F is for Forgiveness

I’ve had my share of disappointments and betrayals. My heart still stings when something or someone triggers a painful memory. Anger, bitterness and resentment thrive when you believe you’ve been wronged. Those emotions feed on each other and impact your interactions with others but more importantly, they affect your ability to grow. Buddha describes it this way:

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”

I read something years ago that changed the way I thought about forgiveness. I learned that forgiveness is something you do for yourself. It’s not about the other person. It’s in the process of forgiveness that you “let go” and move on. It doesn’t mean  you condone the other person’s behavior, or that you forget what happened. But forgiveness allows you to get on with your life and move forward.

I recently wrote a coming of age story – my own. A memoir that spans the first 22 years of my life. My early adult years were tumultuous, filled with adventures and riddled with pain, sorrow and lost dreams. As I wrote, I laughed and cried as the memories came flooding back. I realized there was something I needed to do – a gift I needed to give myself from all those years ago. I needed to forgive myself – for a failed marriage, a lost love, a lost dream. The writing was cathartic but it has been in the process of forgiving myself that I can finally let go, and be free.

“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past.  A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot change creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” ~ Lewis Smedes

~ Namaste


“B” is for Belief

B is for Belief

What do you believe? In my opinion, what you believe has power and influences how you see the world and your place in it.  What you believe is also what you tend to experience.

I’ve been asked this question many times, “So what do you believe Sue?” And my response continues to be the same: I believe all things are possible; that this is a friendly universe; that people are innately good; that we are spirit immersed in a human experience; and that we are all one, from one source.

My answer often elicits an “eye roll” with the response, “Oh, so you’re one of those, Pollyanna types with her head in the clouds.” To which I respond, “Yes, and it’s lovely up here with my view of the world, why don’t you join me?”

I’ve become accustomed to being teased for being too optimistic, too trusting, too nice. But  I’d rather be all those things than a negative-nelly or Chicken Little with the sky falling around me.

If what we believe affects the way we experience the world, is it possible to change the way we look at things? Is it possible to change our beliefs? I believe it is if we can stay open to hearing other opinions, seeing other perspectives – living with an open mind and open heart.

The Great Buddha tells us, “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, even if I have said it unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

So, I will close this blog with a few questions. What do you believe? What is true for you? Are you willing to keep an open mind and open heart?

~ Namaste