Forgiveness is Key Regardless of the Circumstances
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” In Matthew 18:21 Peter asked Jesus, “How many times should I forgive someone, as many as seven times?” Jesus replied with, “No, you should forgive seventy times seven.”
Welcome to week three. The week of forgiveness. Listen, I am not mentally prepared for all this week has to offer. This week will be pretty difficult for me and I know I shouldn't think so negative, but I'm only being honest Journee Bees. Forgiving anyone has never been my strong suit, but if you can forgive, I know I can too. I guess that’s the reason we are doing this together. Before we dive into this new week, I want to congratulate you for making it this far. We are only two weeks away from completing our healing journey. I know you had your reservations about healing and even believed it was too difficult for you, but look at you now. You are conquering your feelings and taking control over your life. Remember you vowed to always be your own aid. So, congrats Journee Bee. You're doing it.
Now for those of you who aren't ready for this step, that's ok too. Refer back to our previous steps and be patient with yourself. Like I always say, healing is not a race and you don't get a medal for finishing first. However, if you aren't giving it your all, it will show and at that point there isn't much I can do to help you. Keep your commitment and believe in yourself. You aren't alone. Once again I am here with you.
Last week, we discussed the importance of acceptance. Just a little recap, to accept anything means you are able to recognize and take hold of something, to amend, but never excuse and my personal favorite, to explore your feelings. How did you feel exploring your emotions? Was it challenging? Was it a breeze? What did you learn from this experience?
I had it rough last week. I felt so much anger and it was difficult to channel it. This anger was honestly the most anger I've felt in my entire life. For those of you who aren't aware, my healing journey began back in May of this year (2021) after I moved from my in laws into my own place. Living with them was pure stress and caused nothing but drama. Grateful to have roof over my head, but upset I was treated like I didn't matter. I considered myself "disposable". So, when I explored my emotions, I was pissed off. Mostly at myself because I didn't realize how much I let slide. The name calling, the lies, the ignorance. Everyday was a battle, well let me be honest with myself for a second, everyday was war mentally. "Do I respond to my mother-in-laws antics? Should I just laugh and walk away?", is all I ever asked myself. Granted I remained silent, but not because I wanted to but because I felt I needed her. Nonetheless, it was only because of God I made it out alive and in my right mind. So when I say this week will be rough, know it's because I don't care to forgive my in laws, I have to forgive myself.
The Bible says "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive."(Luke 6:27 ESV)
To forgive means stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for (an offense, flaw, or mistake), to cancel, to excuse or regard indulgently one's ignorance, or impoliteness. Sounds easy right? WRONG! Forgiveness comes with a price, but a good one I suppose. Forgiveness is about experiencing freedom. You know the saying "forgive them for you"? Well let's just say it's true. We must forgive our abusers, our demons, our parents even ourselves to have freedom. Now, I'm sure you're wondering how can I do this? You start by taking ownership In the part you played. Granted you may think “Oh hell no, I did nothing wrong”, but taking ownership isn’t always about the wrong doings, it can be about your silence, your participation in ignoring your instincts, or maybe choosing to overreact. Some people have a really hard time taking responsibility for their actions, while others apologize profusely and take responsibility for things that they are not even responsible for. Both of these behaviors are not constructive. You should only take responsibility for the things you are actually responsible for. Correspondingly, you should not avoid responsibility for the things that you are responsible for.
So, let’s take some responsibility for our actions. I suggest doing this in the mirror because you must forgive yourself before anything. Have a conversation with yourself and just be honest. Begin with an apology. You may say, “I’m apologizing to you for ( insert whatever you are apologizing for). After you apologize, explain your actions. This could be a number of reasons so don’t hold back. Remember it’s you speaking with yourself. This will be followed with what you know now- more of a reflection, lessons learned etc. Finally, forgive yourself. This could be as simple as an “ I forgive you and I believe in you”. Don’t hold back. You are well on your way.
As for me, I might say something like: “I’m apologizing to you Symone. I’m apologizing for doubting you, confusing your choices and most of all, for making you live in fear of someone else’s action. I allowed this to happen because I was lost. I felt empty and just wanted to be accepted. BUT I know now that you deserved better. You are worth more than you’ll ever know and I will never let anything happen to you. I got you queen. I forgive you! I love you“.
Now, don’t think you have to do this in one day. Forgive as long as you need to, just make sure you are genuinely forgiving. I believe in you and remember, you are in control. Continue this course of forgiveness because next week we will discussing the importance of HAVING PEACE WITHIN. Ooh this is going to be epic.
Remember you are not alone. I am always with you and WE WILL heal together.