Forgiveness

             Have you ever been so angry at someone, you just knew you’d hate that person for the rest of your life? That person did something so mean, unconscionable and unspeakable, that there was just no way you would possibly ever even accept an apology from that person. That person completely betrayed your trust, love and/or friendship. Why on earth would you even consider forgiving that person?

People make mistakes, even you do. Yet, some mistakes seem terribly unforgivable, don’t they? Well, think about the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone; and be honest with yourself. Would you forgive you?

It’s hard to forgive people when we feel hurt, betrayed, angry, etc., but remember, you are in control of your own emotions. Yet, in order to control your emotions, you need to be free of the negative, damaging emotions such as hate and anger. The only way to be free of those destructive emotions is to forgive those who hurt you.

I didn’t say this was an easy feat. In fact, it took me years of asking God every day to help me forgive someone who had hurt me so terribly. Yet, once I was able to forgive, I was able to move on and have a much healthier attitude toward everything and everybody.

In my early teens, I remember being extremely angry with someone. One day, seeing my continued anger, my step-dad asked why I would allow someone else to control my emotions in such a negative manner. I went through all the horrible things that person had done to me (according to my teenage angst), explaining to my step-dad why I had a right to be angry. He simply told me that the only person my anger was hurting was me.

His statements did not make much sense at the time, but just a few short years later struck a chord. I again was extremely angry with someone and allowed my anger to grow. Before I knew it I was getting wrinkles and gray hair, and I was only in my 20’s! My step-dad’s words rang back to me at that point and I realized just how right he was. My anger was affecting my relationships with family and friends, making me old before my time, and I ended up with an ulcer for which I had to take medication. I realized the hate and anger I was holding onto against someone who had hurt me was only hurting me more.

There are many studies, including the oldest one of all, The Bible, which warn against the health hazards of not forgiving. Just reading these studies should help you to make the decision to forgive those who hurt you so you can live a life free of the pain others inflict. If you prefer medical reference, the Mayo Clinic gives a broader explanation of the health benefits of forgiveness.

In short, forgiveness is for your benefit, not for that of the person who caused you pain. Although, you will find that your forgiveness of that person will allow others to forgive you of your mistakes. It may even bring the person who hurt you to understand and reciprocate the love that you showed in your forgiveness of their actions.  Just remember, anger begets anger, but love begets love. Even an unruly, out of control child often only needs a hug in order to calm down and become the sweet little angel you know that child really is. So remember, hate and anger tears you up; forgiveness sets you free and you can choose to share the love instead wherein lies your success!

Play Time

I grew up with nothing to do but play. I was fortunate that my mother also liked to play. I learned at a very early age that play time was quality time. I also learned that I had enough imagination to be able to securely play by myself. I know I was not the only child in this world to love being sent to my room when I misbehaved because I was comfortable with my own company (not that I intentionally misbehaved).

Children learn through play. In fact, so do most adults! Everything is more fun while playing. Some of the games I played as a child taught me many ways to manage my adult life, although I didn’t realized it at the time. Take hopscotch for example. I learned how to balance on one foot (helped with learning to walk in high heels and climb a ladder), how to count forward and backward (balancing that checkbook), how to skip to a higher level (use my experience to bypass redundant training), and I learned spatial recognition (how hard I had to throw my shoe in order to stop one of my children from a more horrible fate, like sticking their fork into the toaster).

Every schoolyard game taught valuable life lessons. Think about the life lessons your children are learning. Is it merely how to grow a large backyard (sitting on the couch watching TV) or how to swing a mean thumb (playing video games all day). If you believe either one of those activities is teaching your children anything about life, they are going to live a very sad one. Children should be making mud pies, taking nature walks, going to museums and concerts, growing a garden, building towers with blocks, learning “red light, green light”. All of these and more are a great foundation for life!

Play with your children in everything you do. Make games out of daily chores and obligations. Not only will it relieve your own frustration and stress, your children will learn teamwork, imagination, creativity, and simple self-esteem at accomplishment. So, make time to play!

Grieving a Loss

 

Most people think of a loss as losing a loved one in death. Yet, grieving can come from many types of losses or changes. Aside from grieving a death, you could grieve the loss of a marriage, a job, even a change in the weather.

Grieving takes on many forms and you may experience one, a few or even all of those forms either one at a time or all at once. Just be aware that grief can manifest at any time for many reasons and allowing yourself time to grieve will help you heal.

There are many differing opinions on the stages of grief. Some believe there are only five, others believe there are seven stages. I follow along with the seven stages merely because of the many facets of grief I have experienced.

The seven stages of grief according to www.socialworktech.com are: “1. Shock and Denial, 2. Pain and Guilt, 3. Anger and Bargaining, 4. Depression, Reflection and Loneliness, 5. The Upward Turn, 6. Acceptance and Hope, and 7. Reconstruction and Working Through.”

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, I highly suggest that you read through these stages to better help you understand that what you are experiencing are normal reactions to the loss.

In my own grief, I have realized that people often say, “It will get better in time”. That is just not true. It never gets better, you just learn in time to adjust your life to the loss and move in a different direction. There will still be times even after 10, 20, or 30 years or more when you will be overcome with that loss as though it were the day it happened.

I’m not just spouting quotes here. I was in the funeral profession for more than 20 years. I also have lost very dear family members, friends and worst of all my son and my husband. By all rights, I should be completely catatonic from the losses I have endured. Yet, I count myself blessed to have ever had those loving people in my life at all. I also believe that my faith in Jesus has pulled me through with hope that my loved ones are in Paradise and at rest from the trials and tribulations of this world.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, my firm opinion is that without faith, you have no hope; and without hope your grief will surely overrun you. Throughout my time in the funeral profession, I felt the most sorry for people who did not have any belief in a higher power. They were the ones most lost in their grief with the feeling of no escape. That my friends is the saddest grief of all.

Remember your loved ones in all that you do and don’t be afraid to speak their names aloud. All who touch your life, touch your heart and stay there, living with you forever.

Happiness

 

Happiness is the key to a prosperous life. I’m not just talking about money either, although having money to pay bills and enjoy some of the finer things life has to offer can be very nice. Some of the other ways of being prosperous include having a loving, personal relationship with someone special; having a loving relationship with your children and other family members; having a job that doesn’t feel like “work”, yet still easily covers your financial obligations; being healthy; and having trusted friends who are willing to always be by your side no matter your financial, physical, or emotional situation at any given time. These are just to name a few of the ways that prosperity can manifest.

So, if happiness is the key to a prosperous life, what is the key to happiness? My grandmothers would always tell me, “Smile, no matter what. If anything, it will make people wonder what you’re up to”, or “Smile and the world smiles with you”. In essence, they were telling me that being happy was infectious. Just like the old adage of “Misery Loves Company”, where miserable people want to surround themselves with other miserable people, happy people want to be around happy people.

These were wonderful little sayings, but how can you be happy when you feel like the world is falling apart and nothing is going your way? My grandmothers had excellent points, but it still never really sunk in until I was watching a TV show one night. One of the characters was going through an extremely traumatic time in her life. One of her co-workers asked her how she could even smile much less seem to be happy in light of her struggles. She answered very simply that with all the trauma and drama, she chose to be happy because being happy was easy. It’s been a very long time since I saw that show and I don’t remember the exact words, but I do remember her specifically saying that “happy is easy”. Apparently, her statement was so poignant in my life, that I remember it decades later. I don’t remember the character’s name or much of anything else about the show, but I think about her statement of being happy all the time.

Since that time, I’ve realized that no matter how bad circumstances or situations are in my life, there is always something positive that comes out of the turmoil. Therefore, I choose to be happy in the midst of tribulation, not just for my sake, but for the sake of others around me. Now, I didn’t say this was always easy. Sometimes you really have to work to find that happy place during extreme emotions. For example, one day I was becoming increasingly frustrated at my 18 month old grandson as he rolled around like a crocodile while I was attempting to change his dirty diaper. I finally used my grumbly voice and told him to stop squirming because he was making a mess. Out of nowhere, his three-year-old brother tosses a neck scarf over his little brother’s face and yells quite dramatically, “Grab on, I’ll pull you out!” as if to save his little brother from a terrible fate. My mood instantly changed from frustration to downright belly laughing happy. Additionally, the baby quit squirming and let me finish changing his nasty diaper.

So, choose to be happy. You’ll thank yourself and so will others around you. In fact, you just might influence the happy in those who are having a difficult day. “Smile and the world smiles with you”!

Introduction

Welcome to Gramama’s Corner, where you can share in stories about life, love, children, home, work and any other little tidbits. I don’t know about you, but my grandmothers were a wealth of information on all of the above. Now that I am a grandmother, I understand even more adamantly, how precious their little life tidbits of wisdom were. The information and experiences they shared gave me such a firm grounding for learning and growing. So now, I would like to share these with you.

Some of the experience and advice I will share will not work for everyone; we are all individuals with our own directions. Yet, it never hurts to hear something different which could allow you options to provide to you some thoughts on a more diverse level.

Gramama’s Corner is not meant to replace medical or psychological help. In fact, I highly suggest that if you have a medical or psychological issue, you contact your family physician immediately to receive the professional help you may require.

The information that I share on this site is mostly my own opinion and is not meant to be offensive or deriding in any way. We all have our own beliefs and opinions and I am merely sharing thoughts on how to make life a joy.

Just a little background about me: I was a funeral service professional for more than 20 years. I have a degree in psychology and working on a degree in sociology, am a certified celebrant and public speaker and best of all, I am a grandmother to two beautiful baby boys!

If you do not agree with something I have written, please feel free to state your own opinion; just keep it civil. People hear you better when you whisper, than when you yell. Additionally, if you have helpful information from your own grandmothers or experience, please feel free to share. Again, keep it civil and positive. This blog is meant to increase love, joy and happiness.

Thank you for sitting in Gramama’s Corner with me!

My family
My family