As the years go by I’ve learned the Holiday trio (Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year) can be depressing. Stress, illness, addiction, financial woes and other challenges don’t go away because it’s the holiday season. Meanwhile the holidays heighten the expectation that we should be kind (if not oozing the Norman Rockwell painting-ish kinda love) to all around us. Continue reading
There was a time that I thought some things were absolutely unforgivable. There was an imaginary scale in my head that weighed the offense and eked out the level of forgiveness that it was worthy of. I justified my right to own the hatred that I felt for my abusive ex-boyfriend. He had taken enough so I was not willing to give him any more of me, including my forgiveness. My angry mind rationalized that forgiveness would send a message that his actions were OK, even when my reality mind knows that notion isn’t true.
What I have come to grips with is that forgiveness is not an endorsement nor is it a hug wrapped in rainbows, fluffy clouds and harp music. Forgiveness is not a warm fuzzy feeling that puts you in the mindset of running through a field of flowers, smiling with the sun beaming as if you were singing about the hills being alive in the Sound of Music. In spite of how it feels, forgiveness is a choice.
I have heard it said that forgiveness is setting someone free and freedom is not what I wanted for this person. The truth of the matter is that the real prisoner was me. I was holding myself captive. I stayed bound in my anger where I was insulated from being in any situation where I could be hurt in anyway. I’ve become hypersensitive, acutely aware and ready to protect my children and me from the slightest external infraction. When looking at life through the lens of this seething anger, you see threats everywhere. A person in a store line accidentally stepping on my daughters foot required quick action to protect her when it was just an accident.
For years I was full of hatred and rage for not only my abuser but also memories of my mothers. I vowed to break the cycle and never have my children, sisters or brothers, nieces or nephews be victims of abuse. Un-forgiveness held me prisoner. The person that I have wished a house to fall on kept on living his life, unaware and probably apathetic to the depth of my hurt, anger and bitterness. To truly be an example, I’ve learned that I need to follow the ultimate example. God himself asks us to forgive those who have wronged us. (Colossians 3:13) Nowhere did I read it was an easy thing to do. As I’ve committed to the hard work of forgiveness, releasing my abuser and the dark, ugly pit of anger has made room for the beautiful things like joy, peace, love and gratitude. While forgiveness isn’t always easy it is worth the effort as I reclaim my freedom Under my Tattered Brim.
Not long after having a conversation with friends about how the first emotion given a black woman’s response to a situation is ‘angry’, I was watching the 2016 State of the Union Address and was introduced to Miss Edith.
Happy New Year! May it be full of joy, peace, love and blessings for you and your family!
The question often asked at the end of the year is ‘what is your New Year resolution?’ Over the years I was ready with an answer (aren’t I always) because the New Year was a magical eraser that would blot out the missed goals and shortcomings that I had long left for dead in the outgoing year. Continue reading
Today a friend and I were talking about how we (people) limit ourselves in living how we want, doing what we want and being what we want because we don’t want to offend others. I’m sorry my blessing offends you….
Congestion……. another word for my commute along with the words long, frustrating and tedious.
Pair the stop and go tedium of my commute with a very active imagination and you will find me peering over the dashboard giving every car a story. It’s my harmless way of entertaining myself to keep from intentionally crashing into the slow-for-no-reason town car in front of me. Here’s how it works, I look at a car that I’m inching through traffic with and create a story for the driver based on my observations. I call it Highway Story. Today we met Gwen….she is driving a ridiculously shiny (considering all of the salt and brine on the roads and every other car) black high-end SUV with her sunglasses propped up in her beautiful hair. Continue reading