I’ve Never Thought About It That Way

Seeing from a bird’s eye point of view brings a whole new perspective.

Personal development is gaining broad appeal as well it should. One of the key components to self-growth is being able to take an extremely critical look at our own selves and discern what needs to be changed. Last week’s article (below) discussed how thinking patterns we developed as children can be a huge barricade to our growth.

Let Me Think About That


However, there are times when the truth is glaringly obvious, but we look the other way because of the consequences it may bring.

This was one of the most eye-opening and transformative concepts I discovered after starting therapy. My 22-year marriage crumbled and I was feeling like a total failure. Oddly enough, that feeling created a mindset that allowed me to look openly at anything that might be an issue. There was nothing I wouldn’t consider about myself because I was determined to “fix” what was wrong. I carefully reviewed my thoughts and actions and even considered how or if I loved my wife at the time.

I always considered myself a decent person and dedicated to the marriage. But in May 2011, everything changed. It wasn’t until a couple of years passed when I realized that although I loved her, it wasn’t the kind of love that sustains healthy relationships. Here is where my thinking got in the way. Had anyone approached me in April of 2011 and said, “You know John, you are not really in love with your wife,” I would have vehemently objected. My response would have been something like, “There’s no man on this planet who loves his wife as much or more than I do”!

While this is a reasonable response from a married man, I would have answered that way because of this reasoning: what kind of a terrible husband would I be if I didn’t love her that much? How horrible of a human would I have been to live with someone for that long and not be completely in love? I didn’t even want to consider the slightest notion that I had fallen out of love with her because then I would deem myself a bad person. Even though there were clues pointing this out, my thinking was clouded and I refused to face it.

It’s natural to be proud of our mind and what we can accomplish with it. The amount of information which can be stored and the ability to put that data logically together is quite a feat.

But when it comes to self-assessment, it’s also important to balance that with a frankness and honesty; especially at times when it may appear to insult or offend our own intellect. This kind of candor, however, has more to do with depth of character, integrity, and seeking a greater purpose beyond ourselves.

We can’t learn when we are surrounded only by things that don’t challenge our understanding and getting out of our comfort zone is the best way to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. There’s not much more that makes a person uncomfortable than realizing there’s something mistaken in our thinking. This week, take some time and examine difficult issues from your past and see if there was a part of your thinking where you can now get a whole new perspective.


John Dunia
John Dunia
John has a passion; and that is helping others heal from past difficulties and abuses. Healing became important when he realized how much it freed him from his own past and now works to help others experience that liberation. The key to his success was discovering that the most debilitating damage was his own shame and the destructive things he believed about who he was. Throughout his own healing journey, he became hyper-aware of how shame was affecting him while having little clue of its presence. Others noticed these changes and reached out to him for help. His methods were so effective that he made it a mission to shift his career into helping others. Adopting the term “ShameDoctor”, he continues to teach others to empower themselves through his remarkably effective techniques. “Shame is one of the biggest yet least talked about issues we face as individuals and society yet so very little is mentioned about it.” It is his purpose to change the way the world perceives shame and promote helpful and viable techniques to heal and overcome those past struggles. John’s book, “Shame On Me – Healing a Life of Shame-Based thinking” was self-published in 2016. In addition to working with clients, John also writes healing and insightful articles each week. He is also looking forward to speaking on the topics of shame and healing throughout the globe.

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  1. Hi John! Thank you for addressing this tough subject and sharing your experience with your marriage. My first marriage lasted for ten years. It was a difficult time when I ended it, as I was still young and it was a shock to my family and friends. My ex had a drug addiction that started slowly but by the last year we were together, I had done all I could and realized I did not love him anymore. After some time, I was able to reflect and realize that maybe we never really loved each other in the way that would sustain a life together. I am grateful, however, that I had an opportunity to end something that was not providing me with the life I deserved. It was a necessary step in order to claim my sovereignty and my voice. It was a painful process that brought me to a place of peace and joy. I take pride now, in living fully as an evolving human and learning from each experience, good and bad.

  2. Thank you John for tackling such a difficult subject. It is quite brave to talk about your marriage. In my first marriage, I was married for ten year to a young man with a drug addiction. It developed slowly and being very service-minded, I thought I could help heal his wounds. But he was not ready to face his deep wounds and in the last year of my marriage to him, I finally realized that I was not in love with him anymore. Maybe we never had the ‘real’ love that can get you through tough times. Everyone around me was shocked when I divorced him. I appeared very happy around him in front of friends and family, but I was miserable inside. As a Catholic at the time, leaving him was a devastating move that betrayed my faith. It took a long time to realize that I was not being selfish or betraying anyone. Living with a person I no longer loved was betraying myself and him. Once I came to peace with this, I was able to see that I did the right thing and my world was better for it. In some ways, I think we played out a necessary experience for me to gain my sovereignty and my voice. Had I ignored the cues that said my life wasn’t what it appeared, I would have missed out on an opportunity to discover the real me.

    • If you don’t mind me asking this, Helen, do you feel that in some ways, when you say “Once I came to peace with this,…” is that possibly a form of self-forgiveness? At the time (even when you were betraying your feelings) you thought you were doing the right thing. I find that so often, people blame themselves for not seeing it and this blame (or more correctly, shame) only feeds the emotional damage. This is what I try to get my clients to see. Self-forgiveness, I truly believe, is a great start AND step toward emotional healing.

    • Sorry for the double comment. The first response disappeared and I thought it didn’t go through. Don’t know how to delete it. Yes, self-forgiveness was a huge part of my healing process.

  3. Excellent article, John. Thank you for sharing it with us and giving us reason to take pause and reflect. We all need a system of checks and balances, and as difficult as it may be, looking in that mirror is critical to our own well-being. Examining our patterns and behaviors – past and present – can help us better understand how we got to where we are currently. Hopefully, we’ve grown along the way and learned from our mistakes also. There’s nothing better than having a solid footing in this world. So, even if you get knocked down, you are still able to pull yourself back up and move forward.

    Great article, John. I appreciate these insights.

  4. Thank you, John, for another helpful article emphasizing the importance of stepping back from our sometimes poisonous righteousness about our beliefs-which may be limiting us rather than evolving us. Self-discovery can be uncomfortable for that part of us that’s attached to “being right” rather than softening into curiosity about what being human actually involves. We are not alone in discovering aspects of ourselves that aren’t “likeable.” And for me, more important than the thinking mind is the feeling heart. When we are able to bring greater integration of mind/body/heart/spirit we can live with wholeness, a personal integrity that can be unshakeable.

    • Thank you for the great comment, Laura.
      I’ve heard there is an expression, “The greatest distance in the Universe is that between the Heart and Mind.” Being aware of this should help us in this daily journey to get a better understanding of who we are.

  5. I just had a discussion with someone John about your article. The facets that make up a truly fulfilled relationship for both parties versus a logical, practical, and functional one. Thank you for allowing me to read your work to really have add some depth to my afternoon. Keep continuing to do what you are doing and keep the platform flowing with your experiences.