Tag Archives: Blame

Breaking Out of a Living Hell

Breaking out reminds me of that scene from The Shawshank Redemption, where the main character chips away, little by little, at the wall that holds him in prison. He’s determined to get out, even if it means slogging through sewage to finally be free.

For many of us, 2020 has felt a bit like that prison.

Unable to easily hop on a plane; adventurous plans or opportunities cancelled.

Zoom fatigue.

Jobs lost, bills mounting. Childcare and homeschooling! Aging parents in assisted living or nursing homes that don’t allow visitors.

Election season and endless vitriol inescapable on social media.

Civil unrest.

Yes, 2020 has been a scratched record, replaying disappointment, anger, angst, and turmoil over and over.

And over.

A friend recently encouraged me to consider all the things you still CAN do rather than focusing on what you can’t.

And that helps.

But what if that prison door was unlocked? Instead of agonizingly inching toward an escape, our main character could have just walked out instead of breaking out.

This idea struck me as I watched a recent episode of Lucifer on Netflix.

Yes. I know. You’re shocked that I’d watch – and even like – that show, aren’t you?

Well, I was too.

But it intrigued me because the story turns the traditional explanation of satan on its head and offers thought-provoking ideas that make for great conversations between Mark and me.

In the episode that caused me to think about prison, Lucifer explains that “hell” is a place only you can take yourself. And there is an open door…but people rarely take it.

So caught up in a loop of self-recrimination, guilt, shame, and replaying painful memories, hell’s inhabitants never escape this place of their own making.

Look, I’m not citing the show as gospel, but the idea has merit.

I’ve been the villain in some people’s stories and have mistakenly felt that if I wallowed in the sadness and grief of how they perceived I failed them, it would somehow absolve me.

It doesn’t.

People who cannot forgive WANT you to torture yourself for the error of your ways.

And anyone, isn’t everything between you and…YOU?

Who hasn’t done wrong?

Or failed to act?

We make our own hell right here on earth by torturing ourselves for our failures.

For missed opportunities.

Or for how we may have let someone down.

One of Mark’s favorite lines that I have adopted is, “If it would help, I’d do it.”

At some point a few years ago I realized that guilt and regret only serve to drag down my energy. It renders me incapable of joy. Sans joy, I am depleted; a walking zombie.

I quit the apology tour and walked through the door, free.

It was just a decision. To forgive myself.

Forgiveness equals freedom.

And for those of you walking around still paying for the past, my wish for you is that same freedom.

Let yourself off the hook.

Yes, learn the lesson! When you know better, you do better…and now you know better. Since we don’t get a do-over, please don’t spend this limited journey on planet earth a living hell.

The door…is open.

Communication can take many forms; breathing a prayer, expressing an apology, writing in your journal.

There are words inside of you that, once spoken or written, will heal your soul.

And that is my wish for you.

With love,
Brenda

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A Resolve to be Happy (and the New WOW)

Some people hate the whole resolution ritual. To me, it’s a tradition that sort of forces me to establish my priorities for the year and resolve to take steps in support of them.

Hmmmm…that sounded a bit too much like a corporate memo.

Take two:  I think about the stuff I want to happen and dream about what I can do to make them burst forth into reality!

I really wish I had learned this earlier in life.

My approach through my teens, twenties, thirties and most of my forties was to “wish, want, hope, pine, yearn” with feeble faith that I could impact any outcomes.

Something clicked in recent years. I was acting like a tennis ball, being directed by forces beyond my control instead of being the tennis racket and directing my life in the way I wanted it to go.

This does not preclude my dependence on God, the Holy Spirit or Jesus. But I do feel that the heavenly host has been sitting in the bleachers all these years saying, “Will you finally take a swing? We can’t do it ALL for you!!!”

Well, when you put it THAT way, Jesus…

We’ve got the equipment. We were BORN with it.  Our gifts, our talents, our special sauce – it’s all there, waiting to be whipped up into a unique and remarkable treat for the world -and us – to enjoy.  But too often we spend time focusing on what we DON’T have when it’s actually irrelevant.

If we don’t have it, we don’t need it to fulfill our calling.  We are completely equipped for our purpose in life.  And if you read this and start to protest, ask yourself, “Why am I fighting?”

So you’re flawed.  Join the crowd.  So you think your flaws or ailments disqualify you from certain joys in life?  Only your faith in that faulty line of thinking keeps you there.

My resolve every year is to be happy.  And I am.  Annoyingly so!  (Except to those who also are fans of happiness.)

Some people are as devoted to being miserable as I am to being happy.

Every ache or pain or bend in the road is a license to complain or make excuses or blame someone for their station in life.

Seriously, how’s that working for you?

No, I do not live a perfect life. I’ve had my share of broken hearts, physical challenges, disappointments and paralizing fears.  I choose, however, at this later stage in my game – with time fleeting and tomorrows not promised – to see the disappointments as a detour because something better is coming my way.  I acknowledge my fears and then do the work to get back to love because I don’t to waste one moment of this beautiful life living like a deer in the headlights.  I have a weird bump on my leg that needs to be biopsied next week and I am positive that it is either nothing, or if it is something, I’m going to beat it.

Can you tell I’m fired up this week?

I put some of that energy into this week’s message:

Isn’t that sweet?  What a lovely way to start 2017!

Be gentle with yourself first, my friends. It makes it a heckuva lot easier to then be gentle with others.

Hello, 2017.  I welcome you with open arms, an open heart, and a full expectation that you will be my best year ever.

And I wish that for all of you, too.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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