Forgiveness …. let me say… it is a gift you give yourself…
I know we long to hear … “I am sorry” … “I apologize…” from the person who offended us. But what if it never comes… you never hear the words… you never see them again… or you see them but they don’t acknowledge you… what do you do? Does time truly stop… does your mind go back to the offense.. the abuse… the harshness…the cruelty…??? How do you move on without damaging your own soul?
Forgiveness in some cases is like a grieving process… you cry…you get mad… you avoid… but in the end you accept that it did happen but do we get stuck there in an elephant mindset…. accepting but never moving forward????
Than the question stands… what is forgiveness??? What does it look like in you??? For example, I look to my Lord Jesus Christ as my example in how to forgive. Without him showing the way… I dont want to think about how I would forgive people (just being honest). Christ shows me that forgiveness is an act of love. When I am able to forgive I am truly free to love inspite of someone else’s actions or thoughts because God holds me accountable in how I respond to it. Because if I respond in the way they treated me… I am no better in character than them. This is still a challenge for me because when East Oakland attitude meets St. Louis anger… its all over. Praise God for a new way of living.
In any case … (pause)
In this new living… I cant go back to how I use to do things. Neither can anyone and think your “okay”. Than what do you do when true and healthy forgiveness requires you to take the “high road”… to be “more mature”… If you do not want the pain, suffering, hatred or bitterness to take over your mind and soul… you learn to love.
For me… loving is not natural. I had to be taught what healthy love is. Forgiveness and love goes hand in hand. Without love it makes forgiveness harder. I am not talking about… going out your way to prove a point or proving the wrong in someone to make them feel horrible… using back biting behavior to make you look superior… that is not forgiveness. That is a small count of revenge. You know you have forgiven the person when the thought and their very presence has no power over you. The power of forgiveness is a mindset… a decision to ensure hatred and wrong doing does not live in your mind rent free. It is lessons in how to treat someone and yourself.
However, what if your the person who needs forgiveness…??? I have experienced this. Its a hard pill to swallow. I think about why I didn’t respond sooner… or why was I overwhelmed to not go forth? However, apologizing for wronging someone whether it is intentional or unintentional shows your character although for the person it may be hard for them to accept. Sometimes if the person can not forgive you… continue to pray and wish the person well by being cordial. In respect you must give that person time to reflect as well. Forgiveness is a two way street. I think about one case. You never want to see anyone hurt… but in this case… I am not sure how I could have made it better… or why I didn’t get the support to respond better. I still am remorseful even after I asked for forgiveness.
Forgiving yourself is a true challenge… especially when you think or know you could have responded better. Self reflection, mentors and positive leadership can help you through the process of forgiving yourself. I know prayer, meditation and journaling has helped me through. I think forgiving yourself takes the longest time to do… so take the time to make sure you are held accountable for yourself… and to love yourself. Everyone needs love to help heal the heart and mind. The body responds to how we treat ourselves.
When I accepted Jesus Christ in my heart… it was a forgiveness I have NEVER experienced before. So I push to forgive and love in spite of my feelings. Its not easy… but it shows me what faith he is growing in me. 🙂
Time goes on whether we want it or not. No need to hold a grudge… Life teaches us experiences we will never get in a book… a classroom… or folktales. Live free by forgiving and loving. Use wisdom and ask for forgiveness today to whomever you offended. No need to be in bondage or hold hostage.
How long will you blame unforgiveness for not moving forward…???
Experience your freedom today… you will never know what new opportunities will open to you or come your way. Jump into a new realm of yourself… so we can teach our children… youth for today the right way…
Forgiveness + Love = Freedom
Love and hugs!!!