On top of Forgiveness Mountain

Photo credit: HelloGiggles.com

Photo credit: HelloGiggles.com

Pretty bottles of poison, huh? Actually, I don’t know what the heck is in them, but given the nature of this post, and the quote I’m borrowing from HelloGiggles.com  I’m just gonna stick with the assumption they have poison in them. Besides, one of them has a skull on it, and another has a pentagram. That can’t be a good sign. So there.

“Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for someone else to die.”

Honestly, that’s the best advice/reason I’ve ever seen about forgiveness, because grudges are toxic…even lethal…substances we carry around. They consume our insides and warp our sense of reality. And with 3 Beans and The Man to take care of, I’m already teetering on the verge of insanity most days anyway, so I’ll pass on the help. Thanks. Admittedly, I’ve fallen victim to grudge holding. Hell, I’ve dragged my family into it, and I’m not proud of that, to say the least. Sometimes being human really is an impossibly heavy cross to bear. 

Anyway, back to forgiveness.

Mama always told me, “Look for the good in people, even if you have to use a magnifying glass once in a while.” Pretty sage advice, I believe. She also taught me to be forgiving and compassionate, with the knowledge that nobody is perfect. Especially me. Despite the handful of times I mentioned previously…when I fell into the grudge trenches, grabbing those within my reach on the way down…I’ve always been generously forgiving. Sometimes to a fault. It also takes A LOT to make me angry enough to cut someone out of my life to the point of holding a grudge. And by a lot, I mean major betrayal, heaps of heartache, or life-altering actions….over an extended period. Usually. But I do have a breaking point, and it has happened. The good news is, as I’ve gathered life experience, resulting in more gray hair than I want, I’ve also developed a keener eye for people with agendas. Thus, resulting in a tighter circle full of loyal people whom I would trust with the lives of myself and family, rather than energy vampires who suck the life out of me or threaten to wreck what I’ve got going on. Must be true….wisdom comes with age, huh?

For the past few years, our little tribe has been on a seemingly never-ending hike over some very rough terrain. Let’s see…there has been betrayal by friends and/or trusted business associates, job related shake-ups, financial destruction/rebuilding, addiction and recovery, not one but two family moves, and the deaths of two beloved family pets. Clearly, our plates have overflowed with a variety of things. And that’s just the general Cliff Notes summary. Plenty of other less devastating, yet still significant hurdles have presented themselves along the way as well. But, in the spirit of my mama, and her wish to always focus on the good, and avoid shrouding the entire span of time in darkness, I will direct you to some positive times. Like thisthis and this. And this. OH… and this, of course. But, suffice to say, we’ve learned enough life lessons in the past 8 years to keep The Beans’ (along with their children & grands) karma cards free of a balance for quite a while. Just about the only things we haven’t had to endure are divorce and the terminal illness or loss of a family member. God-forbid any of those happen!! Seriously. I know The One in Charge thinks I’m a bad-ass already, as evidenced by the weight of what I’ve carried in the past. So I’d prefer not to be reminded again just yet. All good for now, and honestly…I could use a rest.

Did you hear that? (please say yes)

Fortunately, it seems that prayer has been heard, although I’m understandably hesitant to hold my breath, or sigh in relief just yet. I mean, you never know…right? However, I am happy to report….as we waded through the muddy water, and slid down slippery slopes into deep valleys at times…we also managed to simultaneously climb a mountain called FORGIVENESS. Mostly of those who betrayed us and of each other, but especially of ourselves. Oh and the view from atop, looking down at the distance we’ve traveled is a marvelous one indeed. The words “I FORGIVE YOU” have never felt so powerful and freeing as they do in my life today. I’ve said them before, but the sound of that phrase now is the equivalent of harp strings plucked by angels’ fingers. Oh, and the bottles of poison? They have been emptied, their contents replaced with the liquid of GRATITUDE. As the saying goes…“To err is human; to forgive is divine”. So so true. I’m proud of how much The Man and I have grown–as people–and the resilience we’ve had in the face of all sorts of things. The Beans will be stronger and smarter as the result of it, I hope.

And more appreciative.

And kinder.

But most of all, more….

FORGIVING.

 

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Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Melton

 

Carry-On-Warrior-195x300

 

Let me start by saying, I’ve waited on this book from the moment I stumbled across Momastery.com, exactly one year, and 86 days ago. Which, ironically, is before the author found out she would be writing the book in the first place. Or at least before she told us Monkees. So, to say I was excited when TLC Book Tours asked me to review it, ON ITS BIRTHDAY, is a gross understatement. Oh, and when I figured out that request involved getting an Advance Reader’s Edition copy, directly from the publisher, Scribner Books…well, I peed a little. Okay, a lot. Then I told all my friends…or anyone who would listen. So this is a big deal for me folks, because I am about to give y’all my 2 cents on  Carry On, WarriorThoughts on Life Unarmed, the first book written by my girl crush blogging idol, Glennon Doyle Melton. A woman who has, unknowingly, changed my life.

Glennon Doyle Melton

Glennon Doyle Melton

 

I’ve read the book twice already.

Back to back, in fact. It’s that good.

Lucky for me, the copy I pre-ordered before I was asked to review it will be here today, because the second time through, I read with a yellow highlighter in my hand, marking all my favorite passages along the way. Now it looks like SpongeBob Squarepants puked in it. Of course, that’s the copy I will be taking with me to be autographed when I meet Glennon in a couple of weeks on her in real life book tour  for this magnificent baby. I can hardly wait!

Now, those of you who already follow Momastery, and no doubt, love Glennon as much as I, are aware of what a gifted storyteller she is, and what this book is all about… Love Wins. We Can Do Hard Things. Life is Brutiful. For those who aren’t familiar, (Hello? Where have you been?) it’s a collection of essays on facing life’s challenges– relationships, parenting, faith, addictions, fears–told with such authenticity, humor, forgiveness and bravery, you’ll no doubt find yourself nodding in agreement and/or recognition more than a few times. For me, page after glorious page delivered a shiny new gem, I not only identified with, but heard myself telling in my own voice. It’s almost as if she crawled inside my head and dipped her pen into the inkwell of my brain. I’ve read hundreds of books in my 41 years, and I can honestly say this is the very first time that every single word my eyes fell upon resonated so deeply I cried…at the sheer realization that someone ‘really gets me’. Funny that it’s a virtual stranger, huh? But really, she’s not. If you look closely enough, parts of her are inside all of us, and to quote another Monkee mantra: We Belong To Each Other.

So there.

Anyway, I could gush like Old Faithful, going on forever, because when I’m passionate about something…I can’t shut up. But I’ll save you from that, and simply make a suggestion with a promise:

Read the book. You will not be sorry.

Oh, and when you do…because I have faith in at least your curiosity getting the best of you and compelling you to follow my advice…here are some of MY favorite essays from the book (in no particular order):

Unwind

Lucky Seven

In Case of Emergency

A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On

Don’t Carpe Diem

Transcendentalist

On Profanity

Every essay in the last section of the book, appropriately titled “Letting Go” 

Now, to make this easier for you, I’m allowed to give away ONE COPY of Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed  to a very lucky winner, compliments of TLC Book Tours and Scribner Books. So here are the rules. Pay close attention, because there will be a couple of hoops to jump through to qualify:

1. You must go over to my Facebook page and ‘Like’ it.

2. You must leave a comment there that says either, “Love Wins, We Can Do Hard Things, or We Belong to Each Other”. Of course, feel free to comment here too…but just to show me some love 🙂

The contest will close on Friday, April 5th at 12am, PST. From the official entries on The Calibamamom FB Page, a winner will be chosen at random, announced here and there,  and notified via email, within a few days of the closing of the contest. 

TLC Book Tours

TLC Book Tours

 

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THANKS SO MUCH…Y’ALL ROCK!

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