Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

I learned that true forgiveness includes total acceptance. Catherine Marshall

On Saturday night, I was in my studio painting, frustrated, because my painting wasn’t tuning out how I wanted it to. As I got ready for bed I thought of a painter whose work evokes love, hope, home, and family, Thomas Kinkade. The art world didn’t recognize him as a great painter but the public loved his work. On Sunday morning I was searching for articles, on Thomas Kinkade’s painting techniques. I found out he died in 2012 at age 54.

In his book Lightposts for Living, it seemed he had an idyllic life, he’d found God, and said, God was his art agent. That appeared to work well for him, but there is no idyllic life, no matter how it is portrayed in a book, Tik Tok, Facebook, etc. We all have problems, challenges, lapses of faith in ourselves, others, and even God.

It is easy to think other people have things figured out we haven’t yet figured out. When we see them we think they still have magic in their relationship. We hear about their children and they always seem to be doing well. Often there is another side to the story. Even if it isn’t a bad side, reality, and perception aren’t the same thing. If someone spends all their time building an empire their family may feel like they aren’t a priority.

If someone spends all their time building a family they may feel the empire is lacking. The wild single life may seem more exciting than being married and raising a family. Raising a family may feel more joy-filled than being single. We have to watch what we think we see in other people’s lives. We have to watch our expectations.

Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness, those are life-altering lessons. Jessica Lange

My oldest sister always said if we put our troubles on the line when we had to choose someone else’s troubles we would take our own back. It’s a good way to look at things. She’s been married fifty years. It is funny her husband and mine have the same birth date but are seventeen years apart.

One of the things that make marriages last is perseverance. If we take the attitude that there will be challenges in relationships, and it isn’t only dependant on the person, then perhaps we’ll think sticking it out with our first choice is better than picking a second and third choice. As they say, “Time” is the secret to a long marriage. Stick-to-it-ive-ness is getting through the thick and thin in life. Knowing spring follows winter but winter also follows fall. No one gets only good times and no one gets only bad.

Change is coming. No matter how much we loved periods in our life. We move on to new stages, new highs, new lows, different gains, and losses. We may have loved being an active parent but adult children need us to stay out of their lives, not insert ourselves in. If we are lucky we become grandparents and a new cycle begins.

When we are in a period where it seems there is nothing to look forward to we need to look forward with hope, a new spring is coming. Sometimes we need to grow and change our expectations because if we can only be happy if certain things happen, and they never happen, that’s a sad way to live a life. We may feel hurt by something and it colors our life, no one can change what happened, not even the person that caused the hurt. We can forgive and go forward or carry that hurt the rest of our lives. Our life might look blessed to others but we can’t see it because we can’t get over the past.

If we forgive ourselves, and others we can deal with today instead of carrying the burden of yesterday on our back. We did the best we could, or we didn’t. We have to go forward because no one gets to go back. Learning to be okay with what is, maybe what we most have to learn in life.  

Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace. Mel Robbins

The best way to escape from the past is not to avoid or forget it, but to accept and forgive it. Unknown

The act of forgiveness takes place in our own mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person. Louise Hay

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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