I know have the fury and rage of my father inside me and his father and all of the fathers before them. I am them. I wish for an attitude of forgiveness. Is it too lofty for me to seek an attitude of faith versus an attitude of denial? How does one flow from denial to faith?
I know the feeling of acceptance is by far the best feeling I’ve ever known. It’s so hard to get to acceptance when all I’ve ever sought is the attitude to control all people and things around me. There is no acceptance living in that attitude of control. In fact, I’ve been told there is no such thing as control. We just seek it until it kills us. Then why is acceptance so difficult when it matters so much that life will be better from that place?
Which unfamiliar path should I proceed on to find an attitude of being vulnerable and humble?
I can’t imagine being that ‘weak’ to let go of the power of a grudge. An attitude, for me, is a way of thinking, appearing, and behaving that impacts those around me. Self-righteously, I share with others the brutal way I feel. I have been wronged by friends and family, long ago and yesterday. There is a strange feeling of strength that comes from holding on to these old moments when I had felt betrayed. When I have been shamed for being me are the painful memories that give me the most anger to hold on to and feed from.
Yet, now, from all the choices, I choose an attitude of vulnerability and possibilities. I choose letting go of past wrongs I have blamed others for, for far too long. It is the most difficult thing I have ever done. To live with an attitude of forgiveness coming only from my acceptance that all of us are fragile human beings who make mistakes. My own mistakes make me cringe to think about. Can I accept myself?
Acceptance, joy and peace, I choose you. I choose the days of early wonder and the music of Mantovani and Perry Como. I choose the love of laughter and the hopes of true love. It was not all bad, they were not all bad and neither am I. An attitude of acceptance, dear Lord, I beseech thee on this. An attitude of easy Sunday afternoons home bound by winter’s delight. Mountains of snow and ice so thick and slippery it kept even the hearty Adirondack seeker home bound. An old desk with a roll top opens to reveal a vinyl record, ready for playing. My mind is filled with an unbidden memory when listening to Andy Williams and Perry Como. The strings of Mantovani open an already formed travel trip back to a time of a long ago longing for safety. Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, they came alive in my Sunday afternoon alone in my living room. I have begun to accept that the life I had was exactly what I needed to learn how to accept others and myself.
I work toward an attitude free of fear to remember without hate. I choose an attitude of no blame. I can stand nostalgia with all of the sounds and smells that race back to me unbidden. I see an attitude of acceptance with beautiful memories before me. Those loved ones are no longer here, only what I carry in my heart. I am beginning to be comfortable with an attitude of love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Only from these attitudes may I hope that before they passed, they had forgiven me.