Friday, January 21, 2011

Forgiveness & Letting Go

Today I am writing about forgiveness. Why? Because I think I finally figured out how and why this is so important. Life throws us curve balls, and some are so hard to bounce back from. The good news is that we will. Getting there is what we are all concerned about. How long will it take? What will I have to go through to get to where I want to be? I have asked myself these questions continuously. I've prayed numerous times for God to take the weight off my shoulders and surround me with His presence. Sometimes it just doesn't feel like it is enough. What I have come to understand is the weight was something I had to let go of. And, I do realize why I wasn't letting go.

When we are hurt, it takes a lot to get over the anger, frustration, and pain. It takes time to heal. We will not heal if we do not forgive. Holding on to anger and frustration doesn't hurt anyone but ourselves. The people involved in the situations that hurt us are still living their lives not affected by our feelings at all. Yet, we do not want to forgive. For me, forgiving someone who hurt me felt like giving them permission to hurt me again. Or like saying, "what you did was ok." However that is not how it is. Forgiving someone is letting go of the pain. Do I have to keep that person close to me? No.

God wants us to forgive and let go. He will help us if we ask. If we want to move on to a better life, we have to close the doors from the past in the right way. God has taken the people who hurt me out of my life without me having to have confrontation with them. They were put in my life for a reason though. There was a lesson to be learned. And more than ever, I am actually thankful for those people who hurt me. If it wasn't for them or the situation, I would not be the person I am now. I also know that if I would have not forgiven them, I would not have become who I want to be.

The weight has been lifted because I chose to let go. Again, we are only hurting ourselves by not forgiving. I feel free, finally.

If you feel stuck, maybe there is a person or situation you have not forgiven. Remember Jesus forgave Judas for betraying him even though it lead to Jesus being crucified. Although Jesus knew that this was his destiny, could any of you have forgiven Judas? We may not know our future, but everything happens for a reason. Forgiveness is the key to living with a free spirit. If God can forgive us from our sins, we can surely forgive those who sin against us.

"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." James 1:2-3

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

What I am thankful for today:
A snow day with my children
forgiveness and knowing the changes it can bring into our lives
The Center
furbabies, God creations to show us unconditional love
my friends
my store
my family
the power of prayer
the sunshine
signs from my loved ones
my customers
my teachers

Monday, January 10, 2011

A new door

In the process of moving my store, I had the guilt of leaving my landlord, a family friend with an empty run down building and no income coming in on the property. Funny how when we close a door, we still feel that hesitation to proceed to open a new one. Obviously I was making this much harder on myself than I needed to. Looking for a definite sign that I needed to move on that never seemed to hit least hard enough. Apparently the lack of parking, steps, condition of my current building and immense electric bills were not a big enough sign. LOL! Though there were a lot of issues in the building I started in, I found so much appreciation to use it in order to get started. And, once I focused on the things I was appreciative about, my signs to move on started coming.

So, I opened a new door. The new door to my store opened for the first time to customers on Jan. 8th. Little did I know that so many people knew who I was and wanted to come into my store but would not enter the other building because of it's condition. Although no one seemed to complain, which I am glad they didn't, I feel badly that it took this long for them to actually come in and experience my happy place with me.

Time is what it is though. We all want to open new doors but it has to be the right time. We may never know when that is. Keeping the faith, the patience, the appreciation for what I had and a lot of prayers are what helped me get to where I am. Never did I give up. Came close once.....but thanks to friends bringing me back to reality, I know where I want to be and realize that the frustration of getting here was just weighing me down. I took a little over a year to take a good hard look of who I was, who I became, what I wanted and who I wanted in my life. I am exactly where I want to be. I live for me, which makes me a better mom, friend, daughter, girlfriend, and person all around. Things fall into place when they are meant to...when you are in the right frame of mind and being eternally grateful.

Do you know where you want to be? Do you know who you want to be? Once you know, you at least have an idea of where to start and what to start praying for. God brought Erika into my life at a moment of not knowing how I was going to achieve the next step to my dreams. God brought Shelley into my life so that Erika and I could take the steps together, when we were ready. God surrounds me with positive people, people I need right now to help me grow; in business, in love, in appreciation, in life. I did feel stuck for a long time but I never gave up hope. If you have a good network of friends, true honest friends, they will never let you least far. We all have to fall sometimes, it is getting back up that matters.

What I am thankful for today:
my friends who I cannot thank enough for helping me become who I am
my family
my children who I hope I can be a good example for
Faith, because without it there is no hope
God who knows what is best for us and will answer prayers if they are in our best interest
my new store and customers
my new landlords who are amazing
my creative spark coming back
heat being off in my store and it is still nice and toasty
my pets who comfort me
The Center, my other Happy Place
the ability to stand up in front of everyone at church on Sunday to perform the service without puking or fainting.
being in control of my life and what I want to do
Shawn who supports me no matter what and lets me be me
laughter, we laughed so hard this weekend
the gym
the new adventure with my store
being 100% completely happy and content
knowing that we can achieve anything that we put our mind too
my life