Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Best Part About Hard Things

This is a short blog to celebrate the fact that I felt I hit a milestone! Today was the most wonderfully difficult day I think I’ve had in a while. In fact I was just telling Matt the other night that things were going really well. So well, that it scared me a little. It seems in my life there is always a calm before a storm. I worried about when that storm would come and burst my happy little bubble...and today it did.

Today I ran into someone from my past that hurt me quite a bit. I wrote her a letter months ago of forgiveness but I’m ashamed to say that many a nasty thought has passed through my mind about this woman since then and I thought should I ever bump into her, one lined zingers and a couple swear words were locked and loaded (just kidding, I’m not a swearer really...I’m a lady!). But to my own astonishment, something wonderful happened instead. I stopped her, asked her how she was and gave hugs.

You know what was the best about that? I felt like I was that same on paper as I was in person. It was true! I had given forgiveness for something thats been really hard to let go of and STUCK BY IT!

Know whats even better than that? The way I feel right now. I feel FREE! Like a weight has been lifted that I didn’t even realize was dragging me down. It really makes you stop and think “Boy, our church leaders really DO know what they are talking about when they say forgive all.” After today I have gained new insight that the rewards from this are NOT for the receiver...but for the giver.

I’m sure that this storm is far from over. I’m sure there will be many more hailstorms of trials and thunder and lightening that lie ahead for the next little while but for right now all I can say to that is bring on the rain!

I want to take a moment and celebrate all our recent accomplishments! Big or small. You cleaned out your junk drawer, yay! You ran a marathon, lets hear about it! Tell me at least one thing that you did this past week that you are really happy about. Then I want you to stand up and do a little victory dance. Mine slightly resembles Elaine from Seinfeld...Pretty scary that I teach dance huh?Seinfeld

Get this Seinpost

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Helping or Haunting?

The past is a horrible and wonderful thing at the very same time. Parts of it make us smile, parts of it have the ability to find our elusive and genuine belly laugh. Parts of it make us cry and others can take us from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Human lives are so intertwined and complex though that it’s hard sometimes to remember the good without remembering the bad. You’ll see that if you’ve ever made a real mistake in your life (and by real, I mean one you would take back all together if you could) then even a good walk down memory lane can be interrupted by a bad decision or person who hurt you. Unless you have selective memory loss, which I’ve noticed is more of an active choice rather than a disease.

Heres what always happens to me. Something will strike a chord and I’ll remember something from my past. If it’s bad, I start doing something else to get rid of the thought. If it’s good, sometimes I’ll stay zoned out for several minutes thinking about it. But inevitably if I stay in dreamland, it isn’t long before any kind of bad memory will rear it’s ugly head to ruin the moment. Always. So I guess that’s why I try not to think about the past much anymore. At all. But is that a bad thing, or a good thing?

Even our “bad pasts” serve a purpose. Just like a child who touches a hot stove for the first time, the burn reminds us that we never want to do that again. But it’s such a shame that our beautiful bodies have to carry the scar as a reminder that all would have been better had we listened the first time when someone warned “don’t touch that!” The question might be then, how do we WEAR our scars? And I’m talking any scar. Self inflicted or imposed by another.

Are they bright burning scarlet S’s? Do we cup it sorrowfully with our hands to symbolize that someone has hurt us and that the wound keeps us in constant pain? Do we look at it constantly to remind us of the vendetta we carry? “My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father, prepare to DIE!” Do we hide them as best we can with long sleeves and band aids to avoid personal criticism? “Bow to the Queen of Slim. The Queen of filth! The Queen of Putrescence! Boooo!” (sorry, Princess Bride just has some GREAT quotes in it for me today!)

The great thing is that, like so many things, it’s a choice. It’s a conscious effort to keep your scars however you may. A conscious effort to keep your past wherever it lies. The other good comfort is that the Atonement can heal all. Looking at any gaping wounds you may have right now, it’s hard to see that a full recovery could ever take place, but it can….if you let it. It takes time and patience but the biggest reality to remember during the healing process is that there is a life happening right now. YOUR life. And if you let the scars from your past take over your thoughts too much, one day you’ll wake up and find that the time you’ve spent wishing away the past is just another thing you’ll wish you didn’t do. After all, “time spent wishing, is time wasted.” How true that is.