February is first thought of as the month of love, but
it’s also Relationship Wellness Month and my guest today has written her memoir about broken ties and restored relationships.
Join me in welcoming author Margaret Norton here today as she makes a stop on her blog tour. She has just re-released her book, WHEN TIES BREAK, as an eBook and is offering it for 99 cents in honor of her 60th birthday. She wants to share her story with women everywhere. In addition, Margaret is hosting a blog comment contest and Twitter hashtag contest (#Celebrate 60) through Feb. 29. There will be three prizes rewarded: one 30-minute life coaching session, one eBook copy of WHEN TIES BREAK, and one paperback copy of WHEN TIES BREAK.
Here’s how the contest works: Visitors comment on each blog in Margaret’s tour then by Feb. 28 a commenter from each blog is selected and goes into a pool with any Twitter Ids who tweeted about the contest with the hashtag #Celebrate60 for an extra entry into the contest. On March 1, three winners from the blog commenters and the Twitter users will be chosen. These three winners will be contacted to choose their prizes. Margaret will blog about the winners on her blog on March 2.
Margaret has chosen to talk about forgiveness today.
Why would my father, prior to his death, request that my ex-husband be a pallbearer at his funeral? Did he forget that this was the man who walked out on me with one of my friends, leaving me with two small children? Their affair devastated me! It took many years to pick up the pieces. My life and the lives of my children were forever changed because of this one event.
Many years later I came to understand that my father was trying to teach me a valuable lesson – how to forgive the unforgivable. As a minister this was what he preached and lived his whole life. It seemed so easy for him but I struggled with this for a very long time. It’s Valentine’s Week. I find myself divorced and wondering if I’ll ever find true love. I’m content with where I am and I’m happy to say that because of all my life experiences I am better at forgiveness. These are a few things that I’ve learned:
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. When you harbor angry feelings against someone it festers inside you like poison. Many times the other person never admits any wrong doing or never asks for your forgiveness. People react differently to hurt and some wrongs are more painful than others. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong – people are entitled to their feelings.
Not forgiving someone prevents you from having a fulfilling relationship with them as well as preventing you from being all you can be. You might feel like you are getting them back at someone by not forgiving but you are only hurting yourself. For the Christian, forgiveness is expected. Christ said we are to love our enemies and forgive those who mistreat us. He will not forgive us if we do not forgive others and we are to forgive someone not seven but seventy-seven times.
We should always try to forgive others but forgetting is the hard part. We can forgive the people who hurt us the deepest but often events trigger our memories. That’s normal. The memory is not a reason to remind them of how bad they hurt us but rather a reminder to us to set boundaries.
We should forgive those who mistreat us but not allow them to continue hurting us. You can learn to forgive others while keeping them at a safe distance. Forgiveness is never easy but it is a behavior we can learn and it is always worth the effort.
It has been 23 years since my father died and I have to say that his final lesson was the most difficult to understand but also my most rewarding one. Since his death I’ve had numerous opportunities to practice forgiveness – sometimes I wonder if my life keeps repeating events so that I can master the lessons it’s attempting to teach me. As I’ve aged and started to bury family and friends, I have a better appreciation for mending and maintaining relationships. This often involves much forgiveness.
WHEN TIES BREAK, my memoir, is full of forgiveness stories. Many people tell me that it reads like fiction – probably like some of the books featured on the Thoughts in Progress website. But it’s all true.
My purpose for writing it was to show that you really can survive horrific events in your life – even thrive. Thank you for reading my blog. I hope that I’ve inspired you to practice the act of forgiveness, not just at Valentines, but every day of the year.
Margaret, thanks so much for guest blogging. Forgiveness is a difficult lesson for us, but one we do need to practice daily. And you are so right, mending and maintaining relationships does tend to weigh more heavily on us as we age.
Now for a bit of background on Margaret. She is a writer, speaker, personal life coach, and It Works! distributor. She blogs about her life at http://healthy-n-fitgranny.com. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her grand kids, reading, traveling, photography, and dancing.
For more on Margaret and her writing, visit her at www.whentiesbreak.com, find her on Twitter and Facebook.
Here’s a brief summary of the book: The day of my father's funeral, my brother expelled me from the family as my other family members stood by and did nothing. He was right about one thing. I had made some bad choices for which I would pay dearly. Divorce, abuse, abortion, death, bankruptcy, sibling rivalry, adultery, drug addiction, low self-esteem - some people suffer from one or several of these in their life; others deal with them daily. What makes the story in WHEN TIES BREAK different, exceptional, and inspirational is that the author has lived through each one of these challenging problems. Through God's help and her own courage and perseverance, Margaret not only thrived after loss but came out on top with a new energy, a renewed spirit, and a greater sense of worth.
Do you forgive easily or do you find it a difficult task? Thanks so much for stopping by today.