Confessions of a creative mind….

On writing, reading and pretty much anything else

Archive for the category “Random Thoughts”

Father’s Day, and Forgiveness

Yesterday was Father’s Day. I didn’t call my dad. I thought about him a lot, though, and it was bittersweet, as most holidays are these days. Last month ticked off an entire year I haven’t spoken to either parent.
We’ve had periods of estrangement before, but this one has been the longest. There are a lot of reasons for it, some of which matter, some of which probably don’t anymore. But as I struggle with the guilt that comes with the recovering Catholic territory, I have found I’m learning valuable lessons on forgiveness.
I used to think forgiveness meant I had to suck it up, take whatever anyone felt like dishing out without question, and go back for more. I could never quite comprehend the idea of forgiving someone without actually being in their presence again, or telling them I’d forgiven them. And when I repeatedly completed this cycle, I never quite found the peace or happiness I’d been expecting–and most times, I’d be just as frustrated again soon after, when the subject of my generous forgiveness did something suspiciously similar to what I’d just “forgiven” them for.
Now I realize the concept is much different. I haven’t by any means mastered it yet, but I’m getting better at reconciling it. Forgiveness is for me, not them. It’s there to give me freedom, not give them absolution. If I forgive someone, they don’t even have to know about it. That’s a pretty big breakthrough. Now if I could just figure out how to do the actual forgiving part, I think I’ll be well on my way to healing.
I do hope my dad had a happy day yesterday. I’d like to think something was missing on his end, as it was on mine, but that’s something he needs to figure out. And maybe he has some forgiving to do as well.

Off…And Back On Again.

I’ve been feeling kind of off lately. You know when you just don’t know what the heck is wrong, but don’t feel a hundred percent? So to make myself feel better, I spent some time thinking about all the work I’ve been doing on myself–and no, I don’t mean plastic surgery.

The past five years have been full of challenges, new experiences, opportunities, epiphanies – you name it, it’s happened. I created a whole new life, got my creativity back, took a lot of risks and made a ton of mistakes, celebrated triumphs and mourned failures. I learned a lot about myself, and I’ve validated that age-old idea that happiness does come from within. I’ve mostly figured out what feeds my soul and what doesn’t. I’ve screwed up a lot, too, but hopefully the lessons will outweigh the aggravation.

I’ve become a devoted subject of Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, The Secret, SARK. I’ve worked with crystals, tried my hand at meditation (not so good at it yet), learned about power animals, started to change my handwriting, bought stock in positivity quotes. I’ve done Transformational Kinesiology, became a homeopathic patient, tried acupuncture and got better at yoga. I even became Reiki I certified, thanks to Kim, and Reiki II is on the horizon. I did The Artist’s Way, which totally changed my life (again, thanks to Kim). I’ve made vision boards, I’ve affirmed myself to the point of no return, and I’ve done P90X. I’ve been really sad, and really happy.

It’s all been pretty awesome.

I still have a lot of work to do–patience and forgiveness come immediately to mind–but I think I’ve done ok. I know there’s more to learn that I haven’t discovered yet. I’m hoping I can take a break from learning hard lessons for a while, and that the next phase comes a bit more easily. I’m grateful for the opportunities that have come my way. Yes, even the ones that came in the form of challenges.

And I’m thinking it’s ok to feel a little off sometimes, as long as I can bring myself back, with gratitude.

Do people REALLY want to be helpful?

I had a conversation with a lovely gentleman today who reminded me of my grandfather – and he said something that stuck with me for the rest of the day. “I believe,” he said, “that most people do want to help each other.”

And so, skeptical, cynical me (who is trying to be better about being skeptical and cynical) spent the rest of the day thinking about this concept. It’s true I’ve met my share of unhelpful people, but that’s actually not what’s been sticking with me lately. I’ve been working really hard to turn that thinking around and focus on the people who have been helpful. From the people in our world – the wonderful friends who donated to Ferris the cat’s surgery and the people who offered to sponsor the stray cats who (continually) wander into the yard –  to the people who help others more broadly, like the staff and volunteers at the Women’s Center of Southeastern CT, the Red Cross rescuers, animal shelter workers – once you really start to think about it, this guy may be on to something.

Like the really good friend who gives up his Saturday to put a fence up for the dogs, or when my boss picks me up a coffee to brighten a crazy day. Or the friend who will drive two hours to do electrical work, or the random neighbor who comes to plow the driveway during the (many) blizzards.

So yes, I think my new friend is right – most people really do want to help. And it makes you want  to help them right back.

Has someone helped you out recently?

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