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

The Sun and The Son

The sun shining on my face through the window right now.
That always reminds me of what God once said to me:
“The sun always shines on you” or more aptly…
“The SON always shines on you”.

Years ago I went for a hike in a local park. It must’ve been autumn because I remember the air was crisp and I was wearing a jacket. There were various trails to follow, some more off-the-beaten-path than others. I took one of those less followed trails and got quite lost. At first, all was pleasant. It was a beautiful day. I breathed in the fresh air and loved looking at the sky and the trees. It was cleansing and refreshing. I sometimes like taking nature walks to have my prayer and reflection time with God. At some point, I began to realize I’d gone too far. I tried to remember which way I came from but nothing looked familiar. I walked one way, then changed direction and walked another for quite a while. I walked through muddy areas and tough areas to traverse. The further I went, I wondered how in the world I’d ever get back to civilization. I didn’t see any paved paths anymore. I continued to walk over leaves, sticks, rocks, up and down small hills. I must have been out there for a couple of hours because it started to get dark and that really ‘freaked me out’. I hadn’t seen any other people on the path in quite a while by that point.

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The more lost I realized I was, the more scared I became, and the more I prayed for God to help me. As I continued to walk, trying to find my way back to a path that was paved, the sun broke through the clouds and warmed my face and my heart. At that moment, I heard God say, “The sun (or really ‘The Son”) always shines upon you.” I knew then I’d be okay, even though I still felt afraid.

Even though sometimes we lose our way, God has not lost us. He is watching over us. He will care for us and guide us back to where we belong. Though sometimes the path is rough, unsure, unpaved, unsteady, muddy or messy, He is there to help us through it, and help us find our way to safety and peace in His presence.

Not long after my encounter with God, I found a lovely couple who was walking the trails, and they helped me back to a main path, and let me use their phone to contact my family to pick me up.

It was quite the experience, but, I will not forget those lessons I learned that day. So, every time the sun shines on my face, I think about how God is present with me and I’m thankful for the SON.

© 2015 KD Corner “The Sun and The Son”

images courtesy of morguefile.com and Google images via wallippo.com