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How long should I live before I forgive? A reflection on life’s journey.


A great question but the real question is how long will it take me to forgive before I can really live?

Seems to me that we find it hard to do what’s right for ourselves, yet we want to help others and give them our opinions and suggestions.

We know why, because, its simply too hard to change ourselves. Many don’t have the will or desire or inclination.

What is it that stops us doing for ourselves what is easy for us to give to others?

I guess it’s because we know who we are and maybe who we want to be.

Forgiving takes courage of letting go of the baggage. Courage and a journey that many would rather not face.

Letting go of the past and living in the future means we don’t have to face living in the moment.

That’s hard because we have to face daily reality and redefine our mental model.

For many of us our past defines who we are and our future who we want to be.

What we don’t seem to want to define is the character of who we are today.

Today is all that really matters, for today and what we do with it is our “real me”. Today is our character.

Today is whom people come across and remember.

Today is when the decision is made to forgive and move from victim to accountable.

From who we were to who we are.

Knowing that when we let go and forgive we have given ourselves permission to re-ignite our spirit.

In my blog the rubber band theory of leadership I exposed my theory that hardly anyone snaps the rubber band. Why is that? I believe it’s because people are comfortable and when they snap the rubber band they move into the unknown.

When you are in that place it calls on your courage and desire and none of your experience is of value because you have simply never been there.

So start forgiving and start living!

And remember when you are that very last runner in the race just before the sweeper..you did it and that’s a feeling you can remember and make you feel good for the rest of your life.
And like all races and life the first steps always begin the journey.

Thanks Ann you are an inspiration.

 

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Drama and Trauma in the workplace and in Life!


On the door of my office is the following sign:

 “Enter Here

Where drama stops and real conversations of the heart begin

Where the development of you is first and always a priority”.

I have never met anyone who has not had to live with drama or trauma. So it is part of life and part of the living.

The number of times I have had conversations in my role as business/hr professional /confidant is countless.

 “My boss always pushes me to my limits”.

“I don’t think they hear the pressure I am under”.

“My relationship with…sucks”.

It makes me feel undervalued and not worthy. I am not being “seen or heard”.

I don’t have a voice! It is like I don’t exist.

I wonder how much is due to the perception of the person themselves on others.

Has there been any real attempt to  “understand the people they are talking about”!

All to often our past experiences continue to cloud how we think today. How co-workers treated us then has given us a mental model that it will always be like that wherever we go or work.

Many relationships are “frozen in the wrong moment”. A moment that has long gone and now so fixated in our mind it stops us seeing and being in the moment of now!

Few of us want to live in the past and for many leaving that behind will allow them to breathe fresh and renewed air and ENERGY. It is also fundamental in allowing us to regenerate our mind and spirit and take us on our journey to where we want to go into the future.

We have to stop thinking “as it was’ but pause and reflect as it HAS to be.

Life is for living and forming breathtaking relationships that are forever memorable!

Every day ask yourself how will I bring the best of me into what I do.

All too often we want to fix other people BEFORE we fix what we need to work on!

In Her book “ Healing Trauma” Patricia O’Gorman PHD offers us coping strategies to “Learn to Live in the moment” Her thoughts on the need for us all to “self Parent” reminds us of the need to take care of ourselves.

It would do us all a power of good to do some of what she calls “ Soothing exercises that repair and restore” and learning thought replacement.

Everyone who wants to get a kick-start by looking at how they can improve their own lives and All Human Resource folks and indeed “Managers of People” should read what she has to say. Sometimes the answers are not where we think they are!!

Reference and ideas taken from the book “ Healing Trauma” available at the following website:

http://patriciaogorman.com

From Chains to Spiritual Liberation – A Hero’s Story


I have just had one of those life-changing moments, which called on me to reflect and tell the story. It’s only been a few days that my brother in-law passed away to a better place.

Joe was a quiet man just 60 years old. He was a highly decorated veteran from his war days.  He was even decorated before the President of the United Sates, yet very few people ever knew. Joe was that kind of man.

All of his days he kept the war in Vietnam in his soul and it weighed heavily in his heart.

All of his days he was ashamed for the human tragedy that occurred in the work that he did in defending his country with honor.

Joe was a farmer, he knew how to grow, cultivate and nurture; he found it strange and it did not sit easily with him to destroy things.

All of his days his heart was heavy with the chains of guilt of that distant time.

By day, Joe was a successful patent design engineer in the auto industry and by night he was  “Joe the farmer”. You see Joe came from a farming family and work was just what he did.

For Joe his life could never be deemed a success. In Joe his heart was always heavy.

I was there when he passed away at the VA hospital from the effects of  “agent orange”.

I was there when the palliative care chaplain helped Joe come to peace with himself and help Joe understand that it was ok to know that he had had a good life, as family man, an award winning patent engineer, and highly decorated soldier. It was ok for Joe to feel good about himself!

That it was ok for Joe to take off those chains of guilt and sorrow that he had carried around his heart all of his life, and that God would forgive him. Joe you are not a bad man!

People simply could not understand that it was difficult for him to go see young kids who had been hurt and were in hospital or talk about much that was personal.

People simply could not ever fathom that Joe’s soul was tormented all of his days with the flashbacks of a war some 40 years ago.

People simply could not understand that the medals Joe received reminded him not of glory days but days of sadness and the horrific effects of a war that no one seemed to want and war heroes that many turned their backs on.

Joe should have been proud of serving his country in a far of foreign land. No one was there to liberate Joe though, and I saw many others in the same situation when I visited the VA hospital. Strange that we expect and ask much from those that serves others. Where are we for those who serve us?

Joe should not have had to wait until his dying moments to be liberated and to come to his God not knowing that it was ok to ask forgiveness for yourself.

So as I sat quietly, and heard Joe tell the stories he had kept in his heart for so long. I had the privilege to see a man come to peace with himself and to see a man transformed by the gift of the palliative care chaplain prepare Joe for his final journey.

The weight that was lifted from that man showed in the relief in his face. Joe looked strangely younger then the sick man he was.

Coming to terms with your life does that to you. Why did Joe have to wait until then?

I write this homage to Joe and the work of the VA hospitals across the USA and the sacred work of the chaplain who took Joe’s hand and said its ok, you have permission to forgive yourself in the eyes of the Lord.

I wonder though…..

I wonder what more can we do to help all of the “USA Joe’s” who fought for their country and who suffer from pains and terrible images and memories of a long gone war.

I wonder what we have to do to lift those heavy chains from the souls of those gentle folks who simply did what they were asked by their country and help liberate their spirit.

After all liberation is why they were fighting for their country.

Thanks Joe, I am so sorry that we could not have helped you with your pain during your lifetime.

I salute you and all the of men and women who protect and defend the American homeland.

I don’t wonder any more I know there is more to do. Thank you for being the hero you are.

 

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