Friday, November 22, 2013

I Try Not to Be Bitter

          




       Some years ago, a friend of mine was wrongly accused of voter fraud.  He was prosecuted for voting for several elderly relatives for whom he had power of attorney and their permission, but without an obscure form that he did not know was needed.  Rather than simply disallowing those votes, the municipality prosecuted him. This had great fallout to his career, his family and defending himself was a great expense. He was also hurt by the fact that he knew and had held in high regard those who chose to prosecute him.  This was one of those cases of "No good deed ever goes unpunished."    I remember supporting my friend through this injustice, and I remember his saying something I thought was interesting.  He said he prayed not just for a positive outcome, but that he would not become bitter, as a result of this experience  I thought this was interesting, because I thought that we alone were in charge of whether we chose to become bitter or not.  I am rethinking that perspective now.

           Most of the time I concentrate on the very good things in my life. I was given the gift of terrific kids. I have been fortunate to have great faith and I have felt the love of God.   I have enjoyed all the homes we acquired or built. I take very little for granted.  I have known terrific animals and had them in my life for long periods of time.  For all these things I am grateful.

           Of course, into every life rain must fall.  Rather than reciting a litany of losses and disappointments, because we all have had them, I will just say that adulthood has been strewn with losses and sorrows, most of which I have weathered.  However, I would be foolish to say that my strength and resiliency was not adversely impacted by the layered losses of the past.  Sometimes it seems like a great deal of the joy on Earth has gone somewhere else.   Daniel who was only twelve has passed, friends have moved to Belize, others to Europe.  I get the distinct impression that smart people, (or perhaps just wealthy people) are getting out of the United States as quickly as they can, and they don't plan to come back.  Everywhere I look organizations and systems which worked well before are eroding or being dismantled.  I don't like the world that is emerging.  The result is that I no longer invest my time or my money in many of the activities I once did.  I don't trust people as I once did.  Too many of them have been proven to be wholly self serving.   My adult children are a good deal more guarded and reticent about business deals and people than I was, and I think they may be right.  The world has changed into a darker age.

           This week, as Thanksgiving nears, I pray that each one of you who reads this post, whichever blog on which you might find it, finds a measure of peace and some time to recharge.  A dark age does seem to be coming. However, we don't have to become dark inside in order to cope with it.  We can still do the right thing. We can still support our friends. We can still choose not to become bitter from all the layered losses.
I'll try, if you will.
          
        

6 comments:

  1. I guess the darker the age, the brighter us Christians should try to shine, though easier said than done.

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    1. Gorges, Very well said, my friend. Very well said.

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  2. The Times are so changing. I lived in a shell keeping the outside out for many years not trusting others due to so much hurt. The time came that I found happiness and came out of my shell. I Weathered the ups and downs of life. Always managing to not be bitter and picked myself up and went on. But since the death of Lucas it has just been so much easier to retreat back in to the shell of safety. The hurt of losing my son and experiencing such cruelness from some I have lost faith in many. I will never understand how a person could do or say such cruel things to one who has lost a child. I struggle to not be bitter. It is a hard battle. One that would be so much easier to give into.I come to your blog to gleen the nuggets of scripture and your experience' s and another blog OurCrazyFarm. I can relate to you both. I keep you in my thoughts and prayer. I know next week will be extremely hard for you. My heart goes out to you. Hugs.

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    1. Lara,
      Thank you for your steadfastness in terms of reading this blog and in posting as well. I knew when this blog began that it was not likely to draw incredible numbers of people, although it has exceeded my numeric expectations for it. I wanted to trace from the lowest points through the recovery and our survival of the greatest loss for me that I could imagine, and onward. I also wanted to be there for others who experienced something similar. The blog has done that. Friends like you, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters of those who were lost suddenly have all come here for some wisdom or perhaps just a momentary fresh perspective. I hope the blog helps you half as much as hearing from you is a help to me.
      Remember that although Lucas departed from Earth very quickly and with some mystery associated with such a terrible accident, that he was home safely very quickly. As soon as he left the plane we know as Earth, his thoughts were clear and he had no pain. I am told that he is not only free to know all that the Earth and Heavens hold, but to know everything about his life. I am told that they also know how we are faring. For this reason alone I work hard to keep moving in the right direction. I do this because I want Daniel to see that I am the person I was when he was here. He knows that I miss his smile, his jokes, and his face every moment of every day. I want him to know that I lean on that faith that I taught him to have. I need him to know I believe that we will be reunited. I might be less visible in the world, but I hope I am more visible to Daniel. Please have a wonderful, though somber Thanksgiving. Love and best wishes to your family,

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  3. I will quote a wise leader from our church at our last General Conference - "...Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward."

    Even though the path may be exceedingly difficult at times (especially if, as in your case, it involves the loss of one of your children, a loss that even I might not survive) we all must find a way to move forward. I composed a post similar to what you're saying after the last presidential election, the one that us freedom lovers staked so much on and lost. That I would not give in to darkness and despair, that I would continue to live my life and encourage others to do the same. To keep the faith that, even though we may well be in for some difficult times in the near future, America has survived and righted itself after difficult crises and bad presidents before, and will eventually do so again.

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    1. David, Thank you SO MUCH for your inspiring post. Yes, the path can be exceedingly difficult at times, but we must move forward. Love and best Thanksgiving wishes to you, and to yours.

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