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Lighten Your Load


It's Six Word Saturday, my favorite time of the week!  My thought for today is...

Lighten your load - unpack those bags!

I've been known to share some pretty dark stuff on my blog, like my last post for example, though I try to balance it with lighter fare.  I've had a lot of folks ask me how I manage to keep a positive attitude about life after going thru all that. 

The truth is that one doesn't just "forgive and forget" though that might be the higher ideal to strive for. Nearly all of us have gone thru some tough times in life... it cuts deep, and it leaves scars. But you know what? Scars are strong, and sometimes they are the very thing that has helped keep me together during the next difficult experience!

I've also learned that when you take those dark memories out of your mental attic and expose them to the light of day in later years, you gain a new perspective. You realize things you didn't at the time, and you are able to look at what happened with a bit more detachment.  That's where I'm at now in my life.  I can open the boxes, I can expose the dark memories, and not feel the emotions or hurt as strongly as I once did.  I guess that means I'm finally healing! 

Blogging has been a wonderful blessing to me in that sense. It's the best free therapy in the world!  Too often we carry stuff inside of us that we just can't tell anyone, there is no one in close proximity in our lives that we trust enough.  For some weird reason, it's always felt a bit safer sharing here with people we've never met and probably never will. 

I have shared many pieces of my life here, good and bad, joyful and painful, and have always experienced acceptance and encouragement.  Here, I can be myself, warts and all.  I can work thru my past and plan my future.  I can try out ideas and opinions, and sometimes change them from the input I receive. 

Carrying around a lot of old baggage is burdensome, just like poor animals in the photo above, and we all know what kind of animals they are! :-)  Don't be one of those... unload your burdens, open up those suitcases to the light of day.  Look thru the contents and discard what is no longer useful in your life.

Forget... no... never forget... our past is what made us who we are today - embrace it!  Forgive... yes... as much as we can. It will make you a better person and you will feel so much lighter!  Forgiveness is something I'm still working on in my life... bit by bit I'm getting there.  Love the person, hate the deed?  Maybe not love, but at least forgive. 

Someday I am going to be able to tell you that I've forgiven everyone in my life that has hurt me, and I hope that everyone I've hurt has forgiven me too.  That day is coming... I can feel it.  The more I unpack my suitcases, the less hurt and anger I feel... that's a step in the right direction!

27 comments:

  1. Blogging is, indeed, the best possible (free) therapy, and as much as it helps me put some perspective on my life, it has not (yet) brought me to the point that I'm capable of forgiving some things. I will get there one day...and so will you. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're right, forgiveness doesn't come easy for some really big issues, but I know if I can reach that point, I will be better for having done so.

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  2. That is a great quote with the picture. Nice introspection.

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    1. Thank you Wayne! I like playing in the realm of "deep thoughts"!:-)

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  3. This was nice to read! I felt so bad for you after your last post - so it's wonderful to hear your regular happy tone again now :)

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    1. I'm sorry my last post made you sad, Lady in Red, it really doesn't hurt me anymore. It's a very distant memory of another person, in another life, in a far away place, far removed from who and where I am today. Overall my life is so blessed now, that even me - a cup-half-empty person, can feel the joy and freedom of it! I really couldn't ask for more - though winning the lottery would be quite nice! :-)

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  4. Good for you! Forgiveness sets us free! (:>)

    Happy Saturday!

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    1. I know that's true, Linda! I am much happier when I am not harboring negative thoughts and wasting my life with negative energy. The highest aim is to be free of all of that. It is in the past, it is not my life now.

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  5. I'm not quite there with the forgiveness yet but I do appreciate that the negative aspects of my past, have made me the person that I am today.

    Thought provoking as always.

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    1. Same here, Lily. I'm working on the old bitterness/grudge issues, but have a ways to go on just a few. I can forgive unintenional harm, stuff that just happened, but things that were done with the intent to cause misery and suffering, that's a whole different ballgame. I have to believe that the laws of the Universe will see that it all evens out someday. I am ok now, that's what matters. No thanks to some of those folks, but maybe thanks for helping to make me stronger!

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  6. I can appreciate what you are saying here. There are times that i wish my blog was anonymous. Sometimes i'd like to say something is really getting on my nerves or driving me crazy but i can't. Or at least i am not too comfortable in doing that just yet. Maybe it will come, if it happens, i think it might make me a more wide open blogger.

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    1. I am a great supporter of "pen name" blogging for that very reason, Ken. And I don't advertise my blog on Facebook. I really don't want coworkers or estranged (just plain strange) family members reading here. Recently I've come a long way about sharing who I am, and most of you could track me down with very little effort. It's risky, but I enjoy the ability to express myself openly here. I guess if (when) it upsets someone, it is going to be there problem. I try to be as honest and fair as I can be. I am what I am, for better or worse. I totally enjoy your blog, we get to see a person far more complex than just a guy in a tractor! Being a farmer takes a whole lotta smarts these days! :-)

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  7. I love this post. I agree, as you knew I would. I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin.
    I do still feel hurt, but not by those who once controlled me by hurting me. I tossed that baggage. But, every piece leaves an impression on you, even after you toss it. You are you, and you have the right to define who that is. Thanks for this.

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    1. We are absolutely in accordance on this Annie, we never have to see things that happened in our past as ok, or normal, or acceptible, but we do need to come to terms with them on some level if we are to not only remain sane, but move forward with a life of love, hope and joy. I don't want to be chained to my past, so the more of it I'm willing to let go, the more free I will be! I love to affirm that I am JUST FINE, and those who sought to harm me failed in their attempt, I have survived! We are survivors! :-)

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  8. I agree so much. Forgiveness is for ourselves, not for those we are forgiving. It allows us to move on as we should. Thank you for your very wise words!

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    1. You raised an important point Selma, forgiveness is not so much for the one being forgiven as it is for ourselves and our own healing. Thank you for that reminder! :-)

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  9. OH * MY * GOODNESS *

    I'm doing the same thing!!! I've lived an entire life holding secrets that I am recently sharing in the hopes (HOPES) that it will purge my burden of carrying them ALL MY LIFE.

    I kept the secrets of my mom poisoning me, making me keep silent while being sexually abuse, and trying to give me away at age 14.

    Here's the best of luck to both of us!!!

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    1. What wonderful courage Lotta Joy! What I've found is that secrets shared takes away some of the power they hold over us. Feeling the need to keep all that bottled up for so long is so destructive to our lives and spirits. What freedom to finally say "I'm done with this!" I wish I could say your story is an unusual one, but living with abuse as a child is far too common. You are not alone here, there are many more. As you have discovered you have within you and from our Creator to overcome. We DO NOT have to live under the burdens of the past. We can choose to set ourselves free. Yeah to you for doing just that! I'm headed over to read what you've shared! HUGS!!

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  10. p.s. In order to send readers your way, I'm going to put your blog on my BLOGGERS BLOCK for future reference.

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    1. You are more than welcome to share my blog or anything I write. I write for me, for my therapy and sanity, but I also write to spread the message of hope, and the power in choosing to be a survivor rather than a victim!

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  11. This is so neat! I am currently working on a post (playing with it) very similar to this one. Mine is called "Traveling Light."

    Great minds think alike, but truly this is a great post!

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    1. Wow! Several of us seem to be on the same wavelength with this topic! I'll be eagerly looking forward to what you have to say. I can always use some new insights!

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  12. You and I are on the same wave length, Josie. I am working on a piece about forgiveness but it's a bit of a toughie to compose as eloquently as you've done. During my work with the 4th step, I have found forgiveness - I will not forget - but I have forgiven and it is so freeing!! Well said, Josie, well said!

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    1. This is awesome, Elsie! I agree with you totally, forgive doesn't have to mean forget, it means to come to terms with. It is indeed freeing. When I was able to let go of some really big issues I felt a hundred pounds lighter, and I'm working on more. It's a challenging task! I am so proud of you for the strides you've made in regaining your balance in life!!

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  13. That which does not kill you only makes you stronger. One quote I think about often.

    Forgiving is a healing process like you described and so important for gaining peace of mind and happiness.

    I have been working on that also and the hardest one to forgive is myself. Yet sometimes I see there are some things that I exaggerate in my mind and I am too hard on myself. Then I realize I don't have anything to forgive, all is OK.

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    1. You bring up a really important issue here, Lena, we are often myuch harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else. We all carry around suitcases full of guilt. The older I get the more I am able to look back on the things I should have done differently, and acknowledge that I did the best I could at the time with what I had, and indeed it has all worked out to the good as promised. In a few cases I've gone back to apologize and make ammends, sometimes it does two hearts good to express your sorrow that things transpired the way they did. Living under the burden of self-condemnation is a heavy load. We have to forgive and learn to love ourselves first and foremost! Thank you for pointing that out! :-)

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  14. Sometimes you can forgive someone but choose to walk away and put them in your past. Sad, but true.

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)