Sunday, June 30, 2013

Jerry Maguire and Purpose

“I just want to be inspired."

“I love him! I love him for the man he wants to be. And I love him for the man he almost is."

“The key to this business is personal relationships.”

“Roll with the punches. Tomorrow’s another day.”

“This is going to change everything.”

Quotes from the film Jerry Maguire

I like the movie Jerry Maguire because it is about a man who follows his heart at great cost to himself.    Maguire, played by Tom Cruise, is a sports agent who suffers a nervous breakdown as a result of compromising his principles.  Still, he is a good man and he writes a mission statement, "The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business.”  In it he cites, among other things the need for greater personal attention to the client, more self-care, and a return to the love of the game.
As a result, he is fired.  He loses all his clients except one, the demanding and temperamental Rod Tidwell, played by Cuba Gooding, Jr.  One employee, Dorothy Boyd, played by Renee Zellweger, who is inspired by his mission statement, quits to work with him.   Throughout the film Maguire negotiates his way through love friendship and work as he realizes he has a lot to learn in all three areas.
Still, he is a good man and while I won’t give away the ending, I will say that it is a warm and emotionally satisfying movie.  What’s best is watching Maguire mature emotionally and professionally as he moves into and lives out his Purpose.
This is the beauty of Purpose.  Commitment to Purpose is commitment to one’s highest calling and one can not help but grow in all areas when one decides to grow in one area.  Maguire learns his trade better, but he also learns how to be a friend and a committed and loving husband.  None of these things come easily to him because, although he is a good man, he is also a man who is afraid of close emotional ties.
Many men struggle with this.  Men were born and are raised to hunt and kill, some literally.  In a non-literal sense, many men learn the importance of a trade, but not necessarily how to be a good husband or father.  It doesn’t mean that they aren’t or can’t be; it’s just that it takes a different kind of learning.  Curiously, Tidwell, who becomes his best friend, is better at emotional issues but not as good in his professional life.  Together, the two men learn from each other.
This is another benefit of Purpose.  Lately, I have found myself surrounded by the right people. I was motivated to write almost 50 more blogs in 20 days.  Another friend told me I could do this no matter how hard it seemed.  Another friend turned down a job to begin his own writing.  People in their Purpose inspire others who are ready to be in their Purpose.  The people who are in Purpose with me have helped make me a better man.    
This is my 149th blog and I could not have done this alone.  Though I did the writing by myself, I was never alone.  Purpose was with me and so were the people I love. 
So, tomorrow morning, when I write my 150th blog, they will be with me, too.  So I will tell them now, “Thank you and I love you.  Get Started and Keep Going…and rent Jerry Maguire.

Work and Purpose

“We often miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work”

Thomas Edison

All work is creative work if done by a thinking mind.”

Ayn Rand

“Work without love is slavery.”

I’ve been fortunate to have had some very good jobs in my life.  Though they were all different, they all had some things in common.  They also have something in common with writing these blogs.  First, I will discuss some of the jobs and then I will show what the jobs and my blogs have in common. (Let me clarify that when I say “jobs” I am also referring to volunteer experiences as well.)  Finally, I will apply these principles in a way that will hopefully benefit others. 
One of the first really good jobs I had was being Christmas help at Toys-R-Us.  I was hired.  At first I had a rough start because I had contracted poison ivy the day before my first day of work.  On top of that I made some tactical errors in my first week.  But then I found my niche, in the Children’s Books department and I started having fun!  I worked hard and if I was asked to do something else, I cheerfully did it. 
This was my first 40-hour-a-week job.  At the time, my personal life was not going well and it was nice to be away from all the problems and just work for eight hours a day.  In a way, I was able to reinvent myself and focus completely on my work.  What I remember most about the job was that it was fun.  It was a toy store, so maybe it was supposed to be fun.
Another great job I had was actually a volunteer experience.  I was the Jr. High Director of my church.  Much of the current staff was moving on to other things and I knew this work was perfect for me. I knew the group needed a unifying structure.  I knew I could provide.  Specifically, what they needed was strong leadership.  And I became that strong leader. 
Within a few months the size of the group doubled and then tripled.  It was amazing to see.  Slowly my vision for the group unfolded and we were able to do some things I think the kids will never forget.  To this day, this was still one of the best experiences of my life.
At the same time I was also a Sunday-School teacher.  The thing I brought to this experience was creativity.  Every week I would try something new and different.  I used the materials provided, but just barely.  I got the kids involved in their own learning and we had a lot of fun.  Things went so well that one our church members publicly stated that the reason he joined the church was so that his daughter could be in my Sunday-School class.
Probably one of the best jobs ever was my time at Kelsey-Jenney College.  I was given the opportunity to teach many different subjects so I had to be flexible.  I taught Math, English, Business Writing, Ethics and Personal Development to name a few.  Although not all the classes went well, most of them did.  By being willing to do what was needed I expanded my resume and I learned a lot.  The staff and the students loved me and I was Teacher of the Year my first year.  What made it work was being flexible and taking any classes they offered me.
My current job is also highly enjoyable.  I think two things have made this job work.  First, there was desire.  I wanted to do this job more than just about anything else in life.  (And I especially wanted to leave the job I was in at the time.)   Second, I was constantly pursuing professional growth whether through in-services, my own reading, or experiences in the classroom.  I was and am always trying to get better.
So there are some qualities that can lead to happiness and success professionally an personally:
·      Fun
·      Leadership
·      Creativity
·      Flexibility
·      Desire
·      Growth

These qualities apply at work or in any area where Purpose is involved.   In each of these positions I was clearly in Purpose and that’s why I still feel good about them.  As I near my writing goal, I can see how each one the same qualities has appeared at different times.  They will again, too.  All I have to do is Get Started and Keep Going….and I will do a good job.

This Was Hard

“I aint choose to rhyme.
Rhyming chose me.”

Bubba Sparx – Ugly

“Bear in mind, if you are going to amount to anything, that your success does not depend upon the brilliancy and the impetuosity with which you take hold, but upon the ever lasting and sanctified bulldoggedness with which you hang on after you have taken hold.”

Dr. A. B. Meldrum

“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.”

Roger Bannister

Every time I sit down to write, I’m a newborn.  Every time is the first day on the job where I know the basics (maybe), but I really don’t know what I’m doing.   Every time is a blank computer screen or a blank page.  Every time I have to walk without a map.  Honestly, right now I want to stop, walk back to my car, drive home and take a nap.  But I know the walk will be miserable, the drive will be long and I won’t be able to sleep.   So here I sit writing until I find my voice, my message.
This is true for anyone in Purpose.  A moment comes when it’s just hard.  It feels fruitless and pointless.  Honestly, at this moment, I still don’t know what the message of this blog is.  I’m sitting here writing and I still don’t know what I’m saying.  After all the writing I’ve done, this is supposed to be easier, not harder.  By the way, it’s not a moment.  It’s many moments. 
Maybe that’s my message.  Keep going.  The message hasn’t changed. It doesn’t need to.  Don’t stop.  This doesn’t have to be romantic or fun.  It’s okay if it’s hard.  On the other hand, I have years of writing behind me.  I have 146 blogs behind me.  I have over 35 years of journals behind me.   This is only as hard as I want to make it. 
I remember getting overwhelmed once trying to clean my garage.  My ADHD was kicking in like an angry mule.  A friend said, “Robert, this is in your mind.  Take it one step at a time, but don’t stop.” 
So I followed the advice and cleaned the garage, because I was reminded that difficulty is as much in the mind as anywhere else.   And the more time I take to consider the problem, the less time I have to do what I need to do.
While writing this blog, another friend messaged me and asked me for some good books on inspiration for his own purpose.  I replied, somewhat directly, to stop wasting my time and his and start writing and then the inspiration would come.
I had to tell myself the same thing.  Before I started writing, I was in a bookstore.  Normally, that makes me happy, but all I could think about was writing.  All I could hear was a voice saying, “What are you doing in here?  Why are you wasting time?  STOP!  Get to work!”
I admit the fun part of Purpose is gone at the moment.  Right now it’s just scary and lonely.  And no one can help me.  The only thing that will make me feel better is to stay in this chair at Starbucks and keep writing until I find my message.  No one can do this for me.  This is what it means to Keep Going.  I have to move beyond apathy, beyond fear, beyond sadness, beyond self-pity, beyond self-doubt, beyond longing and beyond all emotions other than determination.  There can be nothing else at this moment but the writing. 
In my last blog I had a revelation, an epiphany.  I want to write professionally.  I was so excited and so enthusiastic.  Still, no matter how strong a feeling is, it is just that – a feeling.  It comes and goes.  It falls and rises like ocean waves.  I can’t depend on it and I can’t hope to keep a constant level of enthusiasm.  All I can depend on are facts and actions.  Right now it’s just a dream, a fantasy.  As John Lennon sang,
So long ago, was it in a dream
Was it just a dream?
I know, yes, I know, seemed so very real
It seemed so real to me

John Lennon - #9 Dream

It may have seemed like a dream and if I don’t take persistent and consistent action, then that’s all it will be.  I’ve had other dreams before. I’ve wanted to be US history professor, a nationally-known career coach, a public speaker, an elementary school principal and a comic book store owner.  Some of those dreams are no longer important and some of them are still good.  But this dream of writing – I need it to go beyond the dream stage.  I really need to Get Started and Keep Going.
So here are the facts:
·      I want to be a professional writer.
·      I have a lot of experience.
·      I have the skill.
Here are the actions I can take:
·      I can keep writing.
·      I can join a group of other writers who will encourage me in what I’m doing. 
·      I can look for a mentor.
·      I can start looking for organizations that hire writers or teachers of writing. 
·      I can keep writing.

I see myself in the right place surrounded by the people I love and using the talents God gave me to make the world and myself better.   That’s real but it’s also romantic.  I left out the part where I still go through this angst every time I sit down to write.  Fortunately, I don’t care.  This is bigger than me.  If this is the price of doing what I was chosen to do with my life, so be it.  Every day, every single day, I Get Started and I Keep Going….and then maybe I can go back to the bookstore.

A Revelation - An Epiphany

“Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning:  I wanted to know what I was going to say.”

Sharon O'Brien

“Writing is easy:  All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

Gene Fowler

“We write to remember our nows later.”

Terri Guillemets

Good morning!  This is it.  Race day.  My goal is to write four blogs before midnight tonight.  Tomorrow I will write a fifth one.  Then I will have reached 150.  That’s it.  It’s not a big deal, but I’m excited and nervous.
Something has happened to me in the last six months.  Something significant.  I have realized with both alarm and clarity that writing is what I like to do more than anything else in the world. 
I’ve done teaching, career coaching, public speaking and a few other things.  Many of those things I’ve loved and done well.  But sitting here at the computer (or with my pen and journal, as the case may be), letting these words come makes me feel complete and whole and unafraid. 
I did not expect this, but being in Purpose has given me clarity.  It’s been there all along, but I’ve been afraid to say it:
What I want to do more than anything else is write.  Yes, I want to teach and speak and inspire.  I want to travel.  But writing is what I want and need to do every day.

            That was cathartic and enlightening.  I feel clear.  I feel free. I know what I want.  I know what I want, I think, for the rest of my life.
Now I have goals, for the day and for my life, but there may be obstacles ahead.  Here are the obstacles I’ve faced in the last 21 days:
·      Poor time management
·      Being easily distracted
·      Allowing others to determine my agenda
·      Allowing stress to take over
·      Things seemingly outside of my control, like being sick or technology problems
·      Being easily distracted
·      Being easily distracted
·      Being easily distracted

It helps to know the Enemy.  It helps to know that sometimes I am the Enemy.  It helps to know that I have a Friend who sticks closer than a brother and is far more powerful than the Enemy.  Today has been set up nicely for me.  I am completely alone because the rest of the family are in different places.  I have only one commitment today, to meet some friends at church.  Except for milk, there is plenty of food, so I don’t need to go shopping.  So the only things I need to do are write and use my time well.  If I don’t reach my goal, then it’s nobody’s fault but mine.
There are a couple of other obstacles:
·      Fear
·      Not knowing what to write.

The fear is so normal that I almost take it for granted.  It tells me I’m wasting my time, that no one is reading this, that no one cares if I meet my goal and that none of this will make a difference.  It also tells me I have nothing left to write, that I’ve exhausted all my creativity.  In fact, because of all this “unnecessary” effort, I’ve burnt myself out and may never write again.  Those are some of the things that fear tells me.
Now of all that, the one thing that’s true at the moment is that I don’t know what to write.  I often come here not knowing what to write. So there are two ways I deal with my writer’s block:
1.     I start writing anyway and usually an idea comes.
2.     I start writing and then I realize it’s no good.  So I start a new page and an idea comes.

Not one of the 145 blogs I’ve written so far is completely blank.  There are also no repeats.  Each one is original.  So I think this one will be original, too.  What Steven Pressfield says is true:
How many pages have I produced?  I don’t care.  Are they any good?  I don’t even think about it.  All that matters is that I’ve put in my time and hit it with all I’ve got.  All that counts is that for this day, for this session, I have overcome Resistance.

And that’s it.  That’s all I’m doing.  I’m overcoming Resistance.  I’m overcoming the Enemy.  I’m writing.  I’m writing for the following reasons:
·      I love writing.
·      I’m good at it and so I feel the obligation to share it with the world so that others may be inspired to share their gifts.
·      I made the commitment.

In the song Fields of Gold, Sting sings,
I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I've broken
But I swear in the days still left
We'll walk in fields of gold
We'll walk in fields of gold

Like Sting I also have not made promises lightly and there are some I have also broken.  But not this one.  I’m keeping this commitment.  I’m going to Get Started and Keep Going…and I’m going to keep writing.

"I'd Love to Change the World"

Everywhere is freaks and hairies
Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity
Tax the rich, feed the poor
Till there are no rich no more

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you

Population keeps on breeding
Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy
Life is funny, skies are sunny
Bees make honey, who needs money, monopoly


World pollution, there's no solution
Institution, electrocution
Just black and white, rich or poor
Them and us, stop the war

Alvin Lee - I'd Love to Change the World

I’ve always enjoyed this song.  It’s one of those songs I can listen to over and over…and have.  But I’ve never been crazy about all the lyrics.  I’m not sure if they’re meant to be ironic or just one person’s point of view.  I also wonder if Alvin Lee ever looked at them and wished he had changed them.  (Probably not.)
Here’s how I would change the lyrics.   Then I’ll explain why.

Everywhere is creeps and crazies
Liars and lazies, tell me, where is sanity?

I took out “freaks and hairies” because I thought most young people in that time wore long hair and they were called freaks and hairies, including the performers of this song, the group Ten Years After.  Like many fashions, long hair was worn only by those in the counterculture, but by the early 1970’s, most kids had long hair, so it stopped being revolutionary or rebellious after a while.  In fact, like many things that were novel and new, it soon became the norm.
I also don’t care for the terms “dikes and fairies.”  That seems too derogatory.  That’s all I’ll say about that.
It’s the chorus that bothers me the most. 
I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you

            To use a phrase from the 70’s, “That’s a cop-out, man!”  If we see a problem and complain about it, while waiting for someone else to fix it, then we are part of the problem.  Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
Here’s how I’d change those lyrics:
I'd love to change the world
So I’ll find out what to do
But I’ll need some help from you

I will admit that sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the problems and causes in the world.  Every day I get mail and e-mails asking me to help out with a cause.   I don’t doubt the worthiness of any of these causes; it’s just that I can only do so much.  How much?  I don’t know.  And I’m not going to list the things I’ve done or the causes I support.  I’m sure I’ve helped a bit and I’m sure I can do more.  I’m fortunate to have a job and skills that help people.  And I’m fortunate that I can set aside some money each month to give to others.
Am I changing the world?  Yes and no.  I believe every little bit helps.  I’m proud to say Americans are doing more than just a little bit.  According to, Americans gave over $295 billion in charitable giving, the greatest amount in the world.  Even if that were reduced by 10% because of a troubled economy, it’s still over $260 billion.  So we are changing the world.  We do know what to do, at least when it comes to giving our money.
In addition, despite a decline the average American volunteers one hour a week.
Volunteers spent a median of 50 hours on volunteer activities during the period from September 2011 to September 2012. Time spent on volunteer activities was similar for women and men. Median annual hours spent on volunteer activities ranged from a low of 32 hours for those 25 to 34 years old to a high of 90 hours for volunteers age 65 and over.

(Many Americans and people from all over the world also adopt children and animals, much more significant forms of giving.)
So how do we change the world?  I see at least two ways:
1.              First recognize all that is good in the world and all the good that is being done in the world.
2.              When you see something that you think needs to change, do whatever you can to change it.  Volunteer.  Give some money.  Do your job well.  Pursue a career that will enable you to make the changes you want to see.  Get help with it. 
I don’t know if I can change the world.  Maybe I can.  I know that I can change my part of the world.  All I need to do is to Get Started and Keep Going…but I need some help from you.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Happy/A Few Complaints

G. K. Chesterton

Robert Holden


I am so glad to be here.  Today has been a good day, but I have a lot of work to do.  I’m not sure how well I used my time today and there is a part of me that wants to talk about that and beat myself up over it.  And that is one of the Enemy’s favorite tricks, to get me to focus on a few complaints.   No, not a few complaints.   It likes to point out every single area of failure, every fault, shortcoming and sin.  It seems there is no end to this list.  How many times and ways have I failed myself and others?  When will I learn?  When will I get it right?
Here are some ways I can get it right:
·      I can stop focusing on what’s wrong with me.
·      I can stop focusing on how I wish I were different.
·      I can stop focusing on mistakes I’ve made, whether I made them this afternoon, yesterday or twenty years ago.
·      I can look at the good I’ve done.
·      I can look at the lives I’ve affected positively.
·      I can look at the growth I’ve made in every single area of my life.  There is not even one area, not one, where I have not grown in the last year.
·      I can forgive myself.
·      I can be joyful. 
·      I can be grateful that God loves me and calls me His child.
·      I can be grateful that some amazing people love me.
·      I can be grateful (period).
·      I can look at what I have accomplished in the last year, the last six months and in the last three weeks.
·      I can be amazed at my ability to completely turn my attitude around in just a few minutes.
·      I can be thankful for the friend who told me to be positive.
·      I can be thankful for the people who have told me I will reach my goal.
·      I can be thankful that I have some money in the bank.
·      I can be grateful that I had a good dinner tonight with some good friends.
·      I can be grateful that I can choose any attitude I want.
·      I can be grateful that a task that seemed impossible just a little while ago seems completely reasonable and realistic now.
·      I can be grateful for the warm cup of coffee and the soft music playing while I work.
·      I can be grateful for all the books I’m surrounded with and can read at any time.
·      I can be grateful that I live in the United States.
·      I can be grateful that I have a working cell phone and computer and can talk to almost anyone in the world through them.
·      I can be thankful for my freedom.
·      I can be thankful for the people who made me laugh today.

I’m feeling really good right now.  When I started this blog I had a completely different introduction and idea, but then I remembered someone telling me to focus on the positive in my life.  The truth is, for many of us, there are more positives than negatives going on in life.  But most of us focus on what’s wrong rather than what’s right.
Being positive takes focus, commitment and courage.  So many of us want to be unique because we want to be remembered and loved.  If we really want to be unique we should, each of us, focus on being the most positive, most grateful people we can be.  That is something others will remember.
That reminds me of something I learned long ago:  People may not remember the things I’ve done or said, but they will remember how I made them feel.  I want people to feel good when they’re around me.
One of my commitments is this:
            I will be peaceful and joyful as long as and as often as possible.

Tonight, I remembered that commitment, thank God.  I feel great.  I may have had a few complaints, but for the life of me, I really can't  remember what they are.  I’m ready to Get Started and to Keep Going…and to be thankful.


Mahatma Gandhi

Cathy Ponder

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

A lack of forgiveness is like all other emotional states.  It is little more than a phantom of the mind.  It has only the power that I give it.  But the power I give it is considerable.  There have been few things more devastating for my emotional life than a lack of forgiveness.  I’m not a theologian or a philosopher.  All I can do is share my experiences.  Like everyone else in the world, I’ve been hurt and hurt deeply.  I’ve been betrayed, misunderstood, maligned and abandoned.  And at times, these experiences have left me bitter.
Bitterness is the rotten fruit of the lack of forgiveness.  It is a poison.  For me, it was the constant obsessive preoccupation about how someone else wronged me.  I turn it over and over in my mind.  I become physically agitated.  My bitterness becomes rage and my rage becomes a desire for the other person’s death.  It blocks out any hope or desire for reconciliation or solution and it runs a good part of my life.  The longer it is in me, the worse it becomes.
Probably the worst part of it is that the situation often involves a friend, not an enemy.  We expect our enemies to treat us badly.   We don’t expect it from our friends.  Our friends are supposed to protect us.  Then one day, there comes that sickening realization that someone we loved and trusted was not who we thought they were.  The more sensitive we are, the greater this hurts and the greater our rage and bitterness.
Though I usually share personal stories, this time I won’t.  It’s enough to say that I’ve been through the pain of betrayal, I’ve experienced the lonely reassessment of a valued relationship and I’ve fought, lost and won against the inner demons I allowed into my heart as a result of my pain.  I choose not to share my stories this time, because they don’t matter.  They are no better or worse than anyone else’s stories.  Betrayal is horrible because it destroys trust, not only in the one who betrayed us, but in all our relationships.  One day I realize that anyone, anyone, is capable of betraying me.  This leads to the awful question, “If I can’t trust you, who can I trust?”
What is the answer to this cruel dilemma?  I think, in order to find the answers, I need to ask the right questions.  Here are the questions that I think we must all ask to reach forgiveness and peace.  One question has already been asked and the rest are new here, but not new to the wounded.
·      If I can’t trust _________________, who can I trust?
·      How could this person do this to me?
·      What did I do to deserve this?
·      How can I get back at this person?
·      Is it okay to feel hurt, angry or hateful?
·      How can I be free?
·      Do I have to restore relationship?

I will answer these questions one at a time, again based on my limited experiences in hopes that it will shed light for all of us.
“If I can’t trust ________________, who can I trust?”  Nobody.  You can’t trust anybody, at least not completely.  Everyone, without exception, is capable of evil of all kinds, large and small.  That doesn’t mean everyone will betray me, but I know that anyone can.   
Does this mean that I look at everyone with a suspicious glance wondering when they’re going to hurt me?   Some people do.  That would be exhausting to me.  I choose to believe that while all people are capable of evil, it doesn’t mean they will all commit evil.  Earlier I mentioned having a desire for my betrayer’s death.  But I didn’t act on it.  We all have shadow sides, but most of recognize it and keep it from taking over.  In this way, most people can be good.
“How could this person do this to me?”  While most people manage to control their worst impulses, many give in.  This was not only about you.  It may not have been about you at all.  Usually, almost always, it’s about the betrayer.  When I have spoken ill of my friend behind his back, it is because of my fear, my insecurity, and my unresolved issues.  This doesn’t mean you didn’t play a part in it, but I was the one who chose to act upon my lesser impulses.  I am not a hero or a saint.  I am a human being and I have done things in my life that have shamed and embarrassed me.  There is truly no excuse for my behavior.   My betrayal of you was about me, not you.  Unfortunately, you were the victim.  I’m sorry.
“What did I do to deserve this?”  As I said, this was about the betrayer, not the betrayed.  Still, I also have to look at what I might have done differently.  Perhaps my mistake was an innocent one.  Or perhaps I really hurt you.  Either way, for the sake of my own personal growth, I need to not repeat behaviors that will allow a repeat of this situation. 
“How can I get back at this person?” I can come back at you with the same degree you came at me.  But I won’t.  It will be worse.   If you cheated me of a dollar, I will take ten from you.  There is no limit to the number of ways I can get my revenge on you.  Sadly, not one of them will make me feel better.  I think they will, but they won’t.  Revenge will actually make me feel worse.  Trust me on this; I know.
 “Is it okay to feel hurt, angry or hateful?”  Of course.  It’s okay to feel anything.  No feelings are wrong.  Feelings are not facts.  They cannot be disputed.  So I can feel whatever I want.  But better questions might be, “Do I want to feel hurt, angry or hateful?   Do I want to carry all that around?”   Based on having done it in the past, my answer is a clear, “No, I don’t!”  I absolutely do not want those feelings, or any negative feelings, running my life.
“How can I be free?”  I have found several ways to be free.  Most often I need to go to that person and tell him or her how I feel.  Nine out of ten times this restores the relationship, or if not the relationship, then my own peace of mind.  Sometimes I need to go to God and ask Him to enable me to forgive, because I’m just unable to on my own.  Other times I need to keep forgiving until I am free.  And sometimes I just need time and distance.    Then I can reassess the relationship.
“Do I have to restore relationship?”  No, I have to restore myself.  When I do, I will know what to do.  Some relationships will never be healthy and life is too short to have them in your life.  Others are worth restoring because life is too short to not have them in your life.  You will know. 
Without forgiveness, there can be no peace.  Without peace it is hard to move forward in Purpose.  It is better to Get Started and Keep Going and to forgive.