Most people don’t pay much attention to unforgiveness; not in the church or out. It’s mentioned here and there but it’s not the main course; nope not unforgiveness. Yet it’s a bigger worldwide killer than any other disease on the planet. Unforgiveness steals your joy and life in ways you can’t imagine.
Unforgiveness keeps you impatient. Most unforgiving people are impatient. They just are. They want everything done at the time they want, in the way they want; and of course ‘now’. There is no ability to see any other perspective because well; there isn’t one. It is only one person’s timeline of people not doing what they need to for that one person who just proves continuously to have no tolerance for others. There is no joy in impatience for the unforgiver or those around the unforgiver. Now of course it’s not to say all patient people are forgivers; but those who are impatient typically aren’t as forgiving and have no joy.
Unforgiveness keeps you self- focused. It gets tiring because focused on self all the time. I had to learn that lesson the hard way. Those who are unforgiving are self-focused for a variety of reasons and through that; there cannot be any joy. When you get tired of yourself; where else is there to focus? Yes everyone alive has been hurt and experienced pain but it’s only when we forgive that we are able to see life from the perspective of the person that we believe hurt us. In the case of my biological mother; I hated her for most of my life because she abandoned. After we met I learned that she didn’t show up to our final parental meeting because the case worker gave her an ultimatum: sell me to him for 10k or never see your daughter again. Which would you choose? She said no, he changed our appointment and that was it! It was later learned he was buying and selling babies on the Canadian black market. When we are self focused and unforgiving we miss out on seeing and learning from others the real truth and it can cost us. It stole my joy for decades.
Unforgiveness keeps you isolated. Unforgiving people tend to be bitter, resentful; and a few other things too. It’s hard to be around those who complain, are negative and flat out miserable. That’s what unforgiveness does! It keeps you where you are which is living in the past. Those harboring unforgiveness will find themselves isolated because people living and experiencing life are filled with joy and your unforgiveness will keep you isolated from all the good things because good people know better than to surround themselves with negative nonsense.
Unforgiveness will wreck havoc on your life if you are not careful. With over 30 symptoms it creeps in unknowingly because it’s sly. Most people don’t study unforgiveness on their own and they just believe that lip service works; when in reality they still have all the symptoms. I’ve been there; I’ve seen all too often. If you find that on this day you have no joy, peace, or excitement in your life just ask yourself who you need to forgive. And then go get your joy back!
Forgiveness is like nothing else in the world. It gives and spreads like love in paradise. It’s like the high when you have that twinkle in your eye about someone you met and like; and can’t wait to see again. It’s the beauty in life that continues the more you give it. It’s one of those things that until you truly grasp it, hold it, experience and live it- you can’t possibly understand.
I didn’t get it. I didn’t get that high or love until I learned forgiveness. I had no twinkle in my eye but rather a plank, along with many other things that kept me impoverished. It wasn’t until I learned how to forgive that my life was changed and I was free. Forgiveness is many things and in my first episode of ‘Living in Forgiveness’ I talked about what forgiveness is. Today; I share with you the how it gives you power in the easiest of ways.
1- Forgiveness opens your heart. With an open heart you can accomplish anything! The wounds of the past are no longer in control. You are free indeed.
2- Forgiveness opens your eyes. You will be able to see that people are people and they do what they know. What they don’t know is what can hurt the most. What you don’t know can hurt you too. I didn’t know the truth about my biological mother being told by our case worker that if she didn’t sell me to him for 10k he would make sure she never saw me again. Once I learned that; my eyes were opened. I saw for the truth and it’s the truth that makes us free.
3- Forgiveness puts you in the drivers seat. When you forgive you are disallowing any person and his or her burden to have any impact upon you. You have power unlike any other when you make the choice to forgive.
4- Forgiveness gives you peace. It’s a sickening thought when you realize the person who hurt you is living his or her life in joy all the while you are suffering. There is no peace in suffering; only silent turmoil. When you forgive you have peace. Inner peace. Peace to live and peace to be free. There is power in peace that comes from forgiveness.
5- Forgiveness gives you power to love. People who forgive also know how to love. For love is about forgiveness and forgiveness is about love. Love knows and records no wrongs. When you forgive you wash away the wrongs of others as Jesus has done for you.
There is nothing like peace and joy overflowing through the act of forgiveness. It brightens the day like the birds chirping in the trees to a love song. It’s a dance of love displayed between two people destined to be together who have barely just met. It’s a picture of beauty that we all want to capture and live. It’s in the power of a picture perfect moment waiting for you to create. Go now and forgive and live in the power of your act of forgiveness.
When forgiveness comes up in topic most people struggle with how to forgive the big things. This makes sense as the big things are big and big things always tend to outshine little foxes. The catch is that not forgiving the little things can hurt even more and prove more devastating.
When it comes to forgiveness Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive; thinking 7 would be enough. Well; Jesus something a little more than 70! Jesus also did not specify the magnitude of the things to forgive either; which is a clue that to forgive means exactly that.
In your life are your holding on to the little things? Little being the not so nice words someone said to you, the competition you were just in that you believe you were judged incorrectly, the jerk in front of you that can’t figure out how to signal, or that your spouse didn’t put the lid back on the toothpaste. These things add up.
While we can all laugh at these little things; they are big in that unforgiveness expands its territory in ways unimaginable. First comes the irritation, then the bitterness, and then resentment and anger starts to join the party. Before you know it; that person you once loved is seeking divorce, the person who didn’t signal is part of an entire group of people you happen to hate and the list goes on.
If you look closely at yourself; are there little things that have crept in? Are there little things lurking that give you that cringe? Perhaps if you are truthful with yourself you can may ‘yes’. Don’t worry as you are not alone. Once you get there you can make the choice to forgive. It will be the best decision you can make!
Issues are part of life. If you are alive you have issues. None are immune. In relationships; there are issues within the relationship itself along with issues that each person brings to the relationship. When the relationship ends many people are left broken. I remember a terrible relationship of mine ending and I told my friends I was left with heartache and his debt. I was also left with his baggage that I named unforgiveness.
Dealing with the end of a relationship is traumatic. Starting a new life without that person and even a new person can cause fear too. Where do you begin? How do you not make the same mistakes to end up where you are now- alone?
Forgive. The exes will always bring something and leave something as we all play a role in our relationships. It’s what you receive, give and accept that will have all the impact. I learned the hard way.
Should you allow the baggage from others become yours you will start living a life that is not what was truly intended for you. Do you want to become that person who brings your exes baggage to the next relationship? Of course not! You would only be making the same mistake while expecting a different outcome. Forgiving those that hurt you will set you free. Forgiving yourself for the role that you played in that too will free you. There is nothing that will help you lose weight quicker than forgiveness.
It took me decades to learn this lesson. See; unforgiveness keeps you being the victim. It keeps you looking at your past. It keeps you from seeing the good in other people. It keeps you from having joy, peace and anything worthwhile. Not everyone woman is a gold digger and not every man is a jerk who just uses women for sex. It just happens to be those that you have chosen to be in a relationship with that are. When you forgive; none of that will have any control over you. You, my friend, will be free.
When you are free from the wounds of others you will be transformed. The new people that come into your life will be more of a blessing that you could ever imagine. No longer will you live in comparisons of the past. No longer will you need to hold on to something that is killing you. No longer will your life be as it was. For you are a new creation seeking a new life with new abundance. And in the end; isn’t that what you have always wanted? It’s your time to get it!
Forgiveness is a hard thing for many to grasp and even harder for many to receive. The good news is that wherever you are and whatever you have done- it’s for you!
Forgiveness knows no bounds. It is not prejudice. Forgiveness does not discriminate. People do; but not forgiveness. Whether you have cheated, killed, murdered, stole, gossiped, lied, coveted; it doesn’t matter. Forgiveness is for you. What you have done in the past is not defining of your future.
Forgiveness is the one thing that once given; can’t be taken away. It is yours and you can have it. Jesus did not die and then take back did He? He even on the cross went to the Father on our behalf. That takes guts!
See; it’s only people who have judgment in their hearts who hold the forgiveness scale. They equate level of forgiveness with level of sin in their minds and that is only going to keep a level of bondage that is a trap. Remove those judgmental thoughts; especially the thoughts of what a wretched person you are. We are all mistake makers and none are any different.
Once you truly grasp that what you have done is what you have done and that today is a new today and that on this day; you too can receive forgiveness then you will be free. How do I know? I’ve been there. I lived a life of misery in bondage. I lived on resentment lane. I owned all the property in the town of Bitterness. And now I live in the land of Free. The world of Forgiveness. Take it from me. The latter is much better than the former.
Yes Son of Sam is free; but not in the way you think. People believe that they are free if they are not behind bars; yet all the while are living in internal bondage. Unforgiveness does that to a person. Unforgivness is a slow and sly death and it’s always lurking. Are you paying attention?
In the case of Son of Sam his forgiveness is not unique. Jeffry Dahmer gave his life to Jesus and then sought forgiveness of his crimes and later died in prison a Christian. Whether or not any of us believe that doesn’t change the fact that he, like Son of Sam sought forgiveness. What freedom! I’m sure it doesn’t mean you want to have a sit down dinner alone with either Son of Sam or Jeffrey Dahmer but at least it offers hope that whatever you have done there is forgiveness waiting for you too. Wonder how someone like Son of Sam could be forgiven for what he did? Don’t. Forgiveness is forgiveness and there isn’t a sin scale for any of us to measure others upon.
Son of Sam is known to terrorize NYC between 1976-1977 purposely didn’t attend his parole hearing because ‘Jesus has forgiven him and set him free’ as reported to his attorney. How wonderful is that? He is free! And probably on this day more free than most!
What’s wonderful is that forgiveness is there. It’s for you, it’s for me; and it is for anyone willing to seek it. Son of Sam sought Jesus and the gifts of freedom that come with such choice. While you may not agree does not change anything; for the Truth is always the Truth and it doesn’t change.
On this day what are you holding on to? How forgiving are you? How much forgiveness from others have you received or been able to receive? Perhaps it’s for things much less them murder but guess what? Bondage is bondage. Isn’t it time to get free? Isn’t it time to forgive? Isn’t it time to be forgiven? Once you do make that choice you will see that regardless of where you live or what you are doing or even with whom; you are free. The most ironic is that the one who shines this lesson does so as one of the most well known murderer in society still in prison.
It’s hard to not get caught up in the focus of what society deems beautiful. Magazines airbush every blemish that may actually be beauty marks, Hollywood glamorizes unhealthy weight and waistlines; and after reading style magazines for less than 2 minutes 30% of women in a recent poll felt worse about themselves.
How you escape it all? How do you get beyond what all the images, advertisements; and lies are to see the truth? A few things to help are:
1- Recognize it’s a lie. It’s a lie to believe you are not beautiful. It’s a lie to believe that you need to be anything more than you are. Remember that if companies advertised that you were beautiful ‘without’ their products they would not be in business.
2- Stop comparing. The more society brings us comparing ourselves to one another; the more feeling of insecurity creep in. Comparing yourself to others will in the end; not get you closer to be the real you that you were created to be. Celebrate yourself and know that what you see in others may not even be real.
3. Accept yourself. See; the beauty industry is about creating a beauty that ‘they’ define. How real is it? How true to you is it? You are beautiful and there is nothing about you that should not be celebrated; cellulite and all. Years ago I was challenged to do something that changed my self perception and my life. I was challenged to sit in front of mirror and simply stare at myself for 15 minutes. I first laughed until I sat there and started staring. At first I noticed all the things that would make sense; the blemishes. Then I sat longer and started seeing the beauty; the creation of me that God made. I saw my mole that I used to try to wash off in a different way. I saw my eyebrows different and was thankful that I even had them. I saw the different colors of brown in my eyes that I never saw before. I saw something new. How about you? Will you take the challenge?
As we go through life and live in a materialistic and outward appearance focused society; it’s time to get back to the basics and accept the beauty that we are all graced with. It’s time to stop looking at others and seeing what we are not as a result. It’s time to get to the reality of what we are and celebrate that. It’s time that we reocgnize it’s much more beautiful to be healthy in our own skin.
Sure many will have you believe that diamonds are a girl’s best friend; although I argue why not have two? Diamonds and dogs are a perfect combination on any day.
If you have a dog you may share in the joy of your pal and if you are not yet the proud owner of a pooch (pug pug pug) perhaps you will be.
I have been blessed with a pug with a personality like none other. Her facial expressions tell it all. Olive is her name. She not only brings such joy but also many lessons taboot. If you step back and look at all the things you have learned from you dog I’m sure there are many. A few I share are:
1. Patience. When I make Olive’s breakfast she sits pretty and waits patiently; watching intently. What a lesson as I recall the days of the past where I would get impatient waiting for microwave popcorn! Perhaps it’s the fact that I couldn’t decide what to name Olive so I included ‘Patience’ as a middle name since it was something I needed in my life.
2. There can be fun in anything. Dogs don’t hide this fact. Try to chase them to come inside and you will surely find out. It’s all about perspective and for them life is good and always fun.
3. Exploring new things is worthwhile. Dogs love exploration. The new smells of the grass, butts and flowers are all part of the majestic components of life. Of course we also can’t forget a great wardrobe is wonderful for the soul too! We can all learn to stop the routine and just look around and smell the beauty that surrounds us.
4. Sleeping is not a bad thing. Dogs know this and they don’t hide it. They aren’t like people where there is too much to do that in our attempt to do it all we end up not doing all of it to the level that we could because we are simply too tired. Nope. Dogs check out when they are done. Perhaps we should too!
5. Just because the food is there doesn’t mean it needs to be eaten. Now of course unless you are a lab who eats everything including the Slim Fast. Dogs eat until they are full and that’s that. There is no worry of the happy plate or leaving a few morsels. We may have smaller waistlines if we humans could only grasp that.
6. A little pat on the back goes a long way. It’s the simple things that mean the most. Dogs enjoy being rewarded as it inspires them to do more. How many pats can you give today to those around you?
7. Support for another can be silent. Dogs know when something isn’t right. They don’t need to do anything more than simply sit next to you; and perhaps place a cute paw on your leg or arm. It is their mere presence that says it all.
8. A good walk is energizing. Dogs love the outdoor breeze and fresh air. It’s about being outside that brings a refreshing to life. You may be surprised to how great you can feel just by getting out and taking a walk.
9. Being a part of something is good. Dogs as we know are pack animals. When left alone with other dogs they find their way. They find their own level of participation and involvement and it’s a good thing. People are no different. The inclusion and need to be needed is an innate quality in everyone. Isolation doesn’t work for dogs nor does it work for people either.
10. Unconditional love does exist. Regardless of how many mistakes you make dogs don’t care. They still love you. There is no judgment because you are who you are and that’s that. There is no need for you to change to get them to like you; they just do. And that is something we can all learn from.
There is much we can learn from the pup pals if we just sit back and reflect for a moment. The companionship offered isn’t anything you can buy in a store. It just comes with the entire package and those lessons that are part of the package can become lifelong ones so long as we let them. So how about you? What additional lessons have your dogs taught you?
Image of Olive is owned by Julie Blair. Any use of this image requires written permission.
Shopping malls are like bad ex spouse; they just keeps popping up in places you would rather not see. I read an article earlier this morning about how the shopping malls of America are undergoing transformation; as if we couldn’t tell right?
While the article was trying to bring light to the fact that malls aren’t dead; t it’s just the size of the mall that is dying. In other words; bigger malls are better for America. And more of that is just what America needs. More for more right? More roller coasters in malls for more of your money. More is the American dream after all.
As I reflected on the idea of the shopping mall and how consumers are shopping now and what that experience really is. As a kid we used to go to the mall and it was an experience. An experience of finding a bathing suit that I was allowed to wear in public. An experience of finding clothes that would be appropriate. It was never a good experience; until I went without my parents. You may remember Mervins, the Denver, May D & F and others. The hours certainly were not what they are now and it wasn’t about riding roller coasters and having a Starbucks or five star meal. The purpose was to shop. It’s changed since then and what may surprise you that only 6% of retail sales were online according to the US Census Bureau.
When I think of shopping malls now it screams desperation. Desperation for you to come and willingly pay more than you should for most items because the retailers can’t afford their rent any other way. The mall screams manipulation of getting your kids to want to go to climb the wall or ice skate while you pay a fortune for them to do so; all in the name of the experience of shopping. Who wouln’t really want to shell out four dollars for a pretzel?
In the big scheme of things you probably don’t need most of what you get in a shopping mall. They need you more than you realize. It’s a trap for you think otherwise. If you look at what you currently own you probably have more than enough. More to get by with. More to enjoy; and maybe even more to give away. Just take a closer look. You have enough. Like that old spouse; let it go. You don’t need it any more. You have all that you need just the way you are.
The world we live in has changed. Society is distorted. There is no way around this. You know it’s distorted that one in state a woman can get an abortion legally all the while a 64oz soda is not allowed. Society and its rules have just changed. The impact proves devastation for many. Regardless of what societal changes are; my friend you are enough. Take one look the mirror and speak to yourself today. I challenge you.
Right where you are stop for a moment and reflect on that. You are enough. The way you are is enough. You truly have all that you need for it is written that His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him. What this means is that you don’t have to strive to be something you are not!
You don’t have to go and prove to others that you are worthy of their love. You are already loved! No need to beg for roses with His love. You don’t have to strive to be skinnier as society doesn’t have a cap on that one either. The good news is that you don’t have to kill yourself trying to make more money to buy that fancy car to impress people that you can’t impress because they are too busy trying to impress you. You just don’t.
There will never be anything in society that will tell you that you are tall enough, wealthy enough, big breasted enough, intelligent enough, pretty enough; or anything enough. Never ever.
Cosmetics companies would not exist with campaigns that you are beautiful without their makeup. Muscle building companies would not exist if they had advertisements telling you that your small muscles were enough to get chics.
Nothing in society will ever want you to think you are enough. Following society is a trap. It’s tiring, exhausting, lonely at times. It is more than a conqueror to stealing who you are, your value; your soul. And you my friends; are more than conquerors. You are worth more than the hours you give trying your best to find time to post all the tweets and facebook stuff that the so called business experts require. You are more than the tears you weep from the time not spent with your children. You are more than the 10lbs you want to lose in time for spring. You are worth more than what is being robbed from you.
The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. He is ever so sly in his inner workings. Be strong. Get strong and know that you are more than a conqueror. You are His and through that-you have all the value you will ever need.