Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Choose to Experience Life Fully: Bitterness, Childhood Dreams, and Forgiveness

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." Lao-Tzu

When bitterness blackens your soul, are you truly living? When you fail to free yourself from the binds of your childhood dreams, does it mean your life is less? When you fail to forgive those who harmed you, does this mean you do not deserve love?

I've met many people who are trapped by the reality of their life. They are unwilling to let go of childhood notions of themselves. They keep wanting to restart their life. Start again. Life has long left that harbor. What becomes of their life?

They become consumed by rage and bitterness. They become cold and unfeeling. They believe people are out to destroy them and get them. They look out into their own future with a broken spirit. Shoulders slumped, angry words, and damned. Damned by themselves.

I've seen some who find solace in alcohol or drugs. They use it at first to dull the pain. They tell themselves that it is only for a moment. It's fun. They dance seductively with it but it seeps further and further into their bodies and minds. Ultimately, it renders them useless without its presence. They've stopped living.

It is my hope that they will forgive, let go, and experience what is happening around them. First forgive themselves. Forgive others. Let go of those dreams. Look around themselves and let joy in. Life happens.

I don't believe in a God who has us suffer needlessly. I believe in a God who gives us what we need. I believe in a God who wants us to know joy.

In suffering comes understanding. When we plead in prayer for understanding and fail to listen for the answers, who is to blame? We know at our core when there is a whisper. When there is the answer. We chose to hear it or not.

I'm learning everyday to let go and allow my life to happen. I don't understand what is happening often but I know, I am not alone. I laugh a lot. I experience joy. I pray often. Not always prayers of resolution or understanding but prayers of thanksgiving.

I do not allow bitter or jaded people to unduly influence my life. They are caught up in a past that they are unwilling to let go of. Yes, you should have been loved by that person who you heaped everything upon. Yes, you should have been a successful athlete. Yes, you should have experienced life as you wanted it.

But – you are here. Look around you.

What are you lacking? Food, clothing, shelter, love, courage, and respect? They are there or the possibility of them. You have lived your life in a way so you do not see them anymore. Your mind justifies or makes excuses for your bitterness. 

I implore you to let it go. No one is hurting more than you. Let it go. Pain can not be measured or compared.

I've lived through a lot of crap in my life and am not living my childhood dreams but I've come to know, I am where I need to be. I state this not for pity but for understanding.  Our journeys are not different.  

Pain and hurt are universally felt. How I deal with them has been a profound process of trial and error. They still show up when I least expect it.  I've learned to yield to them.  Understand their presentation and integrate my new lesson.

My human understanding of my life is at times in direct conflict of what is going on spiritually.   My affair with God has been long and I've been saved many times.  I trust that.  I'm learning more and more everyday what it means to be human.  A human being fully living and loving life. 

When an uncovered emotional ache comes rushing forward, I allow it to happen. I enter into silence.  I spend time alone.  I allow the lesson to unveil itself. I heed God's whispers and understanding now. They are what carried me through the darkness and pain. Why would I doubt them now?

For those who live in bitterness, in the past, and not forgiving, I only hope that one day you will know love and joy. Our lives everyday are a choice. We can choose to focus on these things or stop and recognize what is around us. I know I am...XOXO, Nick

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