Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, April 15, 2011

A-Z Challenge: M - Making Peace

It took me a long time to make peace with my past. There seemed to be a lot to overcome: growing up with parents who did not know how to parent; being sexually abused at six years old; trying to figure out how to live without adequate guidance and direction, making bad relationship choices, losing custody of my only child. The list goes on, but I've written about all of that in my memoir, so I won't do it here (you can all thank me later).

The reason I'm mentioning it at all is because making peace with our past is so important to living a life filled with inner peace in the present. If we carry all that baggage with us, we are never content. One of the hardest things to make peace with was accepting my parents for who they were, understanding that they would never change, and that they did the best they could with the skills and knowledge they had.

Once I stopped blaming and judging them, my life got better. Once I forgave my ex-husband for lying to a judge so that he could get custody, my life got better. Once I forgave myself for all the mistakes I made, my life got better. It's not about the other people. It's about you. That is what forgiveness brings. It doesn't mean condoning or accepting bad behavior. It means I let go of the angst and pain surrounding it.

I am still making peace with bits and pieces of my past. It is a lifelong journey.
How about you?


Charmaine Clancy said...

I've been blessed with a very short memory - makes forgiveness easy :)
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm glad you found your peace.
And you have an award today, Karen!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Pleased you have found peace, to have inner peace is most important in life,

Mason Canyon said...

So glad you've been able to find that inner peace. I know sometimes we don't realize by holding all of that inside us, we are the only ones really hurting from it. If we can find that peace, it does make life better.

Thoughts in Progress

Lauracea said...

Peace with yourself is a great place to be. I'm so glad you've found it.

Retired Knitter said...

It always amazes me how similar the human experience is and how similarly we all respond to it. I have made peace with my distant past. Still working to come to grips with recent events.

It is never easy.

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

I'm very happy you've been able to find your peace. I still find myself working hard at the forgiveness part sometimes, but I know it's worth it.

Matthew MacNish said...

I came over from Alex's blog, and am a new follower.

Nice ta meet ya!

Angela Felsted said...

It's inspirational that you could come back from all that and then move forward, forgiving those who hurt you.

Better is Possible said...

Well said. My blog is called Better is Possible because of inspirational stories like yours. Blessings to you!

Karen Walker said...

Charmaine, lucky lady.
Alex, on my way...
Yvonne, thank you - hope you have, too
Mason, I couldn't live happily without it
Lauracea, thank you
Retired Knitter, yes, these things seem to keep cropping up,don't they?
Paul, forgiveness is the hardest thing to do, but so worth the effort
Matthew, hi there and welcome. Nice to meet ya, too
Angela, that's why I write about this crap, er stuff.
Better is Possible, glad to know that

Nicki Elson said...

Awesome post. Forgiveness is a blessing to everyone involved---most especially the giver, as you point out. Blaming the parents has to stop at some point if a person is to truly grow up - thank the Lord because I sure don't want my kids holding grudges for all the ways I mess up!

iZombie said...

make peace, find peace... need peace!
A to Z Blog Challenge Participant
Jeremy [iZombie]

K.C. Woolf said...

Fantastic post. You're an inspiring woman!

Karen Walker said...

Nicki, amen to that (about our kids, I mean)
Zombie, hi there fellow participant
K.C., thank you.

A Hootie Hoot said...

Glad you were able to make peace. Sounds like you've been through a lot and are a stronger woman for it.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Following you now!

Jen said...

awesome post, I'm still trying to make peace with one part of my life that really hurt me, but it's hard

lesleylsmith said...

Making peace is definitely a life-long journey.
Good luck to all of us!
Thanks for sharing. :)

Karen Walker said...

Hootie Hoot, thanks and right back at ya.
Jen, it is hard, but oh so worth it.
Lesley, amen to that! You're welcome.

Pixiebaby said...

Lovely post. I'm so glad that you've made your peace. Here's to a new beginnings and a beautiful tomorrow.

Odie Langley said...

A very good post Karen and I appreciate you stopping by my page today. Too many of us have baggage from the past and it is senseless to carry around something we can do nothing about. Everyone needs to read your blog. Have a great weekend.

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Pixiebaby and Odie, the comments are very appreciated.
I'll be offline for the rest of the day at a singing gig.
Be well everyone,

Joanne said...

I agree with so much here, but on the issue of forgiveness, I'm not so sure. It seems to me that for forgiveness to be complete, the other party has to be seeking it first, to which we then offer it. If not, I'm not sure if it's forgiveness, or more acceptance of the way someone, or a situation is, no?

Plain Jane said...

Making peace with the past...how true. It must happen for us to grow.

Ann Best said...

This is indeed a lifelong process. At age 70, I've made peace with my past, and because I have, I can now use it to the GREATEST advantage in stories and poems.

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my blog while I've been helping my daughter following her neck surgery. She's doing very well as of today!

Take care. Enjoy the day. Your words of wisdom have brightened mine.
Ann Carbine Best’s Long Journey Home
Ann Carbine Best’s Long Journey Home

Bluebell Books said...

Awards for you, thanks for the support!

Bless your talent.

Happy Friday!

Check out bluebell books, our new blogging community that promotes books..

bless you...

busy91 said...

Making peace with our past is a hard thing to do. Forgiving is also hard. It takes a lifetime. Thanks for stoppin by to visit today.

Kathy said...

So well said... forgiveness is about yourself, not everyone else! god Bless you for being able to do that!
That is the Summer night time, view from our deck. We spend hours out there in our swing just gazing at that view of which we never tire!
Thanks for stopping by!
Kathy @ Oak Lawn Images.

Ann said...

Very well put. Once I let go of the anger that gripped me, I was able to relax and smell the roses as they say.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Amen. When you hold bitterness inside of you, it doesn't hurt the people who caused the bitterness. It only hurts you.

Yvonne said...

Such a good post, and so true. Letting go is the only way to move from your past to your future. :) Enjoying your blog...new follower!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)


Carrie said...

Making peace with the past is important. It is the only way to move forward and embrace today

Ella said...

You have an amazing strong spirit; I am happy your turned things around for YOU! Me, making peace with my past. My father's death; my Mom's disease took me on a different path. I am now, finding my way back to me. Thanks for sharing @>---

Karen Walker said...

Joanne, you make an excellent point. But even if someone else isn't seeking forgiveness, if I am holding anger and bitterness towards them, it hurts me. I need to let go.
Plain Jane, Thank you.
Ann, yes, a lifelong process indeed.
Busy91, thank you
Kathy, how lucky you are to live in such a beautiful place
Ann and Susan, that's the whole point - it hurts us, not the other person to hold onto the anger and bitterness
Yvonne, thanks for the follow
Carrie, so very true
Ella, thank you - sounds like you have some work to do. Wishing you the best.

Amy Brantley said...

Making peace with a lot of the things in your life is often easier said than done. Great post.

Lynda R Young said...

forgiveness is one of the great healers.

Rebecca Dupree said...

I'm always making peace with my past. I hate when little bits of bad memories poke up! Great post. Nice to "meet" you too!

Spenc said...

What a beautiful reminder that we are responsible for our own happiness. I'm trying to make peace with my past, but I'm still struggling, I'll get there someday.

sue said...

I'm so glad you found me through the A-Z challenge and made time to comment on my blog. You write about many of the life events that I am also interested in. Learning to accept myself and my imperfections will I suspect be a life long process. I will be touching on parenting in a future post. Sue@JumpingAground (Alliteration & drabbles)
Sue@traverselife(Workplace bullying)

Snakesmom said...

I think being at peace and forgiveness go hand in hand. I loved your thoughtful post, nice job! :)

Crystal Pistol said...

I can feel a very real calm when I read your words. Clearly you have made peace with the demons in your life.

Forgiveness is so very difficult but truly the only way to Joy. Thank you for your inspiring words.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Life is a journey of letting go and discovery. So glad you're able to move through your darkness.

Ilene said...

It is definitely true that forgiveness is for the sake of the forgiver and not only the forgivee.
Visited you through A-Z Challenge. My blog is betterthanordinary.blogspot.com

Jeanmarie Anaya said...

I love your posts.

For a long time (several years!) I held a grudge over a silly misunderstanding with a family member. When I eventually let go of my resentment and anger and reached out, it felt sooooo good to do that. I never got an apology for what hurt me in the first place but it really doesn't matter. If I held on to the grudge it would've eaten me alive and left me with less family and ultimately less love in my life.

PK said...

I really needed to read this post today. Thank you. Glad I found you through the A-Z challenge.

G E N E V I E V E said...

you have a lovely blog and this post is exceptional. your style is clean and it sounds like your heart is open. thank you for being you and for sharing that on this blog.

nice to meet you!