Saturday, July 19, 2008
You hear horor stories all the time of what terror kids turn into when they watch their parents go through seperation and divorce. They do not turn into hellans because they are bad kids, but because they are stuck in the middle of ugly adults doing spiteful things in those trying times. I am not saying that our boys are perfect angels, far from it. They are however being gentelmen. I watched them both today as they skated and how they interacted with their friends and family. Bryce and Benjamin both do well skating. Bryce although younger is a little more advanced then Benjamin is. I watched them both on numerous occasions go out of their way to help a friend that was a lesser skater. Whether it be to help them up or to hold their hand as they skated around the rink. I even witnessed them be courteous to one another. It was then that it doned on me to really watch how they conducted themselves. I heard words and phrases today like please, thank you, can I help you up, Dad can we help Tucker skate, and Dad I will hold your hand when I said that I could not skate very well. I heard these words spoken with sincerity from a 7 and 8 year old.
I can honestly say that I have never been prouder. These two young boys are growing into well behaved young men right before my eyes. They are doing it with the burden of having to deal with the structure of their family come down around them. I think it is a testament to the souls and spirits that these two young men have. Nonetheless, I also believe that it is a testament as to how Helen and I are handling it and conducting ourselves. Neither of us are placing any more undue stress or burden on them than they, I am sure, are alreading dealing with. There is no blame or fault put on them by either of us which commonly happens in situations like this.
This is a very difficult time for us no doubt, but we both know that the outcome has to have those two boys and the men they will become placed above all. With all that may be wrong with Helen and my relationship the one thing that is right and common are those two young men. No matter what happens or what direction our lives go this will always remain. We love these boys, and the men they will become.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Forgiveness is a concept, an idea. It is not tangible. Forgiveness is an emotion a lot like love and hate. There are no limits, bounds, or time frames to forgiveness. You can not go up and grab it and touch it, use it, or apply it to something. Forgiveness is something that we all are capable of doing, having and giving. However, it is a matter of choice. It is the choice of the person you have wronged. It is thier choice.
How does one go about asking for forgiveness? Does it depend what the action was? I mean I spill a cup a coffee on my moms freshly mopped kitchen floor and it is automatic to apologize and I am sure it is almost automatic that she would forgive me as long as I cleaned it up. However, if I said something to somebody out of anger that really hurt someones feelings would the apology and the forgiveness be as automatic? Doubtful. It would probably take some time for the situation to cool down, and the anger to subside for the apology to take place. Surely it would take even longer for the forgiveness to happen. You see these are typical type situations with typical type responses.
Nonetheless, what about issues that are more severe than just an accident or saying something that might be hurtful? Issues like lying, cheating, stealing, or even more severe like infidelity or murder. I believe that with all of these it depends upon the individuals involved. Some could be lied to and never find it within themselves to forgive the person who lied to them. Then someone could have a loved one killed in a D.U.I. accident and in a very short time find it within themselves to forgive the person that was inebriated behind the wheel. How does this happen you might ask? Well I believe that there a few factors that go along with why it can turn out that way? It has to do with intent. It has to do with remorse. And I believe that it has to do with the capacity that each one of us holds within that allows us to forgive. With each of us having different capacities for forgiveness what should be our expectations when it comes to someone forgiving us when we have done something so wrong that forgiveness is needed. In a perfect world, in the world that God intended this to be, forgiveness would be accorded when one asked. I mean isn't that what we are taught in the christian faith that all we need is ask God for his forgiveness and through his son Jesus Christ we shall find absolution and salvation. Unfortunately this is not a perfect world nor is this the world as God intended it to be. This is a world that man has taken and altered from its purest form. So now when we ask our fellow man for forgiveness we cannot expect that it will be automatic, but rather we must show patience. Patience is something that we must be willing to have to give those the opportunity find it within themselves to forgive us.
I know there are choices that I have made in my life that have hurt people. I know some of those choices have changed peoples lives, and not for the better. I can only hope and pray that with patience and sincerity in my heart that they will find it within themselves, that they will have the capability of forgiving me. And in God's perfectly designed world I think that there would be a possibility of this. Time will tell if it is possible here in this world.
Can we forgive without forgetting? This question is very interesting to me, and I have thought about it alot lately. Every time something reminds us of the pain that was caused by someone's choices we remember the act. When we remember the act we remember the hurt, pain, and anger that was caused by that act and so we tend to hold on to that. Have you ever had one of those experiences where you have done something to someone close to you that you have had to ask for forgiveness? They say that they forgive you, but down the road something happens and low-and-behold they bring up that previous situation. Do they do that to remind you what you have done before or do they do that because they never truely forgave you? Some would say that we hold on to those memories as experience. Maybe that is why we tend not to forget the the things that have hurt and caused us pain. But I think that if we were truely able to forgive then we would let those memories go. If we lived in God's perfectly designed world we would have the capacity for true forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the true beginning of healing. I will pray everyday for the forgiveness of those that I have wronged, and I know it will take time and patience on my part for that to become a reality. What I am focused on now is healing and that takes forgiving myself, and I have to tell you that this is no easy task. But with Gods amazing grace and a lot of prayer it will be possible. Their healing process is just as important, and God will be there to make sure that they heal. For that I will pray just as hard for.
"Forgiveness is a healing journey for both the body and soul. When we forgive, we are willing to give up resentment, revenge, and obsession. It takes no strength to let go...only courage. Forgiveness is the most important single process that brings peace to our soul and harmony to our life. The act of forgiveness constitutes a mental bath, letting go of something that can only poison us within. It creates the freedom to create a new future beginning now! There is tremendous freedom in letting go."
Humanity Healing Projects...
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
This is my first attempt at a blog. My Father, Mother, Sister, Brother-in-law, Uncle, and friends all have their own blogs, so I figured what the hell I would give it a try. I have read all of theirs and I am quite impressed by them all. They all have their own unique way of expressing themselves. That is what has really enticed me to start my own. As a means of expression. Sometimes we are not able to verbalize what or how we feel about a particular idea, emotion, or event. I am not a writer by any means, but I do believe there is a certain amount of therapeutic value to it. So the following is just feeble attempt to put some of what I was thinking down on keyboard and screen (the new pen and paper) about what I read on my Dads blog titled "Teach Your Children Well". So let me predicate my post by saying that I did not write this to undue, influence, or hurt any ones feelings about situations that are presently taking place in all of our lives.
From as far back as I can remember the relationship I have had with my parents has always been based on lessons. I do not mean to say that we have not had great times laughing, playing, and frolicking about. Lord knows that we have had more than our fair share of those. We have also had our fair share of tough, hard, and even somewhat bitter times.
However, no matter the situation our parents always found time for the lesson that was being shown to us while going thru that time. It is in these times that my sister and I were given the tool bucket. What is the tool bucket you might ask? It is the 5 gallon paint bucket that is unorganized but carries every tool that you might think of. Our Dad was famous (within our circle) for always having a tool bucket. I bet that if you went into his house right now somewhere you would find a 5 gallon bucket of unorganized random tools. Although, I would also bet, if you needed a tool and went to that same bucket chances are the tool you need is in it. In fact to tell you the truth up until a few months ago I had a tool bucket of his in my garage.
Sorry back on track. This proverbial tool bucket of lessons that our parents have given us has served my sister and I very well. It is these tools that have allowed us to become good, decent, hard working people. I am not saying that we always make the right decision or that we are perfect in anyway. However, both my sister and I have always treated people like human beings regardless of race, religion, sexual preference or any other characteristic. We have always tried to make the right decisions. We have always tried to do for others unconditionally. They taught us to treat people like we would want to be treated. Neither Lexey or I have ever been the type of person to go out and treat people like crap for shits and giggles. In fact I am sure that I can speak for her when I say when we have treated someone like shit there is a certain amount of hurt and guilt that goes along with that. I know for me in a situation where I might have been crappy to someone, even if I was in the right, I usually end up apologizing for the way that I treated that person. You see I do not understand how people can do that without feeling something, but you see it all the time now-a-days. We were not raised that way. We were not given those tools.
As a young boy growing up I was always taught that it was wrong to lie. I struggled with this concept for many years in my early teens. For some reason I found that lying about things was easy. Isn't that the way of the teenager? To take the easy way out. It was the easy way up and to a point. When it gets to the point at which you must start lying your way out of your last lie it gets to be really difficult. My mother and Father new this concept very well. They told me this all the time. They would say things like "Don't you understand it is better to tell the truth even if it hurts or even if it gets you into trouble. Don't you understand that if you lie to me about this I am going to find out." As a teenage boy I was sitting there saying "yeah right how could they possibly find out." Well now as a father I understand why they told me that they would find out. They already knew. They have already been down that road themselves. They had been down that road with their parents. They probably knew what I was going to say before I said it. However, it did not stop them from letting me make my own choice as to what I was going to do. Sure they could have stopped me mid-sentence and told me that it did not matter what I said. They did not. They let me tell my tale. Why? Why would they let me go on and tell my tale knowing that I was lying all the while because they had already told me that it was my choice and that I was going to have to be accountable. It was my choice.
You see it is that one little word that my Father and Mother taught me about that is probably the single most important life lesson that one can learn. Choice. God has given us choice. Some know it as Free Will. God has given us CHOICE. However, he doesn't give us this without conditions. The condition that God has attached to Free Will is accountability. He has said to us go ahead and make your own decisions, do what you will, but be ready to stand up and be accountable for it. This is why there are things like morality and law. These are the things that hold us accountable in this life and in the next.
I guess what I am trying to say is that my parents raised good, decent, hardworking human beings. They gave us the tools in which will help us build a great life. We are not perfect. We do not claim to be. Our parents cannot expect that we will be. Our parents should only expect that when we make decisions we use the tools that they gave us to make the right decision. However, if the decisions that we make hurt and effect people in a negative way that we accept responsibility and are accountable for the choices that we have made. This does not make the choices that we made easier or less painful for those we hurt or ourselves for that matter. We are solely responsible and accountable for those choices we have made in this life. When I make choices that are tough and not exactly popular, but choices I think are best for myself I revert back to my tool bucket. It is those tools that I use to make it through the times in life that are the most difficult. I do not place blame or fault, but rather I accept responsibility.
Let me close by saying this and I speak solely for myself. I know the decisions that I have made and the way things happened have left a trail of hurt, distrust, disloyalty, and a whole dictionary full of adjectives that describe pain and suffering. Not only for those that I love and are close to me, but for myself as well. It will probably take a lifetime for me to heal or triage these wounds that I have inflicted on so many. I say triage because wounds like these sometimes never heal. We will survive, We will get better. I am going to work hard and pray everyday to become a better Human...Man...Son...Brother...Father...Friend...and someday Husband