LOVE has come for you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mark Twain really said a lot of stuff.

  • “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Or so he said.  (Mark Twain, that is.)

  • “The earth was warm under me, and warm as I crumbled it through my fingers...I kept as still as I could. Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.” 
― Willa CatherMy Ántonia

Today I am contemplating success and forgiveness.  Last year when I had the breakdown in my gynecologist's office, I told him, through my tears, I felt myself a failure.  I have made strides in my emotional health since then. My anxiety is manageable and I feel more peaceful and slightly more motivated.  Yesterday I was struggling with success and forgiveness.  In a conversation, someone said sarcastically to me, "...because your life is so successful."  Ouch.

What is that measure of success? What is that standard? Well, if we are speaking of financial success, then no. I am an UNsuccessful little lady.  Annually, I make about a third of what I did before I became a mother. And it would be fair to say my debt has tripled. It is an area of stress and disappointment and harsh self-talk. I am not proud of where I sit financially, but I do know that I can improve. I have to pray minute by minute for wisdom and guidance and strength not to commit the same financial missteps. It will be a life long challenge for me, I am sure.

Are we reduced to our checking account? Are we measured by our debt to income ratio? I truly hope that I will not have to bring a copy of my bank statement with me when I go.

I can share with you my idea of success, BUT I can't really claim this success as my own.
I have a husband who loves me, loves his children, who works hard, who is faithful to me. He picks up the pieces that I inevitably drop, he hopes and dreams and plans for a future for our children, for the two of us.  I have these three beautiful children for whom I have been allowed tending as they grow. I have to see these great blessings, these gifts, as my success.  

I yell at my kids and grumble about my husband.  I forget to enter withdrawals in my check register.  I overspend.  But everyday is new, full of challenge and opportunity.  I won't give up.  I'll put that darling clearance tagged blanket back on the shelf.  I will empty my virtual cart.  I will hug my children and my husband.  I'll choose love as my song.  Forgive me if I am slightly off key!

        “Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.” 
― Henri J.M. Nouwen

Peace, Love, Forgiveness, and Success to you today, my friends!!!!

also, today is:

so i DARE you to do it. leave a comment. here! and then go there to see what she's giving away!


Anonymous said...

Well. I can't believe the nerve of some people....cuz as you say, with what is success measured? I think your ruler is a good one. A love ruler. And add me on the forgiveness train, I need it too.

Anonymous said...

Happy leave a comment day! I always love to read your posts....but I have no good words of wisdom:) Sometimes saying nothing is better than saying something hurtful. That's my advice! Love ya. Nan

Jan said...

A young woman, very near my age, (Kim Y's sister) died this past weekend here. She died on the sledding hill, with her husband and children, while they were doing something fun as a family. Over and over, I hear how she always had a smile on her face, she was such a positive person, though her life wasn't easy.

I have been thinking how she died living.

Lots of people who are considered "successful" were considered failures first. Abe Lincoln comes to mind.

I have been contemplating lately if I am living up to my potential, whatever that means. Mosty, it's a really dumb exercise to do.

Glad you're in a better place!

Anonymous said...

Your words are really making me think. I like your measure of success, too.

Sometimes I have to wrap my head around the fact that we are living to die. I am at peace with that but it took a HUGE life-changer to get it.

Lately, I measure success as a level of peace. If there is peace in my day, contentment in my heart today, then I am successful.

I stopped looking for fullfilment in the career world a few months ago. This came because I couldn't find very much peace when I was away from "my domain". I found out that I LIKE being a mom, wife and housekeeper. The pay is terrible, but the rewards are RICH.

I am happy that you've found your "success" too.

Whew! I guess I was a little long winded there, but I thank you for coming back and opening my brain again.


MindiJo said...

Well, I think you are successful. Especially at being fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. You're a sweetheart. Maybe success can be measured by finding contentment and acceptance... wherever we are. Knowing that even if we have mounting bills and a bad case of the crankies, we're loved, being shown a wonderful lesson/truth, and being taken care of. That, I think is one of the hardest things to do. If someone's routinely successful at embracing that, I think they're quite accomplished. I'm a work-in-progress and having a hard time being tough on myself. We could all use a little more forgiveness in our lives... starting with ourselves. Love to you, J. I know you might not always believe it, but I think you're pretty extraordinary. xoxo

julie m

Gram said...

I had to come back to this a second time cuz I enjoyed it so much. You set the mind-a-thinking. I will carry the Mark Twain around in my head for awhile.

Brita said...

I echo Bette's thoughts. If I can feel peace and contentment, I consider myself good. I love this post!!