I’m Old School

Posted in Motivational, Relationships

Im Old School danskognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorIf you think that means I am boring, you would be wrong.  Let me give you a couple of examples of what I am talking about.  I have been substitute teaching in the public schools recently.  I was shocked to see a class of 30 high school students standing bored as the pledge of allegiance to our flag was recited by someone over the loudspeaker. It was me saying the pledge aloud along with the kid on the intercom. Wow.  I was so shocked I did not know what to say.  I was literally at a loss for words…until now.

Later I spoke to a few kids at the school in the lunchroom and asked them what was going on. How can kids show such disrespect to our flag, to our country, and for our freedom?  None of them could give me a good answer.  I asked them what they would do if someone in their family who served in the military were present.  They all agreed they would speak up and say the pledge out loud. I told them, “Guys, you need to speak up whether someone is present or not. Many lives have been sacrificed for you to have the freedoms we have today. Please don’t disrespect them.  Speak up.”  I can only hope that they do. One thing is for sure, even if they don’t, I will…and I won’t let another class stand by in a bored fashion and be silent.  I can’t make them speak up, but I will let them know how disrespectful that is.  I guess I am just old school.

At another school I had lunch duty for a bunch of 6th graders. Lunch duty is like controlled chaos.  It is so loud you can’t hear a thing, and everyone is talking at the same time…kind of like a ladies book club.  LOL.  Everything was going smoothly until one little boy decided he wanted the seat that a girl was saving for one of her girlfriends. He jumped in and sat down before she could. I saw it and watched the girl stand there in amazement at his rudeness. I went over to him and said, “How about being a gentleman and letting her sit down?”  He stuck his chin out, looked at me defiantly and said, “I am not a gentleman.” I just smiled at him and said, “Well, today you WILL be, or would you rather me get that policeman to come over here and help you stand?”  LOL.  He stood up.  I came back to him in a few minutes and told him, “You will get a lot further in life being a gentleman than being rude.”  Then I have him a fist bump and everything was cool between us. I am old school.  I still believe in saying please and thank you. I believe in giving a lady my seat.  I believe in holding the door open for others.  Like I said, I am old school.

If parents don’t teach their kids to be respectful of authority, to be grateful for our freedom, and to be respectful of other people, what is the world going to be like for our grandchildren and their children? It can’t be good if everyone does their own thing without regard for rules, regulations, authority, morals, and just common courtesy. If you are a parent, please teach your children well.  Set an example you would be proud for them to follow. Say the pledge of allegiance out loud.  Sing the national anthem like you mean it! If you are a teacher, please set the example in and out of the classroom.  The kids are watching.  They are waiting for someone to be the adult.  It might as well be us.

For the sake of our children, for the sake of our future…speak up for what is right. Let’s be people who love one another and stand up for what is right. Like Dionne Warwick sang, “What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.  It’s the only that there’s just too little of.” If we learn to truly love one another, it may not be a cure-all, but it does cure a lot of the problems we face.


Dan Skognes

The 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People dan skognes motivation blogger speaker trainer coachFailure and success have a few things in common. Both are contagious, you can learn them, and it seems that at some point we choose which one we will follow. Some people settle for a life a failure and never realize their purpose or destiny.  Pretty sad when you think about the loss not just to them, but to the world all around them.

I believe that everyone is created with elements of greatness within them.  It is part of our DNA.  Why is it then that some folks go sideways and eventually crash and burn?  Why do some people seem to have the Midas touch and everything they do blooms?

Let’s examine the 7 habits of highly ineffective people:

  1. They have a negative attitude towards life.  Their glass is always half empty, so don’t waste their time trying to fill it up. They will find a way to empty it if you do.
  2. They have an attitude of what is in it for ME? The world revolves around them and you are only good to them if they can get something from you…especially if it is for free.
  3. They are ungrateful. Don’t expect thanks for what you do.  Don’t expect them to show gratitude for anything you might have done.  Remember that you OWE them.
  4. They don’t care about how other people feel, so they can come across as brash, abrasive, obnoxious, and down-right nasty. Don’t take it personal. They are like this to everyone, even those they “love.”
  5. They have a critical attitude. It is always someone else’s fault. They are never to blame…ever.
  6. They are highly creative in finding ways to beat the system. They will lie, cheat, steal, and do things unethical to get what they want.  The end justifies the means. If you get in their way, you can expect all of the above.
  7. They don’t listen, they tell. Don’t expect them to hear what you say. Remember that for them to take time to listen, they would have to care, and they don’t.

Life does not have to be this way, and yet many people have just grown accustomed to the smell.  A healthy person realizes that they are in a world full of other people, and it behooves us all to get along with one another.  That is just common sense, and yet common sense as we all know is not so common. How can you explain people that do stupid things over and over?  You have heard the saying, “You can’t fix stupid.”  Well, there is an element of truth there, but I do think that it is a curable disease.  Stupidity does not have to be fatal.

If people are willing to just grow up….that is the secret to success.  You have to GROW UP.  Wow.  What a revelation.  Learn to say thanks.  Learn to say I am sorry.  Learn to say, I love you…and not just say it…but show it. Like Louie Armstrong said, “I think to myself….what a wonderful world.”

How about I start with me and you start with you?  If we each do our part and agree to GROW UP, maybe….just maybe we can stamp out the dreaded stupid virus.  I may just set up a foundation to help put stupidity out of its misery. I wonder how many stupid people will contribute to it?  LOL


Dan Skognes

If You’re Not Learning, You’re Not Growing

Posted in Business, Motivational

If Youre Not Learning Youre Not Growing dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacherThere seems to be a lot of hype these days about being a “learning organization.”  Millions and millions of dollars are spent in pursuit of the magic potion that will transform a company from a frog into a prince.  And yet, how many of the programs really work and do what they promise to do? The sad truth is that most can’t deliver on the promises of transformation.

Where is the disconnect?  Is it a problem with the content, the trainer, the coach, or the client?  The simple answer is yes.  It is a problem all around. Here are just a few of the problems I have observed in a company functioning as a learning organization:

  • If content has not been updated in the past twelve months, it is very likely missing the opportunity to hit the target. The target is always moving and the content has to reflect the current needs of the client.
  • If the trainer is trying to be a jack of all trades and deliver everything that the customer needs, it is likely that he will misfire at some point in trying to deliver something that he is not fully versed in. In my opinion, it is better to be a specialist vs a generalist when training.  Obviously some topics can be taught by anyone, but wouldn’t you rather be taught by an expert in the subject if possible?  Of course you would.
  • If the coach has extended himself or herself to too many clients, he may find himself in a situation where he is not delivering quality time.
  • If the customer has unrealistic expectations of what the outcomes will be, or if the customer is unwilling to fully support the training program, it is ultimately doomed to failure.  Lip service does no good if there is no follow-through and accountability. May great programs have folded because there was not buy-in throughout the organization.

Getting on track is not impossible; it just takes a collaborative effort where all the players are in the game.  You can’t have someone sitting on the sidelines or disengaged totally and expect to have positive results.  There is an old saying worth remembering: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.

If a company is going to invest the time and energy and resources to train the company staff, make sure the curriculum is relevant to you.  Make sure the trainers you have are capable. Make sure the coaches are not spread too thin. And last but not least…make sure you and your company are fully engaged in the process. If any of these factors don’t hold up under inspection, do everyone a favor and keep looking.  Taking on a training project is critical to growth, but it only makes sense if the pieces of the puzzle fit together to make a clear picture of desired outcomes.

No single training program is a cure-all, and yet the right program can help point your organization in a positive direction. Think long term in regards to training. Think lifetime. If you are not learning, you are not growing.


Dan Skognes

What I Learned In Second Grade

Posted in Motivational, Relationships

What I Learned In Second Grade dan skognes motivation blogger speaker trainer coachI recently had the opportunity to teach a second grade class at Grapevine Elementary School.  As a substitute teacher, you never know what you are walking in to, but this class was special (in a good way).

One of the young girls in the class immediately came up to me and told me the “rules.”  LOL. She showed me how to get control of the class when they were getting out of hand and how to give people points for doing well and take away points for poor behavior. She continued to advise me throughout the day to keep me on course. I could see her being a teacher some day.  She had such a heart for helping and encouraging others.

She told me that the substitute teacher they had the day before was AWFUL. Everyone agreed.  They said that the teacher had told them they were the WORST class that she had ever had. I looked at the class and said, “You know what? You are the BEST class I have EVER had….EVER.”  I wish you could have seen their eyes.  It was so cute.  That one word of encouragement started the day off right.

Next, instead of reprimanding them and continually correcting them, I had them sit quietly just for a few seconds…then gave everyone a point for good behavior. Some of these kids apparently did not get many good points…so that was something I did right as well.

I think I relate well to this age group because I am a kid at heart, and I have a real soft spot for those kids who don’t fit in. One young boy was supposed to be my challenge for the day.  Strangely enough, I had very little trouble with him. He had some social issues that we had to work through, but all in all he did well.

I found out that sometimes laughter can cure a boo-boo. One little girl came to me complaining that one of the boys had pushed her and she hurt her arm when it hit the wall. Two other girls were there nodding in agreement.  It was very melodramatic.  No tears and no real harm, but obviously wanting some justice.  I looked her in the eyes and said seriously, “Do you think you will live?”  She looked surprised and said, “Yes.”  I said, “Thank GOODNESS!  I was SO worried.”  We all laughed and they went back to their desks.

I also learned that little things matter.  One boy had taken his shoes off in class.  Apparently this was a no-no and two of the girls were indignant that he was breaking the rules.  They said, “We only take our shoes off on special days, and this is not one of them!”  I thought for a minute and said, “How about we make THIS a special day for everyone?”  I said, “You let me announce it to the class though.”  So I told the class to sit quietly, and that I had something important to say.  They were not to yell or make ANY noise when I told them what we were going to do. I simply asked, “If we make this a special day, how many of you would like to take your shoes off?”  The hands were waving wildly. You would have thought I had told them we were going to Disneyland. It was pretty funny to observe how something so simple mattered to them.

They earned several more positive points through the day and with the exception of one young man who had attention deficit disorder, there were no disruptions to speak of. They were begging me to go on the field trip the next day, but I told them I could not, so they went to the board and started writing little love notes to me…  one after one.  I can see why teachers love to teach kids.  When you really connect with them, and they know you care, they respond.

At the end of the day, I was the one who got schooled.


Dan Skognes

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Posted in Motivational, Relationships

Why Cant We Be Friends dan skognes motivation blogger speaker authorIf you are a baby boomer or a music aficionado, you remember this song from WAR came out in 1975.  It has a catchy tune and simple lyrics. It begs the question, “Why can’t people get along and actually be friends with one another?”

I have thought long and hard about this and realized that there is no simple answer.  If there was, we would have no more war, no more fighting, no more divorce, no more need for prisons.  Can you imagine a world like that?  I can.

I don’t think it is crazy to envision a world of peace and work towards that goal, albeit a goal that is constantly eluding our grasp.  Why pursue something that is unattainable?  Isn’t that crazy?  Isn’t that absurd?  Well, maybe not.  Maybe it is that we must understand and embrace the frailty of man, and realize that that we all are a work in progress.  Maybe we need to cut each other a little slack.

Our standards should never be lowered to the common denominator of our culture. If we keep dumbing down society to pacify one another, what have we really accomplished?  We have to have basic values that we accept as the foundation upon which we build, and they cannot change without destroying that foundation.

That is why our Constitution and Bill of Rights are so important.  The founding fathers of this country knew that we had to spell out our beliefs clearly in order to have a future free from tyranny.  That is why for me, the Bible is so critical.  It is so much more than a history book.  It is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.

Back to the question, “Why can’t we be friends?” While it is rhetorical in one sense, it is worth asking when we encounter those that are our opposites.  We all have people who come into our lives at some point and they push our buttons.  They seem to know how to get under our skin and really irritate us.  It could be a spouse, a child, a co-worker, an ex, a neighbor, or even a stranger on the highway.  The world seems to be filled with irritating people at times.

So, if you are in that place where the world if full of crazy people, is it really everyone else who is crazy, or do we need to look in the mirror.  Now I know what you are thinking, “You don’t know my boss!”  Or, “You have not met my ex!!!”  True, but what if you could actually be friends with those that irritate you?  Is that possible?  Call me crazy, but I think it is.

Here are some steps to being friends with those that irritate you that you might at least consider:

  • Quit dwelling on everything that they do or say that irritates you.  Start looking for something positive in them and dwell on the positive. Nobody is perfect, so quit demanding that from others.
  • Forgive them for whatever they have said or done in the past that pushed your button. Why hold on to something that is just going to become a root of bitterness in you?  Does that even make sense?  Forgive them and move forward for your own sanity as well as for the benefit of both of you.
  • Quit trying to change other people.  You can’t make them love you, respect you, or even be kind to you.  What you CAN do is love THEM, show respect to THEM, and be kind to THEM even if they don’t deserve it. When you are able to do that, you become free indeed.  Whether or not they ever respond is not your problem. You do the right thing and positive things will happen.

There is a proverb that says, “As much as is possible, be at peace with all people.”  The author knew that being friends with everyone is not possible, but it is a worthy goal.  We still have to stand up to evil when we encounter it.  That is a given.  What we can do is to do our part to be peacemakers.  We can be the ones who seek to restore that which was lost or stolen.  In the end, isn’t that more important than holding on to hurt feelings? Isn’t that more important than the need to be right? The lyrics from another song says it all, “Put a little love in your heart.”


Dan Skognes

Thrive or Survive

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

Beautiful young woman jumping on  a green meadow with a colored tissueHave you noticed that some people seem to always thrive in life, no matter what they do, and some people just survive, no matter what they do? The secret is that it DOES matter what they do.  It goes back even deeper, it matters what they THINK.

There is an old quote that says, “If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t. Either way you are right.” What we say to ourselves has great power over what we end up doing with our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just survive.  I don’t want to just get by.  I want to soar like an eagle. I want to break new records.  I want to go where no man has gone before.  Ok, ok…I sound like an actor on Star Trek.  But seriously, how big is your dream?

Somewhere along the road in life our dreams got squashed.  We put our dreams aside to provide for our family, to get our education, to pay the bills.  But is that the way it has to be?  I don’t think so…in fact, I know so.  Here are some tips to moving drive from survive to thrive:

  • Realize that it all starts with what you believe.  As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
  • If you are in survival mode, ask yourself this question, “What do I need to change to get out of this rut?”  Chances are you did not get in the rut overnight.  You may have been there a long time.  But be willing to change what you are thinking as well as what you are doing.  If nothing changes, nothing changes.
  • If you are hitting a wall and can’t seem to figure out what direction to go, get some help.  Ask successful people for advice.  Don’t get advice from people who are less successful than you are.
  • Surround yourself with people who are positive about life and are truth tellers.  You don’t need “yes men” when you are trying to change the course of your life.
  • People who thrive are focused on their dream. Do what you have to do to focus. Eliminate unnecessary distractions.  Allow yourself time to think and time to dream again.
  • Challenge your thinking by associating with someone who is a visionary.  They need to think bigger than you do for you to be challenged.  Find them and learn the magic of thinking big. Too often we limit ourselves to what we can physically see, touch, or feel.  Don’t trust that alone.  Allow yourself to think outside the comfort zone.
  • Once you challenge your thinking, be willing to step OUTSIDE your comfort zone.  Do things that stretch you as a person and as a professional. If you fear public speaking, take a speaking assignment.  If you are afraid of delegating to others, force yourself to delegate and empower people.  Face what you fear. Greatness is outside of the comfort zone.
  • Find that thing to do in life that you would do even if you had to do it for free.  That is magical and transforms us.  It is like an engine that is running on all cylinders and has great horse power because it is finely tuned. If you don’t find your passion, you will never find your dream.

I hope that you drive from survive to thrive. The time we have on this earth is very short.  Don’t waste it doing something you hate. Don’t settle for a paycheck. Find your dream! Be a world changer!


Dan Skognes

The Key

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

The Key dan skognes motivation blogger speaker author trainer coach consultant

This may be the most important blog I have written, and could very well be the most important blog you ever read.  That is quite a claim, right?  But I am very serious. If I could give you the key to unlock your potential, your destiny, your peace, your joy, your contentment, your love, your very life….you would want to know where that key is and how fast can you get it…right?  Well, I am giving it to you. No strings attached.

What keeps people from having the things I listed above? It is simple when you understand this and profound when you impart it. Forgiveness.  That is the key to unlocking everything. Think about it.  How can you have all that you want and hold on to past hurts?  It is like having the motor open full throttle on a great speed boat, but it is anchored to the dock (your past hurts). It is not going to go anywhere is it?

Real living is forgiving. Real living is FOR GIVING. Do you see that?  Do you get that? OK, you say you understand the need to forgive, and you DO forgive people regularly, BUT…..”I will NEVER forget it!” Or….”I will forgive them, BUT….(you fill in the blank).  It there is a BUT, you have not forgiven them.

You want to know how you have really forgiven someone?

  • You are willing forgive them verbally whether they ask for it or not.
  • You consciously refuse to bring it up to them or to others again.
  • You ask God to bless them! (and MEAN it!)
  • You are willing to re-establish fellowship with them. (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?)

I thought I had the concept of forgiveness down. The first two things in the list are hard enough, but moving down to where you will bless them….that took some time and effort on my part…and to actually mean it.  But the last one was the one that made me realize all the people I had really NOT forgiven.  Mentally, I had made the conscious decision to forgive them, but emotionally the wound was still bare and I just did not want to risk being hurt by them anymore.  If you don’t forgive people in your head AND your heart, you are only fooling yourself.

Please don’t take this to the extreme and twist what I am saying. Obviously if someone is in an abusive relationship I am not suggesting they go back to that or risk being physically hurt.  However, what I AM suggesting is that if we have truly forgiven someone, we can be in the same room with them and daggers not come out of our eyes when we look at them.  We can treat them with respect, kindness, and love regardless of how they have treated us. We are willing to risk getting hurt again for the sake of relationship. That is the lesson. That is God’s way. People…if we get this…and I mean really get this…it will transform how we look at and how we treat people.  It will also transform our very lives in a positive way. It is the key that unlocks what we have been searching for.

I did not say using the key would be easy, but I can promise you this one thing: God wants us to have it and to use it.  He gave it to us and showed us how to use it through Jesus.  If we don’t use it, then we don’t understand God.  You can’t claim to know God and follow Him if you don’t forgive others when they wrong you. We have to use this key. It is not an option if you want the things that your heart is yearning for.

I have given you the key, so now it is up to you what you do with it.  If you use it, I can promise you this: You will have an understanding of God that is much deeper than it is now, and you will have relationships restored that you thought were dead. If you want your relationship with God to go through the roof, take this concept and do it.  USE THE KEY. Ask God to help you forgive others.  It may begin by just forgiving yourself…and sometimes, as we all know, that can be the hardest person to forgive.


Dan Skognes

My Way or the Highway

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

Long RoadAt some point in our lives we have all probably heard those words or at least it was inferred to us.  Perhaps we have used those very words ourselves in letting someone know “how it is going to be.”

Well, what if there is a better way than giving an ultimatum to someone?  What if instead of a “MY way or the highway” mentality, we had a “Not MY way, but a HIGHER way” mentality?  What would that look like?  How would it work?  Is it even possible?

Consider this: when you give someone an ultimatum of your way or the highway, you have closed your options and if there is any resistance, you have lost the race before you got out of the gate.  Some people will just quietly submarine your idea when your back is turned and plead innocence when confronted.  Others will out flat reject your idea right up front.  Who wins in that scenario? Nobody likes being cornered, and the ultimatum should be the very last line of defense….not the first topic of discussion. (I am not talking about dealing with small kids here. I am talking about teens and adults).

What have you got to gain with a “Not MY way, but a HIGHER way” mentality?

  • You realize that YOU might not have all the answers and actually open yourself up to a better idea than you could have come up with yourself.
  • You keep communications open with other people and keep them engaged in finding a mutually agreeable solution. That is actually what you want in the first place….isn’t it?
  • You get out of the mindset that it is all about YOU and what YOU want.  It NEVER is just all about YOU.  It NEVER is….remember that.  You don’t live on an island by yourself more than likely, so it helps to have healthy interaction with those that work for you, work with you, and that you live with. That will only happen if you have open two-way communications that are mutually respectful.
  • The HIGHER way mentality puts other opinions above your own. It puts their needs above your own.  It puts their fears to rest and their minds to work in finding a solution that everyone can live with.
  • The HIGHER way creates teamwork, inspires loyalty, and increases productivity. Ultimatums fuel disappointment, disengagement, resentment, and chaos in the work force.

Next time you get tempted to lay the law down to someone, take a deep breath and ask yourself if there is not a HIGHER way that could be considered.  You might be pleasantly surprised at how people around you respond to that. Whether it is your family at home or your “family” at work, it is worth it to treat them with kindness, respect, and honor. When we as leaders do that for others, that says a lot about our own emotional intelligence…and it reflects on us in a good way. It sets the tone for the organization, and it that starts at the top of a company, it breeds community and a healthy outcome is inevitable.


Dan Skognes

When God Speaks

Posted in Relationships, Spiritual

When God Speaks dan skognes motivation blogger speakerWhen God speaks to you, do you hear His voice?  The Bible says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27). Well, how is it then that we sometimes just can’t hear Him? He is always communicating with us, and yet there are times when God appears to be silent. How can that be? Obviously, if God is continually trying to communicate with us then the problem lies within us and not with God.

I think it can be a number of factors that come into play when it comes to hearing or not hearing God:

  • Sometimes, we are so busy talking that we don’t take time to listen.  It is good to get still and be alone to tune in to God. Make time every day for Him. Find a quiet place free from distractions. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).
  • Fasting helps to focus your attention. If you can’t seem to hear God, fast and pray….then take time to listen.
  • I have found that God speaks to me in a variety of ways.  He speaks through my family and friends, through the Bible, through strangers, through preachers, through TV and radio, through nature, and constantly through my spirit.  He amazes me at how many different ways He communicates to us. Be open to hearing God in ways you don’t expect.
  • Sometimes God just whispers to us.  If you are not listening carefully, you will miss it. “The Lord said, Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by. Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” (1 Kings 19: 11-12)
  • If we willfully disobey Him, then we cannot expect to hear Him. “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does His will.” (John 9:31)
  • Praising God is a great way to prepare your heart to hear Him.  Crank it up and sing like you are on American Idol.  Just a word of warning: If you can’t carry a tune, make sure you are alone in your car and have the windows rolled up.  God will still appreciate it, and if you can’t carry a tune, everyone else will appreciate it as well. “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” (Psalm 98:4).   :o )

God does not want us to be kept in the dark.  He wants us to have fellowship with Him.  Here is the key:  Don’t wait till you are in a crisis to have fellowship.  You cannot develop relationship with someone if the only time you talk to them is when you are in a crisis.  God wants to talk with you every day. Make the time to commune with your Creator.  He will not intrude on you or your time.  He is there 24/7, 365 days a year. His line is never busy, and He is always happy to hear from you….whether you are talking to Him about your frustrations or about the blessings you have been given.

There was an acronym I heard years ago regarding prayer: A.C.T.S.  A is for adoration. Tell God how much you love Him. C is for confession.  Confess your transgressions and ask for forgiveness. T is for thanksgiving. Thank God for all of the things He has done and is doing for you. And last but not least, S is for supplication.  Bring all your needs to God. He is our provider. Leave your burdens with Him.  He is more than able to bear the load.

Next time you feel like God is not communicating with you, ask yourself what is hindering you from hearing Him. Find a quiet place and open your Bible. Ask God to speak to you. He will because He is faithful. We just have to learn to listen.


Dan Skognes

Pain Points

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Pain Points dan skognes motivation blogger speakerHave you ever noticed that pain gets your attention very quickly?  Whether it is emotional or physical pain you are dealing with, it does not take long for the body to react to it.  I remember dropping a heavy metal door on my big toe as a young man. I thought I was going to pass out from it.  My toenail turned black and eventually fell off.  It was pretty gross.  Fortunately it grew back.

Emotional pain is not quite as easy to fix. The body does not heal itself from emotional pain.  We actually have to do something that can be extremely hard to do when we have been wounded by someone…we have to forgive them. As old as I am you would think I would have it down pat by now and be able to just forgive and forget when someone wounds me.  Funny thing is, I am coming to understand how hard it is to forgive some things….and yet, I know I must.

The deeper the wound, the longer it takes to heal.  When you are a trusting person you tend to get wounded more easily than someone who is less emotional.  Some folks just shrug it off and move forward.  That is not so easy to do if you are an emotional thinker. You can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out “Why?” someone would do something like that to you.

Here are some lessons I have learned about dealing with emotional wounds:

  • Quit dwelling on the “Why?”  You will probably never get a satisfactory answer to it, so let it go.  The “Why?” questions will drive you and everyone around you crazy!  Don’t allow that to happen.  Let it go.
  • Learn to forgive those who have offended you even if they never ask for forgiveness or admit fault.  That has great healing power in and of itself.  You may not be able to forget it, but you don’t have to bring it up again…and you don’t have to dwell on it.  Let it go.
  • The secret to knowing you have forgiven someone is when you can actually bless them.  How in the world do you bless someone who has hurt you deeply (whether it was intentional or not)? Here is the secret to the secret. You can’t do it without understanding and accepting God’s grace and love. He gives us the ability to forgive others because He first forgave us.
  • Emotional wounds heal quicker when you surround yourself with people who are grounded spiritually and emotionally.  I love having friends around me who will let me vent, but they don’t let me park there.  It is like being on a highway with a flat.  You know you have to fix it one way or another and move on….or greater damage could result.

When you find yourself wounded, it is always good to take a hard look at your expectations.  Were they realistic?  Do we allow people the freedom to fail?  Do we expect them to be perfect?

Next time you find yourself recovering from an emotional wound, pray about it. Ask God to help you forgive them and then do the unthinkable…..bless them.  There is great freedom in forgiveness and learning to bless the mess.  Let the healing begin.


Dan Skognes