Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lay Down the Oars and Go With the Flow

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you."              ~Lewis B. Smedes
I met a few friends out for dinner recently and as we began talking, I realized we were all needing support with forgiveness. We all had very different circumstances but all with the needed end result. We talked about it, prayed about it, and we each went about our way to work on it.

When we met again... yes, we were still stuck in the same old groove and immediately fell into the pattern of complaining about each of our troubles. It's not easy and sometimes forgiving can happen for one aspect and then the next day a totally different topic comes up and drags that thing you forgave yesterday out of the depths again for a piggyback ride right back into your thoughts.

As a recently divorced mother of two, learning to forgive has been something that is not only a top priority but totally necessary for my well-being and in turn, the well-being of the kids. Not only did I have to forgive my ex for all the things (many of them mutually painful- I played my part too) that ended our marriage but I also had to forgive myself for all the various actions and reactions that coincided the whole process.

It was enough to curl me into a fetal position several times. But I made it. And I'm stronger for it.

A few weeks ago, I got an apology for at least some of the actions from the ex that I had to "just keep forgiving." It was long-overdue, and yet still an incredible feeling. A month before that after an intense healing session with the Maori (I highly recommend them if you are ready for a change in your life), I made a conscious intention to forgive no matter what when it came to whatever kind of behaviors that were oustide of any realm of control. And to give love to replace resentment.

And once I started replacing my old pattern of holding it all in and dwelling on why it was or how to make it stop, it did just that. It stopped. It didn't bother me anymore because I choose joy. I choose to move forward. I choose to concentrate on love. I choose to give a second chance when the opportunity arises. And I choose to let it go.

It ain't easy (Mom, forgive my slang), but this change is serving a much better purpose. I realized I was holding onto the thought that I could possibly control another person's thoughts or actions and that things might change for the better, and as soon as I let go, they did.

Freedom in your head after any kind of trauma, be it heartbreak, failure, an accident, disgust, or even just a really bad choice is the hardest part to get back because you have put so much energy towards it and it is a part of something you think you need. So sometimes it's best to stop thinking for a bit and ask you true self what it is that you want. If you don't ask, it is hard to receive.

So, EnVogue and Bob Marley, you were both right.... Free your mind, and the rest will follow.      Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.

This little bird is going for a trip on the good ship of choosing to be happy. See ya soon for round 2,876,000,456 of forgiveness.