Lately, I have been having condemning thoughts toward the person who betrayed me. Much to my surprise, I am finding that I am drifting into another pattern, that of even condemning myself. Is this normal and maybe even truthful about who both of us are?
My answer comes from my book, The Forgiving Life (2012), chapter 1:
“As we continually live with love withdrawn from us and a resulting resentment (with the short-term consequences of thinking with a negative pattern, thinking specific condemning thoughts, and acting poorly), we can settle into a kind of long-term distortion of who the love-withdrawing person is, who we ourselves are, and who people are in general. The basic issue here is that once love is withdrawn from us, we can begin to withdraw a sense of worth toward the one who hurt us. The conclusion is that he or she is worth-less. Over time, we can drift into the dangerous conclusion, ‘I, too, am worthless.’ After all, others have withdrawn love from me and have concluded that I lack worth, therefore I do lack worth. Even later, we can drift into the unhealthy conclusion that there is no love in the world and so no one really has any worth, thus everyone is worth-less.” In other words, this thought pattern is something to recognize and then to resist by working on the thought that both of you have worth.