Forgiving Yourself.

IMG_5092Forgiving Yourself.

Today, as I sat in church listening to the message many thoughts ran through my mind. It wasn’t your typical sermon for Mother’s Day (which was kind of a relief in some ways). It touched on how God allows both joys and sorrows in our lives. And in particular, how it seems we learn the most from sorrows (or difficult situations). It’s true. Whenever we go through joyous events, we’re not really thinking, “what am I learning from this?” We are just reveling in whatever amazing thing is happening. But, when we experience the tough stuff, we go through the full gamut of emotions and thoughts. We ask “Why?” And it also causes us to be more reflective.

In reflecting on these things, my thoughts turned to some tough situations I have gotten myself into over the years. As much as we all want to believe we pretty much have life “together”, there are times when we lack judgment or experience or good sense. There are times when we’ve thrown caution to the wind and acted on a whim and it’s come back to bite us in the rear end.

As someone with perfectionistic tendencies, I’ve often beat myself up over these kinds of mistakes. Also, I’d falsely think, “There’s no way God is happy with me. No way he really loves me after this (whatever the mistake was).” It took a long time for me to realize that God loves me regardless. He may not be happy with all of my choices, but, his love never ends. His grace never ends. And he forgives when I ask sincerely. I’m sooo thankful for that!

Then there’s the topic of forgiving other people. That’s reeeeally rough to do sometimes. Especially when you know they don’t deserve it. But, I’ve learned that forgiveness is more for MY heart, than for their benefit. I forgive so that I can live free from bitterness and anger.

The last thing, yet possibly one of the biggest hindrances to our overall well being is self-forgiveness or lack thereof. ‘Can I or will I forgive myself?’ Can I forgive myself for messing up? Being human and flawed? Lacking judgment in that instance? For saying that thing? Or doing that thing? I think forgiving ourselves can be one of the most challenging things to do, especially if we hold ourselves to a high standard, and if other key people in our lives do, too.

But, forgiving yourself is part of loving yourself. It’s part of healing. [This is not the same as excusing repeat bad behavior. If you know you have a pattern of doing something wrong or harmful to yourself or others, then you should seek out professional help.] But, if in the normal course of life, you make mistakes here and there, or you really mess from time to time, then it’s imperative that you forgive yourself. Love yourself enough to do yourself that favor. On this journey of life, we’re all learning and growing and hopefully trying to be better people all the time. We do have to remember that we are flawed but as long as were trying to learn and grow and be the best we can be, then we’re on the right track.

©Kay Dee Speaks “Forgiving Yourself.”

photo credit: google pics and here

Forgiveness = Freedom

Gosh, it’s so hard to forgive. We know we should. We feel we ought. But, sometimes we’d just rather hold onto that grudge and let it stew a little. Let it marinate. Let the venom build up so that we can spew it at any given moment when reminded of the person who offended us or the situation which embarrassed us. Oh, we’ll show them!

But will we?

I mean, what good does it do to hold onto anger and resentment or even to have vengeance in your heart? It only serves in making you a miserable human being. And all of your energy is wasted on these awful feelings. Maybe I’m oversimplifying this whole subject…but maybe not.

I’m not for a moment suggesting that whatever was done that hurt you is not awful. Not at all. Maybe whatever happened really hurt. Maybe it was really wrong or unfair or mean or uncalled for or damaging. I’m not discrediting whatever happened to you. I’m not trying to say that you shouldn’t feel wronged or hurt or betrayed or offended. What I AM saying is that holding onto unforgiveness really doesn’t do you any good.

It is like ivy. Have you ever seen ivy grow along the walls of the outside of a house. It may start with just a few vines creeping up the walls, but over time, it literally takes over. It spreads covering every possible surface. If you don’t manage it, it will completely take over. That’s how unforgiveness is. It may start small. But, if left unchecked, it can grow to overtake you.

climbing-ivy

Don’t believe me? I’m sure we’ve all met or known at least one bitter person who has been holding onto the same grudge for YEARS. They bring up the topic of their offense repeatedly like a recording on a loop. They never got over whatever it was. They’ve stewed in their unforgiveness for so long that they’ve become this awfully negative, toxic, bitter person and/or their personal growth was stunted. Because they never got over the offense and never chose to let it go, they’ve remained STUCK. They’ve not grown or changed for the better. It’s like an invisible restraint, prohibiting the person from moving forward. But, the only way they can break free is if they choose to break free by forgiving – and setting their own heart and mind free.

I didn’t say it was easy. It’s almost always difficult. But, it begins with a CHOICE at first. You have to choose to forgive. And most of the time it is not an instantaneous fix. You won’t always feel better immediately. Most of the time it is a process where you make the conscious decision time and again to release that offense or person from the mental jail you’ve put them into. You’re not really punishing them, so much as you’ve been punishing yourself by brooding.

This is such a large topic to cover and this post is only scratching the surface. But know that forgiveness is often a process and yes it can take on many forms. Sometimes it means quietly within yourself choosing to forgive. Sometimes it means confronting someone in a safe setting. Sometimes it means actually telling the person you forgive them. Though you forgive, that doesn’t mean you have to return to the previous state of friendship or relationship. Forgiveness can involve you realizing that you must construct healthy and necessary boundaries. Sometimes those boundaries may include reducing, limiting or prohibiting further contact with that person or those people who offended or harmed you. There are various scenarios. But, the important thing is that you FORGIVE FOR YOUR OWN WELL BEING.

From a faith perspective, God says we must forgive others because He forgave us, this can be also difficult to swallow. But, if this is your belief, then you understand that we have been forgiven much, therefore, how can we, in turn, choose not to forgive others. But, forgiveness is not something we’re left alone to grapple with. God helps us via his Holy Spirit to have the capacity and desire to forgive. We have His assistance. And all of the above (in this article) still applies. God desires our freedom from things that would be negative and that would bind us. He knows that if we choose to hang onto unforgiveness it is like a poison to us and he’d rather we are free from any poison in our lives.

It is my hope and prayer that something said here has helped you, whether you’re a person of faith or not, forgiveness is key to our health and well-being.

Blessings.
-KD

©KD Corner 2015 “Forgiveness = Freedom”

Photo credit – Google Images

Grace and Love

Hi Everyone! Gosh, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged about anything on here.
I’ve honestly been in a place where I haven’t had the inclination to write. Does that ever happen to you?

Today I want to talk about God’s love and grace. I realize everyone is not a Christian who reads this. That’s totally okay. We are all unique. We have so many choices in life. If you choose not to read this, that’s cool. If you choose to go ahead and read it, that’s cool too.

I’ve been in a place where I’m trusting God for a lot of things. I’ve been praying for many things and waiting for answers to some things; the right timing for others; the fruition of promises for yet others.

It’s not an easy place to be. The road of life is full of things to trip you up, lessen your faith, sidetrack or distract you.

It’s then we must really dig in and stay rooted and grounded in God. We must read His word (Bible), study, pray, be in fellowship with other believers to strengthen our faith.

If we slip up at all, thank God he is gracious and kind and loving beyond our wildest imaginations. He will restore us to right relationship with himself. He’s awesome like that.

Today at church the message was about being “all in” for God. But what caught my attention was when he was talking about the patriarch Abraham. It says that God called him “friend”. Does that mean he (Abraham) was perfect? Nope! Not by far. But his heart was inclined to God and he trusted and believed in God.

That reminds me of what it says that “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.” Whew! I’m so glad about that.

Think about King David. He was called “a man after God’s own heart”, but did he screw up at all? Uh, yep! Big time. But, his heart was for God and when he messed up he always repented wholeheartedly and he was restored into right relationship with God.

Be encouraged today. If you’ve done anything you’re ashamed of or if you’ve totally screwed up in some way… there is a loving Lord who longs for you to come to him. This also has to do with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. He died that we might have new life.

Come to him and trust him today.
I want you to know how much you’re loved.

And if you’re steadily walking this road called ‘life’ and you’re trusting God but you’re tired waiting for certain things… be encouraged. We’re all in this together. And God is faithful. Always.

Blessings to you.

©2014 KD Corner “Grace & Love”

When Buried Things Resurface

dig shovel

When buried things suddenly resurface —
On the way into work today I was listening to the radio. A song came on by a particular artist, and something inside twinged. I said to myself, ‘I don’t like this group’ and I turned the station. Then, I thought to myself, ‘why don’t I like them?’. As I reflected, it came to me that I didn’t like them because they’re associated with a negative memory from years ago. Several years ago, I was staying with a friend because I was in a tight spot and needed somewhere for myself and my family to stay temporarily. That time was a mixture of blessings and of negative memories as well.

It was a blessing because my friend opened her home to us in a time of need. Not everyone will do that for you. But, it was negative because sometimes whether the friend & her family meant to or not, they could be condescending, a bit superior in attitude, and offended by just about everything. Without realizing it, I began to hold a grudge. Well it was THIS family who liked that certain musical artist and they’d play certain songs all of the time. Somewhere along the way, associated that particular musical artist they loved, with those negative experiences/feelings. It’s funny how some things we do are subconscious. So what do we do about it?

Well….You can choose to do nothing. Just ‘ignore’ it, continue to repress it and let the feeling fester under the surface and permanently reside in your heart. But, it doesn’t do you any good to keep negativity in your heart. It eats you up slowly.

You can forgive. Yeah, but that’s probably not what you feel like doing. After all, the person who wronged you doesn’t deserve forgiveness, right? That may be true. But none of us necessarily ‘deserve’ forgiveness when we do something wrong or offensive. I’m learning that forgiveness is more about us than the other person. The other person may not deserve it. But, our hearts won’t be free until we let it go. Forgiveness is not saying that what the person did was alright. Not at all. It’s not saying that you now have to be “best buddies”, because proper and healthy boundaries may still be necessary. But, it is saying, “I’m letting go of your offense. I’m not giving it power to make me angry or negative anymore. I’m letting it go.” In essence, you’re wiping them off of your vendetta list, or removing the black dot next to their name. You’re forgiving them their offenses against you…for your own peace. Sometimes this may involve going to the person and telling them you forgive them. But, most times, it’s something we need to do within our own hearts and minds, for us alone.

God offered us his forgiveness through Christ’s death on the cross.  With his help, we can also forgive.

©KD / KDCorner 2014 “When Buried Things Resurface”

Photo Credit: morguefile.com (jpkwitter)

Yet again…Forgiveness

white flower

I thank God yet again for his forgiveness. I thank him that it’s free and that it’s in abundance. Where would I be without it? Condemned. A hot mess. Loco. All of the above. I realize writing this that everyone who reads it is not a believer or follower of the teachings of the Bible or of Christ. Hey, that’s okay. But, I will still state my thankfulness.

So many times in my life, I fall short. Like…so many. Every day I strive to do my best to live according to what I believe, but, sometimes it’s tough. And many times I fail. But, the thing is… God’s love is abundant. It’s bigger than I can fathom. People say, “If ‘God is love’ then why is there suffering in the world?”  Hey, I do not know the answers to all that is wrong in/with the world. But, I do know that we live in a world of imperfect people who can act of their own free will, whether for good or for bad. By the same token, we can freely choose to accept God’s existence, love, teachings …  or we can choose not to. The choice is ours alone. In our ‘do what feels good’ and ‘do what you like’ culture, we can do just that. But, I’m not here to preach to you. I’m here to just tell you this…

I’m thankful for a God who loves me even when I screw up. I’m thankful for a God who forgives me when I ask earnestly. I’m thankful for the sacrifice Christ made for me. I’ve experienced too much of His goodness to doubt his existence / reality. Even though I’ve gone through some very tough times, and I’ve had many, many questions (the question “why?” being the most prevalent) I’ve always sensed his presence in my life…his hand upholding me…his love sustaining me. I’ve felt it. I know it. And I’ve experienced some things that can only be explained as miracles. 🙂

My love to you all.
Stay encouraged.

© 2013 “Yet again…Forgiveness” by K.D. Corner / K.D.

Photo credit: morguefile.com (taliesin)

Forgiving Me

self forgive

Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to live a good life and tried to.  Some bad things happened in her life… hurtful things. These things left a scar on the inside that she couldn’t see.  This scar never really healed.  Sometimes she was acutely aware of it, and other times either pretended it wasn’t there.  Otherwise,  she was so used to it that she was oblivious to its presence.  But somehow it always oozed out and got the better of her in one way or another.  It caused her to act in ways she ordinarily wouldn’t.  She even blamed others for this scar.  After all, they were the ones who inflicted the wounds. However much time had passed.  And yes, some scars heal slowly, but, somehow this one was taking very, very long.  It was then she decided to stand up for herself and be brave and DO something about it.  She decided to get help.  It would take a community and counsel to help her on her healing journey.  She still has a long way to go, but, she is nowhere near where she used to be.  She is growing. A big part of the puzzle to healing was/is forgiving herself.  She couldn’t play into the negative self talk. And for us Christians, we know we have an adversary in the devil who seeks to steal from us, kill us (in many forms) and destroy us.  BUT we have a God who is much bigger! He’s almighty, all-powerful, all-knowing and he LOVES and FORGIVES US!  Therefore, if the God of the universe forgives us, surely she is allowed to forgive herself.  And when negative ideas invade her space, she combats them with the truth and with counsel and with community.   Forgive yourself.  Jesus already forgave you.  He loves you.  Live free.

Amen.

If you can relate to any of this, I want you to know that you don’t have to live in constant anxiety and regret.  There is peace available for you in Christ.  He sacrificed his life so that you could have peace in Him. As the Son of God, he died a sinless death and offered himself up for the sins of all of the people in the world, not just during his time on earth, but, throughout all time. So, there is nothing you could’ve done that he wouldn’t forgive you for. Even if it’s the most vile thing. His forgiveness  means just that…you are forgiven. Your slate is wiped clean in his eyes and you are free to begin to live a new life in Christ if you believe in him and accept him as God in your life. Does this mean that everything will be rosy? No, BUT, it does mean the now God is with you to help you through this life every step of the way.  He provides his word to us through the Bible and he has some really solid churches that teach the truth and are loving communities where you can grow.  It is sometimes hard to find the right church, but, keep praying and he will show you where to go.  All of that to say, you can have the peace of Christ in your heart. You do not have to live in inner turmoil. You can have forgiveness and in turn forgive yourself.  He understands our frailties and has provided help for us.  May the love of Christ overwhelm you and give you peace.

© KD Corner 2013 “Forgiving Me”

photo credit: Here

Life Unexpected

white rose

 

The other day, word spread throughout the office fast, that a former coworker had passed away. The age…26 years young. Shock and disbelief permeated the office. Those of us who knew him shared and discussed it amongst ourselves. This young man had recently moved out-of-state to pursue another venture. It was said that no one had heard from him for a few days and when someone checked on him, they found that he was…gone. I don’t want to share any more detail to protect his family’s privacy. But, wow. I wasn’t very close with him, but, I knew him and we’d chat sometimes. He was a pretty well-known figure among many of us. And really, it’s something you don’t expect to happen. It’s something that shouldn’t happen. But it did.

Unexpected death brings about varied reactions. But those that are common are reactions of shock and sadness. Immediately my heart broke for his family and very close friends. To lose a son so young….to lose a child at all…is devastating. Immediately I set about the task of praying for God’s provision and comfort for this family. As a bystander, you feel so helpless. You want to rush in and comfort those loved ones left behind, only to realize that you cannot fix it. You cannot lessen their pain. You can only support and help where needed, which can be a blessing to the family.

I apologize if this blog entry seems all over the place or disjointed. I’m still grappling with this news. Immediately I thought of the brevity of life. I thought of my own children. I thought of how precious life is and how this young man likely had no clue that his would end so suddenly. It made me want to scoop up all of my kids and protect them. It made me want to take more time to treasure them. It made my heart break for those parents of that young man. It made me think of how none of us really know how long we have, and how we should make the most of it. It made me think, personally, of my relationship with God, my creator. It made me think – am I living to the fullest? Am I reaching my potential? Am I sharing my faith effectively? Am I doing everything I should be doing? Am I trying to live a healthy and robust life? Am I taking proper care of myself and my family’s health and well-being? So many questions and thoughts swirling around. Events like this have a way of making you STOP. THINK. REFLECT. As much as it lies within me, I want to treasure this gift of life and my children and family and friends. I will attempt to live my life, this gift of life from God, to the fullest and to make it one that pleases Him. That’s my personal goal. What will you do with yours?

I pray that you live to the fullest and make a positive difference in this world.
I pray that you take the time to treasure your loved ones – your family and friends.
I pray that you let go of grudges and live!
I pray that you forgive those who have wronged you and choose to live with joy and peace and laughter and love.
I pray that you don’t let anyone rob you of who you are. God created you uniquely special.
I pray that you comfort and help others and take every chance to “pay it forward”.
I pray that you realize how beautiful and wonderful you are and that you can reach the stars!
I pray that you can be that shoulder for someone to cry on, or that listening ear, or that word of wisdom, or that hug or smile.
I pray that you know how much God loves and adores you and that you get to experience Him in your life.
And I pray that you know that… just as “bad” unexpected things can happen, so can “good” ones. Never give up!

Blessings ♥

© “Life Unexpected” by KD Corner 2012

Image courtesy of nixxphotography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net