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Category: 30 Days of Truth

I Forgave You. (Day 4 of 30 Days of Truth: Something I have to forgive someone for.)

I Forgave You. (Day 4 of 30 Days of Truth: Something I have to forgive someone for.)

So, I am supposed to write about  something I have to forgive someone for.

I did that. Several times. In fact, I have three entire posts sitting in my drafts folder.

This morning I got up and read them only to realize they felt forced. It didn’t feel like it was from my heart.  Then I realized why.  The things I wrote about– the things I “feel I need to forgive someone for” aren’t there anymore. I’ve already forgiven them. I don’t know when it happened, but it did.

Let me explain.  I don’t think it is okay to hurt someone, know you hurt them and gloat about it.  I don’t think it is okay to taunt, gossip or tear down someone and hide behind “she deserves it” or “I am better than she is” because that is not right either. We even teach our children that is wrong.  When I hear about that, it bothers me to the extent that I cannot understand adults who cannot move on. But not forgiving someone who isn’t a part of your life anymore?  Well, that only seems to hurt myself not them.

However,  when it comes to anger and forgiveness, I am not in a place where I can afford to hold onto anger or harbor feelings in situations where I know I need to forgive someone for an act (or acts) that hurt me. If I have something to forgive you for, you can rest assured I already have. It is a way of life I accepted twice in my lifetime. First when I became a Christian and second when I realized that as a recovering addict I had to follow a plan to stay sober and sane. That plan was the 12 steps. Forgiving you (anyone I feel has wronged me) is necessary and vital for me.

Really? She is going all AA on us?

Yes, I am. It saved my life. It saved my marriage. It saved my family.  And it damn sure will save me from bullies or people who have hurt me or want to try to continue to hurt me.

I’ve moved on.

I hope you can, too.

So, to anyone who has wronged me or to those whom I feel have wronged me, I forgive you. I already did a long time ago.  I hope you reach that point someday.


Day 2 of 30- Something I Love About Myself

Day 2 of 30- Something I Love About Myself

When Clint and I first started dating, we didn’t see eye to eye on some of our personality traits that were, shall we say, not in alignment with each other. I used to get so frustrated with him when he kept people at arms length or questioned the motives of people until he really got to know them. It made me crazy! I thought he was missing out on so much by holding back any part of himself. He tried to convince me not to wear my heart on my sleeve. He said I gave my heart out so easily and willingly when I became friends with someone. One thing he worried about was how it would get me hurt. But the thing was, I couldn’t imagine not going all in when it came to relationships.

With me, it’s all or nothing. If I let you in, I let you all the way into my heart. I’d give you the shirt off my back. I’d move heaven and earth to help you. I would drop everything to be with you if you called me & needed me. I don’t know how to do half-ass friendships. For me?  I’m all in. I love that about myself.

There is no shelf life on being a part of my heart, either. If you were ever let in, you still have a portion of it. Oh, you may be way in the back corner in the nosebleed section, but you still have your spot. I don’t kick people out.

But what about when someone breaks your heart, tears you down or shatters your friendship or relationship, Jenn?

I’m glad you asked. You see, if you were ever let in, there was something there. There was something about you that drew me to you and that I honestly and truly cared about and therefore, that part lives on in my heart. Here are two examples:

Scenario One: A year or so ago I reconnected with an old friend of mine. We were best friends in elementary school and most of junior high and then it it was all shot to hell (as many junior high friendships can go.) At  first we shared animosity, then dislike, then we just didn’t simply register on each other’s radar. It was a shock when we ran into each other our freshman year of college. We had no idea we were attending the same university. We didn’t run in the same circles but when we saw each other we would smile and say hi. When we found each other after our 20 year reunion, we shared those first “this is what has been going on in my life” emails. As I sat and read hers and read of a tragedy she lived through, I sat there and cried for my old friend. It wasn’t that “enemy” in junior high or that girl I’d share a casual wave as we passed. This was that young girl that was my best friend who had an earth shattering event change her life. And I cried for her and her family. She never left my heart.

Even today, if she emailed me and needed something, I wouldn’t have to consult a calendar to see how long it’s been as to whether or not I would be there for her. There is no question. I’d be there. I was all in when we were friends. Her spot in my heart was behind a wall, in the dark with dust on it since it had been so long, but it was there, dusted off and it was there for her if she needed it.

Scenario Two:  As an adult I had a circle of friends who got together and did casual things with when we could schedule them. At first I was a bit wary and kept them at arms length but I just am not really great at that. So, of course, I let them in and my heart was all in. I would give my shirt off my back for them. I knew it was a risk to jump into an established circle of friends but they seemed open and I let my heart go.  And it did get hurt. Shattered. It’s not a decades old pain like with my other friend. It is much fresher. I went all in and my heart was broken. In fact, I am willing to bet that if I was standing beside a couple of them and was on fire, they probably wouldn’t even spit on me to put the fire out. So that must mean that they are out of my heart. Shut down. Never allowed in again. I wish. Like I said, once you have a spot in my heart, I don’t shove you out. Granted, it may be a corner in my heart that I have well guarded with pit bulls and armed guards, but that corner is there. And even if they needed something tomorrow, even the one who openly and vocally hates me, I would be there. It just is what it is.

I guess my heart is a bit like Hotel California. “You can check out anytime you like, but you can  never leave.” But not in that scary stalker way. Really. You actually can leave but I will never personally kick you out. It’s now how I’m made. It’s who I am.

That is something that, though it gets me hurt, I do love about myself.

It’s my ability to love people with all of my heart and keep a part of them with me long after they have left my life. And be able to open it again if they come back into my life.  And that? That is the greatest gift I could give myself because with the Interwebs like they are these days, you never know when someone from your past might show up. I’m blessed that when I reconnect with old friends, there is nothing ugly or negative to hold me back in getting to know them as they are now. It’s just a part of my heart I get to dust off and revisit. To me? That is a blessing and something I truly do love about myself.

30 Days of Truth: Day One- Something You Hate About Yourself

30 Days of Truth: Day One- Something You Hate About Yourself

Now let’s not beat around the bush and ease into this slowly or anything. Let’s just get right up in my honesty grill, why don’t you. Okay, so something I hate about myself.  This one made me cringe. First, self loathing is not something a recovering addict is encouraged to do or focus on unless you are feeling it in that moment and need to get to the root to eliminate it. We usually don’t go digging inside for it.

And then I got caught up trying to narrow that bad boy down.  Do I talk about physical, emotional or things I do? I mean I can’t stand the way I look right now. REALLY can’t stand it. (Totally falls under hate.) But I’m working on that.  Emotionally, I’m not a big fan of crying every single time I see someone else cry. I don’t even have to know them. It’s like a switch turns on in my brain. It can be very embarrassing.  But really hate?

This is what I really hate…

I am a master at masonry. I can build a wall around myself so fast you won’t even see it go up.

When I need you  the most, I will push you away.

When I need to be around people, I hide behind my wall and isolate myself.

When I need to talk, I go silent.

When I want to reach out my hand and ask for your help, I will instead curl up inside myself and clench my fists.

I am a master at building walls around my heart. When life knocks me down, I get back  up, dust myself off, stuff all of the pain, anger or fear deep inside and move along. The last thing I will do is break down and ask for your help. To ask for you for your shoulder. To allow you to give me comfort.

Many have tried to break down the wall. Many have seen the signs of that wall being built and try to stop me before it goes up and leaves me all alone on the other side. But I am a master at this. I can go numb, shut down and become the version of myself I believe I have to be at that time.

I do hate that about myself. I know it is dangerous for me. It is never good for someone with a history of addiction to isolate and especially stupid to not reach out and talk when I know I need to do so. But there it is. I build walls. I isolate. I am so strong I will push you away with everything in me to keep you outside of my safe place. Which really?  Isn’t that safe at all, is it?

And this post? SO not inside my comfort zone and totally without a wall. For now.

High Fructose Corn Borgs? I’d rather just have 30 days of truth.

High Fructose Corn Borgs? I’d rather just have 30 days of truth.

I take a step back from blogging and what happens? Mud gets slung, we travel back in time to the days of Star Trek when it was actually watched  and name calling ensues. What are y’all drinking, people, because it takes some serious balls for many of those involved to say the things that were said and then step back and continue to call themselves experts.  Go to time out, people. Or as my dear friends and I have agreed to: The Shuddup and Blog movement.

Remember blogging? We told stories. We laughed together.  We cried together. We joined together to support each other in our writing and in our personal lives. We gathered to share ideas and blogging topics. We were a community. Not out to slash each others’ blogging throats. We were not out to out do each other in our doing right, doing good and doing things the way they “should be done” according to a jury of YOU. Sure, things got ugly when blogger A didn’t like blogger B and said something nasty. But we never felt the need to call each other out, call each other names or call each other unethical.

I own my words. My opinions are not for sale. My integrity is in tact. And? I do not have to tear anyone down to back up my own opinions. Sure, I do reviews and if I do, it is because I like the product. I do not do the reviews for money, gift cards or the incredible fame it brings me. (Ha!) If I don’t like a product or the company behind it, I won’t do it. It is that simple. If I feel strongly about it, I may explain why *I* cannot do it but I do not feel it is my place to tell *you* what to write about. For some, they have the words for it, the passion for it and they truly feel it is important to share what they know and/or disagree with about certain companies or policies. That is them. This is me.

Wow. There is a tangent i didn’t mean to go off on tonight. See what happens when I ignore the Interwebs for a while?

——

So, yeah, life has decided to kick my butt lately and I have put blogging way back on the back burner. I’ve  been taking care of my family, working on the books, volunteering, and basically trying to play catch up with life. I feel like I am  constantly playing catch up. Yet, even with all of that going on, I have such peace in  my life this year, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m happy. Content. In a great place in my life. One way I’m going to work on getting the blogging habit and mojo back is to do the challenge that many bloggers are taking up.  It’s a way to really reach inside and dig deep into your heart and soul and answer some tough questions.  Can I open up that fully knowing I have people here–right here in my every day life– who would love hearing anything bad about me and who celebrate my every downfall, hurt or failing?  Am I willing to open myself up knowing people like that may be reading? Yes. Because they have no power over me. No one controls how I feel about me, my life or my decisions except me. Me.  Tomorrow I will start this. Join me if you’d like or come back in 30 days.  My goal is to do this every day and in the evening catch up on other types of blogging as well. We’ll see. I’m not going to jump in promising the moon when I may not reach that far. But I am going to try!

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