Spiritual Sisters

Spiritual Healing Serene Salad

Spiritual Voices Creativity Bakery

Spiritual Inspiration TeaRoom

Inner Sanctuary Growth Brew

Spirituality In The WorkPlace

Spiritual Parenting PlayRoom

Angels Miracles & Noble Deeds

Spirituality Message Boards

Angry at your Ex?

    A young person wrote to us recently with the following question: "I found out certain things that my former partner did behind my back while we were still together. These things have hurt me very much and I feel filled with anger and hatred toward this person. I have tried counseling, talking with friends, trying to forget about it, going on special trips, doing things I love to do and still this hatred remains in my heart. I am hurting so much and don't know what to do. Please help me."

    In the thirty years that Barry and I have been counseling people in relationships, we have heard many similar stories to this one. We have concluded over the years, that the way out of hating and hurting is to make the journey back into the heart. Fifteen years ago we had a very profound experience while leading a workshop in a small city in England. A man told about his difficulties with his former wife and mother of his three children, "She does things that hurt me deeply. It feels as if she is stabbing a knife into my heart." We put our hands on his heart area and asked him to feel something positive or loving about his ex-wife. He sat a long time, obviously struggling to come up with something, so blocked was he by his negative feelings. While we very gently talked with him about the healing power of love, he suddenly burst out laughing, a delightful long and full laugh. With tears of laughter pouring from his eyes he said, "When I open my heart and feel love for her, the knife has no place to stab. It's only when my heart is closed that the knife can hurt me." We have been in contact with this man over the years and the healing that he experienced that day has remained and allowed him to meet and marry a woman with whom he still has a healthy relationship.

    How do you make that journey from anger and hatred to the heart? First of all, it is healthy to feel and know our anger. It is just as important to not wallow in it. A huge step of the journey to the heart is taking responsibility for the mistakes that you made that contributed to the end of the relationship. It's easy to see your partner's mistakes, or how they hurt you, but can you admit the ways you hurt your partner. Perhaps you were not present enough, or considerate enough, or honest enough, or even loving enough. By taking responsibility and realizing that difficulty in a relationship is never one-sided, you take an important step toward healing and growth.

    The next step is to learn from the relationship. Each relationship is a gift and was given for learning and growth. Even the very worst relationships still have a gift to offer. Once you understand the gift you can be grateful for the learning and growth. With gratitude comes real healing and completion.

    The final step is to feel your love for this person. This can be very hard we know, but in doing this comes the healing and ability to move on in our lives. Some people don't want to feel love for their former partner because that might mean that they should be with this person again. You feel love for this person as part of your own healing. Some people find peace in communicating this love with the former partner, some people do not feel safe in doing this. In either case the important thing is to open our hearts. With an open heart, with gratitude for the gifts received, and with complete taking responsibility for your part of the dysfunction, the pain, hurt, betrayal, disappointment and rejection can finally heal and you both can be free.

    Please join Joyce and me in holding a vision of a world where women, men and children of all nations, races and religions can see and feel the divine in themselves and one another. Here is our current 2003 workshop schedule. Joyce and I would love to see you at one of these events. Please remember how important this spiritual growth work is. Together let's take another step on this journey into the heart of love and deeper awareness, where real world healing begins. Peace be with you all.

    � Shared Heart

    For a powerful guided meditation on forgiveness as well as three other healing themes, "Help in Time of Need," "Knowing Your Beauty," & "Living Your Purpose," Joyce has just finished a new tape (or CD) called, Four Paths to the Heart. Call TOLL-FREE 1-800-766-0629 (locally 831-684-2299).

    Joyce and Barry Vissell have been a couple since 1964. A nurse and medical doctor, their main interest since 1972 has been counseling and teaching. As a result of the world-wide interest in their previous books, The Shared Heart, Models of Love, and Risk To Be Healed, they travel internationally conducting talks and workshops on relationship, parenting and healing. They are the founders and directors of the Shared Heart Foundation, a non-profit corporation dedicated to the healing and integrity of individuals, couples and families.

    Call TOLL-FREE 1-800-766-0629 (locally 831-684-2299) or write to:
    The Shared Heart Foundation
    P.O. Box 2140
    Aptos CA 95001

    � Copyright The Shared Heart Foundation
    For a free newsletter from Barry and Joyce, further information on their books, tapes and training programs, or their schedule of talks and workshops.


    Shared Heart