Sunday’s Healthy Reflection-Positive Cycle of Forgiveness

Without forgiveness life is governed by…an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.
– Roberto Assagioli

The positive cycle of forgiveness

OK, be honest. Do you hold grudges? Do you allow old drama to determine your behavior? Is there someone you just can’t seem to forgive? Grudges and a non-forgiving attitude do nothing but harm both parties. You might feel like you’re “winning” by not letting someone off the hook, but you’re only increasing your own worry and stress. Bitterness can lead to hate, which can sour a life. Today, write a letter explaining your point of view to the person you feel resentful towards. Clear the air; forgiving him. Even if you don’t send it, it is an excellent way to relieve tension. Forgiving someone does not absolve them of the wrong that you experienced. It can simply free you to live a life that isn’t anchored to the hurt and resentment of past events.

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I was never one to hold grudges. Nope. I got even, usually, without the person even knowing it. Imagine evil gleam in my eye as I plotted. HA HA HA. My passive aggressive style was brilliant. But then I grew up, or life happened, and I discovered some things just weren’t that important. Revenge was one of them.

I learned something else as well. I wasn’t always right. Is that to say I was never wronged? Of course not. Is that to say life is fair? Uh, nope. Aren’t I really just a door mat then, taking it and taking it? I am not.

There is a lot that happened in my past that I could be bitter about; angry about. A lot of resentments I could harbor, but I CHOOSE to live my life in such a way that everything is a blessing. Good or bad. That doesn’t leave any room for resentments or anger because there is none.

Somehow, someway whatever it is, is going to turn around. When my daughter’s dad and I divorced. I was young and hard hearted. I cared about me, and me only. He dared to want full custody of our then, 3 1/2 yr old daughter. I was floored and angry. Babies belong with their mothers. This is how I grew up and this is how she would grow up. How dare he! Did he really think I was a bad mother?

I didn’t think about what was best for Sydney. Nor did I think about what was fair as parents, who both had a part in bringing this life into the world. I was full of revenge, and resentment towards him wanting to keep me out of the picture.

Turns out, back then, his attorney advised him full custody wasn’t an option. I felt like I won! Revenge was sweet.

Years later, I am horrified at my behavior and thought process. How could I have been so cold? So selfish? Why in the world did I not think of Sydney? Was I numb to her broken heart when I picked her up from her Dads and she cried for him the whole 40min drive home? Why did I think it was about her rejecting ME for him? When it was really HER needing more time with her Dad.

Today, I am with a man who has two young daughters. He has visitation every other weekend and very brief dinner time twice during the week. I see their joy when he takes them in his arms. I see how much they need him and miss him. I hear their cries on the car trip home to their mothers.

Friends, I have come full circle from being that mom on the one side, to being on the other side in the Dads situation. I understand my part, from way back then, more than ever. The blessing? I have more compassion towards Jason and the girls than I ever would have had. I understand completely. My love overflows for them and their anguish.

I have forgiveness for situations like these that are so very hard. I can forgive myself for my part of the custody arrangement with Sydney’s Dad. For being so hard, unrelenting, and immature as an inexperienced mom who just didn’t consider other possibilities than what I grew up with.

Luckily, her dad and I were good friends a little after the divorce. He cared for Sydney whenever he wanted. We lived in the same town, and even the same street for a while. It worked out in her favor, but only because I allowed it to and did not hold my resentment a prisoner in my heart. And you know what? Neither did he.

He was not out to get me. He was out to do and be the best father for his child. I wanted the divorce not him. He was just trying to survive the aftermath with his baby he dearly loved.

I am grateful for my positive cycle of forgiveness. I am grateful for all that I have learned (and will learn). My hope is that it carries over into the lives of our children. I hope they will practice forgiveness and live free and happy.

Choose to forgive, don’t waste any precious time nurturing the seeds of bitterness. Spit them out, swallow your pride. Be kind to yourself and fill up with good things. It will make way for great love and understanding in your soul. It will bring you peace and joy.

Random Awesomeness

Last night, sitting in the recliner with Jason’s oldest daughter, age five, playing Italian words off my 24/7 Italian app on iPhone. She repeated each word perfectly. She even rolled her R’s. I love this kid. She is awesome. I can’t wait to take her to Italy, for Italia-awesomeness.

Jason’s youngest daughter who is three, with no prompting, throwing her arms around me saying, “I wuv you.”  And always, always pooching her lips up for a good-by kiss when I leave. A child’s love awesomeness.

Sydney cooking cheese enchiladas for her Spanish class fiesta. I sure didn’t teach her how to cook, but she just loves to. Breaking the cycle awesomeness.

My mom coming for Thanksgiving, FOR REAL. Awh-SOME! Oh, and bringing her famous cheese balls. Nummy food awesomeness.

Jason buying a new mattress, and a new nightstand for the guest bedroom in his house. Doing it for my mom when she visits  for Thanksgiving. Taking her out for Sushi, putting up with her five dogs.   Full throttle – oh my heart – awesomeness.

Still tucking Sydney in to bed, at age fifteen, shhh don’t tell her friends. That last kiss and hug is my nightly being a mommy AWESOME-ness.

Heart swelling up when I get a thank you call from Carter Bloodcare about my donation. I get to hear a blood recipient detail their story of how a blood donor saved their life. Tear jerking awesomeness.

Wearing Jason’s pajama pants in the winter while running around my house. Thinking of him in my pure comfy awesomeness.

Volunteering in the Church nursery, playing with three boys when in struts  a two year old diva wearing these. Pink Texan boot kicking awesomeness.

Petunia flower pot in my driveway blooming in November. One-of- a- kind, never say die awesomeness.

A short blog post from me – hated by spell checker – bloggedy  blog AWESOME-ness.

Have a most AWESOME,  Thanksgiving Eve!

May all, and I do mean ALL, your foodie dreams come true.

Love is not a fight

I’m gonna be honest. It’s been a rough week. I am typically so happy & so positive & so over & above GRATEFUL so grateful for everything I have.  So grateful for every moment that I can see the sky, touch the flowers, watch a child smile, a couple holding hands, even a chatty check out guy :-).

But this week it’s been hard to keep my chin up. I’ve had many looming things come down on me.  My step-dad’s death is coming up on one year. I can hardly believe it. HOW? How in the world did a whole year go by without him? How is this possible? Isn’t he supposed to just roll his wheelchair back in the door? I can’t see him chuckle anymore or laugh at Mom or be that rock that he always was for me. I miss him with all my heart. I wish Jason could have known him more. They were so much alike with their Computer Science degrees & programming. If only we had more time.Thank you Lord that they got to meet the Sunday before he went to be with you. I know that was your doing. I am so very grateful. 
I miss you Poppy soo soo much. ❤

Writing the Cooper story. That was hard! I don’t want to re-live those last moments. I still can’t believe something like that could happen. It really seems impossible. How do we not hear about these things?? Why have those collars not been outlawed?? Will I ever forget it?? Someone actually called me a murderer over it. That went along the lines of what I thought myself right after. It had to be my fault! OF COURSE! I always bring disaster with me. But no it was an accident. I hope & pray everyone who reads it knows that. I hope & pray their heart softens that they could say such a terrible, terrible thing about something so horrific Jason & I may never forget nor stop re-living in our minds.
God help us.

Another reason for my glum is that my daughter’s Dad moved away my ex-husband. He is someone I consider a best friend. I know I can tell him anything. I know that if Sydney ever needed anything he’d be there. He is a wonderful man & a good husband to his wife Kim & Dad to his baby son Tyler. They moved to Mississippi where his sister lives. It’s about 9hours from here. For the first time I truly feel like a single parent. I finally feel that void of I’m-on-my-own stomach drop. But it is kinda silly. I’ve always been on my own. I always supported myself financially. But just the general help. Taking her out for a meal. Taking her to an ortho appt. Nowadays she takes care of herself but when she was a baby WOW he really helped a lot. I know she will miss him too. I really wish the best for him. I may not have seen him every day but we talked often & were always there for each other. We always lived close her whole life. The last few years he lived 6 doors down on the same street. It was so awesome that Sydney could walk between our houses. What a great way to show our TRUE LOVE for our daughter to set aside all bitterness from the divorce & go on to be friends. REAL friends not just fake but true. I truly love & care for him. He is the reason I have my beautiful daughter. And I am so GRATEFUL. Thank you.
Thank you for her she is a miracle.

And lastly I should be CELEBRATING soooo much this coming up week. It will be one year July 4th that I met my boyfriend’s two daughters. ONE WHOLE YEAR. Do you have any idea how much a 2 & 4yr old change in a year?? A LOT! I am so GRATEFUL to know them. They have their mom & dad’s brains they are sooooo smart! And so adorable & sweet it will make your teeth hurt. The littlest one turns 3. It just blows my mind. I am little apprehensive about the upcoming birthday party. For one some things have come to light that I was blissfully unaware of til this week concerning their mother. It really threw me for a loop. I had no idea. She was the nicest , cutest person when I met her. I had no idea I offended her so badly & I certainly never meant to. I could just kick myself because I really did want her to like me.(dumb,dumb,dumb) Jason had told me how great she was so I never thought otherwise. I had a dream it’d be like my ex & his family we all just keep getting along because we loved Sydney so much.My gosh I could never take her place nor would I want to. My role is kinda like the fun teacher. We just have a good time but I don’t try to be their mother. In fact they would tell me their mother was magic and I thought that was soooo cute! I nodded and agreed with them. Your mom IS magic. HOW? they ask.
I don’t know Mom’s just are. 🙂

I made a pact w/my ex that we would never talk badly about each other. Even with this family I’m obligated to hold that pact true. I feel like it’s a divorce positive pact. Divorce is SAD. Divorce is AWFUL. Divorce is a BRUTAL BRUTAL LOSS. Just a loss all around to everyone involved. I want to at least TRY & bring some good out of it. So her birthday party is fast approaching & I hope I can smile & mean it because I really do want to move forward past the remarks into a spirit of LOVE. And it’s hard for me to smile & not mean it. I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’ll leave you with this. I thought about doing nothing tonight. It was a VERY busy day at work. GADS it was nuts. My fingers were tired & especially my bad hand from where I broke my wrist & it never healed right. I wanted to sit on the couch with my dog & just watch cable mindlessly. But something told me hey why don’t you go to the store? Why don’t you make a meal? HA! I thought not me I don’t cook. I pity the fool. (chuckle) Plus it’s HOT. 103 frickin degrees & I should heat up a kitchen??? Uhhhh no! But the thing is I have been cooking more for Jason & my family & it IS nice. Not the cooking itself. UGH. But the serving of it. To serve someone & know they can sit & eat a hot meal they didn’t labor over. It’s blessing them & it’s blessing me to bless them. So Jason, I slaved over a hot stove instead of putting my toots up & watching millionaire matchmaker with Salem by my side. I’m glad I did.
I hope it’s edible ;-).

Love is not a fight. But I will continue to fight for my gratefulness. For my positiveness. I will fight to shine. I will fight to keep the spirit of Love surrounding our families immediate & extended.

Please if you have time watch this video below and listen to the words.