The news has been brutal lately. I had to stop watching but even that doesn’t help because I still get news alerts on every device I own. And forget switching on to Facebook – good friends are duking out politics on a public stage in an ugly manner. It is hard to know who and what to believe anymore. Everyone seems to be working toward black or white solutions, which creates anger. The anger will kill us all if we don’t stop and realize that we all make mistakes and the color gray is a good compromise.

I took this picture this morning while I was on a walk. To me, it was a clear metaphor for my series on forgiveness. Looking at it I saw the dead tree frozen in what looked to me like life-sucking frozen water. Truth – Spring will come and the water will melt away leaving dry ground, then green will crop up in all the living trees still standing around the dead one. The dead tree will remain, just like the bad stuff that happens in our lives, but that doesn’t define the forest. The new life, new growth, and new flowers coming will define Spring’s beauty. I know for me sometimes, I am the frozen and lifeless tree trapped by seeming deadness all around me. I must remember not to stay frozen though. Spring will come, time will heal.

So in wrapping up my exploration of forgiveness (for now), I found it helpful to create a list to follow that I thought I would share.

For me living a life of forgiveness means:

  • Being kind when people aren’t watching
  • Owning my story – both the good and the bad
  • Taking charge of my feelings, most especially the bad ones, and not taking them out on anyone else
  • Stopping the judging of others
  • Finding the bright side
  • Saying thank you
  • Tipping the extra dollar(s)
  • Reaching out to a friend or neighbor
  • Paying kindness forward
  • Holding hard to faith – in whatever works to remind us that there is something bigger than our small part in the world, for me, it began with the wind.

How do you live in forgiveness? Share your story and thoughts. Join the #IAmBrin journey by sending me a picture, posting on social media and using the hashtag #IamBrin.  By living openly, educating kids early and often, helping friends in a crisis and NOT being alone we can create a better corner of our world. Truth – we all have scars where there were serious wounds. The wounds were bad, but the scars remind us that we got through to the healed side, maybe a little differently, but definitely stronger. Let’s live our scars out loud, it doesn’t have to be shouted from the rooftop (unless that is your comfort zone) but it does need to be within an inner circle of support that you have for yourself. Truth – our scars are what make us who we are in a powerful way for good when we use them as our strength to move forward.

Join the journey.

Together we can journey into opening up, educating kids early and often, helping friends in a crisis and NOT being alone.

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