Can We Become One?
I hope this New Year is finding you happy, healthy and on your way to a great 2014!!! I cannot complain! It doesn’t mean I have met all my goals it just means I feel so blessed in my life. First let me just say THANK YOU to all those who write and share their personal stories of something that was written about in a newsletter. I will be honest and say one of the reasons I started it was because I needed something positive in my life. It seemed for a while life was just caving in on me and there was so much negativeness I had to counteract it; so thank you for indulging me and letting me do this every week with all of you!
I never know when something will pop into my head and I KNOW that is what my newsletter needs to be about, and today was one of those days where it popped into me head and I KNEW!! I saw a video on Facebook today and usually I don’t watch many of them; but this one caught my attention. It simply said, “How do you serve someone who has wronged you?” The 12 minute video is worth watching (there is a link at the end of the newsletter.) There are basically two things I want to do this year, get healthy and try and forgive those who have pained and grieved me so much. As far as I have come, I know I still hold a lot of the pain and grudges inside.
I recently saw a quote on forgiveness that said, “forgiveness is not earned it is given.” I have thought about that a lot this past week. The people I need to forgive me are no longer on this earth and I keep telling myself “why should I forgive them? I didn’t do anything wrong?” I feel so betrayed by them. They were supposed to protect me and love me and they didn’t. And yet I am expected to serve them and forgive them. It’s hard. I have been given so much in my life and I know this is my responsibility to do, but it doesn’t make it easy.
So back to the video mentioned above. I cannot imagine or fathom what went on during the WW in Germany and Europe. I have read accounts of those who lived the nightmare and somehow they managed to fight their way out and survive. I remember a lady I worked with years ago where the word “diet” sent her into a rampage. She was in Germany during the war and knew what it was like to go hungry. But I did not understand. Today this video taught me much.
Please watch the video as it tells the story so much better than I ever could. But it came down to during the war people felt betrayed; by their own government, family, neighbors etc. How do you forgive someone who has betrayed you and made you suffer so much? You serve them. The Mission President at the time had to find a way to distribute welfare to the people as well as find a way to rebuild that trust and unity. Food was scarce. Can you imagine the only thing you want for your 17th birthday is a day without being hungry? Somehow this mission president convinced the Netherlands government to let them plant potatoes. There were plenty of potatoes for planting, but for eating they would need to be rationed. In Germany people were far worse off than the Netherlands and become at odds against them for mistrust and betrayal during the war. How do you feed the people, regain their trust and unite them? With the Dutch Potato Project of course!! You have to watch the video!!
I got to thinking about this story and my own life; the betrayal and my own potato story. I ended up eating potatoes for months because a teacher I trusted betrayed me. The things I learned from that time are valuable lessons to me later in life. I think of my friend who bought three hotdogs and gave me two. Funny thing even though there were differences down the road, I don’t feel a grudge against her. I just feel it was the circumstances in her life at the time and there is nothing I can do about it. But my parents were different. Parents are expected to protect you and love you. What happens when that doesn’t happen? Then what do you do?
I know there are ways I can serve them today, and yet I drag my feet; and I know by doing it I will lose my hurt and pain toward them. Then why don’t I do it? I don’t know, except I just feel it is still me against them. When I look at families I see how they work together and I don’t see that with them. It is the whole “there is no ‘I’ in team” concept. But what I think I must do now is to work on becoming one with them. I can’t change what they did. Maybe it is the pain I have towards other members of my family. Maybe it is no matter what I do it will never be good enough, they will always find fault. I have heard many times in my life, “you need to just let go.” You can’t just let go there is another step I am missing somewhere.
I think with this video today it strengthened my feelings toward service. When I first became to overcome a lot of my anger and frustration habits and tantrums I did it through service. A lot of times it came from doing family history. It gives me great comfort working on my genealogy. But I know more than anything my heart changed. I no longer let words or actions get to me (as much). When I hear their words sometimes and the critiques I will analyze them and decide for myself if it is something I may need to work on or if there was some justification on their own part in saying the words they did.
Recently I had someone tell me I was “prideful”. I was glad when we were interrupted so I did not have to hear her comments. As I drove home I stopped to think about her comment. I know where it was coming from. I have a hard time letting people help me and therefore I was being labeled as “prideful”. But for me, I knew I could survive and I would be okay and there were others who needed help more than me. So I don’t see myself as prideful but someone who strives to be self-sufficient. And if I can do it why not? I decided to look up “prideful” in the dictionary was this definition: having or showing arrogant superiority. I sure hope I do not do that and don’t believe I do!
But going back to the video and being one, what can we do to become one? What can we do to become one with those who have done us wrong that we may be forgiven and forgive them? For me it needs to start with my parents. There are good stories I have, but I tell the bad ones because it brings more justification to my cause (I think). I remember a Dad who used to take me fishing on the Gulf of Mexico and have fishing contests with me and let me win. I remember a mom who worked hard to provide a roof and a meal on the table for us, and sometimes that was all she could do. But she did it alone with no husband.
I think where the translation gets lost of being one is that frustration and betrayal sets in and it seems hopeless. Nothing is ever hopeless. I truly believe the actions we have on this earth we will take to the other side and be with those of the same actions. That is why I try and work so hard to change. I love being with people how inspire me and lift me up. That is who I want to be with on the other side. I believe the only way we can do that is by starting now and trying to become one with our Father in Heaven. Can you imagine what our lives would be like if we all worked at becoming one? That means service, kindness, love, tolerance, teaching and finding the way to becoming one.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!!! It has been snowy and cold here in Provo but I know Spring is coming!!! Woo Hoo!!! And so I won’t forget here is a link to the video! That We Might Be One