of Forgiveness does not release the perpetrator from responsibility for their crimes, nor condone the behavior. Forgiveness is about letting go, a process that releases us from another’s destructive hold over our lives. It is not about accepting, trusting, or increasing future suffering. To the contrary, Forgiveness is simply releasing pain from the past in order to end future suffering.

Ultimately, forgiveness is not about someone, or something else. The idea that we must forgive someone else is only a step in learning the real Truth about letting go. This step helps to teach us where the real suffering of unforgiveness is experienced…in us. It is ourselves that is released through forgiveness, and until we forgive, we are likely to repeat the past.

The Confusion of a Child of A Sociopath

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

My father appeared to be a very successful business man. Our family lived in a home on Biscayne Bay, had money and was very well known. He served as a pilot in the Air Force, was very good looking and extremely charming. From the outside, our life looked almost perfect.

Like any young boy, I idolized my dad. When in his presence, I was almost hypnotized by him. I was extremely attracted to the way he approached life. I guess it’s normal for a boy to want to be just like his father. I wanted to believe everything that he told me. As best I could tell, he treated me pretty well. He took care of me, gave me money, taught me to hunt and spent time teaching me lessons about life.

Gratitude and Miracles

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

It is easy to get caught up in the pain and suffering and not see all the good.  Often times, when we are most hurt, it is difficult to see anything but pain and evil.

The world is full of good, selfless giving, love and miracles.  We just need to look for it!  I like a saying I once heard that goes like this…

“You are what you pay attention”

This is true for me because when I am grateful, I feel good.  And when I feel good, I anticipate good things and miracles.  If I am looking for these things, they tend to materialize.

Today I am grateful for all of you here at Lovefraud.

I am grateful that we can share with each other and heal together.

What Does Healing Look Like?

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

Healing does not always look like what “I” think it should look.  Last week’s post was another example.  I checked it late in the evening and read many posts that sounded like my post was doing more harm than good to some.  Frankly, it made me uncomfortable for a moment and I needed to think about what I was feeling.  I’d prefer everyone to say wonderful things about these posts and get well immediately, but that is not how it works.

The Truth often makes us uncomfortable, because it means that we have a choice, and can do something about how we are feeling.  The absolute hardest lesson for me to learn was that I am not a victim (there I go again!).  If I am not responsible for my own happiness, then who is?  Healing is not always easy.  It often takes courage, faith and endurance, but it is always available.  It IS up to us.

Please Forgive me for the topic! – Compassion for The Sociopath?

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

How can this be?  Is it right, or possible to have compassion for a sociopath?  Why should I consider this topic after all the pain that the sociopath has caused me?  For some, the very idea may make you angry.  If so, my hope is that you read more…

In the beginning, I looked at my father as a spiritual vampire with no soul.  A person that lived off of others, consuming their money, emotions, kindness and love, then moving on to another.  In my dad’s case, he even took their very lives.  He deserved to die, I thought.  I was OK with the idea of him being condemned to death and being sent to death row.  Why not?  He deserves it, right?

When I look at a sociopath what do I see?

Unforgiven Fear Mongers – Who is hurting me now?

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

If someone is continuously harming you, and refuses to stop, should they be forgiven?  This is a question that I hope you will try answer at the end of this post.

My dad is a convicted serial killer.  He killed 4 people and told me about the crimes with great pride.  He used me, his favorite son, to help him destroy evidence when he felt that I might be a risk. He made me a part of this so that I would not go to police.  He abused my mom, and brothers and sisters.

This is not the place to try to make one experience with a sociopath out to be any worse than another, they all bring about the same feelings of shame, guilt and often times depression.  The question really is…”what do we do with these experiences?”

Suffering, Agony and The Pathway to Peace

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

There are times when I feel completely lost in all this pain, with no way out.  It is as if I have been completely abandoned in a world full of hurt.  There seems to be no one, or no thing, that I can trust anymore.  All of the things that I used to enjoy only bring me temporary relief, at best.  My mind obsesses about what happened, what could have been, and what misery the future holds.  It feels as though my very life has been taken from me.  Hopelessness has become my home, and fear my constant companion.