Paul B. Thornton

Are you able to make sense of your thoughts and feelings?   

We have five senses to take in information. We use two methods—thinking and feeling—to process that information. Both processes are connected and intertwined.

When people’s thinking and feelings are aligned with their core beliefs and values, everything is on track.    

However, when people experience trauma (an important loss, rejection, disappointment, negative feedback, and disrespect), it can produce anger, resentment, and irrational thoughts.  

When needed, therapists help people dissect and unravel their thoughts and emotions. They help people separate:

  • Facts from fiction
  • What’s logical from what’s illogical
  • Playing victim from being responsible
  • The past from the future
  • Inaccurate stories we tell ourselves to more accurate stories

Sorting out our thoughts and untangling our emotions is challenging. Emotions can be difficult to probe, hard to control, and tough to release. Meditation expert and philosopher, Roy Masters maintains that the only way to free yourself from negative emotions is to forgive the person who hurt you. The act of forgiving flushes the negative emotions out of your system and gets you back in control.

However, that is easier said than done!

What may help? Assume positive intent. Assume the person who hurt you, was actually trying to help you. This type of reframing can help you see things in a new way and provides an opening for a more forgiving mind-set.  

Identify the underlying cause. Maybe the person who hurt you was traumatized earlier in his life. When he stated his hurtful words, he was acting out of fear, insecurity, or anger.  Or, maybe the person was abused or neglected as a child and now acts in a passive-aggressive, or self-absorbed manner. Understanding the causes of a person’s behavior can help start the process of forgiveness.        

When it’s impossible to assume positive intent or identify the underlying cause, remember the act of forgiving helps you heal! It allows you to let go of the pain, hurt, and recycling of negative thoughts. It frees you to move on.


  1. Trauma produces negative thoughts and emotions which can be confusing and non-productive. They keep a lid on our growth and development.  
  2. The act of forgiving starts the healing process.   


Paul B. Thornton is an author and speaker. His latest e-book, Leadership-Perfecting Your Approach and Style-($1.99) is available on Amazon Kindle. 

He has produced 28 short YouTube videos on various management and leadership topics.  

He can be contacted at [email protected].