HAPPY NEW YEAR

TL 1-1 HAPPY NEW YEARI’m the only one in my family that eats black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.  It’s a tradition that began when I was just a little girl.  Today I’ll eat a bowl all by myself, but I’ll be thinking of my parents, who put enough butter and black pepper on their peas to drown out the natural flavor.

Whether you eat black-eyed peas or not, this day represents the dawn of a free slate – a fresh start – a new beginning!  There are no mistakes in this day yet.  Well, unless you count that I forgot to put the cap on the toothpaste this morning – okay that was a goof.

But the point is, we have the choice to begin from here and LET GO of all our past transgressions and missteps.  Honestly, to hang on to that stuff – especially the things you will never EVER have the power to change – well, that can just make you bitter and angry and very cranky toward others.  Is that what you really want?  It’s not what I want! 

So today I want to encourage you to literally let the past go…  release it into the vastness of space where it can rise up so far that it eventually breaks into millions of tiny pieces and evaporates completely.  Life is too short to huddle up with past hurts and tons of regret that serve absolutely NO purpose in your life today.

Focus on this day – this present moment – this is what you have, and tomorrow it will be part of the past as well.  The older I get, the less I hang on to.  I just closely filter the things I choose to get my knickers in a knot over – and it’s never over anything that I cannot change.  I cannot waste my time and my energy trying to re-write history.  What’s done is done and it can’t be replayed with a different outcome – so why leave the tape in your head?  Get it out of there – and refocus your mind on the things of today – the new challenges and the new adventures that lie ahead in this new, fresh exciting year!

We have important choices to make in the future – we have to choose a president for our country!  We have new jobs to learn, new skills to hone, new paths to tread – and right beside us is our constant companion, God!  He will see us through anything He brings us to in life.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  God’s got this!  🙂

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FORGIVE MOM AND DAD DAY

TL 3-18 FORGIVE MOM AND DAD DAY

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.  You are born (or in my case adopted) into the lives of two very human beings.  They basically commit to put their lives on hold to raise you.  You are the center of their universe, but they would not have it any other way.

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  – Matthew 11:27-30

So today is yet another opportunity to take all the hurt you may feel about your childhood and…  letitgo!!!  Cut those poor people some slack and forgive them!  They may not have been perfect, but they were the ones responsible for making you the person you are today.  Once you are an adult child, you have the opportunity to review your upbringing and tweak anything that isn’t right.  The ball was in mom and dad’s court when you were little, but now it’s in your court.

Are your parent’s gone?  Do you think it’s too late to forgive them?  Well, it’s not.  In AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), steps 8 and 9 are about making restitution where you can with those in your past that have hurt you, or those you have hurt.  It’s common to write a letter expressing your feelings to those persons and send it to them.

No, I don’t have the P.O. Box number for Heaven.  I wish I could share that information with you, but I’m not privy to it.  The letter is “sent” either tied to a balloon or buried in the ground at some site that is significant.  So there is a way to “letitgo” and be healed.

Twenty-four years ago, when I quit drinking, an old-timer in recovery asked, “How are you treating the world today, Paulie?”  I responded, “Don’t you mean ‘How’s the world treating me?'”  He answered quickly, “No, I mean exactly what I said.  No matter how the world is treating you, if you are caring, loving, and kind in the way you treat the world, your journey will be easier.”  – Paul Williams

I will pray that you find a way to forgive because holding on to hurt and harboring grudges does not bother them – but it kills you from the inside out!  If you had the worst parents ever, you still need to forgive them for your own sake and your own sanity.  You can’t choose your family, but you can choose to either hang on to bitterness and anger or letitgo. 

Hand your situation over to God.  Pray for the strength and courage to make restitution with your parents whether they are still alive or not.  Don’t let one more day pass with that burden on your shoulders.  Give it to God and let Him heal your spirit.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

CONVERSATION AND CONFRONTATION
Today was my mom’s birthday.   One of her favorite people was Ruth Bell Graham.  Her favorite quote was one she ran across in a Christian publication once.  Apparently someone asked Mrs. Graham if she had considered divorce.  This was her response:

No, I’ve never thought of divorce…but I did think of murder a few times.  – Ruth Bell Graham

For my married friends…  how was Valentine’s Day???  Was it all you hoped it would be, or was there something lacking?  Was it new and different or business as usual?  If it was less than you thought it would be, will you say something, or just let it go?  I’m definitely a letitgo girl.  I choose my battles very carefully and try not to sweat the small stuff.  That’s okay unless there is too much small stuff – it tends to pile up after a while, ya know?  Eventually something has to be said.  It’s not wrong to mention things, but it’s how you do it that can cause problems.

There is a certain amount of work that goes into making a go of marriage. You don’t just get married and sit back waiting for the bliss fairy to sprinkle bliss dust all over the place! It may seem that way at first, because at the beginning of marriage, your spouse can do no wrong! He’s your knight in shining armor who has whisked you off your feet and is carrying you into some new adventure that you will plan as you go. It’s new and different; exciting and enthralling!

A few years pass and exciting becomes a little more routine and dare I say… boring. For some of you, children are added to your family. I would hazard a guess that this would be a definite “UP” moment in a marriage that is already good and strong. But after a few more years, life becomes a bit like one of my poems. Predictable. Quite.  Rhythm and rhyme.  But is that a bad thing?

The effort has to be made by both parties. A one-sided effort will just bring about such frustration and that can lead to a sort of buyer’s remorse at the very least. Resentment comes about when you do not see any effort being made by the one you married. The one who vowed to love, honor, cherish – no matter what.

When I was maybe six, I saw a photograph in a magazine of a young woman holding a bouquet of flowers up to a police officer who was pointing a gun at her – it was a 1970’s image from an anti-war protest.  Terribly intrigued by the contradiction depicted in that photo, I asked my mother about it.  She explained that the woman was trying to win over the officer with kindness.  Her exact words:  “Zap them back with super love.”  I’ve thought of that phrase many times over the years in trying moments.  I’ve never regretted zapping anyone back with super love.  – Cheryl Strayed

Today I challenge you. Make the effort to communicate. Say what you want to say without fear of rejection or a lengthy lecture. Remind your mate that you are a full partner in this thing and your feelings matter. I know confrontation can be uncomfortable, but it sure beats spending the next 50 years of your life walking on proverbial eggshells.

Keep God in the middle. It will be OK. 🙂