I Can Breathe Again

Forgiving is rediscovering the shining path of peace that at first you thought others took away when they betrayed you.” ~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve done nothing wrong but still had something bad happen? Maybe been accused of something or framed for something or just in the wrong place at the wrong time? I have. And though I hadn’t done anything wrong before the incident, what I did after it was. I seethed. Anytime I thought about it, I got angry…really, truly, angry…to my core. I knew I needed to let it go because it really wasn’t all that important. It was only my pride that had been dinged.

It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others.”  ~Andrew J. Holmes, Wisdom in Small Doses

A year passed. Then another. Then another five. Yeah, it was definitely time to put an end to it. I had avoided, snubbed, and otherwise been rude to a person who I love and care about, a precious family member. I had been hurt but there was no excuse for me to hurt that person in return. So I did what I needed to do. I apologized. And I felt horrible for waiting so long to do that. I’d been sitting on the fence concerning this apology for a couple of years. I have no idea how this periodic internal turmoil adversely affected me physically but I’m sure it did. I know it kept me from growing mentally and spiritually. So I sent out my apology letter and waited, wondering how this family member would answer, if I’d even get an answer at all. It would’ve served me right to be made to wait, or to not even be granted a reply. I could’ve also received a blasting reply packed with vitriol. But I didn’t. I got what I should’ve known I’d get because my family is like that. I got forgiveness, the best gift ever.

The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”  ~Mahatma Gandhi

My family is full of vibrant personalities. Complex in so many ways but simple in others. We clash on a few things but there’s one thing I believe we all agree on. Family is family. We stick together when it comes right down to it. We might argue about cheese one day and be laying our lives down for each other the next. Yeah, we’re crazy like that. But it’s good to know I’m forgiven. Freeing, actually, would be a better word. I’m blessed and honored to have the family I have. It might not have been an easy life, but when did an easy life ever equate to a beautiful and strong growth?

The family.  We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.”  ~Erma Bombeck

You know, one would think we’d have to learn lessons on the same life topic only once or twice but my clan is hard-headed in general and I’m one of the worst. I think I’ll be making it a priority not to let things go too long, not to let the sun go down while there’s anger in my heart. But I’ll have to conquer my negative knee-jerk reactions, first. Wish me luck and send a few prayers up for me. I’ll need all the help I can get! <chuckle>

You cannot help but learn more as you take the world into your hands.  Take it up reverently, for it is an old piece of clay, with millions of thumbprints on it.”  ~John Updike

What made me decide today was the day? Well, I heard an awesome message from my spiritual leader this weekend, concerning surrendering negative things and not holding on to them. And I heard this song by Noah Gundersen. I hope you’ll enjoy it and check out more of his music. He’s pretty good!