Posted in Self Help

Confessions

I have a confession to make.

Well, one I will share.

This past weekend I read my recent blog post about Forgiveness over and over.

I wanted to cry. I wanted to forget everything I had stored at the very back of my mind. I wanted to erase some of the past from my memory, and I wanted to go back to feeling the way I’ve been feeling lately.

Confident. Happy. At peace.

But, I felt none of that.

You see cancer is always a portion of my worry, and my heart well, that’s another story. Lately, so many bad memories have been rehashed all over again. Hurdles I encountered long ago, and now another one.

It’s hard to trust again when your heart has been broken, and it’s even harder to forgive yourself when you let it happen. Of course, it’s perplexing when there’s a slew of circumstances that are intertwined and mangled, creating a host of emotions.

No matter how many times you choose to forgive someone, there’s always that moment when you question what you’re doing and if they are worthy of it once again.

That is a question you need to discuss with God, because I’m not sure I have the answer for anyone’s situation. Even my own. Although, I did ask a friend once how many chances does someone get, and they said you do it until you can’t do it anymore. I assume that’s the same as God, who wants us to never give up.

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Matthew 18:21-22

Just because we don’t stop forgiving doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop letting someone hurt us. At some point in life we have to take our well being into our own hands, whether it be our physical well being or our mental self, and ask God for help.

Forgiving is the easy part. It’s forgetting that’s hard.

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

Psalm 34:17-20

I confess it over and over, I have a hard time forgetting. I have to fight with everything I’ve got not to let the devil take ahold of me and take me down that sinful alley road. It’s like your mind can forgive, and forget…for awhile. Push it into the back of your brain, bury it, conceal it and lock it away.

In reality, it’s still there unless we let it go. It’s somewhat like a helium balloon, watching it float away, out of sight until it’s lost forever. We never look back, never give it another thought.

It’s not that I can’t forgive, it’s my heart won’t let me forget.

Is it even possible?

Are we actually capable of forgetting?

I admire people I know who are self disciplined always radiating willpower. It takes a strong mind and an unwaivering trust in God. Attractive traits I’m in love with, nonetheless.

However, in my life I’m still a work in progress.

The heart, the mind, the soul are all connected and sometimes, despite our frantic attempts in search of a cause, there is not a reason. There’s no answer to our “Why?”.

Why we can’t forget, or why we have to forgive someone over and over is a question that sometimes doesn’t have an answer.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

I think we have such a hard time because we need a motive and it’s difficult to accept maybe there’s not one. Maybe it’s just part of a bigger plan, and we have to wait for it to play out. Sometimes circumstances don’t make sense in the beginning, but they eventually come full circle.

I think rather than focusing on forgetting we need to focus on letting it go, just like that balloon. Why do we want to hold onto the bad memories? In doing so, we are only hurting ourselves more, filling our heart with pain and resentment.

It’s hard to know what someone’s heart holds. That is for God’s eyes only. They are the only ones who has to answer for their sins. The only move we can make is to trust or to be wary. It’s our choice. How you guard your heart is up to you. God wants us to forgive, not hate, but he doesn’t say forgive and forget or forgive and trust again.

Now, we come full circle with the question how many chances does someone get?

I look at my situation and think that’s irrelevant. It may not change my heart, but it may change the answer. It teaches a valuable lesson. Whatever you choose make it a choice you can always live with. Sometimes there are no second chances.

Hold onto what’s precious and let everything else go. Somewhere in all of that is where you will find your answer.

Posted in Devotional, Self Help

Forgiveness

Did you know purple hyacinths are an emblem of forgiveness?

Do you think about forgiveness?

Lately, I have been thinking about it constantly.

I feel like when you’re going through life changing hurdles it makes your mind think about those kinds of things.

There’s so many situations in my life right now I wish I could change even though it’s obvious most of them I cannot. I decided life’s too short not to make some alterations if I can. Often, we get so wrapped up in the pain that someone or their actions caused us, we don’t think about what we are letting it do to ourselves.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Luke 6:37

We may not be able to change the action or situation, but we can change how we react to it. Life is hard whether we want to say it out loud or not.

It’s not fair. It’s not equal. It’s not promised. Don’t count on it being easy.

I told my daughter last week I wanted her to find forgiveness. I wasn’t suggesting she do it for the person that hurt her, but rather for herself. It broke my heart to see her hurting because of something she can’t control so I reminded her that God would want her to show forgiveness.

I didn’t want to tell her how she should feel, but I wanted her to think about it.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:14-15

There have been many situations in my life I can’t change, ones that affected me so deeply I’ve had a hard time of letting go. I can’t help the way I feel, and I realized there are many feelings I can’t stop. But, I can forgive.

And, forgiving is letting go.

Too often, I think we struggle with forgiveness because we don’t want to let someone off the hook so easily. We don’t want them to believe what they did is OK or they can get away with it. We want them to feel our pain, show some remorse or have some sort of empathy towards us. We may want them to suffer dire consequences so they don’t do it again. We may want them to just realize how it feels.

In reality, maybe we are the ones who need to realize forgiving someone is not letting them off the hook but rather setting ourselves free from the situation. If we carrry it around and hold on too tightly it will only continue to control our feelings.

Showing forgiveness and letting go doesn’t make a wrong right. It doesn’t show trust or worthiness to anyone but yourself. It shows you have enough self respect and care for yourself and God. No where does it say to forgive and forget. Forgive and be wary but do not hate.

Sometimes people just continue to hurt you, and there’s no explanation why or it’s something much deeper. Sometimes it’s not about you at all. Sometimes it’s just who they are with no explanation.

I’m the person who analyzes everything. I always want to figure out the why, but in reality I can’t invariably know why.

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Mark 11:25

If someone hurts you, take care of yourself first, then help others with what you have left. Forgive them, but do it for yourself. You’re not admitting you were in the wrong, you’re just choosing to let it not control you anymore.

In this life the only person we are responsible for at the end of our time on Earth is ourselves. We can help others, we can guide them, mentor them and support them, but we can’t save them. The only actions you are going to answer for is your own.

Choose peace and choose salvation. Be kind and be the bigger person. Your mental health deserves it. And, at the end of the day that’s all you can do.