happiness

Integrity and grievances

I’ve been slowly working away at the stack of things to do that have piled up over the last few months. I have absolutely no regrets about how I prioritized my time, but it doesn’t change the fact that I have a lot of catching up to do.

Something that kept playing in my mind as I was working this morning was how my dad used to talk about integrity. My dad lived with his heart on his sleeve, and it was important to him that people trusted him and that they understood that if he gave his word it was good as gold. He talked to me often about how you needed to live life with integrity – you had to be able to look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and be ok with the choices you made and the way you treated people.

And not only did he talk the talk, but he walked the walk. I learned from him not because of what he said, but because of how he lived his life. In fact, I was surprised after he died how many of my friends sent me messages telling me of times in the past when they had troubles and they’d called my dad to come help them out. Most of these I never even knew about. He was reliable, dependable, loving, and while not perfect – always did his best to show up for the people he loved.

Now that I am rebuilding my life I have the chance to figure out how I want to be in this life. I need to live with integrity as well. I have little people watching me and learning how they need to be in the world too. That’s a huge responsibility, but it’s an honour as well – that’s how our family values get passed down. They need to learn to love fiercely and unconditionally, and to be dependable and forgiving.

Forgiveness.

That’s something that keeps popping up in my life right now. The idea that I can’t be truly happy, truly at peace, truly free, while I’m holding onto past grievances. It was driven home last week when the boy informed me that he had decided he was going to hate his dad for as long as he lived. While I totally understand his sentiment, I don’t want him spending the rest of his life with that blackness in his heart.

Unfortunatly it seems the only way I’ll be able to teach them to forgive is to do it myself. I have a few issues with this. First off, it’s really difficult to forgive someone who isn’t sorry – who in fact seems to feed off our pain and suffering. There’s also a certain element of fear attached to the thought of forgiveness – in the past every time I have forgiven him he’s come back and hurt me 100 times worse. I’m still not totally sure how to forgive someone who continues to cause pain.

But, it’s necessary. It’s necessary for me, and it’s necessary for the kids. I need to learn how to do this so that they can as well. I figure how he treats us is his karma, but how we respond is ours. I can’t talk about making love based decisions when right I am living a fear based one.

I wish my dad was here. I miss talking with him. I miss him for my kids, I miss him for me.

On the way home, the girl took this photo – it’s like God’s hand holding light over our house

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