Posts Tagged With: Erin Van Vuren

the power of forgiveness

As far as I can tell, this holds true for each and every one of us.
It’s easy to want to rid yourself of the ‘bad things’. It’s actually rather simple to begin the process. But what happens when you just destroy your monsters without really examining them? I agree with Erin. I think you have to really understand your monsters before you can kick them in the ass. With examination comes the ability to truly understand. Understand not only your monsters, but yourself.
Knowing and understanding oneself is a pretty scary concept. I think that’s why it’s simpler to choose to destroy that which we don’t like about our selves. Destroying those monsters (or demons, or whatever you like to call them) is freeing! We’re so strong! To rid yourself of the absolute worst bits is a truly empowering experience.
But it’s fleeting, y’all.

Let’s be real, the majority of the monsters inside you originated externally. They were formed in childhood, they exist as part of your belief system. But at some point these monsters are nourished by you. You’ve grown accustomed to them. Sometimes so much so that your belief system becomes dependent upon them.
The most elaborately designed catch 22 in the history of all catch 22s. You and the monsters are trapped together, woven into one curious being because of mutually conflicting and dependent conditions.

Once (most of us) realize we’re dependent upon these monsters that conflict with our concept of self our simplest solution is to rid ourselves of our monsters for good.
Destroying your monsters without accepting and releasing them leads to more chaos down the road. To know the monsters, to really know them is hard and scary work. Most folks aren’t brave enough to tackle that.
Here’s whats tricky. That bravery is really reactivity in disguise.
As humans, we tend to be reactive.
What we need to be is mindful.
I get it, y’all! It really does feel brave to destroy those monsters. But going about it all willy-nilly, slashing and stabbing and standing over your (seemingly) dead monsters is a delusion!
They’re not really gone.
Sure, you may feel victorious, bathing in their heart’s blood as empowered as you’ve ever been, but I promise you they’ll be back. It may seem different versions, but it’s the same old monsters dressed up all shiny and new. And because they exist based on rigid belief systems they come back stronger and meaner than before. This fight will never end.

This is where being mindful comes in.
Until you understand and make peace with your monsters, you’re destined to lather, rinse and repeat for your entire life. (And after bathing in heart’s blood, you better be washing that gore right out of your hair!)

The monsters don’t function from their own cognition. They function from the oldest patterns. The monsters aren’t actively malevolent. They’re just doing what they’ve always done. What they were trained to do by others before we learned to take over that job.
Destroying your monsters will ultimately destroy the precious me inside you.
We cannot truly embrace the me inside us unless and until we accept and understand our monsters.
It’s the most difficult work you’ll ever do.
That is what makes one brave.
It’s easy to slay dragons (monsters)! That’s just a bit of blood, sweat and tears with a sharp blade at the end.

But to examine those monsters, to do the hard work to understand their very existence, that is real bravery. By being mindful and doing the most difficult work, we can accept and release our monsters.
Forgiveness is harder than slaying.
The monsters didn’t create themselves. They simply exist.
We must forgive those who may have created the monsters in the first place. We must forgive that part of ourselves that fostered the monsters growth.

The most precious part of who I am is that me. By learning to embrace and celebrate that me, I was able to understand and accept my monsters. I work each day to forgive them, even though it’s not their fault.
I promise you, I’m a better me for it.
A better human for it.

My bravest moments are ones of forgiveness. (even though I didn’t feel particularly brave)
Yours can be too.

Stop looking outward. Stop pointing fingers and laying blame. Stop picking up your sword.
Forgive your monsters and set them free. They’re just as much prisoners of the belief system as you are.
Forgive yourself and accept that your me wouldn’t exist without your monsters.
Embrace and celebrate the me.
Be the me inside you with grace and humility, and as much love as humanly possible.

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hopeful and organized beginnings

This papercrumbs post spoke to me this morning.
On this the tenth day of the new year I’m still feeling a bit off kilter. Of course the holidays were hectic and with the mad weather, getting into the back to school routine was shot all to hell. So it makes a kind of sense to me that I’m still in that ‘waiting for the new to begin’ feeling to kick in.

I’ve completely reorganized the kitchen cabinets, drawers, pantry, and laundry closet. I reorganized the linen closet. I feel so peaceful now that these things are finished. I’m serious y’all. I feel peacefully content down deep in my soul.
This organization is one small part in the beauty of beginning again. Perhaps it makes it simpler for me to begin again when I have the comfort of everything being orderly? Perhaps I just can’t handle perceived chaos?
Whatever the case may be, I do know this. I feel more ready to begin again since accomplishing those tasks. Even with the chaos of snow days, early dismissals, and delayed openings, I feel more able to get back into the swing of things at school too.

It occurs to me as I write this what’s beautiful about beginning again and again is that it feels hopeful. Hope that however tiny, each new beginning can bring adventure, or comfort, or a new way of learning, or something I may not have even though of yet!
When I feel hopeful, I’m inclined to begin again.
Sometimes a beginning blows up in your face. But with hope, you take what you needed from that beginning and decide to begin again a different way. Sometimes a beginning is more than you could have hoped for, and you have exactly what you want or need. You needn’t begin again, but you want to, to see what’s next.

To begin again and again, as many times as you want is really a gift. To begin after disaster is scary. To begin after perfection is also scary. Being scared is OK. Being scared is natural. But, it’s important to remember you always have hope in your pocket. To me the saddest thing is choosing not to begin because you’re scared. You don’t have to be brave to begin.
Just begin.
Bravery will come to you.
Hope will remind you that it’s in your pocket.
Begin.
You might fail. That’s OK too. Keep the important bits you needed and begin again.

In my life, I had many beginnings. I had some pretty epic failures. I have learned so much. I have been scared. I forgot hope was in my pocket. Or I found hope in the pocket of something when I wasn’t even looking.
I began again, and began again, and began again as many times as I wanted or needed. But mostly with prep work. Mostly organized. I do not function well in perceived chaos. I need to feel like I have a handle on the beginning.
Of course this isn’t always a perfect scenario, sometimes I must begin without being organized. That oftentimes leads to some sort of new mini beginning.
But that’s OK too.
I believe in the importance of beginnings.
I believe in hope.

In an excellent book about beginnings, Dr Seuss wrote:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

and

“Out there things can happen, and frequently do, to people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew. Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!”

Each night promises a new morning. An opportunity to begin again. And again. And again. As many or as few times as you like.
Organize yourself.
Hold on to your hope.
You’ve got this!

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International Week of the Birthday ~ day two

Now, this is a bit more ┬áthan I’d normally subject y’all to. Only I quite love this quote. It’s so very Robynbird!
I’m all those things.
And many more!
And this year, as I celebrate the forty-sixth anniversary of my birth, I feel like I finally accept myself and my place in the world in a way I’ve never done before. I’ve noticed it more than a few times recently. Enough to bring it up to my therapist.
I feel completely free, yet absolutely in control.
I dig it.
I am lionhearted. And nerdy. And sexy. I am intelligent. And courageous. And I really do embrace every teeny bit of all that insanity and more!
This Monday has been an excellent second day of my Birthday Week!

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