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Forgiveness is Not a Gift

A few months back, I wrote a blog post about forgiveness and how important it was. And though I promised myself to write part two, I just couldn’t. Writing for me is very personal and even when I try not to, parts of me still get engrained into my words, which made writing on forgiveness near impossible. I understood the forgiveness theory and yes, I guess I could have tied and twisted words together and made it pretty, but that is not my style. I believe that words are powerful, and they hold strength, so if I can’t give it to you straight and honestly I am not going to give it to you at all. In all transparency, I was still carrying some unforgiveness in my heart. Yes, it is a process and many positive steps have been made, but it wasn’t enough. Even though I wished everyone well, there were still some individuals who held on to the dark corners of my mind.ryoji-iwata-474369-unsplash

Fortunately for me, I can no longer hold onto these dark corners. By grace and favor, God has been intensifying different parts of my creativity and intellect. My brain is now sparking and developing ideas where I can see so much development for myself and others. With this in mind, there just isn’t any mental or emotional real estate available for unforgiveness to remain a tenant in my life [you will be surprised how much thinking space emotional baggage takes up]. I am not calling unforgiveness a squatter – it did pay its dues. Unforgiveness helped to fuel a few comebacks in my life [you see I don’t clap, I come back], and I used its negativity to boost my productivity and innovativeness. I am not perfect and had maintained just enough obstinance [wow I haven’t used that word in a while] in me to make sure that, even when I fall down, I would shake myself off and come back correct.

Nevertheless, unforgiveness – due to its dark core – burns dirty and leaves behind a polluted mess. Yes, I was achieving my goals, but the emotional stink still lingered and dulled the overall shine. Something had to be done and I refused to write anything on forgiveness. Some soul-searching was warranted. But until I could master my own emotions, I conveniently jumped the topic and wrote about any and everything else.

Then it hit me! This was not about anyone else or the baggage of their actions and words. It never really was. This was about me. I was the one choosing not to forgive. Yes, I was choosing to pray for them with my lips, but my heart hadn’t released them. Foolishly, I was the one waiting for an apology or explanation for things that couldn’t be explained and for events where others saw no reason to be held accountable or feel regret. My decision to permit their decisions and actions to occupy my mental real estate was so ridiculous that I felt silly. I was being the biggest fool and traitor to myself. By not releasing them I was, in fact, chaining myself to them. They didn’t ask to be dragged along in my mind taking up valuable space, I was the one dragging them.esther-wiegardt-363603-unsplash

I had to forgive them if I wanted to free myself. It didn’t mean that I couldn’t or wouldn’t care anymore. Nor did it mean that I understood or accepted what was done. It meant:

  • I loved me and respected my headspace too much to leave it infected any longer
  • That though I would forgive, I was also comfortable leaving ample distance/room in my life to prevent reoccurrences
  • Forgiveness is a process, and unfortunately, it isn’t immediate. It is in this process where I can give myself comfort and not expect perfection in knowing that some days I will get it and some days I won’t.
  • [Most importantly] I was grateful for the grace that I had received from God for all that I had and may still do [told you…I am a work in progress]. And if He was able to look past my flaws, the least I could do was to try and release myself from not forgiving others.

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The same God who chooses to take His time to work on and mold me, can and will do the same for others. Knowing this allows me to have hope that others will become works in progress too, and together we may all find peace. So to end, this post and hopefully part of this chapter …I will forgive. It is also my hope that some of you can also move forward and free up prime mental and emotional real estate. It does not mean that what others said or did was right. They will have to face their own demons one day. What I am confident in is the fact that God has plans, ideas, and creativity on your to-do list just waiting to occupy the space.

Below I have listed some of my forgiveness areas. I tried to include one or two for readers who are also struggling, feel free to comment and add to the list. I know we all have areas / real estate occupied by unforgiveness and maybe together we can be free.

 “Forgiveness is not a gift to them, it is a liberation for you” Lisa Smithen

  • I forgive you for when you didn’t hold my hand; when you shied away from the job of molding me into a stronger man or woman. But instead like a coward, chose to be on the streets running from [she to she] or [he to he]. It was easier for you to provide the monthly cheque, but near impossible for you to provide even the remnants of affection.
  • I forgive you for touching & scaring me. And even though the taste of forgiveness still tastes bitter on my lip, I know that I must release the venom to prevent it from also consuming me.
  • I forgive you for lying to me and telling me how I was nothing and I would never be anything better than my father/mother. In reality, you couldn’t tell me the truth. For in the truth you would see how You chose to lay down and stay with my father/mother, which made you a bigger fool than him/her or me.
  • I forgive you for telling me that I was ugly because my skin was too dark/too light/just not right. Where you showed me how my eyes/my thighs/my smile…. were too big etc. and would never be considered pretty. I didn’t and could not see that my appearance was a painful reflective surface in your eyes. And the faults that you found in me were to only to mask the inferiority you held within yourself but deflected unto me.
  • I forgive you for telling me that you loved me…For you never were in the position to even know how to love the force within me…As to love me was to know me, and you were too busy playing roles you knew nothing about to recognize me.
  • I forgive you for your friendship…. I think that’s what the term was supposed to be. But you never really supported or encouraged me to grow and to live into my destiny. I guess I didn’t get the memo and hadn’t realized how one-sided life could be.

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