amwriting, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Forgiving Ones Self is Harder!

When you have an extensive network, and you know a lot of people, you feel blessed when you can say you have more than five intimate friends. All my life, people have moved me from one house to another, from one city to another, and from one state to another. Networking became second nature.

Last night I learned that a man I’ve known for seven years passed away suddenly. He was a heavy drinker when I knew him, but that increased over time and the profound sadness of losing both his parents ended with the crescendo of Sorosis of the liver and failure of his kidneys. What could have been completely avoidable, ended by taking his life.

The minute I heard, thoughts of how I could’ve reached out flooded my soul. The guilt of not keeping in touch, not cultivating, not even picking up the phone to see if he was okay, because he was such a alpha male, that it never occurred to me he wouldn’t be okay?!

Which brings me to the topic of this discussion. It’s so much easier to forgive others when they offend us, then it is to forgive ourselves for our transgressions. How do you forgive yourself when you know there is something you could have done and yet did nothing? What are the steps that you take to forgive yourself?

Guilt is poison! You can’t hold onto it! It cannot be resolved! It is the toxic chemical that poisons your soul and your mind. Living with guilt is harder than living with pain or sadness because it is all consuming. Releasing that guilt is what is necessary, but when you have the understanding the fault lies with in your actions, how do you get to resolution?

Thoughts?!

Human Interest, Inspiration, Reflection, Revelations, The Children

Epically Unfun

Very much like the title says, I have been told I am “epically unfun” by my three teens. When I remind them that the ONLY time I get cross with them is 1. When they do not do what they’re asked, 2. When they lie and tell me they did what was asked, 3. Go out of their way to complain or whine about what they have to do, and finally 4. Throw an attitude and make what’s asked of them torture for those around.  I explain that if they were pleasant with the knowledge that they have been given so much despite what they’ve lost; they should learn at their age that reciprocation is part of the deal.

What surprises me at every turn is how fundamentally wrong I am with the expectations. I expect kids to be decent little happy beings?  My bad!  Kids are great when you’re doting on them, giving them things, telling them how much you love them, but speak of disappointment and they turn into the little devils they are with all the eye rolling of a teenage queen and the lip speak of satan himself.

The thing is that in my head I think, “Well, they will understand if I just explain it to them.” You know what that brings? More opportunity for them to use my words against me, to manipulate an outcome they would rather have, and ultimately I still end up being the bad guy. I wonder, is it this hard for all parents?

Some people will “hate” on the truth that kids are not always the angelic creatures that they show on TV.  Kids are sometimes filled with contempt for their parents.  Kids who have lost parents like mine have conjure even more sympathy than normal.  If you set them in line parents want to tell you, “Well, they’ve lost their parents.” As though you don’t already know.  Rules have to be followed, restrictions and boundaries are part of life and ultimately building character isn’t easy.  Let’s face it we all wish we could have ice cream parties and cake.  At some point the daily list of homework, chores, and simply being respectful is going to come up.

I have to remind myself that I have been here before. I’ve raised two amazing adult children.  Both independent and capable of achieving great success.  They’re fine, despite I always felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants.  These kids will be too. Not because I’m a great drill sergeant, but because I love them.  My boundaries are to tell them they have restrictions they shouldn’t cross in life.  My rules are to teach them independence. My firmness comes from the fact that I know that unless they are successful in being in a harsh world when they’re of age, they won’t be happy.  It’s in love that I commit to teaching them there is a way to accomplish goals, and then there is just being lazy. You cannot do both.

Sadly, I still sit and wonder how I can say something and it be turned into something completely different from it’s intent. I sigh, heavily sometimes. I wonder if anything I do will enhance any part of who they are to become.  I wonder if they love me in some small way or if they even know the harshness of the circumstances we find ourselves in.  What do they really think? How do they feel?

I have to do what I think is best and hope that flying by the seat of my very wildly inappropriate pants won’t cause harm or foul to these precious souls I love with every fiber of my being. I pray that if I can sometimes get myself out of the way, they might actually learn the lessons they need to, and hopefully one day find happiness of their own. That’s what I think about all the time.

Inspiration

Be the Light No Matter What!

Please, don’t prove them right.

The other day my friend came to me. A very concerned conversation had taken place, and that dialog included non-flattering comments about me. My friend warned me many times that I needed to guard myself because the things that I was saying were being twisted and turned; and not in my favor. When I left that conversation, I was reserved to continue (based on my extensive life experience) to act in the greatest behavior I know.

I have learned that through the deed of transparency, bridges are formed between adversaries, and trust is built among enemies. If one is completely honest there is nothing to hide. It is the greatest proclamation of unconditional love I can offer my fellow human, despite the injustice I see all around me. I believe to the depth of my being that kindness, and that vulnerability is what my God commands of me regardless if my actions are not perceived as they are intended.

The aforementioned declaration is a conversation I have had with the people who commented many times prior. I decreed at that time that the naysayers, the untrusting, the sarcastic, the weary, the forlorn, the judging, the prideful, and mostly the skeptic people were, in my estimation, always proven wrong. I believe to the core of everything I know, that people want to do good things. I believe it is in our nature to promote wealth, prosperity and freedom for all. I believe given any situation a person will choose the side of decency. I’ve been brutally and savagely beaten by others who have viciously commanded me to hate as much as they do. I refused. To me, I have to believe the acts of humans are ultimately intended for the betterment of themselves and others otherwise I am not sure I could exist in a world void of love for one another.

I have had moments in my life when my hope for mankind, and the hurt or pain that goes along with our life lessons was too much to bear. In those moments, I have almost taken the life that God gave so mercifully to me. I have been witness to the worst of behavior that any human could endure. I’ve been repeatedly beaten, verbally assaulted, tortured, raped, violated, and abandoned. If one human could hurt another I have experienced every angle of the violence, and therefore I understand completely the capability that humans have to act irresponsibly, and without empathy for another. I know it exists, but I have instructed my mind not to dwell on the minority and to embrace the majority of people who do not act that way, and who genuinely want to do great works.

This is the formula in which I address, accept, forgive, and move on. It’s the rules in which I live my life by. I don’t get upset unless I see a great injustice. I don’t get angry unless someone shows me the evil in them. I don’t accuse and I don’t condemn because I have undoubtedly inadvertently hurt people along my journey. I’m fair, and amiable. I am transparent.

I think the hardest thing for me, is that I will tell people, “Don’t prove them right.” (Speaking of them as the cynics) Then I am surprised when the people closest to me do exactly that. I asked my friend, “Why can’t I compartmentalize this and move on?” My friend responded, “You cannot put feelings in a box. It’s just how you feel.” It’s true.

I suppose I want to cry. I suppose I want to ask the commenter, “Why?” I suppose that I hurt more deeply than I could admit and that none of those things will happen. I understand people are just people and sometimes we all do dumb things, so I will forgive. I will move on, but my relationships will be forever altered. There will be an element of hesitation before I speak. There will be un-comfortableness where they sit, and if I need to be in that same space. There is an element of disinclination. I hate that with every fiber of my being because it blocks the love that I want to share. It blocks God’s light through me. It blocks my transparency and ultimately it proves the pessimist’s right. That’s the most heartbreaking thing of all.

The pundits have been made aware, and there has been no resolution other than a separation of space. I miss my friend. I miss what I thought we had. I miss having an environment of peace and tranquility. I can forgive, sure and I will. But I suppose that an affirmation of the act, and a subsequent understanding apology would go a long way to ease us all back to a common gracefulness. However, I do not really need it to forgive.

Before you sit and begin to converse today about the dislikes you have with one of the people very close to you, remember that they too have the deepest of needs to be accepted as well. They have every feeling you have. They believe in the fundamentals that you and I do and they want to be a better person. People are just people, some are more broken, some are sensible, and some not so much. We’re all different because God made us our own unique selves and through our triumphs and struggles we’ve formed our own personalities. We form what we believe because God has allowed us the freedom to embrace our own choices. You can choose today to lift another up, be a little more transparent and put your heart on the line for the sake of another as Jesus has done for you. Or you can simply ignore, you can bask in the glory that something you’ve done has hurt another and have peace with that. You can talk about your fellow man without regard or empathy. It’s your choice. You choose every single day how to affect those around you.

For me, today as much as it’s painful I choose transparency. My convictions tell me that despite I’ve been hurt by what was said, I am not broken by it. It’s a moment, a blimp, a dot in history that shall be long forgotten in a short while. To base my future relationships on such a notion would be childish and immature. That’s not who I choose to be. That’s not what I want for my actions to represent. I choose love. I choose to prove the skeptics wrong. That’s my choice.