Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

When the Church Goes to Confession

Monday, August 20th, 2018

In 2006, The Episcopal Church issued a comprehensive, formal apology (a resolution) for its participation in the institution of slavery. They accepted full responsibility for past actions and admitted they used scripture to justify their actions. “…we express our most profound regret that (a) The Episcopal Church lent the institution of slavery its support and justification based on Scripture, and (b) after slavery was formally abolished, The Episcopal Church continued for at least a century to support de jure and de facto segregation and discrimination…”

Instead of saying, “Now that we’ve discussed it and apologized, let’s never discuss it again,” they said something like, Let’s continue to uncover our transgressions (past and present) and continue to repent in order “to make a full, faithful and informed accounting of our history” and “be ‘the repairer of the breach'” (full quote below). (more…)

The Surprisingly Simple Self-Esteem Booster

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

After reading The 5 Love Languages earlier this year, I took the Discover Your Love Language quiz. As a result, I receive emails from the website. I kept meaning to unsubscribe from said emails until I saw this one about apologizing. It’s spot on! Our 45th President could use this advice. Sharpen those apology letter pencils!

“Did you know that low self-esteem can make it difficult to apologize? When we aren’t confident in who we are, an apology seems like a sign of weakness. But the truth is, people with high self-esteem more readily apologize, and apologizing can actually enhance your self-esteem. People generally respect a person more who is willing to take responsibility for his/her own failures. As people begin to respect and admire you more and more, then you start to feel better about yourself.

On the other hand, those who try to hide or excuse wrong behavior will almost always lose the respect and affirmation of others. A sincere apology is always a sign of maturity, not a sign of weakness. Apology opens the door to forgiveness. And forgiveness means that we can continue to grow in our relationship. It’s never too late to learn to apologize.”

To Trust or Not to Trust

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

“If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

I meant to post this during the hubbub of the holidays but didn’t have a chance. A friend of mine is writing a book on love and forgiveness. At the end of 2016, he interviewed one person per day for 33 days to promote a Kickstarter campaign. At one point he interview me and we discussed the fine art of self-trust:

Would You Give a Guy Who Broke Your Heart Another Chance?

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Hi Samara,

I am 42 years old. Divorced twice, no children, 1 dog. Recently, I reconnected with my high school sweetheart. He is divorced with 2 children. We are madly in love once again and I think I want to spend the rest of my life with him.

The problem is that we reconnected once before in our late twenties and it didn’t work out and I was terribly hurt by him. I see many positive changes in him since we started seeing each other again. This is the third time around with him. I am wondering if we both needed to grow up before finding each other again or am I just fooling myself?

Any suggestions on how to approach this relationship this time around. I really want it to work.

Thank you,

Check out my response here.

18 Steps Ahead of the New Year

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

While buying last minute gift bags and wrapping paper at CVS on Christmas Eve, I grabbed a copy of the January issue of O Magazine. Dr. Oz shares a cover with Oprah and the coverline says: “Dr. Oz’s 28-Day Plan to Renew Your Body, Mind, and Soul.” I was hoping to be inspired with some possible resolutions.

Imagine my surprise when I read the list and realized that I already do many of the things he suggests. I’d say I do 18 of 28. Bring on 2012! Here’s the short version of Dr. Oz’s suggestions:

Day 1 Drink Green Tea – Started doing this YEARS ago
Day 2 Indulge in Dark Chocolate – I’m kind of eh about this one. Yes, dark chocolate is good for you, but milk chocolate tastes better.
Day 3 Eat Foods that are Good for your Heart (Salmon, Tomatoes, Garlic, and Lima Beans) – I started eating salmon incessantly a few years ago, so much so that I lost my taste for it. I think if I start eating it again in moderation I might be okay. I am totally on board with tomatoes and garlic. Lima beans–not so much.
Day 4 Forgive Someone – I’ve been working on this one for a year or so–through yoga, meditation and lots of reading. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary. Many have been forgiven and there are still many to forgive.
Day 5 Memorize a Poem – I memorized my first poem my freshman year in high school. I memorized my most recent one in 2009, so I guess it’s about time to memorize a new one.
Day 6 – This one is about sex, I’ll keep the post rated G and not comment =)
Day 7 Keep a Food Diary – This is a good one–a type of diary I have never kept. I’m hoping to lose 20ish lbs in the first few months of the year so hopefully this will help.
Day 8 Exercise, Even if it’s Just 1/2 Hour a Day – In September I started a new job and there’s a gym in the building. I get myself in there for at least 30 mins a workday.
Day 9 Get More Sleep – Done!
Day 10 Meditate – As with forgiveness, I’ve incorporated this into my weekly routine.
Day 11 Don’t Graze Before Bed – I do this and shouldn’t. I LOVE cereal before bed.
Day 12 Know Your Portions – Another thing I could work on.
Day 13 Count Your Paces I walk a lot. Having a pedometer to count how many paces I walk a day isn’t a bad idea.
Day 14 Interview Your Relatives – This means ask about your family’s health history. There’s no history of heart disease in my family. My paternal pop-pop died of lung cancer (smoking) and my maternal grandfather had a stroke. No common thread. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to me and my kin . . .
Day 15 Take the Right Pills – This time last year I was on a daily vitamin kick, and I need to get back there.
Day 16 Calculate Your BMIDone
Day 17 Tweak Your Daily Routine – This one says something about making small switches in your life: from decaff to caff (because caffeine is good for you). Doesn’t resonate with me.
Day 18 Eat Popcorn Instead of Chips – Okay
Day 19 Pack a Smarter Lunch – What I’ve been trying to do is make lunch a bigger meal than dinner, so I have the rest of the day to burn it off.
Day 20 Have the Same Breakfast Each Day – I’d say breakfast is routine for me. I usually eat granola or oatmeal.
Day 21 Purge Your Pantry – Good idea.
Day 22 Call an Old Friend – Or write her a letter!
Day 23 Floss – I’ve been meaning to do more of this for years.
Day 24 Look Before Your Flush – In other words, examine your excrement and make sure it’s not an odd color. Without going into too much detail, I do this.
Day 25 Practice Saying No – Excellent advice! A few times this year I said no when I was tempted to say yes just to avoid feeling guilty. Saying no (when you mean NO) is better. It’s honest, it equals less hassle in the end, and it’s a way to show yourself a little love.
Day 26 Stretch More – Um, yoga!
Day 27 Eat Healthy Snacks – I try.
Day 28 Spread Kindness – I really try!

I Stand Corrected

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

That thing I said about typewriters no longer being manufactured anywhere on plant earth is wrong. Apparently, there still are typewriter factories in the world. Admittedly, I trusted The Atlantic. Ho hum. The good news is this doesn’t make a big difference in anyone’s day. Everything else I said about typewriters is 100% true.

Apology Accepted

Friday, April 15th, 2011

There’s a thoughtful article in this month’s Oprah magazine about forgiveness. In recent years I’ve learned that sometimes it takes as much grace and self-reflection to accept an apology as it does to deliver one. My favorite insights from the article:

~ “Study after study has found that forgiving is good for the body as well as the soul. It can lower blood pressure and heart rate and reduce levels of depression, anxiety, and anger. People who forgive generally have better relationships with others, feel happier and more hopeful, and score higher on just about every measure of psychological well-being.”

~ “. . .there are really only two steps in the process: grieving and letting go. Grieving, after you’ve been wronged, means letting yourself feel the anger, hurt, trauma, in all its original pain—but not indefinitely.”

~ “The decision to forgive touches you to your very core, to who you are as a human being. It involves your sense of self-esteem, your personal worth, the worth of the person who’s hurt you, and your relationship with that person and the larger world.”

~ “Forgiveness, I begin to see, is not about pretending you don’t feel angry or hurt. It’s about responding out of kindness rather than rage. It’s about letting yourself feel the full spectrum of emotions—grief and anger and hurt, but also kindness and compassion. Even toward someone who’s hurt you deeply.”