An Open Heart Forgives

I need to write about forgiveness, I have written about it many times but it has been on my mind a lot lately. I often think how grateful I am that I understand that forgiveness is not so much for the other person as it is to free our hearts and ourselves from an unhealthy relationship or situation.

I thought I had this down, I learned this concept when I was 15 years old, I was living with my ex step mother Ruth and it was pretty unbearable. She was physically and verbally abusive. I was filled with anger towards her when one day I felt the need to pray, what I prayed for was just to be free of her, I wished her no harm, I just didn't want her to have control over me. I prayed every night, in six months I was free.
Whenever I would come up against a challenge that entailed another person, I always took the forgiveness route because I did not want, nor do I want anyone to have that kind of control over me. I have friends that don't let go of it because they have felt wronged... which is true but holding on to being right and proving your point only holds you to the person all the more.

That's why this last week I have been thinking about how I need to be reminded of what I have learned and know from past experience. There is someone in my life that I need to forgive, I don't necessarily have to say it to her but for myself I need to forgive her. Part of me held back forgiving her because I thought I was in the right. Then I had a light bulb moment or an ah ha moment where it doesn't matter if I am right, what matters is that until I forgive her, she will be a part of my life and frankly I don't want that to happen.

I spent this weekend thinking about it and I realized how toxic it was for me to hold on to prove I was right, that she had intentionally wronged me to put herself in a good light. The fact that she did is neither here nor there ... what matters is that I forgive her and move on. Maybe if I forgive her, she will be able to move on too... I think we both need that.
Since I am choosing to rise above the challenges that I have dealt with and the ones that will come to me, I knew that until I could forgive her and wish her happiness, that I would not be able to grow to the next level. I do believe that forgiveness starts inside our heart which opens our mind and that frees us from being held back.

I am feeling lighter already, I don't want the burden of being right to hold me back from being the best person that I can be. I hope that the next time a challenge comes up like this one that I will remember quicker and waste less time holding on to the need to be right... remembering to keep my heart open to forgiveness.
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I Choose To Rise‏

(Just a quick update, I finished my mid-term. I feel good with where I am at in the course and two, I have been doing really well with my food choices, it feels good that I am not giving into random food choices.)

I've been a little reflective lately, I kept wanting to get to a point of understanding and something came to me today. I know we have certain challenges given to us for a reason, we can choose to rise or fall to them.

I felt like if I could understand how this has made me a better person, has it taught me anything? I wanted to make sense of it... Today it did, I think I had to lose contact with 'him' so that I could understand the importance of keeping in contact with people even when things get tough. So many people across the world reached out to me and kept reaching out to me.
I felt like I wanted to put more effort in to get to know people better. Many of you are on other media sites with me (FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, FaceBook Fan Page, Bloglovin), where we interact through them, pretty regularly. I've made some real friends here, people that I would love to meet some day if I could... I should say will.
I think that if I hadn't dealt with such a great loss... I might not have come to know so many of you and so closely, all of your comments or messages always uplift me and make me smile... I lost a lot but I gained a great deal in return...

I understand that I had to be grateful for that loss or I might never understand why... I have some amazing memories of 'him'; I was very happy ... I had been wondering if the high was worth the low? The answer today is yes because I gained so much more. Today I choose to rise and show gratitude for difficult challenges.
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Excuses Are Just Doubts

I started this post three nights ago, I wrote six paragraphs and then deleted three. This is a difficult post for me, I have been in a rut of excuses. I realized that a few nights ago when I started taking stock of where I was spending all my time... I had slowly allowed TV to take up all my spare time, it's comfortable and you don't have to think ... So, this blog entry came about...

I follow a variety of blogs, one type being diet and exercise blogs, these last few weeks many of the people have been struggling, being very open about their feelings and very honest in their food choices and sharing them with us.
It would be easy to question their choices in food... but why? It isn't the food, it's the emotional reasons. We all have them, crutches if you like, possibly excuses but truthfully... it's not simple to say just eat right and exercise.

I know for me I have to look inward as to why? I have to fix that first before I'll be successful. So, I had quite the week with questioning myself as to why I am not dealing with some things head on. Instead I am burying it with all kinds of excuses.

I had to ask myself some hard questions, some of the answers I didn't like... I am not being consistent with my goals, I put in the effort and then I slide. I gave myself the right to have excuses with taking this course or whatever else I wanted to include for not putting in the work.
I am not going to sit her and say that I will walk 15 or 20 miles per week but I am going to say that I will walk three or four days per week and I will utilize the gym at work for some strength training twice per week. Most of all, I am eliminating TV from my activities, I can see how it gave me the excuse to be lazy. I went without it for five months when I changed my life and I didn't even miss it.

Also, I need to be accountable to myself, so at least once per month I will give an update on how things are going here. The thing is that I know I can be successful at whatever I put my mind to, I have seen it throughout my life. It is when I let any doubt creep in that I fail, what I have learned over the years is to not let the failure take control for too long if... at all. For me, excuses are just doubts... doubts I am going to overcome...

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The Lessons Of Memory Lane

I wanted to quickly catch you up with my course, my mid term is in 11 days, so I probably won't be writing again until then unless I can carve out a little time and I may not be able to comment as much as I want. I really need to buckle down and study, this course is very important to me, it opens doors to my future and we all need options.

I have been thinking about what it takes to move on, it takes a huge shift on the inside that can be extremely painful at times. For me I know deep down that it is what I need to do to be able to move on. It's almost like going through the stages of grief, unfortunately it isn't like going from one step to the next, sometimes it is taking two steps back.
Most days I am on a great path and I am happy and grateful for that. I had a lot to come to terms with because promises that were made were broken. I went from a high that was almost unnatural (now that I look back) to a low that I had never seen before... I think I had a fairy tale image of things and people but since life is not a fairy tale, nor is it meant to be ... reality hit that I brushed away incidents with flimsy excuses.

The reason this all comes up is that I put a new app on my phone last month that I hesitated to add. However; I did... it's called Time hop, it collects all your data and shows you what you posted 1, 2, 3 , 4, 5 years ago each day from various social media. I know there are dates coming up that are not great reminders for me but I have enjoyed some really good memories too, so I decided it was worth the trip down memory lane.
Saying all this, I can see daily more clearly what I was unable to or refusing to see. I wasn't completely pleased as is usually the case, it is hard to see your mistakes or blindness to people or situations. It has taught me a great lesson though, people are rarely who they portray themselves to be but I also refuse to judge anyone by the people from my past.

I also believe that there are sweet, kind and honest men ... I won't accept less since I am willing to give the same and more. I didn't want to become that older woman who is bitter because she was hurt so deeply. Thankfully I am not a person that can be bitter or vindictive, that is just not how I am designed. I am the eternal optimist that believes anything is possible... some things just take a little more time.
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Conquering The Pitfalls With Love

I wanted to write about how I'm handling the food part of my life with having to fit in sleep, exercise, work, family, friends, cleaning, relax time... It is not easy to juggle this ALL the time. I am one of the lucky ones when it comes to food, I LOVE healthy food, if I could afford to eat a large salad twice a day, I would but I only eat it once a day. Even though I adore healthy food, there are still pitfalls, I have times I just want a different flavor.

That does not mean I will fall into my old habits because I may go up and down 10 pounds or so, from time to time. Because I really 'got' it a year ago when I changed my life and my eating habits; I don't feel the desire to eat those foods all the time like I used to, I may eat them once every six months or so.
The other thing is that I love myself at the weight I am, even if I gained weight, I'd love myself, my worth is not tied up in my weight. The weight loss and exercise is to be healthy, I was completely out of shape... I was 49 years old and I was 90 or so pounds over weight. I didn't like where my life was... I think it was when I lost 25 pounds when it hit me that I didn't have to lose another pound to love myself and to know my worth. I wanted to continue to lose the weight to get healthier.

I could feel the change in me with all the exercise and the discipline I had grown to have over myself, it was because I loved myself and I had other people rooting me along. If I had a fall which I have from time to time... maintaining is one of the hardest things to do, losing the weight was far easier. When I have a hiccup from time to time, I don't berate myself because I am human and I slip up, I am not perfect.

The thing I most appreciate and love about my friends and readers is that you are supportive, understanding and you encourage me. I am really grateful for that, I wish that we could all have that support system.... let's all be each others support system, cheering each other on and helping each other up when we fall.  Coming here, writing my thoughts in the blog helps to remind me why I am so committed to eating healthy and exercising. I am important enough to make the effort and so are you.
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