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?!

Inspiration

By The Grace of God

This past week stories rocked the trending world.  One of my Facebook friends suggested that the reason that Nepal had such a catastrophic earthquake is because a few random ignorant people killed a man in public.  My Facebook friend believes that God is punishing the entire region of Nepal in retribution for this act.  I read the post and I hung my head.  The God that man knows is not the loving God that I know. I know the man who saved lives. Who held those accountable without hurting innocent people to do it.  I wasn’t angry, I was saddened.  Moreover, I was heartbroken that he does know the loving God I do.

With that said, I wonder if the woman who violently and in a fit of fearful rage slapped and shouted many an explicative at her young son would have done so if Jesus was standing directly behind her. Further if you saw Jesus would you put that woman’s actions on a pedestal for her rage? Or would you define the fact that maybe he feels justified to act that way is because he was taught that in response to pain or fear; physical violence is the answer?  Would you claim that should be “Mother of the Year?” Or would you rather just say she was a woman who lost her temper in the moment and handled a situation wrong? What will it take for you, and me to stop reacting to the outrage of what those boys were doing so that we may see the young man was hurting. He felt his people were being brutally mistreated.  The mother, although violent and raged filled was in fear for his life.  Were either wrong or right? Certainly not. Nor should either be hailed as anything but a moment of two wrongs not making a right.

My opinion opposes that of the masses.  I suppose I am looking at this from love. A mother’s love and a concern for mother’s everywhere who may feel it’s appropriate to act this way when they fear.  It only takes one moment of acceptance to alter the way a society thinks.

The floods in Kenya, the shootings throughout my city and yours. Killing our officers who are sworn to protect us. Making all men pay for the audacity of few? When did that become acceptable?

I hear your cry for injustice. I hear the screams from the pain of suppression. I see the tears that fall because your loved ones are harmed at the hands of the ignorant. I listen with shock and awe as you speak of the unimaginable treatment you had to endure. I walk next to you and I too am rejected. I hear you, man. I am listening. We are all listening… Some of us are committed to action. Keep going… have hope… your day of resolution is upon us.

For the rest of us, let’s stay calm. Let’s discuss options. Let’s view this from love, not rage, nor condemnation of our unjust intolerance.  Let’s all simmer a bit in the magic of grace and hug one another. Let’s spread some love and not rage. Let’s help these boys and girls who riot understand violence, by the few or by the protesters is still violence.  That won’t end the problem. Let’s all work to an end that will.

Inspiration

Cultivating Fabulous Friendships

When you’re my age it’s a remarkable pleasure to look back on your life to view the milestones.  Thoughts of what I have or have not done parade around my mind as though they own the space in my memories.  The key to unlocking them is by listening or talking to the friends, colleagues, or family who knew you way back when.  Add a little music and it’s as if you’re walking through a video of a past you’ve long forgotten.  If you feel a little self conscious about the memory you have the powerful truth that whatever it is; it’s behind you.  It’s like dancing through time with all the power to turn it on and off.  It’s very addictive to some of us who use that walk in the past to propel our behavior into whatever it is that we think it should be.  Retrospection is a tool i use probably more than most, because I am in a continuous state of trying my absolute best to be good enough to get into heaven.  To be kind enough for people to say nice things about me. To leave enough of a legacy of love that is what people remember when I am gone.

What I have learned however, is that some people; especially family, will always see me as weird, confusing, odd, off balance, untrustworthy, etc. The list goes on and on because sadly, once you make a mistake and you know the same people all these years; they never let you live past it. They never really learn to know the you that you have become.  They only want to remember the you who disappointed them. The you who hurt them. The you who isn’t perfect and that taints the perspective upon which everything you say or do is judged by them.

The good news is that as I have grown I have learned that all people make similar mistakes that I have. I have learned that every friendship has bumps of disappointment.  Some would ask why it has to be that way and the answer is simple.  None of us are perfect and we set all of our expectations unrealistically. When we’re hurt we forget that adjusting those expectations could lead to a happier relationship, but we’d rather just accuse, stand on some made up moral high ground or list our “principals” as the reason for our inability to forgive and move past things.  It’s a sad day when we expect others to be more perfect than we hold our own behaviors to be.

Another thing I have learned is that friendships are a gift. They don’t come easy. Long term friendships seem insurmountable to some. They take reaching out to remind someone how much they mean to you. Doing that and many of the accolades that people require from other people may cause a sense of being vulnerable to many. I believe it’s in this human interest where true love comes from any relationship. Where bonds are truly formed. Where the love lies.  It’s in our ability to feel and see others as fallible where we all reside in the company of each other than lifts or encourages us to be better than even we think we can be.  Thats the bond that separates acquaintances from that inner intimate circle that few get to see.

It’s so worth it to have friendships that take effort. The reason is because when you see each other, there’s a familiarity that is only due to faithful friendships. People who care enough to reach out. That’s just me. I care. It was important to be to write all those Christmas Letters. To reach out with phone calls. To keep in touch and be there through the saddens and the glad.  That has value in my life so I take a great amount of my time and I cause action to let someone know I remember, I admire and I still care.

Today when you’re thinking about that friend that just upsets you so, remember friendships are a gift. There has to be a way to save that relationship. To make it mean more to you.  Every season requires a moment to pass and that should too. Remind yourself that people need someone to lift them up, believe in them and to be their cheerleader. If you begin to do that for people, they in turn, will begin to do that for you.  It comes full circle.

I want to say thank you to the woman in my life and the men who have impacted me in profound ways. Either positive or negative means very little because at one point you had direct meaning in my life.  I am honored you call me a friend and blessed to have you in my life even if our friendship hasn’t lasted as long as we wished or is as strong as it could be.  I cherish friendships. You are important to me. I’m thankful to know you.

Inspiration, Opinion

A mother’s plea-leave mine alone!

There’s no kind of heartache that can match what happens when you see your child or someone you love about to hit head on into something that is going to end badly. Whether it’s drugs, or friends, or choices or mates; it hurts to watch them grow through some pretty painful human things that young people go through.

You want so badly to shout, “STOP” but they won’t. You want to define the hurt, to identify it for them and give them a path to either get through it, or avoid it altogether. That doesn’t work. The only thing you’re left with is an undeniable sense of powerlessness.

There’s no advice, no words, no wisdom, no mercy that will be accepted or even considered. They will undeniably come to education or experience all on their own without your incredibly unwanted help.

For all those people who would come into my life, I want to scream at you, “Knock it off!” Stop the drama, the conflict, the chaos, the manipulation, the games, the toil and the turmoil and just leave me and mine without you. Just go away. Just take whatever that makes you feel good when you do evil things and move on down the road. Just be done with us.

Some say that people (even I do) are both good and evil. That people are basically great and they do bad things, but what about those people who wake and think negative. They always have an angle, they’re always looking for someone to control, to overpower, to use, to manipulate for their bidding? What bout those broken people? Are they the ones you need to throw out of your life?

I have learned in my long life that people do change. They are capable and that I myself have been what I call a manipulating person. I certainly don’t even think I could do that today if I wanted to but I can recall a far away youth that presented those opportunities that sadly I took advantage of. I hear my hypocrisy on the issue, but to my credit; although admitted, decided one day to take a change… and switch. Deny what was and move into a more thankful being. Because I got the help I needed. I truly believe when they do too, the end result will be either loving and generosity or unforgiveness and bitterness. It will be there choice.

The thing with time is it takes time for this butterfly effect to happen. In the meantime, my children will be in harms way and potentially broken. As the doctor’s say, you cannot fix broken people by loving them more. They have to want to be fixed. They have to want that They have to want that. Yes, I am repeating myself. The people I’ve met don’t even think they have a problem. I find that so heartbreaking…

Inspiration

It is Tough to be in Pain

Sometimes I forget that life can truly be painful when it’s not so much for me. Pain is a relevant thing in my life… that being said, it isn’t a constant but I have had tremendous burden of it throughout my whole life. So, for someone such as me to admit that I am one of those ‘take a pill and get over it’ individuals it is not because I haven’t walked a mile in your shoes, it is because I am not currently walking in them. Speaking to you about your woes pulls me back into my own and like a crab trying to get out of the water while other’s pull them down, I run the opposite direction. Shame on me.

There is a moment when we realize maybe someone could feel less wounded if we took a minute not only to share our burden but to life someone else’s above our own. The loss of a child, a man, a job, may seem merely an obstacle for some while for other’s it may be their biggest burden. The measure of main is indescribably difficult from person to person and it shouldn’t be up to those of use who have endured to sit in judgement of what that actual affliction should be.

It is with powerful reverence that I can even utter this retrospective conclusion given that my admission to the offense is certainly evident, however, I will pause to give a forlorn gaze upon you as I whisper, “You are not alone. I am ready to hear.”

There are moments when people want to know that their worries are held in high regard. The one denominating characteristic is that they want to be valued. How dare I not give credence to that basic acceptance we all feel?

I do value yours as you have mine. I do see you for what you in see me. I hate the things in you that I hate about the things I see in me. I am you, further, distant, different having past through the torment you currently suffer. I am hope, and light, and forgiveness and you in the infinite wisdom of time healing all wounds will be resolute in the completeness of knowing that you too will one day erect from whatever feeds your life a living hell right now, much more victorious than I should have ever or ever will be. For you have the benefit of acknowledgement and affirmation and that my friend is the first step to the momentous climbing out of the depths of despair you find yourself in.

You are worthy, admirable, and possess great strength and courage. All things are possible through these actions. I do have faith in you. You should too.

To learn more about me, check out http://www.RebeccaNietert.com or catch me on one of my social sites through twitter: @RebeccaANietert or Facebook: BexNietert

Revelations

The Art Surviving

A long time ago, I developed a mechanism to deal with pain. I would shut my eyes and tell myself to forget. Whatever it was that scared me or made me fearful or caused me great pain all I had to do was tell myself it didn’t happen. I got so good at this over the years that I could easily process through grief or anger or even abandonment much faster then people around me. What this did was shock every one I knew because they either felt like I didn’t care or they felt like I had the ability to forgive easier than they did. Neither was the case!

The reason that I process quicker is not because I have all the courage in the world. It’s because I am so afraid to feel the pain that I turn it off. I cannot allow myself the luxury of being sad for long periods of time, because to me that is the ultimate sign of weakness…

I know this to be a flawed hypothesis, because over the years I have been to extensive therapy and I have learned that when you suppress the bad memories and/or the pain you also suppress the good memories!

It’s not that I am not willing to go through the pain at my age. I think I have a evolved into a master of masking my feelings so much that I cannot identify how I feel let alone have the capacity to really focus on a healthier mental state of mind.

The worst part about self reflection is the moment when you realize that you may never be able to fundamentally change the brokenness, the victimization, the actions of another, whether evil or not. Or whether those actions were intentional from those who profess to love you and end up hurting you.

Sometimes it’s best to know that you can forgive, and move on. Some things cannot be fixed. Some actions can’t be taken back. People are just people. We are all have fears, doubts, and actions we wish we didn’t take!

Even though those actions hurt me deeply I cannot use that pain to try and understand my future any longer!

I am going to have to figure out a way to have grace and forgiveness in my heart all the time not just part time and to take that grace and forgiveness and look at somebody with merciful eyes and give every single person that I see a chance of newness, freshness and genuine sincerity. I think that’s just what I’m going to have to do…. because right now, that’s all I can do!