Forgiveness

There are so many articles and ideas about forgiveness. We all know the old saying “To error is human; to forgive divine”. But what about forgiveness is divine? It comes to each person in its own time and way – how and why forgiveness is the path to take for whatever reason. In the spirit of finding my own forgiveness I am going to forgive also. Not just myself, but others.

Normally, forgiveness isn’t a hard thing for me to do. I forgive many things and give more than my fair share of chances. But there are people in my life I have yet to forgive, and it’s baggage I’m ready to set down.

These people were a staple in my life for many years. For five days a week, forty weeks out of the year, for six years straight, we were in the same place at the same time with no choice in the matter. This was high school. I went to a very small school in rural Minnesota. Junior high students and senior high students attended classes in the same building. Everyone knew everyone else. There was no chance of being invisible.

And I wasn’t very popular.

Bullying isn’t something new. Granted, we didn’t have the internet so when you went home you got a break. But the next day you had no choice but to go back to school. And teachers didn’t get involved.

From the first day in seventh grade I knew I wasn’t going to fit in. I didn’t attend elementary school with most of the kids so I wasn’t part of any friendships or groups. And I had no idea how to fit in. I was different. I didn’t have the nice clothes, the perfect hair, parents with great jobs. I wasn’t athletic. I liked to read and loved music.

Kids catch on to that. Very quickly.

It’s not that I didn’t try. I did. And I failed miserably. And I didn’t stop trying. I had no idea how the social dynamic worked but I always thought, since a young age, that everyone deserved a chance. But that’s not high school.

It was pretty clear within a few months that I was an outsider. That would have been okay except in a small school that makes you a target. I was also a slightly overweight child with glasses since first grade. My parents couldn’t afford contacts or braces or the best clothes or fancy hairstyles. I didn’t wear makeup. I lived on a horse farm. There couldn’t have been a bigger target on my back for bullies. And it seemed like everyone knew my name.

I can honestly say I hated high school. It had its moments, of course, that made it okay at times. By tenth grade I had a few friends but no one close. Just a few people that didn’t take the time to make fun of me.

All that added up to an adult who also hated the people she went to school with.

That was thirty years ago now. I graduated from McGregor High School in 1986. Yes, that makes me 48 this year. And yes, I still haven’t forgiven those people. I never went to a class reunion. And if it weren’t for social media I wouldn’t have any contact with any of them to this day.

Over the years two people I graduated with did reach out and say they were sorry. Those two I have forgiven. It touched me that they took the time to apologize. And I appreciate it.

But it’s time I forgive the rest of them. Not because they are sorry. I doubt they even think about it. But because it’s time I let it go. The taunts about how fat I was, how stupid I was, how I wasn’t worth the time of day. All of it has affected me as an adult and I am tired of the control it still holds over me. I have carried that baggage for over thirty years and it’s time I let it go.

Not for them. For me.

I have done a lot in those thirty years. I have three amazing daughters. I have met some wonderful people along the way who like me for who I am. I have run a successful personal business, am the author of six published books, and love who I have become. So it’s time.

Time to forgive those who made my life miserable so long ago. And I just want to tell them all…

I forgive you. You hold my childhood hostage no longer. You don’t rent space in my head any longer. I may have been a child that couldn’t fit into your world, but that’s okay now. I wasn’t meant to be one of you. I have always been me. And that’s okay too. It was okay then also, I just didn’t know it.

I hope you all have had a good life. I hope you continue to do so. I have seen some of you since high school and it was evident that you still had the power to make me feel small. Power I let you have. I have taken that power back and no longer will you pull me back to a time I felt inferior to you. You were just kids, like I was. But now I’m an adult and it’s time I act like it. It’s time I take control back. And I have.

If we ever meet again it will be as equals. As people who have lives and struggles and joys. Not as those kids in high school struggling to just get by.

In this I am whole again. I have found my freedom and release from the cage that was high school so many years ago.

I forgive you all.

Blessings.

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Fantasy or Prophetic?

World wide rage. Media misinformation. Fanatical religious zealots taking over politics. Violence everywhere. Women’s rights disappearing. Strongly held Christian beliefs infiltrating ever aspect of life, whether you follow that deity or not. Mass hysteria. War.

Real life? Or just the plot of a book?

You decide.

“Kyriea” now available at amazon.com in paperback. Author – Lynn Salisbury

The struggles of a young woman who finds herself in danger from accepted society. A society where women are nothing more than property. Escaping potential death, this young woman finds that changing the world isn’t as easy as one would think. And a lot more deadly than one would hope. Can humanity survive the change?

 

kyriea book cover

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Coming soon…

kyriea book cover

Book #6 is coming soon.

Kyriea – by Lynn Salisbury

“Born into a world that doesn’t want to hear her voice, one young woman finds herself adrift. Having no choice but to leave the only life she has ever known, she runs to a world where everyone hangs on her ever word. Words that get people killed. Reluctantly, having found her destiny, one young woman changes the world, and humanity with it. But the real question is… for how long can humanity refrain from trying to implode in on itself?”

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A “what” nation?!

question-mark-clip-art-powerpoint-template

What do they really mean when they say they want the United States to be a “Christian Nation”?

We have all heard the call of a few religious people who want the United States to be recognized as a “Christian Nation”. Besides the fact that the United States Constitution does declare the following –

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights. (Wikipedia)

– it seems as though the people clamoring for this country to become something the Founding Fathers did not intend have not thought out their request very thoroughly.

But let’s, for the sake of argument, go down that rabbit hole.

First, let’s take a look at countries that do in fact have a theocratic government. There are two countries commonly recognized to have a theocratic government. Vatican City and Iran. Theocratic government being defined as a form of government where all government functions (and decision-making) is done by the religious hierarchy.

If we were to declare that the United States was a “Christian Nation” is this what they intend? To listen to some talk, yes. This would be a country where all governmental officials could be held to a religious test, and if they didn’t pass said test would be barred from holding office. This also could mean that any and all laws would carry a religious test also, being drafted and upheld based on religious dogma and doctrine. To hear some politicians talk, they believe that government officials and judges should be able to legislate and practice their position from a religious stand point. What that means is they can make laws and rule on cases as their religious beliefs dictate regardless of the equality and justice of the situation or the people involved.

This also means that biblical laws that are not Constitution at the moment, could become the law of the land instead of the direction the Founding Fathers had set the country on. Forget the fight to keep the Ten Commandments off the courthouse lawn. Now you have to worry about laws dictating other aspects of your life – depending on which ones are crafted into law by the theocracy.

Now, let’s take a look at countries with a State Religion. These include counties like Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Finland, Cambodia, Thailand, and many, many others (Wikipedia). This is commonly considered a country in which a specific religion is recognized and sanctioned by the ruling government. Said religion may be the only religion allowed, or just be the preferred religion of the government, but all the government functions (and decision-making) are not specifically done by the religious hierarchy.

This might be more like what some want the United States to be like. A recognized preference for Christianity over all other religions. Christians get favorable treatment when it comes to laws, hiring practices of companies, who companies are allow to deny services to based on religion, etc. In this scenario Christians could do as they please to deny others of a different religion anything they want, whether that be medical services, legal services, restaurants, cabs rides, housing, employment, et al. It would, in effect, legalize discrimination based on whatever the person do the discriminating wants as long as the person discriminating is Christian. There may be lip service to allowing people who believe in other faiths to co-exist, but only with the knowledge that they are not the “favorite” with special privileges. Essentially creating a class state of second class citizens.

Have we gone far enough down the rabbit hole yet? I think not…

So, let’s go a little bit further. Take either choice, theocracy or state religion. Doesn’t really matter which. Now the one million dollar question…

Which denomination of Christianity gets the big nod?

According to the 2006 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches: there were 217 Christian denominations listed. But there may well be other groups that function as a denomination but do not regard themselves as such. The single largest religious group in the United States is the Roman Catholic Church, which had 67 million members in 2005.

So, by this statistic, since the Roman Catholic Church is the largest religious group in the United States, should it get to set the rules in a theocracy? Then we would just be another part of Vatican City, the seat of the Catholic Church, and the Pope would be the top government official. Or should we opt for a state religion with the preferred denomination being Roman Catholic? What about all those other denominations?

How about Lutheran? It is a denomination, but we would need to decide which sect of Lutheran within the denomination also. According to Wikipedia there are at least fifty-two denominations within the Lutheran denomination. Everything from the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations, to the Lutheran Free Church, to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, to the Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America, and so on. Each with their own way of interpreting what it means to be Lutheran. Each with their own way of interpreting what it means to be Christian.

Or, how about Baptists? Presbyterians? Methodists? Mormons? Jehovah’s Witnesses? Anglicans? Calvinists? Pentecostals?  Quakers? Amish? Unitarians? Christian Scientists? Westboro Baptist Church? Reformists? Creationists? Literalists?

Whose denomination gets preference?

If you think that declaring the United States a Christian Nation is all it would take and then all would be right at last and God would again cast His grace over the country, then by whose rules do we govern and live by?

It’s not as simple as it sounds, is it? Once this country would be declared a Christian Nation and acknowledged by the government as such, there would be a very brief pause…

And then all hell would break loose.

No longer would there be anything to protect those who are not Christian, because the rules would be different for those who are verses those who are not. And then the infighting between denominations would begin. Tests for who is a “true and correct Christian” would be created. Each denomination, and potentially each denomination within a denomination, would want their version of God’s Law used and in place.

If history has shown anything, it’s that once a civilization reaches a certain size, it either needs to adapt or it will fail. If we were to crawl backwards in time and declare the United States as any type of theocracy or implement any type of state religion we would not only be dismantling all the ideals and laws built on those of our Founding Fathers, but would also be reducing this great country to cesspool of human against human, all based on which invisible being they prayed to.

This country is great NOW because we allow differences. This country is great NOW because of our open arm policy for diversity. This country is great NOW because our Founding Fathers had the foresight to keep religion OUT of politics and in the home and churches where it belongs. Not in laws, legislature, the courts, public schools, businesses that serve the public, the military. You can keep your faith, your beliefs, in your heart and home and church. But in the eyes of the government we are all equal in our freedoms – or at least we should be (we still have some work to do on that but we’re learning and progressing).

Celebrate our great nation as a nation that is inclusive, not exclusive. Recognize that the differences between us are small and that together we are strong. Honor those who have fought and died before us to keep the dream our Founding Fathers envisioned alive. A fluid, adapting, inclusive country that shows the world what it’s like to live with others that don’t believe as we do, but we care about just the same. Release your fear of the unknown and the fear of becoming obsolete. No one wants to take your religion from you. Quite to the contrary, we all want to practice, or not practice, as we feel is best for us and let you do the same without fear of persecution or discrimination. All we ask for is the same courtesy.

Let’s make those who came before us, and will come after us, beam with pride – not weep with sorrow – over what we have become and are becoming.

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New novel – “Kyriea”

This last November I took part in NaNoWriMo. It was an amazing experience I intend to repeat every year. This year I wrote a book titled “Kyriea”. Current expectations will have it available in February 2016.

Here is an excerpt… Enjoy.

*

Kyriea would ask questions too.

“Grandfather, how did women go from being equal to men to now being property? How did men like yourself not keep other men from making such strict rules and then enforcing them?”

Kyriea’s grandfather had gotten a sad look on his face when she had asked those questions.

“My dear, Kyr, there is no good answer for that, except to say that we did nothing because we kept telling ourselves that it would never get this far. The truth of the matter is that women never have been truly equal. Ever. Oh, maybe way back when, thousands and thousands of years ago, before men decided they wanted power and control, but even before the war women were paid less for the same job a man held, fewer women were in politics, owned companies, and all that. But it was more equal than it is now, obviously. But there was a growing movement of men who didn’t like that women had that much power over their own lives. It started slowly. An added law here or right revoked there. Have I ever told you there was a time that a woman could go into a clinic and terminate a pregnancy because she wanted to?”

Kyriea shook her head in disbelief.

“It’s true. Women could choose, not only where she lived, who she lived with, what job she wanted to do, but also whether or not she wanted to be pregnant. Birth control was widely available, so pregnancy was controlled. If you didn’t want to have children, you didn’t have to. But extreme, religious nutjobs wanted to control all that. They didn’t think women should have choices. Even over their own bodies. They bombed clinics and killed doctors. They made laws that made it difficult for women to take care of themselves. They even, once, made a husband keep his dead wife, who died while eighteen weeks pregnant, on life support in the hopes that a dead corpse would be enough to sustain a growing fetus. Women meant nothing to these people, even in death. They called it ‘pro-life’. Even though once the child was born they didn’t care what happened to it. Kind of ironic that now these same religious extremists kill baby girls all in the name of their ‘God’.”

Andrew Volk shook his head. Kyriea could tell what he was talking about upset him still.

“Grandfather, you don’t have to tell me any of this if you don’t want to.”

“No, my child. You need to hear this. It started with women’s health. Laws were changed or created that made it almost impossible for women to get good health care, saying that they didn’t need all the preventative procedures. Then it was the abuse laws. There once was a time where a man could beat his wife and not get into trouble. Then laws were put into place where the husband could be charged, and convicted, of abuse. Those laws were the next to go. Now men could abuse their wives and no court would help her. Then divorce. Women could no longer ask for a divorce. Only the man could divorce a woman. Then laws about rape. Women began losing case after case in court when they tried to convict a man of rape. The defense attorneys would bring up a woman’s past and used it against her. Then housing. No apartment wanted a single women renting from them, and no community wanted a single woman owning a house in their community. It was too tempting and dangerous. They feared the women would draw to them men who wanted to do violence. And it went straight downhill from there. And the sad part is there were many women who spoke out about how these new laws would be good for the country. ‘Get back to family values’ they said. And all the while they were pounding the nails in their own coffins. Sometimes literally.”

“You asked why no one like myself stopped the changes that were happening. We failed you. With every new law changed we told ourselves that they couldn’t do anymore damage. They may have gone ‘this far’ but they would never go ‘that far’. And then they went farther. And then it was too late.”

*

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Now in paperback on amazon…

http://www.amazon.com/One-Simple-Life-Lynn-Salisbury/dp/1501013351/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411431355&sr=1-1&keywords=lynn+salisbury

Now on amazon – “One Simple Life” in paperback.

A first person account of a very simple, yet inevitably important, life. Through the words and thoughts of one simple voice comes a re-telling of a well known story told like you’ve never heard before. Flash through this short story and live the full life of one simple person, in their own words, from auspicious and controversial beginning to the final, true end. A story without names, for names aren’t needed, you will know exactly who is speaking. The message of the importance of one life becomes crystal clear. And the true message that was intended, will, for the first time, finally be fully revealed.

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One Simple Life in paperback

https://www.createspace.com/4976756

My first attempt at bring my books to paperback. My other 4 coming soon to paperback also.

Always moving forward one step at a time – no matter how small the step.

Posted in Fantasy/Fiction, Inspirational, Lynn Salisbury, Novels, Religious, Short story, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment