Changing Your Attitude

After forgiveness and reframing, the next step in cleaning your head involves changing your attitude. In many ways this step involves taking reframing to a deeper level. When you start reframing, you change your mental or cognitive structures regarding the affair. In other words, you move your mental furniture around. Since attitude involves both your behavior and your emotions, you will have to make changes at a deeper level than just changing how you choose to think about the affair.

You may not be ready to change your attitude. For some of you, forgiveness and reframing are as far as you can get in this process. When you have experienced deep hurts, there are often limits concerning how far you are willing to go in cleaning out your head.

In order to start the attitude portion of head cleaning, you will have to be grateful or thankful for the affair. I know that this is counter-intuitive to the way many of you think. The whole idea of being grateful for something that ruined your marriage or your life is something you are not willing to do. The spiritual principle behind this is found in both Christian teachings and AA/12 Step recovery. The idea is that when you are grateful, even for aspects of what happened, you begin shifting your feelings which are a big part of your attitude.

Being grateful does not mean that you approve of what happened. It does mean that you are seriously letting go of resentments, hurts, anger and the desire for revenge. When you are grateful, there is no room for bitterness in your heart or head. Not everyone of you are ready for this step. Many of you instead choose to have instant replays of what happened in your head and the empowerment that comes from the anger. It will give you a burst of energy. The problem is that it is a negative kind of energy. It will mobilize you, but more often than not, it leads to negative consequences.

At first, you may have to be thankful for the little changes that the affair brought you. Perhaps it brought increased honesty, revealed the true nature of those around you, provided a wake up call to your value system, or made you take risks that you have been avoiding. You may have chosen a better way for these changes to happen. Whether or not you wanted the changes, they happened. Now you are faced with how to best deal with them. Being thankful or grateful is not easy, then again carrying a grudge or hatred for every aspect of the affair is a gargantuan task.

Not only is carrying a grudge or hatred a burden, it also surrounds you with negativity. Some people will avoid you due to that negativity. It is not about them not liking you or not wanting to support you. When you are surrounded by negativity, you become an energy vacuum. You can not spew forth all kinds of cursing and angry raging without consequences. All the cursing and rage has consequences that you cannot cheat. You literally begin sucking the life and energy out of those around you. When people avoid you, it is often due to their own self-preservation.

You are faced with a choice, carry a grudge or be thankful.