This week has been an interesting week filled with reflection, clarity, forgiveness, and a reminder of why it is necessary to live in “what is” rather than “what was”. When you spend so much time living in “what was” you can miss opportunities that are sitting in your face. My honey and I were reflecting the other day on our relationship. During our conversation, I repeated a statement that I’ve said for years but for some reason that day it resonated with my honey. Prior to that moment I would become frustrated because I didn’t understand why my honey didn’t get it. My honey said my words weren’t heard because they weren’t ready to be accepted; at that moment a light bulb came on. I realized that no matter how much you express something to someone, until they are ready to receive it, it’s hitting a brick wall.
It made me evaluate myself and I started to realize why it was hard to let some hurts go and why it’s hard to trust again, especially my family. Although they apologized and gave an explanation for their actions, I couldn’t hear them because I was focused on how they made me feel. Yes I understood their actions after they explained it, but I couldn’t believe them. I didn’t believe they changed or could change because the only thing I had to go by is the hurt they caused. I couldn’t see pass the “if you loved me, how could you?” or “you treated me worse than a stranger on the street.” So I thought “how can I be frustrated with my spouse when I’ve been doing the same thing?” At that point I went to my room, closed the door, put myself in a corner, and a flood of questions came. How can I expect someone give me beyond what I’m willing to do? How can I place expectations on someone that I can’t meet myself? How can I demand people see me beyond who I was when part of me still holds them to who they were? Why can’t I accept that a person has grown beyond their prior bad actions?
It is so easy to get caught up in how a person hurt you but fail to look at the what or why. I’m sure everyone reading this has hurt someone at some point and if you apologized you wanted them to forgive you and let it go, right? So why can’t you do the same? You want people to forget what you did while you hold the person who hurt you in a place. How does that work?
When we choose to hold people in a place, we stunt our growth. I ran across a post on Facebook from Reverend Jackie McCullough that said “stop nursing the grudges of the past! It hinders the grace that is available to you today”. We spend so much time angry and in fake forgiveness not realizing that we are robbing ourselves of a fulfilled life. While we’re holding on to the past we miss opportunities sitting right in front of us. Most people are willing to engage in surface forgiveness but not many are willing to get to the core so they can release the poison. Yes getting to the core hurts but at what point is simply existing not enough? At what point do we say “I am worth enjoying the fullness of life and not the shell I choose to live in”? At what point do we stop allowing the excuse of what “they did” hold us in bondage? At some point we have to take responsibility for our life, happiness, and peace. Maybe we hold what “they did” as a crutch because we fear that releasing them will require us to look in the mirror. Maybe we hold it because our inner fears of success or failure because after all it’s easier to blame someone else, right. At some point we have to stand up and say enough is enough, I’m worth it, and I deserve to be whole. It’s a choice. Choose life.