We Are The Sum Of Our Forgiveness

forgiveness-ja

Lets talk about forgiveness. We often expect it from others quickly, but when it comes time for us to forgive, we take a little more pause, pack it up in its own little (or big) suitcase, and carry it around with us. We lug it from place to place as we go throughout our day, and sometimes those days become weeks, and then months and then years……and it takes a toll on us. It has taken huge tolls on me in the past. Lets talk about how we can give ourselves permission to let it go.

Now, when I say “let it go”, in no way am I saying forget the hurt, or am I minimizing the responsibility of the other person(s) who may have hurt you, but I am saying “let it go” so you can move forward a little more lighter on your feet, a little less angry, a little less anxious, and A LOT more happy! Trust me.

We risk being hurt by others every day. This is what is called life. As lucky as we all are to be living it, it is filled with opportunities for others to come into our lives and cause pain. We have choices when it comes to how we deal with our hurts, but the choices are not easy. When we are children, it is a little harder to understand why people may hurt us, so we internalize it and love them anyway. For instance, I am a child of divorce. For years, I loved my estranged biological father, held him up on a pedestal (which was really just an idealized, wished for version of the father I always wanted), and dismissed realities in order for me to believe he loved me back as well. I carried that mixed bag of emotions with me for years and years. In reality, I was extremely hurt and angry with how life had turned out with that relationship, but it wasn’t until I had my first child, and felt the love of being a parent, that I knew I had to let my anger go when it came to my biological father. It was clouding my feelings of parenting, even though I tried to keep it pushed way down in the depths of my psyche….it was there, and it reared its ugly head from time to time. My unforgiving suitcase had become an entire storage unit, and I just couldn’t pay the rent on it anymore. I forgave him. And I never looked back. I can now think of him and be thankful that he is the reason I am here in the world. I can wish nothing but the best for him and truly enjoy seeing him when that opportunity occasionally arises. I also now believe he loved me to best of his abilities at the time, and that is good enough. I have not forgotten my childhood hurts, but I have forgiven, and choose not to be held hostage by them any longer. And that feels great!

Children don’t always have the capabilities to get away from the ones who hurt them, but as adults we always have that choice. Again, I don’t say that choice is easy, but the choice IS available. Whether it is hurt that involves friendship, or our spouses, or our co-workers, and yes, even our own children, the choice is yours on allowing hurt to continue to take the lead on your daily life. I have dealt with all of the above at some point in my adult life, and have learned that I can only be the happiest version of myself when I am not carrying around resentment or anger towards others. Sometimes although forgiveness was given (on both sides), it does not mean things go back to normal. My first marriage ended in divorce. I have friends that I no longer talk to. I have children who have made choices that I could never fathom. But in all of that, I have learned to work through my responsibilities in those relationships, and my part of where it may have gone off course, and I have forgiven. You can too. You HAVE to. Not for them, but for you. That may sound selfish, but I can promise you that it is not. It is necessary for you to genuinely move forward in life and be open to all the goodness and happiness you deserve. And lets face it, more hurts are in the future, so why collect them as you go along the way? No thanks!!

Finally, lets talk about the number one person you need to forgive….YOURSELF! It has to start with you my friend. No one can make us feel as guilty, or beat ourselves up about our choices more than we do to ourselves. Have you made bad choices in the past? So what. Forgive yourself. Have you hurt others in the past (or maybe currently) and don’t know how to make it right? Pick up the phone. Meet for coffee. TELL them you are sorry. It doesn’t mean you pick up right where it went wrong, but it does mean you both can move forward without ill will. I have yet to meet with a friend or loved one that I might have hurt to tell them I’m sorry, where they didn’t want to hear it. We all crave apologies my friend, whether we admit that or not. So, let yourself off the hook, take the responsibility that you hurt someone, acknowledge it, and then move on. Forgive yourself! It is okay. I promise. But learn from it. Nothing hurts more than when we keep causing hurt to ourselves and/or to others that is on continuous repeat. Truly forgive. And truly move on.

The way I look at it, we are all just the sum of every experience we have in life. The good, the bad, the ugly, and yes, the forgiveness….all of it makes up who we are. We have a choice on what that sum looks like, and I choose daily to make mine created out of loving and forgiving myself and others. How about you? What does the sum of your forgiveness look like?

I absolutely love sharing life with you my friend. Lets just keep doing the best we can each day, shall we?

Anyone, Girl, I Hear Ya?

Kalee xo

Oh, The Hats We Wear!

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Let’s face it, on any given day, the number of times we all change the “hats” we wear can be exhausting. We have our home hats, our work hats, and our social hats, and if you are anything like me, sometimes you feel like you need a neck brace to hold up your head just to keep all the “hats” in place! Am I right? Let’s stop the craziness!! But how?

To be fair, when we are younger, trying out many different hats is beneficial. How do we know what “hat” (job, relationship, etc.) will fit best if we don’t try several on? Maybe we even need to wear a particular hat for a long time before we understand that growth happens, and that hat is now too small. Or maybe we have our hat blown off our heads by a strong wind (life can hit us that way at times…), and it forces us to find a new style of hat. Either way, changing out our hats throughout life is actually not a bad thing. It only becomes stressful when we wake up each day not knowing what hat to put on, or we just keep adding hats on top of one another without getting rid of previous ones.

I have worn many “hats” in my lifetime, especially when it has come to work. I think I am still playing dress up with a wardrobe of hats now, looking for the one that finally molds my head unlike any other, but I know all the many colors and styles I have already worn in my adult life have made me unique in my experiences, nurtured my talents, and hopefully will lead me to the perfect “hat” one day (does any such thing actually exist?!)….I will keep you posted on that. 😉

We all become hoarders a bit when it comes to the hats we collect and wear, am I right? We don’t want to disappoint others so we keep old hats that no longer fit and are possibly unhealthy for us to wear (friendships, relationships, habits), but instead of replacing the old hat, we just find a larger one to put over the older one, and the weight on our heads becomes heavier and heavier…..here is what I say to that: sort out the old styles my friend, and get rid of them!

Life is stressful enough wearing the hats that comfortably fit, so why hold on to your vintage hats that no longer match your style, or fit your head? If your work hat is squeezing your head, ask yourself why, and either go get it stretched or find a new one. You are never too old to change your style, and life is too short to only wish you had other styles to choose from. I am not saying throw your current hat away, but I am saying today is a great day to start taking steps to making sure that when you find the beautiful, colorful hat you long for, that it is possible for you to at least try it on…who knows, maybe it is a perfect fit?!

If your home hats or your social hats are feeling a little too tight, take them off. Look at each of them deeply and honestly. The lines, the seams, the design, and ask yourself if they still fit comfortably. If the answer is anything but yes, (not a sort-of, or it will do type of yes, but a definite YES!), then figure out if you need to wear it in a different way (sometimes just turning it around makes all the difference!!), or if it is time for it to be sifted out of your collection of beautiful hats. Now, I am not saying go end your relationships today (whether romantic partners or friendships), but I am saying you have every right to evaluate them, and see which ones may be causing you constant stress. Does it need to be remolded to fit your head, or is it time to be thankful for the time you had with it, but now needs to be set free? Again, the weight of our hats should not be more than what our heads can handle. Easier said than done, I KNOW, but without even taking the time to re-evaluate our “hats”, we will continue to just add more and more, and one day our necks will break……

So today, look at the hat you have on right at this moment. Does it work for you? Is your head heavy or are you walking around with your head held high, rocking a beautiful hat that suits you? Remember that you are worth every great hat that is out there! Nothing less.

Start sifting that hat collection my friend. I will be doing the same (and you know me, I LOVE hats!!), but only the ones that keep my head held high.

Thinking of you today. Be awesome.

Kalee xo