What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

-William Morrow

Our first birth gift is the power of choice, our FREEWILL.  It’s the gift God gave to the first human beings – Adam and Eve – because HE loves.  Love is giving.  Love allows us to choose, and not be manipulated, coerced or forced to obey his every desire.  God’s love is generous and unconditional, giving the first human beings their power to even choose, to reject Him.  Love is giving; not taking.  


The phone rang one night last week.  I looked at the time.  It was ten minutes after nine o’clock at night.  I picked up the phone wondering who it was and what couldn’t wait till morning. The caller was concerned about someone she knew in a crisis.  “She needs help.”  She lamented.  “You must help her.  We were texting and then she stopped so I checked by calling her cell phone and found that it was out of service.  I hope she doesn’t do anything weird.”  I encouraged the caller not to worry about it because there is nothing we can do.  “Are you sure?”  I replied with an emphatic “Yes.”
Some people have to hit bottom, reach up and touch bottom, before they can begin to take responsibility for their own life.

We have to respect people and their freewill.  We are not “all-knowing” nor can we save anyone else.  We are not God.  There are some things for which we are simply not responsible.  If we carry everyone else’s reactions into our own emotions, we’ll go crazy.

One must be aware of her thoughts and reflect over the ways of her heart – what does she do or say that takes her back to the very same place of hardship (or crisis) she was in six months ago or last year;  what is it in her that cause her not listen to others or let them express their feelings especially those closest to her – her significant other or her children or her relatives?  What makes her believe that she’s entitled to be served, that when her needs are not met, she becomes defiant or sulk?

Someone asked me a question but she raged even before I had a chance to respond.  Well, shut my mouth, I consoled myself.  Ngdi ngii mak milcheld…. A yai yai! For a second there, I couldn’t breathe.  You know, words probably wound a soul more than sticks and stones!

What I do with the wound is my responsibility. It is also my responsibility to try to understand because I, too, have hurt others with my words.  Hurting people hurt others.  Do I find healing by choosing to forgive and move on? Or, do I go look for band-aid, like calling others and invite them to join my pity-party where bitter ice-cream is served?  I try to practice my birth-given power…I choose to forgive for my own good; not for anyone else’s, not even for God.  God is doing just fine without my forgiveness or my obedience.  Forgiveness is the most selfish tool anyone can use to attain peace that is beyond human understanding.  I guess there is really no true altruism!   We give to the poor so we can be blessed.  We pay our tithes to church so we can have rooms in our storehouse overflows with blessings. We forgive so we can be fully alive.

We all have a story to tell.  Some stories are filled with horrific and unspeakable account of neglect and abuse.  Some are not.  But, we do have the power to change our story from cursing to blessing in the midst of pain and suffering.  But to live is to receive wounds.

 ‘Don’t waste your pain.  Don’t avoid them with some religious cliché.  Just go through it.  They come to cultivate and soften our hearts so we can grow and mature from it.  Use your pain to change your story.  I have yet to meet anyone more fulfilled than a woman who has successfully come through the fire of suffering and changed her story.

Love God in the pain, not because of it. Love others compassionately because of it; and love yourself correctly through it.  Use your power to choose blessings instead of curses and change your story.  [/restrict]