I have experienced and regularly come across people weighted down by emotional baggage from a special someone.Aside from desiring love and affection, the bottom line dynamic involved in any emotional connection with someone is choice. In terms of choice, we often take on a tremendous amount of emotional stress when things on the relationship front are out of balance. This is where awareness and forgiveness become key to the personal healing and resolution process.

Once we become aware we do have a choice in how we perceive and respond to situations beyond our control we can begin the active process of forgiving. Contrary to popular belief, to forgive in this sense does not mean to condone or accept, or to make okay – to forgive a person or situation simply means that we make an active choice in “forgiving”what someone “does” to us or how someone “makes” us feel. To forgive means we choose not to assume someone else’s “junk.” Some steps in the forgiving process are:

1) Cultivating awareness that while you do not have control over someone else’s behaviors, thoughts and feelings,you DO have a choice in how you think and feel about the situation. Awareness brings balance and allows us different ways of perceiving a situation in ways that serve our highest good.

2) Recognizing that as individuals we think, feel, and act based on our own choice. This means if someone treats you a certain way – it’s NOT your fault. Each of us makes a personal choice in terms of how we treat others (and how we are treated), and when someone treats you in an unkind or disregarding kind of way, this is the choice he or she has made independently of you.

3) Taking a situation into consideration in which you have not been honored is a tough deal. It’s important once we realize we have been treated unkindly that we DESERVE to be treated with love and respect. However, it’s important to realize that treating others kindly becomes a reciprocal event and something that takes continuous effort to keep in balance.

4) Know that you control how others are treating you. Cultivate clarity in relationships by determining your personal self worth and the boundaries needed to preserve it.

5) Love yourself, value yourself and respect yourself. Others will naturally follow your lead.

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