Carrying on with my Love Project posts on friendship, I thought I would share some links about forgiveness. As I mentioned in the first friendship post I've had a difficult time with friendships in the past and sometimes I've struggled to forgive others (one ex friend in particular). If you've had a similar experience, here are a couple of links from Positive Provocations on forgiveness:
I think that if you're struggling with feelings of anger or upset due to past friendships, it will be really helpful for you to move on and heal if you address the issue and try to forgive and let it go. You have to be ready though. I've tried to forgive in the past but still been clinging on to it. I'm going to try again. :) I've also been reading Louise L. Hay's book You Can Heal Your Life and she mentions forgiveness in there.
Also if you've had problems in the friendship department, you may find it hard when it comes to romantic relationships because you struggle to trust people and are afraid of getting hurt. (I know that's the case for me). And like romantic relationships, friendships can require you to be vulnerable, although not as much.
In her books Gabrielle Bernstein talks about how relationships are our biggest teachers and she recommends forgiveness. She calls it "throwing down an F bomb". I've read May Cause Miracles and Miracles Now in past years and I've just finished Add More ~ing to your Life and started Spirit Junkie. Gabrielle (or Gabby) follows the teachings of A Course in Miracles and Marianne Williamson. If you're interested in Gabby's books you can find links to them on my Resources page: http://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.co.uk/p/resources.html
And now here are a few articles on friendship.
An article on how to attract peaceful and nurturing relationships (can also apply to romantic relationships): http://gentlelivingonline.com/relationships-3/attract-peaceful-nurturing-relationships/
The bit that stuck out for me was believing that peaceful relationships are possible. I did have some good friends at school and I have experienced a couple of wonderful friendships through penpalling and I'm really grateful for that.
Here's another good one from Gentle Living Online about breaking bad relationship patterns: http://gentlelivingonline.com/relationships-3/bad-relationship-patterns/
Note: This also applies to love relationships as well as friendships, so apply it to whatever pattern you want to.
This is useful for me because as I mentioned in my previous post, I was bullied at school and had two friends "go funny" on me. I used to like chatting online using Teen Chat, ICQ and MSN (in the old days! lol) but I'd find that I met a lot of people who "unnerved" me in some way or put me on edge. They seemed to criticise things such as my taste in music, the food I ate, how I said/wrote things etc. It made me feel really self conscious and I became afraid to express myself.
Even these days I still come across some people (both online and in real life) who set me on edge. Maybe it's a reflection of how I've felt about myself, that I'm not a worthy person. I'm working on that though and I've got better at expressing myself. Blogging has really helped with that and another thing that's helped has been commenting online on sites that I feel like a more receptive environment, like Deliberate Receiving, Personal Excellence (when you could still comment there) and Life Made To Order. I also belong to a Facebook group that is a lovely place to connect with others and a safe environment to express yourself, there's no judgement. I'd recommend finding spaces like that for yourself (whether online or off) where you feel comfortable. :)
Update: I realised I'd already linked to the original Personal Excellence article I'd posted in my previous post but here's another post from PE about being a good friend to others without them taking advantage of you:
Hope you find the links useful and they help with the friendships in your life. :)