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!

 

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 – Embrace Your Uniqueness

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Featuring art by The Heart Painter and Nicole Cote

Dear Love,

You were born with special qualities and traits. It’s so important to love and accept every part of yourself as a valuable contribution to what makes you so wonderfully you. No one else can be you better than you can!

You were born exactly the way you are to learn the lessons and achieve the miracles that only you can.

Embrace your uniqueness!

Loving you just as you are, forever.

Love Mom xo

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 – The First Letter

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 ❤

Heart Painter

My Dear Child,

I want you to know that your life has made a remarkable difference in mine.

You’ve touched my life in ways that I can’t explain. I’ve learned more from you than I’ve learned from anyone or anything else in this world. You are a true gift.

Make no mistake; I am not the only one who feels this way. I’m proud to say I’ve seen you touch many people’s lives in many different ways and you’ve been doing it since the day you were born.

I am honored to call you my child.

Always by your side,

Love Mom xo

Where it all began: The Making of A Book That Broke My Heart

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 🙂

10 Lessons I Learned From Debra Poneman

debra poneman and I

Debra Poneman is living, breathing, walking Love. She is a Goddess of transformation. She is a captivating inspirational speaker, and has mentored great leaders such as Marci Shimoff, Depak Chopra, and Janet Attwood.

About 3 years ago, I was in Toronto assisting with the development of The Passion Test for Kids and Teens. It was there that I had the good fortune of meeting Debra, The moment I met her, I absolutely loved her. When I heard her speak I was captivated, and when she told her story, I heard mine.

Today, I’d like to share with you 10 of the lessons I’ve learned from this phenomenal woman, I now call my friend.

  1. You are enough…in fact, you are more than enough. You are exactly and precisely as you were created by God himself
  2. Clarity is the key to transformation
  3. ‘Feeling’ and ‘Faith’ are the magic ingredients to achieving miracles
  4. If an idea comes to you, it’s because God gave it you knowing that you can give it life.
  5. Your heart is your inner GPS, it will never steer you wrong
  6. Everything works out for your greater good. You only need to trust in a plan that is bigger than your own
  7. Great things happens when we treat every person as our child, our mother, our father, our brother, our sister
  8. Give the best of you to every one, every day
  9. Meditation is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself
  10. Love is always the answer

These are the lessons I live by, lessons that have never steered me wrong. If you ever have the opportunity to hear Debra speak, brace yourself for when she is done you will be given a whole new outlook. For more information on Debra please visit yestosuccess.com

Embrace her awesomeness!

There are people we encounter in our lives that leave lasting imprints in our hearts, for me Debra Poneman was one of those people. Who influenced your life? What lessons did they leave you with?

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please take a moment to share it with others who might as well. You may also like You, Through My Eyes, My Faith Unveiled, and Journey Through Miracles…A Personal Story.

I Tortured My Kid With Song! Creative Parenting

Simon CowellHow many times have you wished you were different than you were? Wished your hair was straight instead of curly, or that you had a talent for cooking instead of burning, or that you were athletic instead of clumsy? I can’t tell you how often I’ve wished for a beautiful singing voice. I love music, I love to dance (can’t dance but I pretend I can), I love to sing (can’t sing but pretend I can). When my babies were little, they used to love when I sang them songs…actually, now that I think of it, they never actually asked me to sing….hmmm….interesting. Oh well. I sang to them a lot, when they went to sleep, when they woke up, as they got ready for school. Never any specific song, nope. I made up each song as I went along. I thought they loved it because my singing always made them laugh. I’ve noticed that the older they get, the more they plead with me to stop singing….they still laugh….most of the time.

Last week, I stumbled upon a gift that is sure to serve me well for the rest of my life. You will never believe what it was…my voice! My beautiful singing voice! Allow me to fill you in…what I am about to share with you is a true story…one that any parent can appreciate.

It was a Sunday like any other dedicated to cleaning up the house in preparation of a brand new week. There I was begging my 11 year old son to clean his room. I had tried everything to get him motivated to create a space he could relax in. I’ve hidden money in his room, I’ve bribed him with quality time exchanges, I’ve taken away his toys, I’ve made him do his own laundry, I’ve taken his beloved extra-curricular activities away, nothing seems to work long term. The best I got was a half-assed clean sweep.

On this day, in another attempt at motivation, I suggested he crank some music. It always worked for me, Dance! Sing! while you clean up. The job seems to do itself! For whatever reason, I can’t remember he said he couldn’t play the music in his room so I offered to sing to him…..WHAM! That’s when it happened, “No! No! Mom, don’t sing!”idea

“I’ll tell you what, I won’t sing if you clean your room, I mean really clean it. If you stop cleaning it before it’s done, I will sing.” He did as any kid his age would do. He called my bluff. Out of my mouth came Taylor Swift and WHAM! “Okay Mom! Okay! Look at me, I’m cleaning my room! See?” Within less than an hour his room was spotless! Brilliant!! That was a major discovery I made right there!!

Unfortunately, this technique will not work for every parent, only maybe those with a special kind of voice. All I’m saying is just for today trust in your whole being and embrace every part of you because sometimes what you may perceive as a fault may one day prove to be your greatest asset 🙂

Embrace your awesomeness!

If you liked this post, share it with others who will too! You may also like The Solo Adventure of a Geographically Challenged Mom, Mommy’s Escape – The end of a beautiful affair, and The Making of a Book That Broke My Heart

How Our House Became Our Home

home sweet homeHome renovations are the leading cause of divorce in the world. Okay, I don’t actually know this, after the week I’ve had I’m just guessing…although I’d be very interested to see the statistics.

For 14 years we have lived in the same house. It was a repo and in desperate need of some loving attention. However with our impending marriage, new home costs, and other financial commitments at the time, the TLC our home needed was just too much to bear. Over the years, we dabbled in decor only to find out that there is one thing my husband and I agree on and that’s that we can’t agree on anything house related. We have completely different tastes and neither one of us have a clue when it comes to decorating a home. Seriously, I can’t stress this enough. We once hired someone to help us figure it out, at least to take us through some options and mediate for us until we could come to some kind of compromise. I loved what she did but I knew we needed more. Our budget just wouldn’t allow it. My husband’s reaction was different, “We paid how much for toilet paper curtains??” and made reference to the off-white looped carpet being a bad idea with pets and children (right he was) And so, we did all we could do…we ignored it until we forgot about the excruciating pain of paint, renos, purchases, and decorating.  It took years before we decided to give it another go.

This time, we decided that we would try something new. Curtis put me in charge of all things paint; choosing the colors, taping, mudding and sanding the walls, and painting. I put Curtis in charge of flooring. We both checked in with each other regularly. The flooring went well, we went to see our options with the type we had in mind and ended up talking to a wealth-of-information sales guy and got something totally different that we felt would work in our home and we both loved it! I suggested we paint before laying the floor but Curtis adamantly insisted on laying the floor first. (Can you hear that?? It’s trouble brewing…!)

Curtis laid the floor. He did a fantastic job and great news…it looked awesome! We both loved it! I was still obsessing about struggling with paint color choices. Do I go with neutrals, do I go timeless,  vibrant, bold, what? It had to be something we could both live with. I looked through pictures and asked questions, I even started a heated discussion on a home decor and design site! I wanted to paint the ugly honey oak cupboards, Curtis was dead set against it! The compromise was I needed to find a way to tone down the bright, glossy, ugliness of them. Who knew what I had unleashed when I asked what paint color would do the job I needed it to do? The responses were passionate; “It doesn’t matter what color you put with those cupboards, any color will make them uglier”, “he should buy you new appliances for having to put up with those cupboards”, … even my husband got in on the action “I am confident we can make our kitchen look nice working with what we have” lol it was too much fun!

AHHH! The paint colors…you know I don’t like to commit. Commitment is just too final. I like change, I change my mind as my mood changes. I came across a picture of my ideal room, if I had my own place, this is what it would look like:

I showed it to Curtis, and guess what?! Once he got over the inital shock of it, he admitted he liked it. (!!!) There’s my green light! After asking for his feedback on the 50th paint swatch, he repeated for the 50th time, “I don’t want anything to do with the paint! Whatever you want is fine!” I’m thinking ok 😀 I wanted to give our home some personality…and personality I found! I excitedly shared my color choices with my husband. His reaction?

shock!

I started with Salsa Dancing in the living room…LOVED IT!! Warm, cozy, deep, rich, wonderful color! I love painting, I love the unveiling of color, I love to watch the transformation before my eyes, I genuinely enjoy painting, it’s a happy place for me. Curtis hates all things paint…especially watching me paint, but he can’t help himself. He stared at me, and nit-picked until I kindly turned to him and said “Don’t you have anything else to do?” By the time we got to the Yellow for the hallway, I was psyched! Until I saw the yellow on the wall. I felt myself starting to doubt, but trusted the wonderful lady at the paint store….surely, it would all work out in the end. It wasn’t a bad color at night…Once I hit the kitchen and tore into the green paint….Ah! O-M-G! What have I done! I’ve painted my house orange, yellow and green! I do believe my colors of choice may have been questionable!!

Right then, as my husband watched me with his-hate-for-painting eyes, and his constant reminders of “watch the paint”, “watch the floor with the paint” and my “I got this! Ok?” I gracefully tripped over a cord from the fridge he had moved, my foot landed directly in my tray of wet paint, I quickly pulled my paint soaked foot out of the tray and braced it securely on his newly laid grooved floor. (There’s the trouble I was telling you about!)  His reminders went silent, his eyes went crazed, and I got worried. He remained silent. Hot Tip: Laughing out loud at this point, NOT a good idea.

Once I got the floor cleaned, I called on reinforcements in sheer panic over the paint colors! They loved it. (Well, I think my brother had his doubts, he just laughed saying my home definitely radiates personality!) Maybe it was me…maybe the idea of commitment was just too much. I don’t know, but I stuck with it and you know what? Once I got the drop sheets moved, the curtains hung, and the hits of personality on the walls…I loved it too!

After 14 years, our house has finally begun to feel like a home. A home we created together. A home that showcases our personalities, ugly wood cupboards and vibrance on the walls.

If you liked this post you may also like: The Truth About My MarriageNot-So-Solo Trip to Toronto, On The Verge Of Crazy or Helplessly Charismatic

Thank you for being a part of the life I call my own personal chaos 🙂 Embrace your awesomeness 🙂

Great Courage Can Come in the Smallest Packages – a tribute to Princess Laura

ImageOn January 30th 2013, Laura will be celebrating her 4th birthday! In honor of her birthday, I would like to share her story with you.

Laura was born a happy, healthy baby. A beautiful little package sent from Heaven welcomed into a family with a devoted Mother, a Daddy who is her hero, and a Big Sister who loves her to pieces. Laura never got sick, ever. In fact, the first time she ever needed medical attention was when she was 3 years old. She had fallen and needed X-rays. No one could have prepared themselves for the sequence of events that would follow those X-rays.

Laura has Leukemia. Those three words shattered their hearts and changed their lives forever. Big Sister Victoria cried “why is my sister sick?” Victoria was 8 years old and understood cancer. Laura’s parents were in shock. The next few days were spent expecting the Doctor to call saying it was all a big mistake, the test results were wrong and their little baby girl was fine.

That call never came.

Laura’s Mom continued to pray asking “why? Why my baby? Why would God allow this to happen?”

Do you know that even in the midst of complete heartache, she never loses faith? Do you know why? She told me because she looks into little Laura’s eyes and she knows she’s in God’s hands. She trusts in God’s plan and thanks Him everyday choosing her to be little Laura’s caregiver … Take a moment to really take that in….God bless her.

Laura’s chemotherapy treatments are trying, they take a lot out of her, but even at 3 years old, she toughs it out and remains strong. Laura met her best friend Riley in the hospital, at the time Riley was being treated for kidney cancer. Sadly, Riley passed away only days before celebrating her 4th birthday. Although the time they spend together was brief, they forged a bond that Laura won’t likely forget.

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Two months ago, Laura lost her hair. Her Daddy proudly supported his little girl by honoring the day with a ‘shave day’. He shaved his head to match hers. Embrace his awesomeness!

Being 5 years older than Laura, Big Sister Victoria is a huge help in Laura’s care taking. She asked to have her head shaved too, but it’s hard for little girls to grow their hair back, so she still has hers. Embrace her awesomeness!

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This year Laura will be celebrating her birthday with all her favorite princesses at Disney. Please join me in wishing her a very happy birthday and “liking” her page Team Laura. (Maybe send a shout out to Victoria, Mommy, and Daddy too 🙂  )

Laura continues to stay strong, facing challenges head on and tackling every obstacles that stand in her way. We can all learn from Princess Laura’s bravery and strength.

We embrace your awesomeness Princess Laura!

What will you take from her story?

Please help me share Laura’s story with the rest of the world. Her story deserves to be heard and her family could use all the love and support they can get.

All Love,

Sandy

If you enjoyed this blog, you may also like Unleasing The Hero Within.

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