Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. Lewis B. Smedes

I watched a video on painting and the instructor was painting a face. He toned the canvas to the medium color and then added the darkest darks, followed by the next darkest and the next. He was leaving the lights to paint another day. The painting took shape as he added the darks, and would take even more shape as he added the lights.

If we live our lives in the middle it doesn’t take much to give us a full well-rounded rich life. If we are off too far in the highs or too far in the lows of life, it can be hard to bring our lives into balance.

One of the reasons to bring art into our life is to capture the meaning, the essence of what we are drawing or painting. Sometimes we add meaning by what we add and sometimes we add meaning by what we leave out. We might find we can draw when we can’t write, and sing when we can’t speak. When we find a way to give voice to what is inside of us it deepens our lives and helps us deal with what is going on in our lives.

These may become works of art that someone else enjoys. A song that gets played, art that gets hung, but it is just as useful if it is only for our own healing, for expressing our desires, feelings, emotions, and longings. We may pour our creativity into a garden and serve up love on a plate with the bounty from that garden. Cooking is creative and one of the most useful ways of using our creativity to nurture our bodies and the bodies of those around us.

Is there any more lovely way to spend time with others than over food lovingly prepared? The warm glow of family and friends around us. Happy families are not without their issues, and unhappy families are not without their joy. The best we can do is forgive others as we would like to be forgiven, know even when people hurt us often they didn’t mean to, they weren’t even thinking about us as they did whatever they did we take exception to.

A phone call may go unreturned; someone may say, well I won’t be at dinner if they are. Don’t sit me at the same table as them. We can get bitter and twisted and have a hard time even explaining what all the angst is about.

Wouldn’t it be better to put all that angst and bitterness on a canvas even if one slashes it a few times with a knife and get all the vitriol out of our soul onto the canvas? Carrying around vitriol and bitterness is not good for us; we need to let it go for our sake, not the other person.

Gratitude is the antidote to bitterness and resentment. M.J. Ryan

Instead, perhaps we can give thanks for what we have, for the moments today will present us with that will never come again. Those moments that hurt us, should be over, we should let them go, so we have room in our hearts to create new experiences, memories, and moments. Can we let moments of anger be like the thunder when it is over a bright new day dawns, or are we going to live our lives as if the thunder is forever crashing, and lightning forever ripping up our skies? It is of course our choice how we live our lives. Is our choice, forgiveness, and peace on one hand, or bitterness on the other?

Things happen to people that seem unforgivable, yet some people do forgive and go forward without bitterness. They could be bitter and twisted but they are not, they look for the good in people and situations and make the best of the hand they are dealt. What if becoming bitter and hard-hearted is the worst thing we do to ourselves? We put ourselves in a prison but we could let ourselves out of it any time we choose.

Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free. Unknown

They caused the first wound, but you are causing the rest; this is what not forgiving does. They got it started, but you keep it going. Forgive and let go, or it will eat you alive. You think they made you feel this way, but when you won’t forgive, you are the one inflicting pain on yourself. Bryant McGill

Though I was unaware of it at the time, that simple act of forgiveness was the beginning of an entirely new level of experiencing life for me. Wayne Dyer

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

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