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Healing Stories: Family – 4 Keys to Use in Order to Deal with Difficult Family Members During the Holidays

4 keys to use in order to deal with difficult family members during the holidays 

 The holidays are supposed to be times of peace, joy and good tidings. But for millions of families around the world, it will be anything but a peaceful, relaxing occasion.

From bickering relatives, to alcoholic moms and or dads, to siblings that have never let go of years of resentments… The holidays can be quite challenging – far from “The Hallmark card” description of bliss and inner peace.

So what are the patterns that you noticed in your past holidays that don’t seem to work for you? Most of us, if we look deeply enough, will see a repetition over the years of the same issues, the same challenges, the same problems… But we keep going back for more.

Too many times, we will not look at our role in the dysfunction of family holidays. We want to blame everyone else. But, the only common denominator in all of our dysfunctional holiday events is our return to these events expecting that this year something different will happen. It never does, and it never will, until we do something that will change our approach to the holidays ourselves.

Perhaps you might be imagining right now, running through your brain thoughts like “but I can’t do anything about Uncle Bill’s drinking… It’s out of my control that mom enables my dad to be angry and like Scrooge during the holidays. None of these things are in my control at all. So what’s my role?”

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has helped hundreds of individuals to learn how to deal in a different way with family members that may not represent what the holidays are all about.

Below are four essential keys to help you deal with difficult family members during the holiday season.

Number one. The first problem with many holidays, when we return home, wherever home might be, is that we have unrealistic expectations of how this year might be different than the past. We have to stay in reality. No matter how all optimistic you might be – if family members have not done the work to heal their past you’re probably going to walk into the same environment this year as you have in the past.

So if you catch yourself asking “why did so-and-so have to get so drunk again” or “why did Uncle Sam or Aunt Pat had to continue bickering over dinner” or “I can’t believe mom cooked a main dish I love and forgot about my food allergy” then take notice and ask yourself was this a first time occurrence or was this a problem that you ran into before? Most likely it will be the latter

So why doesn’t it ever change or how come you thought this year would be the year that nobody gets into a shouting match at the dinner table or that you hoped at least you can make it to dessert without quarreling?

It might be that perhaps your expectations are unrealistic. You might be hoping for a “Hallmark card” family gathering, when in actuality, you have a comic book history of holiday experiences.

So before you go home for the holidays let’s get real. Have you struggled in the past with mom and dad? Sisters or brothers? Aunts and Uncles? Grandmothers and Grandfathers? In-laws? And if so don’t expect things to be different. Accept the reality that you’re from a dysfunctional family and if you choose to go home that most of the past will be repeated again.

Number two. Don’t stay in the house with everyone else! One of the biggest challenges we face is that we don’t want to offend people so we stay in the insanity where everyone else is staying. Get a hotel room! I don’t care if you have to stretch your budget. It will be one of the smartest things you’ll ever do. Then you can leave when you want to leave, arrive when you want to arrive, and skip all the chaos and drama that has happened in the past. You have an escape route. This is one of the smartest moves you could probably make this holiday season.

And what if people push back? What if your family members get upset because of the fact you’re setting boundaries by having a hotel room? The independent person, which is you, explains in advance what your plans are this year. You don’t surprise them by walking in and telling them that you have a hotel room. You let them know in advance. The best way to do this? Via a family e-mail. Include everyone. And tell them why, instead of staying in your home this year, you’re going to stay in a hotel. Can you be honest? Can you risk rejection? You see, this is the beginning of becoming an independent versus codependent person. The codependent person is more concerned about what everyone else thinks than taking care of themselves. The independent person understands they’re going to get pushback. There will be people who will be totally unhappy with this decision, but they do it anyway. They know sanity is much more important than anything else in this world. And they also know, that this year, they’re going to have the best holiday possible by removing the triggers from past holiday experiences that create so much drama and chaos.

This takes confidence. This takes self-esteem. And I promise you it will be more worth it then you could ever imagine. Even if people push back, and give you a hard time in the beginning.

Number three. So many arguments escalate because we have a desire to be right and we can’t let someone else be right we have to set people straight. Whether you’re talking about politics, religion, or why the economy is so good or so bad… If someone at your event has a different opinion allow them to have a different opinion. There’s no need to go to battle as you have in the past over conversations that in reality mean nothing. Bite your tongue!

David was confronted by someone who upon returning home every year would listen to her mom consistently berate her father who she divorced 10 years ago. It’s an unending series of dramatic conversations, insane conversations that she used to engage in for a number of years.

And she always loses. No matter how many times she tries to stick up for her dad her mom comes up with another experience proving that her father is deadweight unreliable and unkind. So this year it’s going to be different. She’s already made up her mind. After Essel asked her to do a series of writing exercises of what she needs to do differently this year to make the holidays more pleasant she decided that she’s going to just shut up whenever her mother brings up how terrible her father is as a former husband and even current dad.

She realizes that unless her mom decides to get help and counseling to let go of her intense resentments, the conversation is always going to go down the same path. And why do we follow that path? Why do we engage with someone who we know has a totally different opinion than ours? Well, read above. We want to be right. We want to set the record straight. In this case, she’s been trying to defend her dad for 10 years and the end result has always been intense arguments. Nothing but chaos and drama.

David also recommended that she email her mom ahead of time and tell her that this year she doesn’t have any desire to get into arguments or discussions about dad. She asked her mom to agree with her and to leave her father out of conversations while she’s at her mother’s house for the holidays. She never received a reply from her mom which tells us a lot about her mom still being in that angry, angry state.

If this is similar to how it goes in your family, then don’t expect your mom to change. Accept her as she is. She’s angry, bitter, and will not see any side other than her own until she gets help. And if she never gets help? Her opinion about this woman’s father will never change. Stop smashing your head into the wall and learn to let it go!

Number four. Forgive yourself and forgive others now. This is one of the most challenging things that people face. Forgiveness is powerful. It’s free spirit. It releases anxiety, resentment, anger, guilt, and shame. Forgiveness, as an action step, is an essential key to being able to live a healthy, productive and passionate life.

Before going home for the holidays you’ve really got to do some work to let go of the past. That means you! Not your parents, not your brothers or sisters, not your relatives, but you. If you do the work now to begin to forgive people from the past, you’ll go home with an open heart and you’ll be less argumentative in the process.

It’s not easy to forgive. If forgiveness was that easy no one in this world would ever carry resentments forward. But being a counselor for over 26 yeas and as a coach, Essel has helped thousands of people to forgive individuals who have raped them, parents who have sexually molested them, lovers who have cheated on them or stole money from them.

Forgiveness is not simply turning the other cheek. It’s much deeper than that.

Probably the most powerful form of forgiveness that David Essel believes in is done in the form of written letters that will never be sent to any of our family members, relatives or friends over the holidays.

So get out your stationary! It begins with writing about your frustration, your anger, or maybe even your rage over the years at the way people treat others or us during this time of year. It’s something in counseling called “desensitization” or rather that we continue writing about something that’s bothering us until we become bored… Numb… We become desensitized to the issue. In that state we have released our rage and anger to the point that we can probably see people who have upset us without having a knee-jerk reaction.

After we write about these people, and these situations that really bother us and we reach that point of feeling a lack of emotion to those experiences, then and only then do we begin to write letters of forgiveness.

Now when we write letters of forgiveness, just like our letters of anger and frustration, they are never sent to anyone. The reason for these letters is to be able to remove the anger and in it’s place put forgiveness. In the forgiveness letters we write to the same people and  we specifically forgive them for the things they’ve done in the past that have upset us.

We forgive people first by going deeply into our anger, resentment, rage, sadness…And once all of those emotions are cleared out, then, and only then, do we even begin the process of forgiveness.”

A number of years ago David worked with a client who was so frustrated with his parents because every time he went home for the holidays they reached out to all of his former friends to let them know that their precious son will be home. So he comes in the door just wanting to spend a couple days with his family= and there’s a list of people that his mom shoves in his face year after year and tells him to call them because they want to see him.

Now, from the outsider’s point of view this is cute. Precious. Thoughtful. Sweet. His parents were doing the best they could but he wanted nothing of it. He wanted family time not to try to resurrect friendships from 30 years ago.

But because he never put his foot down and told his mom 20 years ago when this started that he wanted nothing to do with these people he would just take the list and go into his bedroom and throw it away. When his mom asked him about calling his friends he would make up some excuse of why he couldn’t do it this trip.

But after 20 years of this nagging by his mom he finally one day just lost it. He blew up. Screaming, yelling, and telling his parents he would never return home again for the holidays.

See this is what happens when you don’t take care of the issues on your own, by standing up and talking to people in a calm voice about what works, or what doesn’t work for you during the holiday season.

So I took him through the series of exercises I stated above. First he wrote about his frustration and anger at his mom and dad. After that had been released from his body he went into forgiveness.

And then he sent them a loving letter before he arrived telling them that he only had two days to spend with this precious family and he would not have any time for his friends so please don’t reach out to them.

Mom and Dad got the message clearly. And they never again tried to push him into seeing his past acquaintances. He had done it in an extremely forgiving way after he had exorcised all of his frustrations that had been building up over the years.

But it’s not simply turning the other cheek. It’s much deeper than that. Work with a counselor, therapist or a life coach to help you truly understand how to forgive your self and others now and this holiday season will be much different than the rest.

About the author:

David Essel, M. S., Is a number one best-selling author, counselor, master life coach, and international speaker whose mission is to positively affect 2 million people or more every day, regardless of their current circumstances. David’s work is also highly endorsed by the late Wayne Dyer, chicken soup for the soul’s Mark Victor Hansen, as well as many other celebrities and radio and television networks from around the United States of America. Celebrity Jenny McCarthy says “David Essel is the new leader of the positive thinking movement”. www.DavidEssel.com

David Essel, marriage, relationship, abusive relationship, happy marriage, healthy relationships, how to save a relationship, David Essel, Positive Thinking Will NEVER Change Your Life…

Healing Stories: Relationships – Overcoming the Affair – The Four Keys to Reclaim Love

David Essel, marriage, relationship, abusive relationship, happy marriage, healthy relationships, how to save a relationship, David Essel, Positive Thinking Will NEVER Change Your Life…

Healing Stories: Overcoming the Affair – The Four Keys to Reclaim Love

Almost everyone that enters into a romantic love relationship says that if their partner were ever to have an affair the relationship is dead. Over. Gone.

But is that really the case? Millions of people who face the prognosis of an affair will choose to try to save the relationship versus end it.

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has helped hundreds of couples since 1990 reclaim love after an affair. But he’s also seen an equal number that during their attempt to save the relationship, actually sabotage it.

“For those of us who have been on the receiving end, or the giving end of an affair, the stress is off the charts. Do I want to stay with them? Are they worthy of me bringing them back into my heart? If you’re the one who cheated, you may be thinking very similar thoughts. In other words, there are no winners when it comes to an affair.

But I can tell you that there’s some really important keys to follow if you want to try to save a relationship after an affair. Here they are:

Number one: Whoever cheated must become more humble and vulnerable than they’ve ever been in their life. With my clients in this position I tell them that they’re going to have to basically be on their knees, asking for forgiveness, and be willing to do almost anything their partner asks to prove their serious about reclaiming the relationship.

This takes an immense amount of humility. And it’s not just doing this for 30 or 60 days, in my practice as a counselor, I’ve seen that it takes up to 365 days in a row of someone truly being humbled in order for their partner to trust them once again.

Number two: Now this next step is brutal. It’s for the person who did not cheat. After I work with this individual for about four weeks I ask them to get serious. To look within and see what role they had in the affair. Of course many times at first they balk. They claim they did nothing. But after deeper introspection, and answering the questions that we’ve created for people in this situation, 100% of the time they see a role they played in the affair.

They understand that they shut down in bed for six months which encouraged their partner to seek something from the outside world. Or they became highly passive aggressive in the relationship. Or they became workaholics, alcoholics, foodaholics. In other words they picked up an addiction so they didn’t have to spend time with their partner. Once they see the reality of their role the relationship has a much better chance to heal.

Number three: Going back to the person who cheated. I have them do an exercise where they write down all the reasons why they strayed from the relationship. Were they bored? Did they have deep resentments? Was there unresolved rage or anger at their partner? Were they simply following the role model in childhood, or mom or dad who had an affair? Were they afraid of speaking openly? Were they afraid of communicating their true feelings because they thought they might get shut down?

When the person who cheated goes through and answers all of these questions it starts to bring great insight for me as a counselor as to what we have to do to help the couple reclaim their love.

Number four: Forgiveness. The last step I take each of these individuals separately through is forgiveness. For the person who cheated, I take them through a series of exercises to forgive themselves for the error they made. For the person who did not cheat, I take them through a series of exercises to forgive themselves as well for what they did that may have encouraged their partner to look outside of the relationship for validation.

I will give two separate examples of couples I’ve worked with after an affair. One who was successful, and the other was not.

The successful couple. They did everything I mentioned above with 100% energy. Within 365 days of working with them individually they were able to reclaim their love, forgive themselves, forgive each other, that was 17 years ago and today their love is stronger than ever.

The unsuccessful couple. In this case, the husband who cheated, did everything I asked of him to reclaim the relationship. As I worked with him it was amazing to see the transformation of humility. But on the other hand, his wife never took him off of the cross. She continued to berate him. Even after nine months of him doing everything that she wanted him to do to prove he would never cheat again she constantly reminded him of what a loser he was. That she would never trust him. At that time in the counseling I let the wife go. I told her that I couldn’t work with her if she wasn’t willing to look at her role and to start the process of forgiveness.

I continued to work with the husband, but he had a very tough road to go through. Unfortunately, I don’t see this relationship healing unless the woman becomes extremely humble, vulnerable, and tries to risk the concept of forgiveness.

Millions of couples will go through this very same experience and the ones who heal will find a deeper love than they’ve ever experienced with each other in the past.”

If you need help in your relationship, before an affair happens, or after one occurs, reach out to David at www.davidessel.com

To read more stories like this and to find out how David can help you see David’s Blog

Healing Stories: Is Karma Absolute?

Karma? Is it absolute?

Healing Stories: Is karma absolute? A different look at a long held philosophy.

For years now people have talked about Karma as if it’s an absolute law of the universe. We reap what we sow. What goes around comes around. But is it true?

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel used to preach for years about the power of Karma. That if you mistreated someone it was coming back to you. That if you miss handled your money you would always be financially strapped. That if you gossiped about someone other people would absolutely gossip about you.

But times change as David explained below.

“For more years than I can remember I used to always say to people that if they are in a tough relationship it was because they mistreated someone in the past. Or if they were struggling financially it was because they had very little respect for money. In other words we reap what we sow. Was this absolute statement a lie?

Times have changed. And after 27 years as a counselor and life coach I’ve come to realize that karma may not be absolute at all. Isn’t that fascinating?

Many times on social media you’ll see people say, after someone gets dumped in a relationship, “don’t worry, Karma will bite them in the ass.” But I’ve seen quite the opposite.

Let me explain.

I’ve worked with people who had affairs on their partner and yet slept like a baby every night. They didn’t suffer the consequences that other people suffer. And these weren’t psychotic individuals. They were every day people who just had decided that at this time in a relationship they wanted to also be with someone else. After working with them for six months or longer there were no ramifications to their acts. When they would return five or six years later and I would ask them about how the last number of years went in the relationship they would be honest with me and say we haven’t had any problems at all.

But if Karma was absolute, as we’ve been taught, they should have suffered in someway. There should’ve been chaos and drama in their minds that created guilt and shame that would not allow them to sleep like babies at night.

I worked with a man who had stolen a large amount of money from his boyfriend. When his boyfriend found out he ended the relationship. But he wasn’t that distraught at all because he said it was time to move on anyway. He couldn’t take him to court, because he had spent all the money and had none. So when I asked him if he felt Karma was going to come back and bite him in the butt he replied no. It’s just life.

Four years later he came back to work with me on a totally different topic and I asked him if there were any ramifications from taking the money from his previous boyfriend. Answer? Not at all. Everything has been great. My finances are awesome, my new relationship is great as well.

I’ve also worked with people who have been very unjust and mean-spirited towards others. And they don’t think anything about it. And when I go into detail about their current business and friendships with people who may be treating them the way they treat others, often times the answer is that they are fine. That they’re not having any chaos and drama in any of their relationships.

Now this article is not condoning people to cheat on others, steal from others, or mistreat others. The whole purpose is many times we take these “laws of life” as absolute and they may not be. So what’s the take away from the concept that Karma may not be absolute? We need to quit wasting our time saying things like “they’ve got it coming. Karma is a bitch.”

That actually puts us in a negative state of mind. Wishing ill on another person is not healthy for us and I doubt if it’s going to have any effect on them, but it truly takes our energy away from living a positive life.

I think as a society we need to drop this whole thing about “people are going to get there payback, someone is going to screw around on them, someone is going to steal from them”. Because as I just mentioned it takes away from us being positive and progressive individuals.

If Karma was absolutely true then how do we explain when terrible things happen to great people?

A number of years ago I worked with a woman who was an absolute saint on earth. She was an individual who put everyone else in front of her. Almost mother Theresa like and made a huge difference in this world.

And when she was 50 she was brutally raped and left for dead.

If Karma was absolute we would have to say that she called this upon herself. That she must’ve done something so terrible. What goes around comes around and that she got paid back by being brutally raped. Do you see what I’m saying when I tell you that Karma is not absolute?

And there’s millions of more stories of clients I’ve worked with over the last 27 years that have faced great, huge, tragedies that had nothing to do with their past action. “.

You can read more stories like this on David’s Blog

Be careful of what you believe in. Many of the old “laws of the universe”, just like the law of attraction, or statements like “whatever you believe you can achieve”,  are not 100% factual either. Be careful. Be selective. Just because famous motivational speakers have told us that Karma is absolute does not mean it is at all.”

If you would like more information on all the coaching and counseling David Essel offers you can find it here.

David Essel, marriage, relationship, abusive relationship, happy marriage, healthy relationships, how to save a relationship, David Essel, Positive Thinking Will NEVER Change Your Life…

Healing Stories: Forgiveness – “I Will Never Be Able To Forgive Her.”

David Essel, marriage, relationship, forgiveness, abusive relationship, happy marriage, healthy relationships, how to save a relationship, David Essel, Positive Thinking Will NEVER Change Your Life…

Healing Stories: “I Will Never Be Able To Forgive Her.”

Sometime in your life, if it hasn’t happened now, it probably will in the future you will face great betrayal.

It may be from a close friend. A lover. A family member. A coworker.

They could be incredibly spiritual. Kind? They may have a high standing in society. Or they may be struggling in life. But whatever the case, most of us in life face betrayal. Someone breaks their word. Steals money. Cheats on you. Speaks behind your back. Destroys your reputation in society.

And what do we do?

For 27 years, number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has helped thousands of people to overcome the brutal act of betrayal. But he never imagined he would have to put all of his own strength and energy and the techniques he teaches others into his own life as well.

Below is David’s story. A brutally honest recollection of an experience that changed his life.

“I fell so deeply in love with her. It was fast. It took both of us down this incredible path of love in almost an instant. I was ready for a deep ongoing relationship and I found it.

Not only did I fall deeply in love with this woman but also she had a young daughter that I bonded with equally as well.

Within a short period of time I started to become frustrated with the lack of her ability to follow through on her words. And this is something that I mentioned to every person in the beginning of a dating relationship. I can be very strong, very secure, but if you start backing out of your words, if you don’t follow through and do things you say you’re going to do, it will create havoc in our relationship. And this is exactly what started to happen.

I didn’t know when I first started dating her that she had quite a bit of financial challenges. So within a short period of time I found myself loaning her money to help her and her kids survive.

First it was one months rent and then one months back rent. Then her car needed multiple repairs. And then the big hit came when she had to have surgery and none of her family members would help her financially with a surgery that absolutely had to be done.

So I became the Savior. At that time I told her that we had to start writing up a legal agreement with all the money I had loaned her because I was feeling uncomfortable about where all of this was going. She agreed instantly. Which set my heart free. I could still love her and just realize she was going through a difficult time and be there to support her and her children. But they were still problems with our relationship.

She had a very hard time following her words. She would promise to do small or large task and then 70% of the time she would never follow through. I was becoming very impatient very irritated.

I still loved her deeply but I was sensing great limitations in our relationship .

Eventually, I ended the relationship. But as she was leaving, I realized she had no money for rent for her and her little girl, so I ended up continuing to pay rent on a regular basis to make sure she stayed afloat.

As the debt continue to rise. She was starting to make weekly payments, even a little bit at a time, which made me feel secure that we could at least stay friends. I could support her little girl and she would eventually pay me back the money.

But it wasn’t going to be that easy. One day, when I called her to set up a time for the weekly payment, she informed me that she had talked to her mom and several of her girlfriends and she wasn’t going to pay me back. I was shocked. She went on to tell me that everyone agreed that this is what boyfriends do they help their girlfriends financially and that’s just the way it is. No more money would be paid back.
I was in shock. But I shouldn’t have been. This was a trend that had been going on since early in our relationship. She would promise one thing, back out, and cancel her promises. On top of all this I had to slowly end my relationship with her daughter which broke my heart as much as having to end the relationship with this woman.

Nothing about this was easy. A number of months went by. My anger continued to grow. My resentments continued to grow and I knew I had to do something about it.

So I started the process of forgiveness that I have taught thousands of people since 1990.

Every day I wrote about my anger, my rage, my hurt, my sadness, my disappointment. This literally went on for months. I knew I had to get the poison out of my heart as I knew it was affecting me in such a negative way every day .

After all of my anger was gone, I started writing letters of forgiveness to her that I would either tear up or burn on a daily basis. I shared none of this experience with her as the problem really was within me. I needed to forgive so I could be at peace.

Then I began writing about my role in this experience. My codependency. I had turned into the white night, the Savior, wanting to make sure that she had everything she needed when the relationship was not one based on honesty or trust. That was my fault.

Betrayal, it happened on many levels, from the breaking of her words, to the borrowing of a large amount of money with no intention to pay it back.

And I had betrayed myself. When my intuition was saying I should not be loaning this amount of money to someone who had broken her words in the past, I was betraying my own intuition.

Once all of this was clear, I started writing about how she could do such a thing. I wanted to have compassion for her and her situation.

As I wrote, I recalled all of the terrible experiences she had growing up as a young girl. Emotionally abused by her mother. Physically abused by her stepfather. Physically abused by one of several husbands. As I wrote, my heart opened. A new day was beginning.

It took many many months to get to this level. I had no communication with her whatsoever during this time and she had no idea I was doing all of this intense forgiveness work on my part. It wasn’t about her, it was about me.

When I was fully clear, I waited several months before I figured I’d reach out and talk to her, and then all of a sudden hurricane Irma hit. One of my first concerns was now that I’ve forgiven her, is she OK with her kids.

That text, reaching out and asking is she set to face this massive hurricane? I felt anxiety inside me. Have a really forgiven her? If she responds with an attitude can I let it go? If she responds with gratitude can I let it go? In other words this was never about her, it was about me dealing with me.

Her response was immediate. Thankful. Grateful. My heart was open, I had done the deep work of forgiveness and I could be real, honest and vulnerable with her as a friend.

I became free, she became free. Then the next step surprised the hell out of me. I received a series of text from her telling me things that were incredibly powerful to hear. How I had taught her so much about life. How she had grown immensely. Her gratitude for everything I did to help her and her children. Several texts in a row open my heart even more.

She also shared that she was in a new relationship and my first response back was as you and I are continuing to reclaim this friendship, make sure your new boyfriend is aware of what you’re doing, I don’t want to create any chaos and drama for you or for me.

My work was done. The lines of communication are open if she ever wants to reach back out and I truly feel I can be friends with her at whatever level that means.

Don’t hold the poison of resentment and anger inside. Forgiveness is hard work. It never is easy. But I can tell you it’s so damn worth it. When I think of her name now my heart stays open. A year ago? Whenever I thought of her a sour feeling went through my body. That feeling is now gone. She has moved on, I have moved on, and peace is back in my life. You can do the same thing. If you need help, reach out and I will take you down the same path of forgiveness. It is worth the work.”

( From David’s new, and yet to be released book, “Focus! A step-by-step guide to huge success, a great attitude and profound love. ” )

Learn more about David and his one on one coaching and counseling here… http://davidessel.com/life-relationship-business-coach/

If you would like to reach David to help you with any relationship issues that you’re going through, please email him through the website www.davidessel.com

Healing Stories: Forgiveness “Did God Let Her Down?”

Forgiveness – Healing Stories: “Did God Let Her Down?”

Life is not fair. There are times when we wish that it was fair but in reality it’s not. Really wonderful people have terrible events that they have to go through in their life and many times we will never know the real reason why.

Through these challenges many people question if there even is a God, or if God is paying any attention. There are times that we have to look within and try to find faith that things happen for reasons. But even this philosophy can’t help us when we’re in deep and immense pain.

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel, for the past 27 years, has helped individuals that are trying to figure out why life is treating them the way it is. And some have even asked him during sessions with him, how could God let this happen to me?

Here’s a story from David himself, that illuminates the question about whether God would actually let someone down. Or was there a bigger reason for the tragedy that we have to go through?

“A number of years ago a young woman came to me to try to work through her frustrations in life. She was 100 pounds overweight, worked in dead-end jobs, was extremely unhappy in any dating relationship she was ever in, and had reached what we call a rock bottom.

Frustrated. Disgusted with herself. And angry. But she really wasn’t sure who she was angry at?

After a few weeks of doing work together she shared with me a story that she hadn’t told many other people. The story that she shared gave me great insight as to why she was so unhappy in life. It gave great insight to why she carried so much extra weight. And why, after all these years, she continued to date men that were unhealthy.

You see, when she was in high school, she watched her younger sister get off the bus like the little girl did every day, and walk in front of the bus into their driveway and then to their house. But this day was different. Normally my client would walk ahead of her sister, but today on this one day, she got hung up talking to a friend of hers and her little sister scooted between her arms and raced out the bus door excited to be home and to see her mom.

The next thing my client sees is the little girl walking in front of the bus crossing the road and a car coming head-on hits her. She dies instantly.

For over 30 years my client held the story within. She had never worked with a counselor before. Her family discouraged her from talking about that tragic day. In 30+ years she had never visited her sisters grave. She had never thought about how much she missed her sister because it was too painful to think about.

So instead she self medicated with food. Or occasional sex with a guy she knew wasn’t good for her. To beat herself up for the choice she made of not to be the one to walk off the bus first, as she did every other day, she hung onto menial jobs, doing limited work, just trying to survive in life.

When she told me the story I was flabbergasted over many of the details. That her family never wanted to talk about missing the young girl? That my client had never thought about processing through her grief, shame, guilt and anger?

As I asked her about all of these emotions she blurted out how much she hated God! How God had let her down, by allowing a drunk driver to kill her innocent little sister. She was mad as hell at God. At herself. And her family for refusing to talk about the precious life that was no longer on earth.

Can you imagine how difficult it would be holding all these emotions in? Shame? Guilt? Resentment, anger, rage?

As we worked together, each one of these emotions were giving plenty of time to be processed. Every week for over a year we continued working through the emotions, forgiving herself, even reaching the state of forgiving God. She realized, God did not direct the driver to kill her sister, even though at times she felt he did. We worked on her forgiving her family, because they didn’t know how to deal with their own anger, rage, and guilt. She was able to forgive them for the space they were currently in.

Eventually, she got to the greatest prize at all, she forgave herself. And on the very day that we had this massive breakthrough, for the first time in over 30 years, she went to her a little sister’s grave and left a letter for her.

The next month, she went and left another letter with flowers. Some evenings she would sit in her bathtub with candles lit all around a pad of paper and pen in hand, yes even in the bathtub, and write love letters to her sister. How much she missed her. How sorry she was for what happened. She even asked her sister to forgive her for not being the first one off the bus.

It was an immense amount of work! At the end of two years her work was done. Should evolved so deeply, so greatly into a loving, compassionate person. Once she released all of her own shame and guilt she was able to communicate with her sister on a daily basis. She prayed to her. She prayed for her sister. And she ended up creating this incredibly joyful relationship with a little girl who is no longer here on earth.

The end of the story is beautiful. The end of the story was actually surprising to me because this client put so much effort and work into trying to heal and it never seemed to be coming fast enough. In the end, the timing was perfect.

How about you? Are there feelings or emotions that you’re running from? Not wanting to face? Could there be shame or guilt that still resides within you? Or deep resentment or anger at God, your family, a former lover, a former employer, a former best friend?

This article highlights the power of writing. Every day for two years, my client wrote about her emotions. Every week for two straight years we met for an hour, over the phone, to help her process the emotions. It was hard, hard work. And the end result as I mentioned above was stunningly beautiful.

I wish the same could happen to you. If you’re willing to do the work we can release all submerged emotions and rise from the ashes to become the person we’ve always meant to be.

Don’t wait another day to get help. Reach out to a counselor, coach, minister, priest, a rabbi… Anyone in the healing profession can help you. Make today the day you reach out and ask for that help. You deserve it. ”

Learn more about David and his one on one coaching and counseling here… http://davidessel.com/life-relationship-business-coach/

If you would like to reach David to help you with any current crisis that you’re going through, please email him through the website www.davidessel.com

Healing Stories: Her Six-Year-Old Son Was Murdered. Then she did this.

Healing Stories: Forgiveness…Her Six-Year-Old Son Was Murdered. Then she did this.

No one can imagine what it would feel like to find out that their six-year-old child had been murdered. And, it is something we would not wish on anyone.

The feelings of rage, sadness, anger and possibly even guilt would be running through anyone’s brain in their attempt to deal with such a tragedy.

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has interviewed parents from around the United States of America who have lost a child. And in each of the interviews it’s an incredibly tragic event that some never find their way to totally deal with.

Addiction can take over as a short-term way to submerge the emotions around losing a child. Some hold onto bitterness for the rest of their lives. And then there are others who lead the way to help us transform this terrible experience into something that has meaning in their lives.

David shares a story here today that gives all individuals, who have lost a loved one, an opportunity to learn how to move forward with grace, power and compassion.

“I remember the first time I talked to Scarlett Lewis who had lost her son just a few months before in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. I had no idea how to even begin the interview I was about to do with Scarlett on my national radio show.

I mean, how do you start out such an in-depth interview with someone who eight months before had lost her young son to a murderer? I was so concerned that I would say the wrong thing. That I would embarrass myself or her. Or that I would put her on the hot seat, something I never intend to do with any of my guests.

I sat and wondered… And then when I looked up I saw that I was going to be on the air in 30 seconds. After introducing Scarlett I immediately asked her a question that I thought I would probably get to later on in the show. “Have you even thought about forgiving the killer of your child? Is that something you could even ever do?”

That question was guided to me by spirit if you will. It wasn’t something I had planned. But the interview started out with a bang. And it was one of the most incredible interviews I’ve ever done in 27 years as a host of a talk radio show.

Scarlett answered right away that she was about 75% of the way to forgiving Adam Lanza completely. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. How could she already, only eight months after the killing of her son, be that far advanced in regards to forgiving the killer?

Scarlett shared with me that it was an incredibly difficult eight months to say the least. But she learned early on through her counseling, and a variety of modalities from journaling, to emotional freedom technique, to a healing technique called EMDR, that if she didn’t go in and feel those deep feelings of anger, sadness, depression, and everything else associated with such an event, that she would never heal.

So she got to work. Whenever she woke up in the morning and felt that pain in her stomach she would start to journal her feelings and emotions surrounding anger, rage and more.

She never stopped doing the work. She didn’t shy away when the counseling or the program she was in became difficult. She kept moving forward. Even on the days she didn’t want to.

I have had the blessing to interview Scarlett every year since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, and every year she astounds me even more. The last time I had invited her to be a part of a major motivational seminar I was leading, she joined me and the audience via phone, and shared at that time that she was over 90% on her way to fully forgiving the killer of her child.

During the seminar, when someone asked what was her motivation to continue to work so hard to forgive someone who killed her son, Scarlet answered immediately, “He may have killed my young son Jesse but through my path of forgiveness I am guaranteeing that he will not take the rest of my life or my other son JT’s in the process. As I have continued to forgive him I’ve become free and able to do the work that I’m here to do.”

And what is that work that Scarlett Lewis is destined to do? She is a major leader in the world of forgiveness. She is a healer. She is taking this tragic event and now travels all over the world talking to small and large audiences alike about the path of forgiveness. The benefits of forgiveness. The trials and tribulations of forgiveness. The hardships of forgiveness. But at the end of everything, she knows that the path has been laid out before her to be a leader in this world. And she’s doing a damn good job doing so.”

If you need help living the life you desire, letting go of past hurts or tragedies, contact David today at www.davidessel.com

Healing Stories: From Rape to Forgiveness

For the past 27 years, as a counselor and a master life coach, number one best-selling author, I’ve experienced so many incredible healing’s in my work. I’ve seen incredible transformations of people going from the caterpillar to the butterfly. It is amazing.

And nothing may be more amazing than the story of healing I’m about to share with you here.

A number of years ago a woman came to me, nine years after being brutally raped and left for dead. They never caught the rapist. So for nine straight years she lived in terror… Agoraphobic, she never left her house… She was on multiple medications for anxiety, depression, and a sleep disorder.

When she walked into the office and sat down she was a nervous wreck, as expected. Here she was sitting in front of a male counselor, the first male counselor she had ever worked with, trying to talk about an event that had traumatized her deeply nine years prior.

After working with a number of other counselors, and still not seeing the success she wanted, I was her final hope. I didn’t know that at the time but I was about to find out that this could be one of the greatest challenges I had ever faced in my years of doing the work as a counselor and coach.

I asked during the first session if any of the previous counselors had worked with her in something that we call “desensitization therapy”.

In other words had they helped her to process the experience from the beginning to the end of what happened on that terrible night in order to bring that experience down in regards to our emotional response.

With this type of work, we have to move extremely slowly. Any form of PTSD from near drowning’s, to being beaten in relationships, raped, returning from war, recovering from an auto accident, needs to be done in a very patient and slow way.

So after a few weeks I gave her the first assignment, with a loving voice, that I would like her to begin to recall the rape experience in writing. I gave her detailed instructions to try to take some of the pressure off but at the same time letting her know that I would be here with her as many days as she needed me walking through this experience together.
She would never be alone in her healing.

While she was hesitant at first she did catch on and started to write on a daily basis about the experience.

When she would come in week after week I would ask her to read what she had written and of course at first it was a terrifying experience for her. But in the safety of my office, and with an open heart, I gently nudged her and told her that in the world of desensitization, what were trying to do is take a horrific experience from the past and to write about it so many times that it simply becomes a fact of life. When we get to that level we can move forward in life never forgetting the trauma from the past but being able to now finally deal with it in a way that is respectful, releasing, and healing all at the same time.

We were together for approximately one year. Halfway through the experience she was talking about that fateful night with a tone that would be equivalent to someone talking about what they ate for dinner the night before. We had reached a huge level of success. She was absolutely shocked at the progress she had made in just a simple six months.

By the eighth month she was moving off of all of her medication, along with her doctors understanding, she was starting to take smaller and smaller dosages of her antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, and sleep pharmaceuticals. At the end of the year she was totally free of all medications! We had gone through a written process of desensitization even into an area she never thought she would reach… The forgiveness of her rapist .

When I tell this story to audiences people are absolutely shocked that individuals can move forward after an extreme PTSD experience like this into a place of health and happiness.
But the healing isn’t done by me. I am simply the facilitator, asking questions and giving assignments.

My clients must be willing to go into the discomfort… Into the pain… To release it. This brave woman did everything I asked of her and at the end of our time together she was a radically different person.

As they say on television commercials I wouldn’t recommend that anyone try to do this by themselves at home. If you have experienced an incredibly stressful or traumatic event even from 50 years ago reach out and ask for a counselor to take you through the steps necessary to reach your own level of healing.

It’s easy to make mistakes in these type of exercises so rely on someone else to take you through it.

Here are a few things to think about if you have faced trauma in your past or even in your present experience:

Number one. Millions of people before you have made the choice to do the hard work to heal. It’s not easy. I don’t want anyone to think that you can just make up your mind to forgive someone and it will happen. It really does take a full commitment.

Number two. Be patient with yourself. Let me repeat this. Be extremely patient with your own healing. To take 12 months of counseling to heal from something so traumatic is not unusual. As a matter of fact I worked with another woman a number of years ago with an extreme trauma in her past and it took us two years to reach the same level of freedom. Be patient.

You deserve the life you desire. I am so proud of the client that I’m talking about today, her persistence, perseverance, resilience, that led to her being completely free from the past. She’s a walking miracle and you can be too.

David Essel is a number one best-selling author, counselor, master life coach and inspirational speaker. If you would like help in overcoming any challenge you’re currently facing in life, simply visit www.davidessel.com

David Essel, Microphone, Positive Thinking Will NEVER Change Your Life… But This Book Will,

Forgiveness? We’ve Been Taught All Wrong!

Forgiveness? We’ve Been Taught All Wrong!

We’ve been told to turn the other cheek. Just forgive them because it’s the right thing to do. It never works long term!

But the system we teach in this super short video does. Start out the New Year free of resentments.

Scarlett Lewis, Sandy Hook Massacre, on forgiveness

This  is an amazing interview.

We have had Scarlett on before, and she has become a show favorite.

Forgiveness, for you, not the other person.

Listen, and see what i mean.

http://www.spreaker.com/user/davidessel/scarlett-lewis-july-26th-2014

Inner peace follows.

love, david