In 1995 I was newly engaged, moved across the country to be with my fiancé and was excited to start acting in Los Angeles.

I had wanted to move to California ever since one of my closest friends moved there from NY several years earlier.

I 'fell' into a retail management job as soon as I arrived because a store I managed in Trump Tower in Manhattan had another location in Beverly Hills and they wanted me.

Finally, after 10 months I decided to take the leap of going after my passion. I started the process by taking a weekend intensive to learn about the Business of Entertainment at a big conference in Hollywood.

I intended to give my notice at my JOB, start writing my own material and be on my way to living my dream.

It didn't work out that way.

I did connect with an amazing group of people and we set up a writing group that I was to host.

What I didn't expect was to come home from the day long intensive and find out the news that I did.

My mother... my best friend... whom I had seen just ten days before was dead.

Shot in the home I grew up in... with my father's gun.

My father claimed it was an accident.

I went into shock, disbelief.

Here I was 3,000 miles away and couldn't find out anything more until I got to NY and spoke with the police, my brother and my father.

In addition to the huge sense of loss, all I could think was, "Did my father do this?"

There was enough history and threatening behavior between my parents for me to not only suspect my father's guilt but I had to go into a pretty good amount of denial to excuse him.

And I did go into denial.

Emotionally I didn't have the tools, the awareness or the wisdom to handle losing my father at the same moment I lost my beloved mom.

It took me years (about six) to move from denial into acceptance of how my mother died... at my father's hand.

What does this story have to do with the ability to trust and love again?


It's about figuring out what's valuable in your life and what you are willing to do to experience more of what you value day to day.

Will you, at the end of your life, wish you spent more time being angry and resentful because you think it makes you strong?

Or will you let that go (while also learning how to set healthy boundaries like I did) so that you can experience love again and learn to trust yourself in relationships.

Knowing what matters helps you make self-honoring choices.

When you live by your values, and take action on them, you're in the moment (not wasting years in denial) and giving the message that it is more than okay to experience real intimacy in your life.

Take time today to do what you need to do to let go and surrender the past.

Zero in on the most important things in your life and how you can better live from that place.

P.S. Here are your Power Tools:

1. Moving from Denial to Acceptance of What Is

(This is Step 1 of my 3 Step Forgiveness Process) To do this take one situation in your life that you are upset about and write down everything about it that you can think of. Then one by one go down the list and write True or False. This is about being really honest. Ex: I believed my father's innocence for quite some time even though the evidence didn't warrant it. So-what are you choosing to believe that might not be true?

2. Non-Dominant Hand Writing Exercise:

Have a written conversation with the part of you that is angry. It's amazing how when you write a question with your dominant hand and then answer it with your non-dominant one it has a way of cutting through the mind and instead answering intuitively and truthfully. You probably won't be able to read the answers after. Mine looks like a scribble. But this can be incredibly eye-opening and a big release.

In my virtual program, Opening to Love Weekend program you'll receive over 5 hours of my teaching, over 24 powerful exercises to help you shift and experience healing immediately and for a limited time- THIS WEEK ONLY- I'm including one 15 minute Forgiveness Activation Laser Coaching Session where you will kick-start your healing, we'll get to the bottom line of what is holding you back and you'll get at least one power action step designed to get you to experience a shift. (After you sign-up you will get an email from me to schedule your one-on-one session with me)

Author's Bio: 

Brenda Adelman is a life coach, award-winning actor with a critically acclaimed one-person show based on her life story and the power of forgiveness. She has a master's degree in Spiritual Psychology and is the recipient of a Hero of Forgiveness award from the Hawaii International Forgiveness Project. Sign-up for her free Forgiveness Resport at