Forgiveness = Freedom

Gosh, it’s so hard to forgive. We know we should. We feel we ought. But, sometimes we’d just rather hold onto that grudge and let it stew a little. Let it marinate. Let the venom build up so that we can spew it at any given moment when reminded of the person who offended us or the situation which embarrassed us. Oh, we’ll show them!

But will we?

I mean, what good does it do to hold onto anger and resentment or even to have vengeance in your heart? It only serves in making you a miserable human being. And all of your energy is wasted on these awful feelings. Maybe I’m oversimplifying this whole subject…but maybe not.

I’m not for a moment suggesting that whatever was done that hurt you is not awful. Not at all. Maybe whatever happened really hurt. Maybe it was really wrong or unfair or mean or uncalled for or damaging. I’m not discrediting whatever happened to you. I’m not trying to say that you shouldn’t feel wronged or hurt or betrayed or offended. What I AM saying is that holding onto unforgiveness really doesn’t do you any good.

It is like ivy. Have you ever seen ivy grow along the walls of the outside of a house. It may start with just a few vines creeping up the walls, but over time, it literally takes over. It spreads covering every possible surface. If you don’t manage it, it will completely take over. That’s how unforgiveness is. It may start small. But, if left unchecked, it can grow to overtake you.

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Don’t believe me? I’m sure we’ve all met or known at least one bitter person who has been holding onto the same grudge for YEARS. They bring up the topic of their offense repeatedly like a recording on a loop. They never got over whatever it was. They’ve stewed in their unforgiveness for so long that they’ve become this awfully negative, toxic, bitter person and/or their personal growth was stunted. Because they never got over the offense and never chose to let it go, they’ve remained STUCK. They’ve not grown or changed for the better. It’s like an invisible restraint, prohibiting the person from moving forward. But, the only way they can break free is if they choose to break free by forgiving – and setting their own heart and mind free.

I didn’t say it was easy. It’s almost always difficult. But, it begins with a CHOICE at first. You have to choose to forgive. And most of the time it is not an instantaneous fix. You won’t always feel better immediately. Most of the time it is a process where you make the conscious decision time and again to release that offense or person from the mental jail you’ve put them into. You’re not really punishing them, so much as you’ve been punishing yourself by brooding.

This is such a large topic to cover and this post is only scratching the surface. But know that forgiveness is often a process and yes it can take on many forms. Sometimes it means quietly within yourself choosing to forgive. Sometimes it means confronting someone in a safe setting. Sometimes it means actually telling the person you forgive them. Though you forgive, that doesn’t mean you have to return to the previous state of friendship or relationship. Forgiveness can involve you realizing that you must construct healthy and necessary boundaries. Sometimes those boundaries may include reducing, limiting or prohibiting further contact with that person or those people who offended or harmed you. There are various scenarios. But, the important thing is that you FORGIVE FOR YOUR OWN WELL BEING.

From a faith perspective, God says we must forgive others because He forgave us, this can be also difficult to swallow. But, if this is your belief, then you understand that we have been forgiven much, therefore, how can we, in turn, choose not to forgive others. But, forgiveness is not something we’re left alone to grapple with. God helps us via his Holy Spirit to have the capacity and desire to forgive. We have His assistance. And all of the above (in this article) still applies. God desires our freedom from things that would be negative and that would bind us. He knows that if we choose to hang onto unforgiveness it is like a poison to us and he’d rather we are free from any poison in our lives.

It is my hope and prayer that something said here has helped you, whether you’re a person of faith or not, forgiveness is key to our health and well-being.

Blessings.
-KD

©KD Corner 2015 “Forgiveness = Freedom”

Photo credit – Google Images

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Why Be Surprised?

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I was inspired to write this poem from having listened to Taylor Swift’s song “Shake it off” and from random life events (not just mine).

Why Be Surprised? By KD

Players will play
Haters will hate
Dogs will be dogs
Fakers will be fake

Snakes will be snakes
Cheaters will cheat
And they’ll do it all
Without skipping a beat

Liars will lie
The shady will hide
There are those who will leave
Without saying goodbye

So why be surprised?
Why be shocked?
When arrogant egotists
Act like painted peacocks

Or when snakes choose to bite
And dogs sniff elsewhere
Wolves in sheeps clothing
Use people without a care

Don’t expect different
From those who have shown
The same “ratchet” behavior
You’ve already come to know

People who WANT to change
Make efforts to so do
They don’t sit around
And make an excuse

The moral of this story
Is simple yet wise
When people show their true colors
Don’t be surprised

Chances are that they’ve been showing you
All along
But maybe you had
Your blinders on

What flows out of a person
Is what’s in the heart.
A person can only act like
What they truly are.

(*ratchet – Used here as the slang term meaning tasteless, unseemly, uncouth and the like.)

© 2015 KD Corner/ KD “Why Be Surprised?”

Photo credit

Introverts… Speak Up!

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Years ago, a key person in my life once encouraged me to “speak up” and share my thoughts / ideas. Why? Because they have value. You see, I was your classic introvert. In addition, I used to be in an emotionally abusive and manipulative relationship for many years. On top of being an introvert and a people-pleaser by nature, being in this kind of relationship proved to be very toxic/unhealthy and disastrous. Thankfully, I’ve never been in a physically abusive relationship. My heart goes out to those who are or have been. I hope that you have gotten out or soon will. In regards to physically abusive relationships, I credit my parents, especially my dad for instilling in us girls that no one, absolutely no one should ever put their hands on his daughters. Period. And if they did, they’d have to answer to my dad among other males in my family. I was a quiet person, but, if you got “stupid” with me, I’d have to pull *that* girl out of my pocket (so to speak) and “check” you. Don’t get it twisted.  But for many in these types of relationships it’s not easy to just “get out”. I pray that if you’re in such a relationship, you take steps to get out and get into a healthier place.*

But, back to my story. What did happen instead of being in a physically abusive relationship, was that I got into a codependent and emotionally abusive & manipulative relationship. In my opinion, this can happen for varied reasons, which I will likely post about another day. In emotionally abusive relationships, mind games, blaming, emotional manipulation (the kind that always make the perpetrator seem like the “right” one, while you’re always the one to blame) were the order of the day. Thankfully that ended many years ago. I got out of it, but, not without some emotional bruises. When you’re in that kind of relationship, and you’re the recipient of that type of constant treatment, it takes its toll (and takes time and concerted effort to heal). Your mindset is one of defending yourself, while secretly believing that maybe somehow you’re to blame. Or either you’re afraid to speak up, so as not to “upset the balance”, which would in turn cause more drama and perhaps abusive behavior. Even if you’ve not experienced any type of abusive behavior at all, and perhaps you’re just a quiet or shy person by nature, it may be extremely uncomfortable or feel very unnatural to speak up on any occasion because it’s not part of your natural makeup. You’d rather be in the background and/or invisible.

So, when an extrovert tells you to “speak up” it’s a frightening and foreign concept. After all, extroverts tend not to have a problem with being noticed or being on center stage.  But, when a fellow or former introvert encourages you to “speak up”, you listen, because they understand where you’re coming from. The point is that you have good ideas and suggestions. You have important perspectives and questions. The point is, you have value. Your input has value. Don’t keep this locked away. If you have something to share, then you should share it, yes respectfully, but share it. If you have something to ask, you should ask it. If you believe in something, then stand up for it. If folks don’t want to grant your request or agree with your perspective, that’s okay. But, at least do not keep what is valuable bottled up inside. You matter. So be open to the idea of sharing your perspective on varied topics. Yes, in all things use wisdom. There’s a time and place for everything. Speaking up doesn’t always involve being the center of attention, which most introverts seek to avoid like the plague.  You can “voice” your ideas or opinions creatively, by writing, or joining a particular group, or working behind the scenes for some cause, organization or event, and add your input that way.  Behind the scenes people are vital to the success of front-line people.

I now consider myself an intro-extrovert… or what I recently learned is also called an “ambivert”. Definition – a person having characteristics of both extrovert and introvert (and I would add… knowing WHEN to operate in each characteristic). It took some time for me to get to this place. I have my moments where I’m totally in “introvert mode” (yes, leave me alone… no, I can’t (don’t want to) go out…. no, don’t call me … yes, I’d rather stay at home and watch PBS with some delicious food, wine and my thoughts, in my ugly “chill out” clothes, etc.). And there are times when I’m an extrovert (Where’s the party? Let’s go!…. Just tell me when, I’m there! …. Let’s post that on social media … Let me organize an event…. You should go talk to him/her… Ask him/her what they mean by that, … Try that new thing!…etc.). But, my purpose in posting this today is to let you know that if you’re typically not one to speak out, I can relate. And I’m coming alongside of you as a friend saying, “Your voice matters.” You can “speak up” and have your say. Don’t be afraid of others not agreeing with you. It will take some time to get used to this.  This is not a comfortable feeling for an introvert. But, you’ll soon learn that it’s okay. Everyone is not going to agree with you, but, your voice still matters.

Some other personalities would take this encouragement to “speak up” and use it to hurl abusive statements or to blast others in a brash way in the name of “sharing their perspective”. This is NOT what I mean. But, often times, these types of personalities will act in this reckless manner regardless of any warning or counsel. Don’t waste your energy on folks who like drama. And STILL be encouraged to speak up.

*I want to end with this…. If you’re in an abusive relationship, it may not be as easy as “speaking up”, but you can take steps to free yourself from this kind of situation. It’s not easy and it won’t be easy, but IS POSSIBLE. Your life, health & well being is sooo worth it! And if you have children, the lives of your children are worth it! If you can do nothing else, try contacting the Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visiting www.thehotline.org. They can help you find a local shelter where you can go. And they can help you create a *Safety Plan* :
“A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. Safety planning involves how to cope with emotions, tell friends and family about the abuse, take legal action and more.” They’ll help you whether you’re alone with an abusive partner, whether you’ve got children or pets involved, or whether you’re pregnant. I hope and pray that this helps.

Sending love!
~K.D.

Photo credit

@2014 KD Corner / K.D. “Introverts… Speak Up!”

Moments of Clarity – Karate Kid Lessons

Do you ever have those “moments of clarity”, when all of a sudden you “get” (understand) at least partially why your life is going a certain way (and that way is usually in complete contrast to your desires)?

Yeah, me too.
I personally think God allows us these mini “a-ha” moments so that we don’t lose heart altogether. Like for me, recently, through a series of events (including my personal prayer time, etc.) I was clearer on certain things. I said to my self, “Ohhhhhh!!! Yeah! I get it.” And then I was super happy because I felt like I “had a clue” for once.

The problem with this…at least for people like me, is this — We want to put these revelatory moments on “continuous play” all day, every day.  However, these moments of revelation serve their purpose to enlighten and then they are done. Now, armed with this new knowledge, you have to move forward in the drudgery of daily life operating on such knowledge until the next “a-ha” moment. I don’t know about you, but, sometimes I’d like an ‘IV drip’ of that euphoric feeling [and no, not by anything artificial or illegal]. I just wish you could feel that natural excitement of having learned or realized something new…on a continuous basis.  But, that’s not life, is it? Much of life is just plain old …plain. Or maybe better words would be – uneventful, normal, status quo. It’s just life.

Not always fun.
But it’s reality.

Many times I remind others that your seasons of “waiting” are training ground for learning many lessons that will prepare you for the next season of your life (whatever that may be). It’s hard when we don’t see the point of the lessons. If you’re an old school movie buff, take the ORIGINAL Karate Kid movie. The main character Daniel wanted to learn karate because he was being bullied. He found out the maintenance man at his apartment complex (Mr. Miyagi) knew karate because he came to Daniel’s rescue when Daniel was being jumped by a group of kids one night. After this incident, Mr. Miyagi took Daniel to confront the bullies at the local dojo and tried to make peace. This request was flatly rejected by the sensei.  Therefore Mr. Miyagi came up with ‘plan B’.  He offered that Daniel would enter a tournament to compete against the students who beat him up, in a fair environment.  The proposition was that the bullying would cease so that Daniel could train. This was agreed to.

Mr. Miyagi then began to “train” Daniel at his house by way of making him do certain chores on his property. But, Daniel had to do the chores in a certain manner, with particular movements. Daniel didn’t see the point of all of this. He got fed up after a few days. His shoulder was hurting and he was exhausted. He decided to confront Mr. Miyagi about it and then he intended to quit. He quite disrespectfully told off Mr. Miyagi and complained that he was supposed to be learning karate instead of cleaning his property.  Mr. Miyagi got Daniel’s attention by healing the shoulder on the spot.  Daniel was dumbfounded.  Mr. Miyagi proceeded to tell Daniel “…Show me ‘wax on, wax off'”, “show me ‘paint the fence'”. The specific movements Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel while working, were in fact karate movements to Daniel’s amazement. You saw the “lights go on” for Daniel.

In this process of continued training, he teaches Daniel that karate is not about beating people up, it’s about discipline and respect among other things.

What “pointless”, mundane, every day chores or duties are you handling at this present time in your life and you don’t see the purpose for them? Like Daniel, you even get angry and yell, “I can’t do this anymore. I quit!” And you try to find an alternative route that ends up being more messy or harmful than helpful. However, these seasons have a purpose. The skills you are learning now may seem extremely useless. But, as you move forward, and are allowed bits of revelation along the way, things will become clearer, and they will come together at the right time.  For example, you will see how organizing those luncheons will teach you about organizing larger events. Or perhaps you will see how managing that small group of diverse personalities will help you to manage an more expansive and more diverse group of people later on.

You are working toward your goal, but, the fruition of that goal may not yet be possible because you haven’t yet acquired all of the necessary skills, tools and knowledge to step into that new season of your life. My friends, God will move you into that season at the right time. He knows when, where and how to bring it all together. If you don’t believe in God, that’s fine. But the principle remains. Your periods of waiting have purpose even if you do not yet see what that purpose is. They are preparing you for greater good and if you do not learn these lessons now, how will you then function fully in the place where God is leading you, or where you are supposed to be?

For Christians, trust God knowing there is a purpose in this waiting season.
For non-Christians, still, remember this process has a purpose in order for you to get where you need to be.

I would be remiss if I didn’t post the “wax on, wax off” clip.  Enjoy! And BE ENCOURAGED!

“Not everything is as seem…” – Mr. Miyagi

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© KD Corner 2014 “Moments of Clarity – Karate Kid Lessons”

Build It Anyway

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There are times in life when you feel hopeless and helpless. You wonder if anything you’re doing is making a difference. You wonder if anything you’re saying is resonating with anyone. Does anyone care what you’re contributing? The truth is, people can be so fickle. They like you one day and don’t like you the next.

So how can you know if you’re impacting the world? Sometimes you don’t…until later. There are some people that you will touch in profound ways that you may never know about, this side of heaven. But if you’re passionate about your calling, then pursue it.

There’s a song by Martina McBride called,”Anyway
Let me share some of the lyrics with you:

You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothing
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway

You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great!
But sometimes life ain’t good
And when I pray
It doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway…

That’s life, people.
That’s life.
Because even if you do it and it doesn’t succeed the way YOU think it should, does that mean you should give up?  Does that mean you’re not impacting others?  Nope. You can’t possibly know who you’ve touched along the way. As a Christian, I believe that we will find out one day in eternity how many people’s lives we’ve touched. But, even if you don’t believe that, I know that everything we do has a ripple effect. Are your ripples inspiring our crippling others? Are your ripples encouraging or discouraging others? You want your ripples to have the maximum positive impact.

Keep on keeping on. Keep building that dream.  Don’t give up.  The great thing about this life is that we’re not relegated to only ONE dream per lifetime. We can have SEVERAL dreams. MULTIPLE dreams. Be encouraged!

Keep moving forward. Keep pressing toward your goals. If something doesn’t go right, yes, you can take some time to mourn the loss. But don’t quit. Keep plugging away. You don’t know how many folks you will positively impact.
It’s not in the number of “likes” you get on social media.
It’s in the number of lives you touch.

~K.D.

© 2014 KD Corner, “Build It Anyway”

When Life Is Quiet

 

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When Life is Quiet by KD

When life is quiet
And the phone doesn’t ring
It may feel as if the birds do not sing
Remember you’re not alone

When life is quiet
By your own design
You’ve purposely left some things behind
Remember you’re not alone

When life is quiet
And friends let you down
You look, but they are not to be found
Remember you’re not alone

For in the quiet of life
We learn to hear again
We learn to see again
We remember the sound of our own voice
We remember who we are
We become re-focused
We cry tears long held in
We release burdens long weighing us down
We heal

©2014 KD Corner / KD “When Life Is Quiet”

Okay Where I Am

I’ve been through a lot. So have you, I’m sure. Youthful joy and abandon. Divorced parents. Confusion. Awful teen years. Crazy College years. Rediscovering Christ. Marriage. Kids. Divorce. Recuperating. Healing. Dating. Failing. Recuperating. Healing. Being okay.

Life snapshot.

I’m okay. Not perfect. Not at all. But, stumbling through. Sometimes striding. Sometimes skipping. Most times, a clumsy combination of all three.
It’s okay to be where I am.
It’s okay to be okay with myself.
I don’t have to alter my behavior or view of myself to please anyone else.

I am allowed to be okay in my own skin.
And not apologize for it.

🙂

~ xo, KD

©2014 KD Corner “Okay Where I Am”

Grace and Love

Hi Everyone! Gosh, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged about anything on here.
I’ve honestly been in a place where I haven’t had the inclination to write. Does that ever happen to you?

Today I want to talk about God’s love and grace. I realize everyone is not a Christian who reads this. That’s totally okay. We are all unique. We have so many choices in life. If you choose not to read this, that’s cool. If you choose to go ahead and read it, that’s cool too.

I’ve been in a place where I’m trusting God for a lot of things. I’ve been praying for many things and waiting for answers to some things; the right timing for others; the fruition of promises for yet others.

It’s not an easy place to be. The road of life is full of things to trip you up, lessen your faith, sidetrack or distract you.

It’s then we must really dig in and stay rooted and grounded in God. We must read His word (Bible), study, pray, be in fellowship with other believers to strengthen our faith.

If we slip up at all, thank God he is gracious and kind and loving beyond our wildest imaginations. He will restore us to right relationship with himself. He’s awesome like that.

Today at church the message was about being “all in” for God. But what caught my attention was when he was talking about the patriarch Abraham. It says that God called him “friend”. Does that mean he (Abraham) was perfect? Nope! Not by far. But his heart was inclined to God and he trusted and believed in God.

That reminds me of what it says that “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.” Whew! I’m so glad about that.

Think about King David. He was called “a man after God’s own heart”, but did he screw up at all? Uh, yep! Big time. But, his heart was for God and when he messed up he always repented wholeheartedly and he was restored into right relationship with God.

Be encouraged today. If you’ve done anything you’re ashamed of or if you’ve totally screwed up in some way… there is a loving Lord who longs for you to come to him. This also has to do with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. He died that we might have new life.

Come to him and trust him today.
I want you to know how much you’re loved.

And if you’re steadily walking this road called ‘life’ and you’re trusting God but you’re tired waiting for certain things… be encouraged. We’re all in this together. And God is faithful. Always.

Blessings to you.

©2014 KD Corner “Grace & Love”

Walk Away From The Flames: Stop Burning Yourself

Touchflame but

Why is it that we as people tend to want what’s bad for us? Is it human nature? Is it sin nature? What is it? Whether it be relationships that we KNOW are absolutely destructive and unhealthy… Or environments that are toxic or overly tempting… Or whether it’s gorging ourselves on food that we know is bad for us and we’ll pay for it later…. Or wanting what is forbidden, what is not ours? What is it?

Remember in high school or college, there was that guy or that girl who was pretty good looking, smart, funny, charming… but wasn’t the “bad” boy or the “hot to trot” girl? What about them? Why do we tend to ignore those who could be potentially good, solid, stable people and instead lust for danger, adventure, the ‘high’? But, going for the forbidden is exciting, right?! It’s thrilling! It’s titillating! Now, to clarify, I’m not referring to going for your dreams or taking good risks to reach your goals. That is different. Here, I’m talking about unhealthy choices, about compromising in the wrong direction, about ‘selling your soul’, so to speak. I’m talking about potentially putting ourselves in harm’s way just for the thrill or just to get that ‘thing’ or that ‘person’ or that ‘high’ that we know deep down inside is no good for us.

Are we just thrill seeking? Or are we self-punishing? Is it that somewhere deep in our inmost being we feel we don’t deserve what is good and healthy and stable, etc.? Did something happen to us in our lives a loooong time ago or continuously throughout our lives that warped our perception of what is good vs. bad, healthy vs. unhealthy? Did someone once tell us that we were “less than” or “no good” and that we deserved bad things and we believed it? Were the messages subliminal? Were you somehow made to believe by life, by people, by circumstance that there is nothing you can do to deserve true happiness, so you might as well just ‘flip the bird’ at the world and live with reckless abandon, regardless of the consequences?

Or are you by all appearances happy, but, deep inside there is secretly a void? Yes, outwardly you’re well liked, you are successful in your career, you have a great family, but, secretly you’re hooked on prescription drugs or pain killers? Or nobody would suspect that hidden all around your house are bottles and vials of alcohol because you feel you cannot cope without it because it kills the numbs the unresolved pain you feel inside. Perhaps, although you’re married or committed to a great person, you’ve allowed yourself to be in ‘sabotage mode’ because somewhere along the line you were told “nothing good ever lasts”… so you go ahead and flirt with that coworker and flirting progresses to something more serious. You know it’s wrong, but, you keep telling yourself you don’t deserve happiness anyway. Maybe you’ve always gone after the “players” because they were good looking and exciting, yet you ignore ALL of the obvious signs that he/she is using and cheating on you with multiple people, because you want to be loved… But you went for the “player” because deep inside you didn’t feel like you deserved any better. After all, what ‘good’ happens in life? Or perhaps life has become so bad, that you seek your refuge in food. Food comforts. Food tastes good. Food doesn’t judge you. Food is always there. Food doesn’t disappoint you. But, as a result you pack on the pounds and before you realize it you’ve come to a place physically where you are no longer healthy… and you’re not quite sure how to get back.

Why do we do these things to ourselves? What prohibits us from desiring what is healthy and good? Or what drives us to self-sabotage mode or gets us off track?
Why do we keep ourselves in this cycle? If we keep getting burned, why do we keep going back to touch the flames?

I suspect there are varying reasons as there are varying solutions. But, my heartfelt plea to you if I’ve said something that has spoken to you is this:
YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE LOVEABLE. YOU DESERVE TO BE HEALTHY AND HAPPY. Stop punishing yourself. Get the help you need to get yourself on the right path. If you need professional help, get it! If the first professional person doesn’t ‘click’ with you, ask around and get GOOD recommendations to find another. But get the help. If this is just a matter of ‘waking up’ to realize where you are, I hope and pray that this small blog post could serve as that wake up call. Stop returning to what is harmful and start moving toward what is healthy. The trouble is that many times, these thought-patterns and behavior-patterns are so deeply ingrained in us that it will likely take some skilled professional counseling to help us rewire our thinking to get to a healthy state. And for addictions of any kind, most definitely professional help is needed and that is absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of. Taking care of yourself is nothing to be ashamed of. Go for it! Get the help. And I hope that through your journey you come to the place that you will do what is healthy and good for you for your future.

God bless.

© 2014 KD Corner “Walk Away From the Flames: Stop Burning Yourself”

image from Google images