News & Blog
Dear Ones –
First of all, big news (OK, not big news, but big news for me): I got new glasses, and I love them! I've been putting off getting an eye exam for a long time, because I've been in total denial about the state of my 46 year-old eyes, but I finally went to the eye doctor this week…and it turns out that — guess what! — I really cannot see very well!
But now I can see. I can see, and I can read, and I can write without looking like I'm entering the squinting Olympics. And I find myself complaining a bit less about how bad the light is these days in restaurants, when I'm trying to read the menu…
Seeing is nice.
Now, onto other business:
We get a lot of new people joining this Facebook page every day (thank you for joining our little community, new folks!) so once a week, I try to give everyone all the information they might want, about other places on the Internet to find me.
So let’s run down the list:
My website is https://ift.tt/sUqSyM. There, you can find information on all my upcoming events, see videos, read my thoughts on the writing process, and download book club guides to my books!
I have an email newsletter (where I always reveal my big news first, see exclusive home videos, and sometimes run contests, when I remember to.) You can join the newsletter by clicking the icon on the left of this page called "LizNews" and signing up. (You can also sign up for LizNews on the homepage of my website.)
You can follow me on Twitter, where I basically just goof off, at: https://ift.tt/1tJzIxR
You can follow me on Instagram (which I just started because some 14-year-olds told me to) at:
You can follow me on Pinterest (that addictive crack house, whose vortex I try not to tumble down too often because it’s a gorgeous suckhole) at: https://ift.tt/1tJzKpd
And if you EVER want to buy to buy signed copies of ANY of my books, you can buy them online through the shop, Two Buttons, that I run in New Jersey with my husband (otherwise known as “that Brazilian guy”.) The link is right here: https://ift.tt/1pfR7PX
That is all, my dears!
(And yes, in all these various social media forums, it is actually ME doing the posting, the chatting, the responding, the pinning, the time-wasting. I like it. It’s fun. I like hanging out with you guys. I’m glad you like hanging out with me. Also, I have no children and my husband cooks, so I have plenty of extra time on my hands…)
Thanks for everything!
Dear Ones –
Thank you so much for spending the week talking about forgiveness with me on this page. It's been beautiful, and I am grateful.
There is one last thing I wanted to say on the topic of forgiveness, which is this:
DON'T SKIP ANY OF THE STEPS.
To forgive somebody is a great act of courage and grace (and ultimately a gift to the self) but it also must be done carefully, and in the right moment — and only when you are ready and strong enough. This means: Only when you have appropriately processed your anger, your sorrow, your shame, and your lessons.
Be careful not to skip over any of those steps of emotional processing and healing, in your haste to "move on".
Sometimes the reason we haven't forgiven somebody is because we never actually worked on the anger, the sorrow, the shame, or the lessons. We never examined the original pain very carefully. We never talked about the incident with anyone in an honest and vulnerable manner. We never worked the pain out of us. We never allowed ourselves to heal through therapy, or recovery, or prayer, or the support of others…or by learning how to set proper boundaries, or how to take care of our wounded selves with compassion.
Instead, we just settled immediately into RESENTMENT — which is like a hard cast that we wear over a wound that was so painful and frightening (and is still so open) that we never allowed ourselves to go near the point of injury.
The hard cast of RESENTMENT keeps the wound alive, while also hiding it from us.
The poet David Whyte says that forgiveness is so difficult because — in the process of forgiving — we must approach the original injury all over again, and engage with "the raw center of it".
"To approach forgiveness is to close in on the nature of the hurt itself."
In other words, before you can free yourself from the pain, you have to go back to that pain. You must take off that protective cast of resentment, and look at the injury.
This is so difficult to do, but it must be done. This is the step that cannot be skipped. This is the work behind forgiveness, and it's hard work, but it has to be done.
That said, I beg of you not to do it alone. Find somebody to talk to, and to share your process with. Be certain that you are in a safe place, emotionally, and that you are supported. Only then, very carefully, can you peel back the protective cast of resentment, and start to work on the original injury. Only through that work can your true forgiveness begin.
As David Whyte writes:
"Forgiveness is a skill, a way of preserving clarity, sanity, and generosity in an individual life…a way of shaping the mind for a future we want for ourselves."
What is the future that you want for yourselves, Dear Ones?
I know the future I want for myself, and I believe that absolute forgiveness is the only way I will ever get there.
But I won't skip any of the steps along that path, and I hope you won't, either.
Thank you, and god bless you all for sharing this space with me.
ps — and thank you again to Iyanla Vanzant, for her guidance and wisdom on this important subject. Again, I recommend her book FORGIVENESS to anyone who needs support on this matter: https://ift.tt/1p9gXko
FORGIVENESS WEEK, continued…
Dear Ones –
All week on this page, we've been talking about forgiveness. I'm so grateful for everything you've all been sharing with me on this vastly important (and potentially life-changing) subject.
Today I want to share with you this 10 minute TED talk from journalist Megan Feldman, about the two years she spent traveling around the world, investigating the power of forgiveness — both in our personal lives, and globally.
The story she tells here of a father forgiving his son's murderer (and the two families who were healed and brought together by this act of profound grace) gives such inspiration…and challenges all of us, I think, to ask ourselves what sort of transformations are possible in our own lives and souls
I also love that she clarifies the distinction between anger (a normal and sometimes even healthy human emotion) and resentment (which is what happens when that anger HARDENS.)
Also, the ideas about blame and resentment being acts of violence against the self and others….well, this is at the very heart of all we've been discussing this week, isn't it?
I would love to hear your thoughts!
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. We have to learn to forgive if we are to heal the planet. Megan Fel…
Dear Ones –
Thank you so much for everything you're sharing this week with me on the subject of forgiveness.
For those of you who are just tuning in, I'm dedicating my Facebook page this week to FORGIVENESS. I just finished Iyanla Vanzant's six-week e-course on Forgiveness, and it's been pretty revolutionary for me, and I want to try to share what I've learned…and to learn more!
Here's a note that I wrote to myself the other day, after doing some soul-searching about the most painful and difficult kind of forgiveness of all — self-forgiveness.
If you are like me (and I'm going to guess you are, if you are here) then you carry around a giant pile of shame about all your failings, shortcomings, mistakes and perceived sins.
I always knew that I had a problem with self-forgiveness. I knew that I've always had trouble letting myself off the hook, and that sometimes I am unable to drop the knife that I've been holding to my own throat in self-punishment. I felt that I've made a lot of progress on that over the years, and I felt like I understood the origins of my own self-abuse.
But I was amazed to find — while doing my forgiveness work — that so much of the anger and sadness and frustration that I feel toward OTHER PEOPLE is actually tangled up in anger at MYSELF.
Let me explain: As I dissected some of my lasting grudges and resentments toward other people, the story always came back to me. I realized that (deep down) I blamed myself more than I blamed them. I might be angry at someone else for taking advantage of me, for instance, but I was FURIOUS at myself — for allowing myself to be taken advantage of.
And my fury at myself was often greater, deeper, and more toxic than my anger at the other person. Because that person might be an asshole, sure…but *I* was an IDIOT. Because I was the stupid, blind fool who had allowed it to happen.
Here is the mantra of the person who cannot forgive herself:
"You should have known better, you should have known better, you should have known better…"
And what was I furious at myself about? Every single time?
I WAS FURIOUS AT MYSELF FOR NOT KNOWING SOMETHING SOONER THAN I ACTUALLY KNEW IT.
But how can you abuse yourself for not having known something before you knew it? That's so unfair to yourself.
Think of it this way: Imagine that you are in a classroom, on the very first day of school, and you are about to begin studying French, for the very first time in your life. And imagine if the teacher walked into the room and immediately started screaming at you for not being able to speak French yet.
That would be crazy, right?
Because: How could you? How could you know French, before you learned French?
How could you know any of your life's most important lessons, before you learned them?
This may sound almost insanely simplistic, but here goes: YOU CANNOT KNOW SOMETHING BEFORE YOU KNOW IT.
The question of what you should have known (or should have done, or should have stopped, or should have seen coming)…well, this is all just cruelty against a more innocent version of your beautiful, evolving self.
We learn what we learn when we learn it…and not a moment before.
Some of these lessons take a long time to learn — because of your upbringing, your blind spots, your karma, your destiny, your delusions…whatever.
But life will keep trying to teach you, until you finally figure it out. And eventually you will figure it out.
The person who you are today must forgive your younger self for what she could not possibly have known yet at the time. It wasn't because she was stupid, or evil, or terrible…she had simply not taken that class yet.
We are all just students in this classroom. We are all beginners.
Embrace the lessons when you finally learn them, forgive yourself for what you did not know earlier, and move forward in grace and peace and self-compassion.
Here's what I've found: Once I start to forgive myself, it becomes curiously easy to forgive other people. Because I can see that they are just students, too. (They do not know what they cannot yet know.)
So once more I will say it: Drop the knife that you are holding to your own neck.
It is time to set yourself free — and in doing so, you will free others, as well.