Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Shame corrodes the very part of us that believe we are capable of change. Brene Brown

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. Martin Luther King Jr.

What we focus on grows, is part of a comment left on my blog by my cousin. Her daughter just had a baby girl. She said, “I forgot how much I love babies.” It is a joyous event when a baby arrives. We don’t know the hope and promise that a new little being brings.

My husband showed me a YouTube video yesterday of young people on the streets of Philadelphia not looking so full of promise. Yet some of those young people, will turn their lives around, and make incredible contributions to our society. We don’t know who is who. We don’t even know what contributions will end up being great ones. What small invention makes a big invention possible? What small improvement is the catalyst for others?

Being a woman of a certain age I may be jaded, but I don’t think my adult children feel as much hope and promise as my husband and I did. Not only on a personal level, but the world has changed, the population more than doubled in my lifetime and some people in 1986 thought it was a problem.

Growing up on a farm was a wholesome experience, and moving to the city was the choice I made. I am happy I live in a society where I had the choice to move. I made choices; my life wasn’t prescribed for me because of where I was born or who I was. I believe in freedom but when I see those young people in Philadelphia or anywhere else I don’t see their freedom as a celebration of life. When I look at them I think, if your parents had a little more control, you had better judgment, maybe faith in yourself to live differently, or would this still be the choice if you got to choose again?

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward. Dr. Steve Maraboli

Just because we don’t agree with the choices we see others make doesn’t mean our choice for them would be better, but sometimes it is hard to see how they could be worse.

Living a good life is about choices. How do we live our life so the choice ahead of us is between two good choices instead of two bad choices? We watched a video the other day about a hairdresser asking a woman living on the street if he could cut her hair. The transformation was amazing. The video has a huge number of views. There was an update; she came home one day and people told her, her grandson sold her house to them, and they showed her paperwork. She couldn’t get a hold of her grandson. Then she was robbed of her belongings, money, and cell phone. The hairdresser lived beside her when he was a kid and knew her grandson was looking for her, but couldn’t find her. The people were scammers who said her grandson sold her house. The grandson sued them and got the house back, but although he looked and looked couldn’t find her. She was too embarrassed to turn to people she knew and went to live on the streets, accepting her fate, and believing her grandson was the scumbag instead of the scammers. Through this hairdresser, she was restored to her former life.

This shame of letting people know the situation is part of how scammers get away with what they get away with. We are scared to look foolish, taken advantage of, and that we were preyed on by predators. We take our lumps and carry on as best we can. This is happening to older people who have people take a conservancy over them.

When I look at the young people on the streets, I wonder if shame isn’t part of what keeps them there. They made mistakes, got in with the wrong crowd, trusted a boyfriend, or a girlfriend. They took drugs, but if they would turn to family and friends many of them would not be turned away. They could redeem their lives, but they feel ashamed for getting into the situation they are in so they stay there. I could be wrong, but I imagine it is something like that. When people prey on our insecurities, when we are afraid to stand up because we worry we’ll look stupid we often end up being even more victimized, but we have the power to change it.

In the Tarot Deck, the devil card shows people with chains around their neck, but those chains can be taken off at any time. We think we don’t have the power to change our lives, but most of the time there is something we can do to make it better. There is someone we can turn to.

We can turn over a new leaf, and lead a different life. We have to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made. We have to learn from our mistakes not live in shame because of them. Everyone makes mistakes, and we have to deal with the fall out of those mistakes, but we can go forward better.

Do we have things we need to forgive ourselves for, mistakes we’ve made that still haunt us?

It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you. Tyler Perry

There is no sense in punishing your future for the mistakes of your past. Forgive yourself, grow from it and then let it go. Melanie Koulouris

If you are looking to turn over a new leaf and be more kind and forgiving. I suggest starting with the person you see in the mirror each morning. Charles F. Glassman

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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