A to Z Challenge | Intentional Living | F is for Forgiveness

10th Anniversary Blogging from A to Z April ChallengeIn an effort to get back into writing on a regular schedule, I joined the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. This is the first time I’ve participated and hope to succeed with posting each day, as my blog has grown dormant. 

My theme is “A Vocabulary for Intentional Living.” This corresponds with the objective of my blog, which sees life as a voyage shaped by circumstances both within and outside of our control. Realizing our purpose and goals begins with self-awareness and mindfulness in all our daily choices.


Forgiveness is a wonderful, yet unnerving process that forces us to examine ourselves and expose our vulnerabilities. Whether we’re receiving it, giving it to other people, or offering it to ourselves, it is an intended act which benefits the relationships involved.  Whenever we become more self-aware and generous toward ourselves and others we are choosing to live with intention.

Forgiveness FOR others

Being on the receiving end of an apology is easier than having to make one. We should be grateful, not smug, when the offending party recognizes their missteps and seeks to repair any damage to the friendship. It takes strength of character to admit you’re wrong.

Just ask someone who endured continued “mistakes” without ever hearing a mea culpa. Obviously, mistakes that happen over and over form a pattern of abuse. We tend to think of abuse as physical or sexual mistreatment, but it comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be verbal, emotional, and financial. People who take advantage of others, in any way, are abusive.

Finding peace means breaking ties with toxic people who will never be sorry for their bad behavior. However, we must forgive them anyway. It’s not about them and excusing their behavior or transgression. It’s about you and the ability to move on. Surrounding yourself with a like-minded tribe of family and friends is an important step in living with intention.

Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got. ~Robert Brault

Forgiveness FROM others

Good relationships are made up of mutual respect and trust. When WE hurt others through word or deed, we undermine that trust and risk losing them. 

Admitting mistakes takes courage and honesty. No one likes to accept responsibility for behaving badly, but it’s essential to successful relationships. And it helps us grow as a person. Taking time to do a self-examination into what motivates our emotions, etc. helps us modify unhealthy behaviors.

Without forgiveness life is governed by… an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation. ~Roberto Assagioli

Forgiveness for OURSELVES

Forgiveness doesn’t always involve another person. Sometimes the process has only to do with ourselves. 

We all have regrets. They may be things that occurred recently or decades ago. They may involve specific people and situations or be more general; a way that we acted or reacted to a life event. 

Whatever the case may be, we must recognize our humanity and the fact that we’re imperfect. Certainly, it’s important to make amends with anyone we’ve offended first. If we harbor any anger towards ourselves it’s crucial to make amends with ourselves. 

We should always try to improve how we communicate. Loving others and forgiving is possible when we show ourselves the same compassion. This will open up opportunities for positive growth as we go forward.

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. ~Paul Boese


 

 

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A to Z Challenge | Intentional Living | B is for Beauty

Logo 10th Anniversary Blogging A to Z Challenge - Letter BIn an effort to get back into writing on a regular schedule, I joined the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. This is the first time I’ve participated and hope to succeed with posting each day, as my blog has grown dormant. 

My theme is “A Vocabulary for Intentional Living.” This corresponds with the objective of my blog, which sees life as a voyage shaped by circumstances both within and outside of our control. Realizing our purpose and goals begins with self-awareness and mindfulness in all our daily choices.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s a familiar saying that rings true for all of us.

We have different opinions when it comes to certain things. What one person finds visually pleasing may not satisfy someone else. Things like clothes, houses, or cars vary a lot in design and we all have our preferred tastes in style, color, etc.

However, when it comes to people, we tend to share some common themes. Physical beauty is defined by height, weight, bone structure, fitness, hair, eye color, and so on. 

A mature woman who carries an extra 30 lbs. with dimpled thighs and varicose veins won’t win a swimsuit competition. However, her younger counterparts with their slim, toned bodies and flawless skin will turn a lot of heads.

But, physical beauty is only skin deep. We’ve all experienced those so-called “beautiful people.” On the surface they possess obvious good looks, but on closer inspection we sometimes find ugliness on the inside. 

That which is striking and beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful. ~Ninon de L’Enclos

Beautiful but deadly

This dazzling marine creature, known as the Striped Sturgeon Fish, is a good example. His stunning appearance is beautiful and would entice anyone to take a closer look, but be careful. His caudal fin is loaded with venom. 


We think of beauty as falling within certain parameters, but it depends on your own definition of beauty.

Beauty despite imperfection

Credit: deardoctor.com

This child might not be considered pretty due to her cleft lip. It doesn’t resemble what the human mouth is expected to look like, so some people view it as a disfigurement. 

Other people look beyond this small anomaly and see the whole person; in this case a lovely baby!

How we interpret beauty is individualized and based on our life experiences. What we’re taught to see and not see has much to do with our view of the world.

The ability to see beauty is often a conscious choice. I remember hurrying out of the grocery store one summer evening. I had almost as many things on my mind as I did in the cart. It was during a period of transition when I was struggling to make a new beginning.

It had been raining; dark and gloomy when I entered the store. Now, scanning the parking lot, the rain had stopped. Dodging puddles I headed to my car and loaded the bags into the trunk. As I opened the door to get in I paused, noticing the once dark sky had changed to gray. Turning, I looked westward to see the setting sun shining through the clouds. It was encased in a gauzy shroud of pink, purple and orange. What a spectacular view!

I realized that noticing the change in light prompted me to look up at the sky. And the key word here is notice. The demands of modern life are distracting and many times we miss seeing the amazing sights around us. Focusing on the natural beauty of our world gives us a greater appreciation for everything in it.

Unexpected beauty

Stopping to “smell the flowers” strengthens the connection to all the things that make up our daily lives.

Living intentionally means being attentive to our world. Sometimes beauty is tucked away out of our direct sight. Sometimes it shows up in unexpected places. Much of it is right in front of our noses. But, if we’re not looking we’ll never see it.

 Now, when I walk out of the grocery store I look up. The sky offers a constantly changing canvas that never disappoints. Sometimes the familiar neighborhoods we’ve traveled for many years have hidden gems right out in plain sight. I’ve learned to slow down and really observe my surroundings. I’m amazed at all the beauty I discover. It’s everywhere and it’s ours for the taking.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~Confucius