Every morning, Maurice, a Facebook friend, greets all his friends with a “Good Morning”, something I look forward to. He also posts a daily question: “Today I intend to…” , the sentence left open for us to complete. My first thought when I saw it this morning was: I intend to clean up a mess I made yesterday. I quickly realized there is no going back, we can’t change what happened a fraction of a second ago. What we can do is reflect and try to understand that in the course of being human we make mistakes, succumb to our weaknesses, we stumble over ourselves and over things that most of time are imaginary. It’s true that at times we can be our own worst enemy. We tend to judge ourselves so harshly and beat ourselves up over things that don’t carry any significance other than to help us build character and integrity. Recently I’ve been faced with a huge challenge in my life. No details are necessary because that’s all they are; details. A challenge is a challenge. It is the same no matter how many different angles we view it from. The contrast comes in how we choose to deal with it. Do we let it consume us and eat us alive? Do we say, like I said to myself this morning, “Well, that wasn’t my brightest moment”? It’s fleeting and in a few days the feeling of, ugh what was I thinking, will pass and life will resume as “normal” and I know I will be stronger and more confident as a result. We must realize that we always have a choice. We must always be asking ourselves, is this incident going to define me or am I going to define what it means to me? How can I evolve, grow and learn from this experience. We are all works in progress, hopefully trying to do the right thing and move in a direction that nurtures rather than damages our soul. If I’ve learned anything with this most recent challenge, it’s not to let anyone have power or control over our thoughts, emotions, actions or feelings. If we give that power up we will, without a doubt, be living a lie, and in my opinion there is nothing worse than that. It’s a lie because it ceases to be our life, it’s someone else’s and what they need and want reigns superior to our needs and wants. Emotional vampires thrive on our compassion as a way of sucking the life out of us to feed their own egos. They will lie, manipulate and play mind games all to keep us under their control. I made a conscious choice not to fall back into that trap but yesterday I slipped, actually, I ran at full speed straight into a concrete wall that I knew was there. Not my finest moment. I’m bruised, but not beaten; sore, but not broken. I’m actually excited this morning as I write this because that’s what it took to finally open my eyes. What I’ve been feeling regarding this challenge, that was the lie. A lie I told myself over and over again because the thought that someone got amusement from messing with me was too excruciating to face. In time, the pain of that will be gone and to a large degree already is. Moving out of denial and into acceptance is a huge first step. I love the line in The Lords Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. It’s a two way street; we must first offer ourselves forgiveness and then offer it to everyone else, no matter the injustice. So, Maurice, today I intend to let go of yesterday and live a better today. To love those and be completely present with the ones who love me and free myself from toxic people and situations and never look back again. This is my solemn vow from this day forward. Live well, be well and forgive well.
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