Inspiration

Learning How to Forgive Through The Pain

Forgiveness is not for the one who hurt you. Holding on to the hatred and pain toward that person only hurts you. The perpetrator is going about their lives completely unaware of the resentment you are harboring. Even if they know about it, they have already rationalized their behavior and probably learned to forgive themselves. So, the only one holding on to it is you.

Forgiveness is about releasing yourself from the pain of carrying the weight of an emotion that can and will rob you of your future joy.  It’s about learning to let go. It’s about understanding that forgiveness is a gift we give ourself.

I had the people in my life who I thought hurt me and I confronted them.  There’s a saying. When we have conflict we feel our own pain.  When we begin to define a resolution to our pain, we find their truth exists, our truth and somewhere in the middle is what really happened. If you’re a mature problem solver you can meet somewhere in the middle of that to earn some respect for both individuals.  Thats’ when the healing begins.

A friend came up to me and asked, “What if that person isn’t here? What if they died?”  To that I replied this simple phrase, “Forgiveness is about you, not them. They don’t have to be here for that.” That my friends is the simplest truth of the forgiving process.

Find a quiet place.  Take two chairs, and place them facing each other.  Sit in one and convince yourself that the person who hurt you is in the other.  Talk to that person. Shout at that person. Yell until you cannot yell anymore.  Then imagine that person getting up and walking away.  That’s what they have already done. Your closure isn’t important to them. You’re feelings don’t matter. How you remain in the pain is of no consequence.  Now, are you going to let that person have that much control over your life-for the REST of your life? Are you really going to allow someone to hurt you? To continue to cause you pain and harm time and time again? Are you going to allow them to steal your joy?

No! You’re going to then and there, decide to forgive them. You are going to decide that you’re NOT going to allow that person to give you one more days heartache over what they did to you. Deciding to take back your own feelings, your own pain, is a huge courageous step. It means you and you alone are going to be responsible for your emotions going forward. You can no longer “blame” anyone else. There’s no fingers to point.  You’ve made a decision to let it go and what an amazing decision it will be for you!

The shackles will break, the wave of relief will come and the light of your world will begin to appear.  I hope that if you have been harmed by someone, that this course of action will be the first thing that you do today. I would love to know you’re happy.

Everyone sins, just differently. Let’s all remember that. God forgives us when we ask for it. It’s important that we learn this graceful lesson to be forgiven my our Father in Heaven.  Do you think God sits around thinking of all your mistakes? No, he loves unconditionally. Learning to forgive yourself is a whole other blog. 🙂

Reba

Inspiration

Convictions or Rationalization for Condemning?

Last week I commented to a friend on a post she made on Facebook.  Instantly I was berated for my opinion.  By that word I mean told that my understanding was not based by the heart but merely by the perceptions I merely thought.  After a long banter back and forth of me trying to help the offended understand my intent, the dialog never really made it past an agreement to disagree. Further the offended, nonetheless without evidence except absence, is still somewhat concerned that their interpretation of my actions are not only just; but they’re tantalizing the thought of severing any kind of kinship with me whatsoever, because of the inference.  I find this disturbing.

The opposition was whether or not we have a right to form a working hypothesis about a group of individuals or behavior.  My position is that we not only have the right to form conclusions and thereby our convictions, and the opponent view was that in doing so; I am condemning without the benefit of concern or kindness.  In other words I was putting myself above another human being in their eyes and not putting the regard/respect of any individual’s right to determine his or her own faith above my judgment.

My thoughts are ever processing because it is very important to me that others see my heart despite the things I’ve learned to be true; such as people are both good and evil. Relationships are tricky because people always get disappointed in them.  Love sometimes hurts because nothing is great forever.  These absolute statements are the much formed opinions that I own due to my experiences.  They’re working hypothesis after years of studying the human behaviors that to this day I find confusing because others do not react, create, or act in the same ways in which I would. It takes me a long time to compartmentalize behaviors that I find offensive and put them in a context that I am able to conceptualize without feeling wounded by them.  I’ve learned sometimes people are cruel.

Despite that I tout that forgiveness is the only way to break the bondage of pain.  That a good heart is better than a great mind. That life without the blessings of being loved isn’t worth much or several cliché’s I am sure that you randomly get tagged with on Facebook. That’s how I genuinely believe.  I possess the gift of inspiration.  Whether it’s inspiring others to think of their own actions or offending them in such a way that they hold me accountable for mine. I inspire action.

Then I have to ask myself why is it that none of that mattered in the conversation. My conclusion? The offended didn’t really read about me. They don’t know my path or the great lengths I have taken to sacrifice my own happiness for the betterment of another.  They do not know of my years with women who were beaten. Nor do they know that I mentored many women and men through the years or even that I hold two masters degrees and one of those is in behavioral science. So how do you respond to a person who is so appalled by your proclamation that they cannot see past the offense? I have to question.

It is true that my convictions will not change the offended’s principals. It is true that theirs will not negate my own.  How do we get to a common denominator? Here’s what I know to be true.  With that being said, I am highly aware that my truth is NOT the same as another’s.  It is my conclusions of the experiences and inference to the data I have been subjected to all these years and it is in those convictions that I find myself defending.

I think it’s important to pause to understand how the things we say impact others. I think it’s further detrimental when one of those people tell us how they’ve been damaged.  It’s a responsibility to determine the facts presented and if ones actions have been faltering in the principals or beliefs behind the person, altered in such a way that it does not offend.

It is true that I believe in God. I believe that the teachings set forth by our great Lord are there because they are applicable to all people on this earth. It’s hard to negotiate that with someone who proclaims themselves to be an atheist but that goes back to a fundamental belief system that I wholly agree is non-negotiable.  It is in that reverent believe where my opinions of right and wrong principals are born.  Add some experience and education to the soup mix and you have the confidence to birth a conviction.

Promiscuity as I know it to be several indiscriminate partners; and as Physiology today claims it as the epidemic of anti social behavior I am perplexed why one would not understand why the conclusion to that argument is made. Further one could argue why they could not come to a conclusion.  The answer? Conviction becomes action and that has proven to be horrific for the community ethically and legally.  Now, we’re getting into the brass of it.

My understanding is that I have not condemned one for their promiscuity. I have in fact taken women and men into my home and given them rest. I have given counseling, and I have picked up the broken pieces of many who choose this life. I understand it. I don’t agree that’s it’s okay to live one’s life that way because I have been witness to the aftereffects many times over; first hand.  It breaks my heart that it is so ramped here in America and it a true cultural issue.

The offended understanding is that by concluding that there is a sense of brokenness or damage implies that the person making a choice for indiscriminate partners has his or her own mind and is making that choice. That choice should be done so without contempt, judgment, and or labeling.  No one has the right to form a conclusion because it takes the power away from the person making the choice to step outside the social boundaries of religion and social norms.  That’s a very strong argument.  One that should be considered.

Is the word “judgment” become a slanderous word by putting down to elevate oneself? In this case, I felt that “judgment” was conviction to assist where needed by applying scientific and physical evidence to the claim that people of this lifestyle were broken. Were my convictions simply a rationalization so that I can feel better about providing my time and effort?  I think not…but how does the other person feel about that?

My question to you is this. If you judge something you know to be true are you condemning it or are you concluding your findings? Food for thought. Would love it if you responded.

Inspiration

Top 10 Mistakes of 2012

I made the worst mistakes of all time.

A year ago I took a job that was beneath me. Not in stature but in experience. I did so because I needed a break from the treacherous manipulations of a third world management style woman who had my financial destiny in her reckless and immature hands. My employment here in Louisiana is tantamount to working for people, who have a clue how to manage nor have any character whatsoever.

My presences of mind was that I could work for a company I’d thought was benevolent and reputable because I identified with the mission statement of providing a community service for the local people. I would take a break. I would be able to excel in ways that I wouldn’t have before because the work itself would be simple. I would finally have some much needed rest.

That was my first mistake. My second mistake was thinking that master’s Degree’s meant that women were more educated and worldly. I remember thinking that the woman at the bank were so beautiful and so capable with their chosen dialog. It was a far cry from the retail industry where slang was not only an option but the norm. My second mistake was thinking that just because a woman has pretty dialog means that she is mature enough to carry on a just and fair conversation.

Even as I write this it seems judgmental to me. However, given that my decided lack of judgment and or action thereof has left me and only me wanting I shall continue.

A Vice President of the company, a woman, tried to friend me immediately. She joined my Facebook page and she invited me to dozens of races, of which I went to one. I became what I thought was good friends with a receptionist. That was mistake number three. Discernment has never been my strong suit. I spent the first few months of the company bestowing gracious remarks about my co-workers. I built a relationship with the receptionist and we were getting close enough for me to spend quite a bit of time with her away from work, on the phone and on Facebook as well.

One day I was helping transfer some ITunes to the receptionist’s IPhone and in the process left my phone in her presence. It was then she read texts from me to my husband containing confidential information. She took that information and shared it with the Marketing Manager and her Assistant. For months the four of us would have breakfast together and we would discuss hot topics. Although their views didn’t match my own, I appreciated the differences.

My fourth mistake was allowing someone to manipulate me with discussion of need. The receptionist told me that she was hurting. That’s my weakness. Poverty and lack of financial support wrapped up in a tumultuous relationship with a spouse; and you have my undivided peaked attention.

The breach was brought to my attention. I was dazed and confused at first until finally I realized what happened. I was hurt. The conversations at the breakfast table stopped. I withdrew. I felt betrayed. I should have had enough courage to call her out and tell her exactly how she hurt me but that was my fifth mistake because the obvious outcome of that non-dialog was months of pure hell. The Marketing girls were offended by my retraction of my attention. They were hissing mad with religious and social outcries. I remained above reproach never settling in for confrontation nor banter about betrayal. I never spoke ill of the receptionist nor of the others for the gossip and talk about what happened. However, the Marketing girls never learned of the Receptionist’s evil ways.

I should have made it public. That was part of my fifth mistake. I did not tell anyone about what the receptionist did; not even my boss, because I felt I was guilty for being stupid enough to lend her my phone.

It does not occur to me that people have the audacity to act evil. Their ways and their manipulations confound me time and time again because I wouldn’t act in such a way. Not for no reason whatsoever. I don’t understand other’s who are so undeniably without conscious.

The receptionist never let on what she’d done either. Her lack of soul managed a steady stream of innuendo and supposition surrounding that day that lead to the Marketing ladies distaste for my every view. I believed that staying above reproach was what God commanded of me. That was my sixth mistake. Believing I knew what God wanted me to do.

Some months passed. The girls showed that they were judgmental and non-Christian like with their words and actions and I didn’t take heed of it. I didn’t react. I didn’t judge. I went in every day and did my job as accepted. I forgave the receptionist and I began to be kinder, more gentle in my greetings. The girls convinced me to cut my hair off and I did hoping that I would finally fit into the group.

I donated over 16 inches and tried to get highlights. In the process the stylist bleached my hair. I thought it looked hideous but the receptionist told me that it was perfect. I believed her. Having chalked up the last betrayal as one evil deed and not a succession; I believed she was telling me the truth. My seventh mistake was not forgiving her but giving her license to tell me how she felt. She took my picture of the new haircut off Facebook and sent it to a co-worker with disparaging remarks in an effort to cause another to regard me as hideous and frightening. When my boss showed it to me I was profoundly hurt again.

Regardless, I came in and went to work every day. My actions still above reproach, I did not tell anyone, I did not gossip about it, I simply went about my business as my boss directed. I was told to remain as far from the 3 of them as possible. I felt at that time that was the best advice. That was my eighth mistake. I should have communicated my distain with what she did, because my lack of explanation for my removal of communication left an open door for the receptionist’s manipulation. I was told it was jealousy. I was told that the comments were because she hadn’t been told that the management knew of her treachery. I was flabbergasted that the drama was spinning out of control and there wasn’t anything I could do to stop it. That was my ninth mistake. I believed there was nothing I could do about it before it escalated.

The final mistake was thinking I could get in the car and ride 35 minutes to and from and event with two Marketing girls who believed that I was the worst kind of person who had manipulated and hurt her friend beyond remorse. The girls used that trip to lie about me and to spread untrue rumor to the personal lifelong friend and CEO. I lost my job over it.

Looking back I can outline what I did wrong. I can outline the actions I didn’t take. I can try to reason why this all happened when I was peaceful. I was someone who didn’t engage. I didn’t gossip. I didn’t hurt anyone and in the end I got hurt. What I know now is I hurt myself. I had plenty of time to stop the madness. I could have brought the gossip to the attention of the President or the boss much sooner. I didn’t do that. My intent was to allow the receptionist to hang herself, but that didn’t happen. She committed two illegal acts and still has a job because I didn’t speak. No one heard the truth and the constant manipulation, gossip and despair of that business continues on. I could have stopped it, but I didn’t because I believed respecting everyone showed more character than dipping them in the grease to save my job.

I suppose that’s why people create the drama. I suppose that is why women say and do what they do because if they don’t others will trample on them. I suppose….

What I hate the most is that this company proved this theory to me. I hate that the business world has come to this. I hate that I have a weakness for people and mercy for their contempt. Often I feel like I live in a world void of any character whatsoever.

I’m not sure how to process through this or what shall become of it, but I am certain that this weighs heavy on my soul. I wish I were the type of person that could put all this into lesson learned but it will forever change the outcome of my future interactions. Part of me wants to become the thing women see in me. I want to provide an element of fear so that they will not try to manipulate and hurt me. Part of me wants to ensure that I remain merciful. The battle of my two intentions will be a guest in my body for quite some time to come.

At this point, I have made sense of it. Now I just have to accept it.