I must have made a commitment somewhere along the way to be a life-long learner. It was more-than-likely some back room deal I made with God when something wasn’t going my way...long before I came to understand that God does not make deals...it is not God’s style!
I must have said something like...
“Dear God if you get me through this situation, I promise I’ll be a better person!”
I had no idea back then that my future was actually under my own control and that I could create it as I desired, with my thoughts and my feelings. I learned the hard way that all the praying in the world was never, ever going to change any circumstance or situation in which I found myself.
You see, God had not only given me the ability to make my own decisions, I was also given the ultimate authority to live with them (or not) once I made them. If a decision I made did not yield the results I desired, God was not going to intervene and fix my mess. Nope!
Decisions have consequences! And so do mistakes. If I wanted different results, I had to learn from my mistakes and in turn make better decisions. The closer I looked, the clearer I could see there was a pattern to all the craziness that was my life.
I had this habit of doing a certain thing...over and over and over, even if it didn’t feel right or even if I was not getting the results I wanted. It was not until my drive and desire to have something different or to do better out-weighed the results I was getting, that I would finally come to realize I could choose to do something else. What in the end became so obvious was indeed a mystery to me while I was fumbling and stumbling, getting to know myself.
I could see that by choosing what I'd always chosen, I would continue to get what I'd always gotten. But (thank God!) there was that one glorious moment of understanding...my awakening if you will, when I learned that if I simply made different decisions and different choices, the outcome would reflect my different thinking! This was long before I’d ever heard the world-changing adage...
"When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change!"
Wow! It's true! How cool is that?
There is another popular adage that I cling to...
“We do the best we can with what we know. When we know better, we do better!”
The words are attributable to Maya Angelou...truly honest and inspiring words to know and live by. And within those words, we should also be hearing we have the authority to forgive ourselves.
I bring those words to life when I make mistakes. The truth of the matter is, I screw up all the time but usually not as badly or publicly as I did in my younger days! By bringing those words forward in my thinking I am able to forgive...
I am able to forgive myself and the people who prompt me to compromise my values and beliefs. I remind myself that I am always growing and always learning and that I must never lose sight of that. I must never give up.
I will admit, sometimes I’m tempted to just stop all my writing and dealing with so many troubled people. By reaching out to some of them, I find myself exposing myself to people with less than honorable intentions. You have no idea the number of threatening and insulting private messages and e-mails I get, from people too cowardly to post their vitriol and malice publicly. But I find the courage to persevere and when I can actually make a positive difference in someone’s life, it reminds me that what I’m doing is well worth my time.
I’m in the non-profit business of helping people...helping them to challenge their thinking and in turn elevate their standard of living. I challenge them to be honest with themselves. And I love doing this as much as I love writing my books. So to be honest, there is no point in the foreseeable future when I see myself not allowing these messages to travel through me to be shared with all of you.
As egotistical as this may sound, I feel I’m on a mission to help our world evolve toward better, more positive and kinder ways of treating each other. That is precisely why I hate it when I fail myself like I do from time to time.
So without further ado, let me get to today’s message...
FORGIVE yourself for the times you are not the person you need or want to be.
We all disappoint those we love when we are not there for them or when we don’t take the path they wanted for us. Sometimes we don’t listen to their advice. But it’s OK. Simply forgive yourself for these ate the lessons you choose to learn your own way...this is the path you have to create for yourself. This is how you will build character. This is how you will set your self apart from others. This is how you will become your own unique individual.
FORGIVE yourself for all the words you wanted to say but didn’t.
We all get frightened or confused or afraid of looking weak. Do not punish yourself for the moments of silence that lingered when you could have said something but didn’t...or couldn’t. Forgive yourself for not being able to save yourself or others from certain situations because you didn’t have the courage to speak up. This is how you will learn to use your voice. This is how you will learn the power of your words. This is how you will learn that silence will never save you.
FORGIVE yourself for all the times you missed achieving your goal.
Maybe you aren’t rich or married or famous or skinny yet. Forgive yourself for thinking things were easier than they actually are. Forgive yourself for not knowing any better. The simple fact that you can make our own decisions has little or no impact on many circumstances or situations. Try as you might, you cannot always make things happen when you want them to happen. The universe moves at its own pace. This is how you will learn patience. This is how you will learn the importance of faith. This is how you will learn the art of waiting.
FORGIVE yourself for all the times you didn’t acknowledge your self worth.
Who among us has not stayed in a relationship or a job we shouldn’t have been in? It is human nature to give someone we love a second or third or even fourth chance to break our heart! But it is you that lets people get away with treating you like you are not important. That is on you...you teach people what we will accept and what we won’t...and they act accordingly. This is how you will learn who you really are. This is how you will learn to love your self. This is how you will learn that you’re important and you are enough even if no one sees it.