Posted in Encouragement, Writer Musings

Forgiveness vs Reconciliation

A couple of weeks ago I was driving in my car and the program I was listening to was discussing forgiveness and reconciliation.  Listening to this program made me really begin to analyze the difference between the two and the impact each has on a person’s life.

According to dictionary.com, the definition of forgiveness means: 1. act of forgiving or being forgiven and 2. disposition or willingness to forgive.  The definition of reconciliation, according to dictionary.com, means: 1. act of reconciling, as when former enemies agree to an amicable truce, 2. the state of being reconciled, as when someone becomes resigned to something not desired, and 3. the process of making consistent or compatible.

Reconciliation requires two or more people to find a common ground when a situation occurs that causes issues between them.  A person may say that they have “reconciled” themselves to something that happened to them, but the reality is, unless that person has found the restoration or harmony with another, they have not truly been able to finalize the whole situation to put it to rest in their life.  Two or more people must want the reconciliation of a situation for that situation to find a resolution.

Forgiveness, which can occur between two or more people, is really a singular act for each person.  A person who refuses to find forgiveness for someone or something that has caused them pain or wrongdoing, allows the other party to live rent free in their head.  I say this because, when you refuse to let go of the pain, hurt, and damage done against you, you force yourself to live in that moment every day of your life and allow it to control you and all your decisions you make.

“I’m sorry” is a hard statement to make and many times even harder to accept.  Hearing this statement does not take the pain, wrongdoing, and damage away.  Even if you cannot reconcile yourself with the person that caused the hurt, you can choose to forgive that person.  It is only with the forgiving that you can truly begin to heal.

The state of forgiveness is where you find the freedom to move past the pain, wrongdoing, and damage that is causing you to suffer.  Forgiveness takes away the “live here rent free” sign in your head.  Learning to forgive any pain, damage, or wrongdoing done against you will allow your body and mind to begin to heal.

You may never forget the pain, damage, or wrongdoing done against you and you may never be able to reconcile the situation with the person that caused the harm, but when you allow yourself to forgive, that pain will become less; that damage will begin to mend; and that wrongdoing will begin to fade as each day goes by.  You will begin to feel the sensation of the freedom you are allowing yourself when you choose to forgive.  After all, you deserve to be free mind, body, and soul. 🙂

Do you struggle with one or both of these things in your life, Dear Bloggite?  How have you handled situations or people in the past who caused you to hurt?  Share your thoughts and experiences, and together, we will work through it.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Encouragement, Writer Musings

Your Outlook On Life

Have you ever listened to your internal thoughts?  You know the ones, Dear Bloggites, the little voice in your head constantly telling you this and that on everything you do in life.

I love to learn; and when I learn some interesting facts or a new thought process, I take notice.  I am that person that hopes for the best and plans for the worst.  Having that type of outlook on life, for me, allows me to enjoy the little things in life while being prepared for the unexpected.

That little voice or internal thought is my joy and pain.  My joy because I know I can do anything I set my mind to do and usually when I make up my mind to do something, I rarely change it.  But on the flip side of that, the inner thoughts are my pain.  I am constantly catching myself doing negative speak in my head.  You know the kind – “You’re an idiot”, “Stupid”, “Ugly”, etc.  I hear them all the time trying to take forefront in my brain and it is a constant battle for me.

If you have ever spent five minutes with me, you will probably be surprised by this admission, but it is true.  The negativity bleeds in my brain about myself a lot and I am constantly having to patch up the wound.  That is why most people would be shocked to know that I even have one negative thought in my brain because I CHOOSE to embrace this Journey called Life and so whenever I hear the negative monster stomping up the isle in my mind, I slam the door shut and repeat positive thoughts that void the negative.

Doing this trick – changing the negative to the positive – is hard because you must make a conscious effort to really listen to your mind and thoughts all the time.  Some days are harder than other days, but I keep the fight going because at the end of the day, I want to look at myself in the mirror and know I did right by everyone I was in contact with as well as doing right by myself.

What do you struggle with and how do you deal with it?  Share your thoughts below.  I look forward to chatting with you.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Encouragement

Terrorism Shall Not Defeat The World

Stand with Paris“Terrorism has become the systematic weapon of a war that knows no borders or seldom has a face.” ~Jacques Chirac

“Terrorism has once again shown it is prepared deliberately to stop at nothing in creating human victims.  An end must be put to this.  As never before, it is vital to unite forces of the entire world community against terror.” ~Vladimir Putin

“Interest does not tie nations together; it sometimes separates them.  But sympathy and understanding does unite them.” ~Woodrow Wilson

“The terrorists are fighting freedom with all their cunning and cruelty because freedom is their greatest fear – and they should be afraid, because freedom is on the march.” ~George W. Bush

We all have heard about the latest terroristic attacks in Paris, France.  Living through 9/11, my heart is breaking for all those affected in France and any Country that has suffered at the hands of terrorists.  I don’t understand how some person or groups of people can hate so severe, so intense, and so inhumane as to kill innocent people and attack countries.

Hate is a foreign emotion to me.  I have always looked at the best in all situations, no matter how severe.  My inane mindset can only sit in utter shock and sadness at the latest attacks.  I know France will rally as a nation while many other nations, the United States being one, will reach out and give support, love, and comfort.

This is twice I have had to witness and experience mass deaths from terrorists and that is two times too many.  How has this world degenerated so much that a human life is less important than a cause?  How has humanity delved into such a cesspool of hate and selfish mindsets that the wellbeing of others mean nothing?  How can people learn to live with love and understanding to ALL human beings in the world and start working together as one?

My brain refuses to allow this negative experience to change my hope in humanity.  I will not allow terrorism to defeat me, Dear Bloggites!  The World will not allow terrorism to defeat it!  France will rebuild stronger and more united, just as America came together to rebuild and unite after 9/11.

Be Kind to One Another because in the end, we all have to live in this world together.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Encouragement

Poll Results: How Do You View the Way You Live

Poll Results-How Do You Live Your Life

Back in 2013 I posed this question with some poll options: How do you view the way you live?  There were five options: Existing in Life, Embracing Life, No Opinion about Life, Avoiding Life, and Hating Life.  The overwhelming winner of this poll was Existing in Life at 67%.  The runner-up was Embracing Life at 33%.  This saddens me.

I think one of the worst things someone can feel about life is that they are just existing.

Existing in life, to me, means that a person wakes up, goes to work, goes home, goes to bed and do good just to remember to inhale and exhale throughout the day.  No passion, no indifference, just taking up space in this amazing world we live in.

We have one life to live and we should all try to live it to our fullest potential for ourselves and others.  You never know when life is going to end: for you or someone you love.  This reality has been proven true to me over the past few months with the loss of a wonderful lady I considered a Mom, the loss of my dog who was in my life for many, many years, and the loss of my Parental Units’ dog.  The pain of loss will ease, but the emptiness left by those you love, never gets refilled.

If you are just existing in life, you risk losing someone or something that is very dear to your heart, but not realizing it until it is too late.  We only have one constant witness to our life we live and that is ourselves.  People come and go throughout your life, and some have more impact than others, but YOU witness your world and why would you not want to experience that world in high-def by embracing it?

My Dear Bloggites, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone of just existing and each day do one thing different that will impact your day or someone else’s day.

When you do this simple exercise once a day, you will begin to see a whole new, real-time life that you are living.  It is amazing when we get out of our world and embrace some other!  Love yourself enough to share your life with others.  It will only benefit you and them in the end.  If you do this, you will notice a shift in your entire view on your life that you have just existed in all this time.  You will realize that You Make a Difference, no matter how small, and that Difference Means the World to Others!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Encouragement

You Don’t Know Me, You Know OF Me…

“Ogres are like onions.  Onions have layers.  Ogres have layers…You get it?  We both have layers.” ~Shrek

People are like Ogres, we all have layers to our true selves.  A friend of mine, many years ago, made a statement to me when I said, “Trust me, I know you.”  She looked at me and said, “You don’t know me, you know Of me.” and I got it.  I agreed.  Each person in our lives see the person you are that matches best with their personality and interests.  It is not fake, at least for most, it is just a layer of their true essence.

I am a perfect example of being like an Ogre.  There are so many layers to my interests, I can find something in common with any person I come into contact with.  My Bestie always accuses me of changing who I am when it comes to men I am interested in.  I see why she says that, however, the man of the hour is going to see that part of me that shares similar interests.  Not fake, not changing me, just being another layer of me.  I do it with everyone, men, women, children, co-workers, friends, family, and strangers.  I am not afraid to expose my layers if it will bring some happiness, no matter how brief, into someone’s life.

After hearing the statement, “You don’t know me, you know of me,” I have kind of made it my mantra to those that like to think they truly know me.  Half the time, I wonder if I truly know myself, Dear Bloggites, let alone having someone else truly know me…LOL

I am a people person.  I have been told many times that there is just something about me that attracts all walks of life to me wherever I go.  I don’t get it, but I cannot disagree.  I love to people watch and I love to hear everyone’s story.  I love to validate that person’s life for the brief moment I get to share with them because in the end, that is all we want.  To be validated.  To believe that someone believes our life matters, to be a witness to our life we live.

People love to feel they belong and that they are thought of when they are not around.  Most people go through life without truly feeling that validation to their existence, and it hurts my heart.  Every life is precious.  Every story has meaning.  Every layer matters.

Embrace your UberOgre inside and be proud of those layers to your life.  It brings joy, not only to those you interact with, but to your true self.  If you have something you always wanted to try, do it.  Build those layers in your life because it will only make you richer.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Encouragement

The Journey of Change

When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor E. Frankl

One of my favorite sayings I like to quote is, “the only guarantee in life is change.”  People, as a whole, fight the idea of change because at some point in life, change became a bad thing.  As I sit here and contemplate all the changes I have had to deal with these past few weeks, I feel that instinctive fight against change.

I love change.  I never have viewed change as a bad thing, only the next level of my journey in life.  But the onslaught of the changes hitting when they did and are, is making me quite discombobulated.  Not in a bad way, but in a rough way, if that makes sense, Dear Bloggites.  The changes are good things and I have felt a new type of freedom from the changes that have taken place and a new anticipation of hope and happiness in the changes that are coming.

One of the great changes heading my way is a bittersweet change for the people involved.  That is the move for my son, Travis, and his wife, Tori and (of course) my Awesome GrandKiddos.  Travis and Tori have always said they were going to move from her home state of Kentucky to Texas.  Their journey was stilted and put to a standstill from this world we call life.  However, that stilting is coming to a halt and the move is going to happen.

Tori just received her first Travel Nurse assignment for her job she is taking in Texas.  This assignment is going to bring her and the kids to Texas while Travis stays back in Kentucky until their house sells.  The temporary separation of their family unit is a hard pill to swallow for them.  Their beginning years of their marriage had them separated while Travis served our Country in multiple countries and Tori work her nursing job in Kentucky.  They vowed to not separate their family unit after they finally were in the same home, in the same state, in the same country, at the same time…LOL

The vow of non-separation had to be taken off the table to help them reach their ultimate goal of living in Texas, and so it is going to happen.  Many tears are being shed, both of Joy and Sadness, but they know it is what they need to do to reach their goal and they are willing to do it.  My hat is off to them.  I know how hard it was on them the first go-round and it is going to be, in a sense, worse this go-round.  But, I am determined to make sure Tori and the kiddos are occupied enough to not think too much about it until Travis is back home with them in Texas.

Another great change that is going to happen is that my Bestie, Tracy, is going to be a grandmother for the second time but it will be her first time active duty as a grandmother.  Her daughter is pregnant and due in a few months and Tracy is going to help Steph with the baby while she is at work.

These two upcoming events will land Tracy and me into a new level of our lives-full time grandparenthood…LOL  I am so excited to see my GrandKiddos on a regular basis.  I cannot wait to teach them more bad habits to drive Mommy and Daddy crazy, hehehe. 😀  One thing Tracy and I were unable to do because of our life circumstances was have our children grow up around each other (I have known Tracy since 1982) but it looks like we will be able to enjoy watching our grandkids grow up around each other.

The Journey of Change is not a bad thing, but it can be a rough thing.  The one thing I do know, as change happens and once it is done, my world; your world, will be that much more than it was on a new level of you in your life.  Embrace Change-embrace the pain, embrace the blessing, embrace the bumps, and embrace the joy.  Embrace Change, because it will always embrace you!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Encouragement

What a Wonderful World…

How many of you, Dear Bloggites, have heard this song?

Now, how many of you have really HEARD this song? Do you listen to it and say, “Yeah, it is a wonderful world!” or do you say, “Huh?”

This song in a nutshell is just appreciating the life you live and the world around you…celebrating the little things, because if it was not for the little things, the world would be a sorry place.

The beauty of the world around you and the people who pass you by should be noticed if only to say, “You are someone to me.”  Everyone wants to be appreciated for who they are and they deserve it!

This world of yours is what you make of it.  You can walk on by and never notice the “trees of green…red roses, too” or you can stop and say, “How do you do?”  Whatever you choose to do will cause a ripple effect to the rest of the world around you.  This ripple effect, like a small pebble being thrown into a calm lake, will expand out further and further affecting all who are touched by it.

How amazing you could be if only you “see friends shaking hands” and think to yourself, “What a Wonderful World!”

Cheers!

~4-Ever, P