Letting Go Of Anger: What I Learned in Oprah's Lifeclass

I am an Oprah fan (if you're not, no worries. Feel free to skip this post, I have others you know). I could write an entire blog about why that is but, I won't lead you to think I'm a stalker bore you with that. Today's Lifeclass was entitled: Letting Go of Anger. Once again, I see that God thinks He's funny. Today brought with it a deep down anger that had me checking myself (to see if it was my ego - lesson 1 was all about that). I tried to type as often as I could during the webcast because the frog princess has gotten word that I really want to watch this and don't have a DVR at the new place and sooo...bedtime is all about that one hour that I absolutely cannot replay at the moment. Such is life. I am not angry about it because giggles are still had ;-). I am emotionally exhausted but still felt the need to put finger to keyboard in order to share this (I'm telling you this now so that if you find spelling errors or things missing you'll think it's due to my exhaustion - alibi: check!).

In either case, I had a lot of random thoughts that I didn't always type because I kept paying attention and then the mami brain would kick in and I couldn't remember where I left off tidbit quotes. You can read my brain dump on those at the end of this post.

I wrote the passage on 11/12/02 after having an ah-ha moment. My then boyfriend/almost fiance had revealed himself (and not by choice or his own doing) to be a class A con-artist and a world famous liar. I'd spent almost six years of my life with him mostly under one roof only to find out that I couldn't decipher what was true/real and what was not. There are times where my own memory doesn't have a clear recollection of that time period. I am told is PTSD but, who knows? All I know is that at some point in time I realized I had to let go of the anger/confusion/questioning because it would eventually consume me. These are he thoughts that came of that act of letting go. I was so reminded of this tonight.

It is still difficult for me to read what I wrote so many years ago but, part of growth is facing the music, right?

FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness is eternal.  It comes from deep within your soul like a wave in the midst of the ocean.  It's slow, rich, free and clear. Full of life particles that will help you heal those parts of your life you thought had already healed. Once it's out, though, you'll have it for as long as there is breath in my lungs and forevermore.

Forgiveness is expensive. We sometimes end up paying a great price. Because if we don't forgive while we're on our journey, we end up losing parts of ourselves that might never return to us.

Forgiveness is necessary. Necessary for me to move forward and spread my wings. I didn't realize it until now. Sitting here reading my bible, that even though I've been blessed with the ability to have walked away from you with relatively few scars I must forgive you. That even though God has allowed me to turn my back on a life I'd given my all to and still be able to smile, I must forgive you. As He's brought me those things deemed necessary not by me but by Him, I must forgive you. I must forgive you for many reasons. Because I don't want to be like you.

Who would I be if I didn't forgive? Is this how I'll show God how thankful I am for the great miracles he's performed in my life? Do I want to be filled with hate? Do I want to taint my heart now, after all it's been through? No. Turning my back on all of those things would not feed my soul and spirit in the way He wants it fed. I don't want to be like you.

So, I forgive you. For everything you've done. For the massive scars that God Himself had to come down and heal. For the lies, for the tears. I forgive you for the betrayals. For the embarrassment. For the shame. I forgive you for never being able to love me the way I deserved. I forgive you for not knowing how to love no matter what you say. For not respecting me, for not treating me right. I forgive you for all these things and a million more that I don't care to recall.

I forgive you because your presence in my life has brought me close to God in ways that I could have never achieved on my own. Thank you for bringing back my faith. Because experiencing you has taught me that God will always be by my side. That He stands by me through thick and thin because His love is unconditional. And His plan is greater than mine will ever be. And these words ring true and to not believe them is a crime: God may not come when you call, but He's always on time.

And with this forgiveness I complete the last stage of this cycle, the cycle that up until now has been divine. The one that has extracted your image and likeness from my heart. By His doing. By His grace. Because my spirit called Him and my soul begged. And now, I put this forgiveness on a boat and watch it float away with no regrets and no tears. No goodbyes and no fears.

©2007

Random Quotes "We don't do anything that does not serve a purpose." - Iyanla Beneath all anger there is always pain and hurt. If you are willing to look to see what that hurt is you can make your way out of the space of anger... (I paraphrased this one because I was too busy reading people's comments paying attention) "I will not be angry today. I refuse. I will find something to be joyful about." - Iyanla "Forgiving is giving up the hope that the past could be any different." - Oprah

The AH-HA moment for me that I could actually jot down: "The best students, get the hardest tests! When God has something for you to do, He's going to test you to make sure you're ready. Don't punk out!" - Iyanla

I still feel that I have a lot to learn. A lot to work out and a lot of letting go to do in order for me to allow the blessings and grace to continue to flow. Do you have something that's eating away at you from the inside out? What is keeping you from letting it go?

Losing Oprah

Today was an insane day at the office! And I was secretly glad because it meant that I would be too busy knee deep in documents, meetings and fires to hear about the last Oprah show. I wanted to come home, play with the frog princess, say my prayers with her, put her to bed and then curl up with the remote control and some tissues. As is her norm, Oprah did not disappoint. Recently, I was around someone who had negative things to say in passing about Oprah. Something like: I don't know why people look up to her, she's this, she's that, yada, yada, yada. I held my tongue because there are certain environments in which you should speak your mind and certain environments in which you should not. While I didn't think that conversation was particularly appropriate, I moved on because how could you explain this to someone that does not already know?

Let me say this: Oprah is a woman just like me. She is no better and no worse than I am. I do not put her on a pedestal because I never wish for her to fall. I don't think she is God though I am convinced that she knows Him. It's one of the reasons that I am drawn to her. I love her spirit. As with plenty of people that I admire, I am grateful for her words. For her courage. For the people that have been able to look to her and gain strength of their own. I am grateful for the tears she can so easily cajole out of me. For the laughter that she has been so gracious to provide.

Her show today was simple nuggets of wisdom. In her stunning pink dress, Oprah graced the stage one last time to read us her love letter. And I was grateful. I took down some quotes that touched me because that's just what you do when you are in front of a grateful, graceful spirit. You soak in the knowledge because the soul of the world has a way of speaking to you at all times.

She did not disappoint with her words today. Or with her tears. There's a part of me that thinks it's unfair that I get to lose my mami and Oprah in the same year. But as was the case when I held mami's hand as she went home, today, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for having been open enough to the words, thoughts and lessons that this woman has shared with us. And so I am not as sad as I thought I would be. Mami left me a great legacy of faith and love. So does Oprah. And though Oprah is very much physically in this world, like mami, I know that she will continue to impart words that will touch our hearts and remind us that someone hears us because this is her calling and we have been blessed to have been reminded that we should go forth and do what we are called to do (you'll know what that is if you are still and listen). To not wait because we each have a job in life and it isn't necessarily what we are getting paid to do day in and day out.

"Nobody but YOU is responsible for your life."

"There is a difference, you know, between thinking you deserve to be happy and believing that you are worthy of happiness."

"We often block our own blessings because we don't feel inherently good enough or smart enough or pretty enough or worthy enough...you are worthy because you are born and you are here...you alone are enough."

"What are the whispers in your life right now? Your life is speaking to you. What is it saying?"