Authentic Forgiveness

forgiveness

When we can recognize ourselves in others and we can accept that all of creation is connected, we learn the meaning of authentic forgiveness.

Authentic forgiveness is the ability to let go of grievances; criticism, objections, judgements, guilt, blame – and turn those grievances into acceptance.

Accepting that life is sometimes unfair. Accepting that most people are not going to fall under our idea of ‘perfect’. Accepting that everyone is perfectly who they are. Accepting every mistake (yes, even the big ones!) as an opportunity for correction, an opportunity to learn, an opportunity for growth.  Accepting that what might be right for you is not necessarily what is right for the next person. Accepting that things are rarely as they seem. Accepting that what may seem like an injustice may actually come to be a blessing. And finally, accepting that God’s plan for you may be different than what you had planned yourself.

Ego plays a dark role in all our lives. It’s that annoying little voice inside that tells us we are inadequate, that we need to prove ourselves to everyone around us, making us believe that we are somehow better or that we don’t quite measure up to others, leaving us questioning whether we are failures or too good for our own good. Ego’s will is to keep us feeling separate and alone. Ego is our greatest deceiver.

The truth is that we are all sharing this experience together. We all fight the same battles, the only difference is in how our problems and challenges present themselves and how we react to them. Consider this for a moment: All problems stem from separation.

If this is true, authentic forgiveness / connection is the answer to every problem. When authentic forgiveness is achieved all that is left is absolute love and acceptance for all that is.

We will do anything to protect and care for those we feel completely connected to.We will make time for them. We will smile and acknowledge them. We will make sure they are fed, clothed, and loved. We will swallow our pride, let go of our ego and apologize when necessary. We will allow them to make mistakes, even if sometimes we are hurt in the process. When we feel connected, when we let go of judgments, blame, and grievances, we accept. We accept every person. We accept each moment. We accept our circumstances. We love ourselves enough to learn from every person, each circumstance and make change when necessary.

In a world of connection and absolute forgiveness, no one is left behind. Everyone is cared for, fed, and provided for. Everyone is loved and accepted exactly as they are.

All blessings and miracles in the world are visible from this place of absolute truth.

May your day be filled with love and miracles!

 

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Finding the Gifts in Juvenile Arthritis

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Juvenile Arthritis is a pain in the ass joints. My son CJ was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis when he was 9 years old. The diagnosis took my husband and I by surprise though it shouldn’t have…Arthritis is a prominent disease in both our families. The thing is, when we think of Arthritis we tend to think of it as exclusive to adults. People don’t talk much about Arthritis affecting our children. CJ complained a lot about pain. Mostly when he was asked to do something like take out the garbage (!!) We thought he suffered from a case of laziness. But it was natural for him  to complain only when he was asked to do something…when his joints caused him discomfort, he would sit down with his legs up and watch TV or play video games to give his legs a rest. Otherwise he was out climbing trees, riding his bike, jumping on the trampoline, or getting his chores done. The Doctors believe the pain had probably been there since birth, so the pain he felt was “normal” for him.  He never questioned it. He knew that when he was sore, he was tired and it helped to rest and so that’s exactly what he did, naturally. We only ever really needed to ask him to do something when he was ‘having a lazy day’ on the couch.

CJ had been training in Taekwondo since he was 7 years old – 2 years before his diagnosis. He loved it. He was determined that one day he would earn his Black Belt. Although the Arthritis did rear it’s ugly head a few times during practices and he missed his first tournament due to a flare up, he didn’t allow it to slow him down. He learned the true meaning of perseverance, and indomitable spirit.

CJ had always been thoughtful and compassionate of people and animals. Suffering the pain of Arthritis as the flare ups worsened actually made him even more so. He was driven and moved to “help people who couldn’t move their arms or their legs”. When we came across the Walk To Fight Arthritis, he was so determined to help that he took off down the road knocking on doors trying to raise funds. He ended up doing much more than that!

As people opened their doors to him, he shared with them his story which prompted many to share theirs as well. I will never forget the excitement in his voice as he threw open the door saying “Mom! I met more people who have Arthritis! I didn’t meet anyone my age with it, but lots of old people! And I raised a lot of money! Someone even gave me $20!” He raised $1800 that year and he only had 9 days to do it. People were so generous and CJ found a sense of connection with others in sharing his story.

Every year CJ sets a goal to beat last years donations. Last year he achieved that goal. CJ also sets a goal to keep moving toward his Black Belt.

In December 2013, CJ tested for his Black Belt. Part of the testing was to write an essay of his choosing. CJ’s wrote about Taekwondo and Arthritis. He wrote about the obstacles and the challenges he faced on his journey to becoming a Black Belt. He also wrote about the gifts that he has found in Arthritis – He knows who his true friends are. He has become more compassionate and caring toward others. He feels a sense of accomplishment contributing in the community. He has learned that by being himself and sharing his story, he has achieved what many adults do not; authenticity. He has learned to live by the tenets of Taekwondo in every day life; Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, and Indomitable Spirit.

On September 15th 2013, CJ was presented with The Ontario Youth Award for his efforts with The Arthritis Society. This is the first time this prestigious award has been presented to someone in the Ottawa area. On December 7th 2013, CJ earned his Black Belt and although it is considered a great honor to be tested by a Master in Taekwondo, the Master singled CJ out telling him the honor was HIS to have been a part of CJ’s journey in Taekwondo because he emanates the essence of Taekwondo in the Dojan as well as out in the community.

When life presents you with a challenge, learn from it, find the gift in it, and kick it’s  joint ass 🙂

If you are interested in helping CJ reach this years goal please visit his donation page here

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Living Your Best Life – Part 3

If you are waiting for your ideal life to materialize, it’s time that you realize your life is waiting for you!

Here’s where change happens! This week we are going to take the first step to living life on your terms.

What are you hoping to take from the “Living Your Best Life” series? My best life starts with you…I love blogging, I love putting together the videos. My passion is helping you discover yours. My reward is sharing in your journey so please keep in touch. I would love to hear from you 🙂

Embrace your awesomeness!!

Shedding Light Into The Darkness

FreedomI think it’s safe to say that at least most of us suffer bouts of self-doubt and levels of depression from time to time and we all have our own ways of dealing with it when it hits. Some of us become angry and take it out on the world, some of us become withdrawn and hide from everyone in our lives. No matter who you are, no matter how you handle it, the truth is it sucks for all of us.

Depression, self-consciousness, whatever name you choose to give it, is the result of indecisiveness and lack of commitment caused by poor self-judgement. Think about it…every time you’ve found yourself in this downward spiral, you’ve doubted yourself. You’ve cut yourself short and beat yourself up in one way or another. Truth feels right, you feel bad because you are lying to yourself. And when you ‘speak’ to yourself this way, it becomes very hard to make decisions and / or commit to anything. Pay attention to this next time that dark cloud starts to hover. What is it you are telling yourself in your time of need?

It’s not your job to judge yourself. You were created with exact divine precision. You are impeccable, exquisite, and unique. You were created exactly as you are for good reason. You and you alone have the ability to carry out your Divine Plan. What you may perceive as your greatest fault, may in fact be your greatest gift. Consider this; It is those we called “bossy” in grade school who became the greatest managers and “the nicest girl in town” would probably make a mighty lousy choice for a lawyer. Every so-called flaw is a gift when you take the time to look at it in the right light. You truly are Divine. A perfect creation.

Life has a way of throwing some pretty nasty blows our way and even then, what we may perceive as a disaster may in fact be a gift. How many times have you had your heart broken and thought you would never be able to go on? When you look back years, or even months later, you find yourself thanking your lucky stars that relationship didn’t work out!

Whatever your purpose, whatever your destiny, there is a power greater than you working for your greater good. It is only through these eyes that you will see your perfection. It is only through this plan that you will see the flawless organization of the divine chaos that we call “Life”.

Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo – Forgiveness

Featuring artwork by The Heart Painter and Nicole Cote

Featuring artwork by The Heart Painter and Nicole Cote

Dearest Love,

Forgiveness is one of life’s most difficult lessons. Unfortunately, it also happens to be a lesson you will probably continue learning throughout your entire life.

I’ve struggled with this lesson for a long time. This is what I’ve learned about forgiveness; forgiveness isn’t about forgetting. It doesn’t even have to be about reconciling. Forgiveness is simply letting go of your hurt, your anger or your resentment toward another. Forgiveness sets you free.

Holding on to bitterness and resentment may eventually result in dis-ease. You owe it to yourself and those you love to forgive. Don’t get discouraged. This lesson takes a lot of practice. Once you get the hang of it, you will feel your soul smile. You have my word.

Keep in mind that sometimes the person you need to forgive is yourself.

You make my soul smile.

Love Mom xo

Tomorrow, June 26th 2013 is the official launch date for Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo, Anyone who orders the book that day from Amazon.com will also receive a list of downloadable gifts offered to you from transformational leaders Shawne Duperon, Teresa Degrosbois, Debra Poneman, Susan Heim, Shayla Logan, Temba Spirit, and Heather Cournoyer. For more information and a list of gifts offered, or to place your order please visit the Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo website.

Thank you so much for sharing in this journey with me. As readers, you are the reason that I continue to write. ❤ Love, Sandy

Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo – Dealing With Difficult People

Featuring artwork by Nicole Cote and The Heart Painter

Dear Angel,

Remember this: “Those who are the hardest to love are the ones who need it the most.” Dan Millman said that, not me.

Everyone on this earth has to deal with difficult people. When you are faced with this challenge, try to remember that every single human being wants the same three things; love, happiness, and a sense of purpose.

In every moment, every one of us does the best we can with the knowledge we have. Some people do things because they honestly don’t know any better. Sometimes it’s easy to give into greed, jealously, or selfishness.

Supporting and encouraging you from Heaven,

Love Mom xo

See also Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo – Life is an Obstacle Course, Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo – Embrace Your Uniqueness, Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo – The First Letter, and The Making of a Book That Broke My Heart.

On June 26th, Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo will celebrate it’s official launch. Anyone who orders the book that day from Amazon.com will also receive a list of downloadable gifts offered to you from transformational leaders Shawne Duperon, Teresa Degrosbois, Debra Poneman, Susan Heim, Shayla Logan, Temba Spirit, and Heather Cournoyer.

In honor of this most exciting event, I will be sharing with you a letter from Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo every day from now until then. If what you read touches your heart, I encourage you to please share it with others ❤

Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo – Life is an Obstacle Course

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Artwork done my Nicole Cote and The Heart Painter

My Darling,

Life is an obstacle course. It is completely unpredictable and not always kind.

Obstacles and failures are necessary for our growth. Without them, we could never truly appreciate our achievements. Try to understand that every failure, every disaster, is simply a stepping stone to your ultimate achievements.

Watching over you always,

Love Mom xo

Be sure to check out Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo – Embrace Your Uniqueness, Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo – The First Letter, and The Making of a Book That Broke My Heart.

On June 26th, Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo will celebrate it’s official launch. Anyone who orders the book that day from Amazon.com will also receive a list of downloadable gifts offered to you from transformational leaders Shawne Duperon, Teresa Degrosbois, Debra Poneman, Susan Heim, Shayla Logan, Temba Spirit, and Heather Cournoyer.

In honor of this most exciting event, I will be sharing with you a letter from Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo every day from now until then. If what you read touches your heart, I encourage you to please share it with others ❤

Marriage Is No Fairytale

marriageI have been married for 14 years. Yes, to the same man! We were 23 years old on our wedding day. We were so in love, we couldn’t get enough of each other. He was my best friend, and I was his.

Truth: At 23 years old, I didn’t have a clue what a marriage really was…and at 37, I still find myself struggling to figure it out sometimes.

In the beginning, our marriage was bliss. Although we never went away on a honeymoon, every day felt like one 🙂 And then reality set in. I don’t even know how it happened. As it turned out, the man who had the power to make my day with a simple smile also had the power to anger me to the point where I felt like a clip from the exorcist. And me, the woman who could jumpstart his heart with a look,  I had somehow learned to make his head spin a time or two as well. It’s nothing short of a miracle that we are both around today to tell the tale, there were days we could have happily killed each other.

It was a humbling lesson, but what I realized during the early years of our marriage was how very little I actually knew about myself and my husband. As I grew and changed, Curtis grew and  changed. We once seemed to have so much in common, and then it felt like we had nothing in common. He drove me nuts and I drove him equally nuts. How we survived, I don’t know. Sometimes I felt like he didn’t know me at all, and yet there were still days when I felt like he knew me better than I knew myself.

Here’s what 14 years of marriage has taught me…

Marriage is not a fairytale. It’s an adventure, a journey, a true test of patience and love. Marriage is about constantly exploring and rediscovering each other. It’s about falling in love over and over again. It’s about learning to ride the waves of chaos together. It’s not about following rules in a book, or taking advice that worked for someone else, it’s about figuring out what works for us in our marriage. It’s about finding joy in and for each other as individuals as well as together as partners.

My being a dreamer drove my realist, grounded husband insane. The other day I asked him if he wouldn’t prefer to find someone more stable like him (someone he often begs me to be), he reflected, laughed and said “no, after being with you, that would be too boring”.

I used to look at his realist personality as restrictive, now I see that it’s this part of him that keeps me grounded. His stability also allows him to be the provider he is to this family.

I love my husband more deeply today than I ever have. This past year has been my favorite as husband and wife. We have learned to appreciate each other for all that we are; the good, the bad, and the ugly. We may finally have this whole marriage thing down to an art 😉 Here’s to the next 14 years 🙂

Dodging the Curve Balls

baseballSometimes life can throw some pretty significant curve balls. I wonder if the lesson in that is to drive home the truth of just how little control we really have.

We are the co-creators, the co-pilots of the lives we live. It’s our job to pay attention to our surroundings, learn the course we choose to take; know where we are and where we want to go, ensure that responsibilities are taken care of, and take action when we need to. And therein lies the question…

The pilot can change our course at any given moment without warning. When do we take action, and when do we let go? How do we tell the difference between an obstacle we need to push through, a challenge we must face, and a sure-fire sign that we need to stop and/or make a detour?

As I take a moment to stop to tune out the world around me and shut off the noise inside my head, leaving me to sit alone in silence, those are exactly the questions I ask within.

The message I receive is simple and clear, as it always is; Patience, learn to let go of the control you think you have, and trust that although you may have a plan, mine is greater.

 

 

 

Creating a New Normal

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We really are creatures of habit, aren’t we? Life passes so quickly and doesn’t it sometimes feel like one day runs into the next? Before you know it, a year has gone by and you’re still doing the same old dance? Before you know it you’re wondering why your life still looks the same as it did 10 years ago. What happened to your plan for change? We wake up and follow the morning routine. We follow another general routine for the day, another at night, and repeat. Even for a girl like me who has anxiety with schedules and routines, my days are basically the same.

In my mind, I can see my perfect world. I am aware of the general steps to get me where I want to go, and yet more often than not I fall short of attaining this beautiful world. I stay secure in my comfort zone, even though it’s not my hearts desire to do so. Those who are close to me laugh sometimes when they hear me speak this way. In their eyes I am regularly putting myself out there, trying and testing new things. I’m always chasing dreams; new ones, old ones, it doesn’t much matter as long as I’m chasing something. What they don’t realize is that this is my comfort zone. I don’t like routine and schedule. I find excitement and comfort in always living in a world just outside my reach. I find comfort in new ideas and new ventures. I have been working very hard the last few months to step outside of my comfort zone by sticking to my goals until they are attained. Dedication. Perseverance. ohhh butterfly Focus.

Changing our life is achieved in large part by making simple changes to the pattern of our days. That’s where it all begins – with the arduous task of changing our habits. I’m not talking 360 shifts here, often big changes are the result of small shifts. Think about it; change made in a morning routine can result in change throughout the day. If our day routine is changes, every day changes along with it. You can re-design your life by creating a new normal.

Change your habits, change your life

Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. Believe you are worthy.

Embrace your awesomeness!

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