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.

Brought to you by Sparkpeople

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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.

Sunday’s Healthy Reflection: A Lifetime of Moments

Should you find yourself at a loss, wondering what life is all about and what your purpose is, be thankful. There are those who didn’t live long enough to get the opportunity to wonder.

Unknown

Taking inventory of your gifts and blessings

You’ll probably spend some time this weekend thinking about the good things in your life and your loved ones. Before you do that, take a moment to just consider how lucky you are to be here in the first place. In the 21st century, we can experience more in a month than most people throughout history did in a lifetime. Instead of appreciating that fact, we usually just end up wanting to do and have more. We look at what’s wrong rather than what’s right. This is a perfect time to take a look at your life and priorities again. Can you make some extra time every day to just enjoy the moment and your loved ones? You’ve been given the gift of a lifetime of moments. Accept the gift and prove yourself worthy.

Brought to you by Sparkpeople.

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‘You’ve been given the gift of a lifetime of moments.’

I haven’t been online the last few days. Spottily from my iPhone is all. What I have seen is a lot of either, New Year’s resolutions, or non-lutions, or even just goals. It is that time of year to think, reflect, and assert what you want out of 2010.

And that is great. I’m not saying any of those things are bad. I quit smoking January 1, 2006. I also lost 50lbs. Resolutions are inspiring and they can work if you have the resolve to do it. Of course they can also be done any time of the year.

What I have noticed is there less focus on living in the moment, cherishing our family, and finding more time with them. I have seen less focus on the priority of “lifetime moments”. And maybe what I am trying to say is….can we resolve to just partake in the wonder – the sheer wonder – of life all around us?

We live in an amazing world, an amazing time. My goal this year is to see – really see – what I am missing in my rush through it. I have a wedding to look forward to. The details to be incredibly poignant and meaningful. A new family to blend and grow with. My daughter turns 16. She will never be 16 again.

One of my goals, along this line of this thinking, is to get a new camera. A DSLR for a beginner. I would like to take a class at the local continuing education building (where I took Italian language). I’ve been playing around with my camera recently and I think my writing this year has increased my “eye”. I would like to expand on that in my blog and in life. I think it will be such a treasure to embark upon a lifelong sight journey.

This is an exciting time and year for me. I refuse to miss it. I want to remember and take part of every miracle that happens. I know there will be struggles. I know there will be complications. My life motto is to live as though everything is a blessing no matter what it is.

I have been through some tough stuff in my life – an abusive past relationship and drug addiction – yet, those experiences are a blessing in that it grew my compassion, strength, and knowledge. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. And that is what I hope for this year, to be AMAZED. To be present and accept the gift.

2010 – Hi there, so glad to meet you. I look forward to knowing you better.

Life is a garden, dig it.

-Joe Dirt

Please note some language in this video (bleeped out), but it is so funny with a great message.

Sunday healthy reflection

Do not be afraid to ask dumb questions. They are easier to handle than dumb mistakes.-Unknown


Speaking up with the tough questions

Many people ask the wrong questions, which can hinder their work. That’s why it is so important to ask the right questions–to get the right answers! Everyone fears looking stupid in front of other people. No one wants to ask a silly question and get laughed at. But not asking a question that needs an answer can have consequences that might be just as embarrassing or detrimental. If you’re thinking about it, chances are that someone else is curious too. Your own fears can paralyze you, but deep down if the shoe were on the other foot, you probably wouldn’t make fun of someone else for asking questions. Don’t take the hard way and suffer through mistakes, speak up and clear up any confusion!

Sparkpeople-Healthy reflection-SPARKPEOPLE

I really like this reflection. I think many of us, do not speak up out of fear. I can raise my hand high. I have gotten better as I’ve gotten older. But still……I wonder, what are we so afraid of?

It reminds me of a gym story. A lot of people think when they go to the gym, people are watching them. Truth is, most people, are working out and thinking only about their workout and no one else. After I heard that, my gym experience changed and I realized, you know, they are right. Why did I think all eyes were watching me. What is my fear? Aren’t we all there to do the same thing? There is no reason to feel dumb. The heaviest weight at the gym? The door.

I’ve also been known to ask a few dumb questions in my time. I don’t regret them. Guess what? I learned something out of those dumb questions. I am all about learning, whenever I can. *I probably asked the dumb ones more than once meh*

Most likely, it has helped me do my job better. Live my life better. Make better decisions.

If I hadn’t asked a question to Jason, one day, I might not have ever met him. I am so glad I spoke up.

So clear out all the misgivings and fear, Do you have a question? Just ask!

Happy Sunday! May your day be especially blessed.