Hi, I’m just being Frank here. Just kidding, it’s me Sonya but I’ll be a little frank about forgiveness for a bit. But first some more humor. I misspelled “forgiveness” as ” F R O G iveness ” at first, which made me giggle. To forgive, you do kindof have to jump around a bit.
I was thinking about some things I’ve been through the past few years and I was thinking about how a couple of people keep popping up in my brain and then I go through the cycle of emotions —- all over again! I remembered how it was a goal last year to work through forgiveness because I knew it was an area of my life that needed improvement. As I recalled my studies last year and what I worked through I still thought I had two people that I really needed to still work on – to forgive in my head and in my heart.
Had I really only two? I said to myself? I dug deep and thought about another incident, then another, and how this one treated me, or that one, and the actions that this one caused that made life harder for me, and how this other one had been so ugly, and how one always seemed to think only of themselves, and how that one ——STOP. Ok, I said to myself. You definitely are holding on to some things that you need to let go of. I could think of at least 12 in the last few years that when I thought of these people I began to get a bad range of emotions over. Deep seeded emotions. All of which came running back to me once I opened the lid of the can again and looked inside.
That made me wonder all over again, what is forgiveness really? The work I’ve done. Has it made any difference? And why do these feelings keep coming up?
Well, the area I have the most problems with is where there is/was not an apology, when the issue continues, and when I can’t forget it. And then there is the fact that one sin leads to another which I’m guilty of. Because when I can’t forget it, I then gossip to others about it. That is usually because I’m not able to go to the person(s) themselves and let them know how I feel – and probably for good reason. So we sin and then gossip to others about it, especially if they too have had a problem with the person.
I grew up thinking forgiveness was relatively easy, you know? I connected it to an apology. The person apologizes, you forgive, if they were genuine. (lol – yeah, IF they were genuine and IF they apologized). Piece of cake right? Then life got tougher, situations tougher. The world goes its own way, people get more selfish, and life goes on. Ooops wait a minute here. No apology? Are you just going to do that or not do that or say that and go on and not give an apology? Wait you can’t do that! Ooops but they did.
In most cases the actions or lack there of, have harmed me in some pretty great ways: emotionally, financially, maybe even spiritually, and on several other levels in which I’ve decided not to name or label. Pretty deeeeeep hurts here I have inside. I can see clips of each moment as if I’ve put them all in a video timeline in 2 second intervals. Click, click, click, click.
So What Have I Learned About Forgiveness in the Past Year
- Forgiveness is a windshield wiper and as long as we have memories we will keep having to wipe the emotions away of anger, dissension, fear, despise, wanting to emotionally retaliate, or withhold love. Withhold love. Ding ding ding. That is where the lack of forgiveness is deepest. Lack of love.
- We have to learn to love them again, whatever that takes. Not the behavior, but the person. See them as a child has been one way it has helped.
- Seeing life in their shoes, can help til it’s time to step back in my own and see my side of the coin again.
- Loving the person doesn’t mean you have to associate with the person, but it doesn’t shed you of your God given responsibilities and commands either. God still expects us to follow and abide by his rules, love others, and face our enemies at times, and take one for the team.
- You can try to understand the person which can be helpful, but all in all, you are likely not going to be able to understand the reasons behind the behavior otherwise you would not be struggling with ways to forgive. So that leads us to the next point.
- Just let it go. Acknowledge the feelings and emotions and exhale and let it go.
- Forgiveness is not running away and hiding away in a hole. Maybe for a time if you need it but running away and hiding – well, I’ll just be frank – it is for sissies. lol. If I hurt your feelings I’m sorry, but if it helps, I run and hide too. I have, I did, and I do.
- If you are mad, steaming, grieving, harboring ill feelings over it – you still have some work to do. But what if that work was as easy and giving it to God? Make a decision that every time the old feelings and hurts come up, to give it to God and let Him handle it with yourself and the other person. If you are gonna hide, at least this is a way to do it. Push God’s doorbell, drop it, and goooo. lol Trust God to handle the inefficiency, the gaps, the distress the other person has caused you. Pray specifically for what you need. Pray for God to work on you and them.
- Don’t suppress your feelings. When I say acknowledge and let it go, I don’t mean to stuff it back down inside and repress it. That is unhealthy. Acknowledge how you feel and set it free. Yeah yeah I know, it’ll probably sneak back in and repress itself – we still have memories, but what I’m trying to say is to let yourself feel – yeah that really makes me __________ so I’m going to pray about it, and go on – instead of “grrrr”, thinking ill will, and not acknowledging the emotions you are having.
- In some situations perhaps there IS something you can do to fix the situation. Maybe you can speak with the person, or change something in the situation. But often times it is things that we can’t go back in time to fix, or things others do that can’t be undone, but are written in time and threaded within.
- People are just going to be the kind of people that they are. And so will you. Their actions and reactions will either be a series of positive or negative moments in time – or a mix of both. I think of it as “cookies in your pocket”. Think of a person and your dealings with them. Every encounter they give you a cookie for your pocket. Are you going to put it in your positive pocket or negative pocket. Some people just end up in our negative pocket. Maybe it’s the way they are wired or we are wired. I think we have to accept that and go on. Probably not the wisest to spend most of your time with negative cookie people (cookie monsters? lol) because you might become a negative cookie yourself with all those negatives in your pocket! I think they feed on each other too. So…….
- FIND YOUR positive Cookie people! Do things you love to do. Make your life positive and disconnect from negative people, negative thinking as much as you can so that your heart can heal, your life can be good, and you don’t harbor at the dock of ILL WILL forever. Sail away into your sunset of forgiveness and healing with people who are in your camp, in your boat, and willing to stand or sail by your side.
- Most of all forgiving again and forgetting again, comes easier when you remember how God has forgiven you. Think of all the sin you have had in your life. We all have them. Someone had to forgive me and what if they didn’t? I’ve hurt others so many times. Many forgave me. Maybe some didn’t. Some I may never know. Maybe I never apologized either. Maybe I never even admitted wrong. Maybe I did. Did it matter? Will they forgive me anyway? If somebody including God, is forgiving of me. Should I not be forgiving of another? What does that look like? What does that take? Love, maybe.
What Have You Learned about Forgiveness?
Maybe you can share some tips. But I truly believe that as long as we have memories the forgiveness factor is going to be a repeated business of cycling through the above bullet points. I think the keywords here in summary are: love, acknowledgment, positivity, empathy, faith, trust, prayer, contentment, and “continual” (ongoing).
Yesterday (Friday) felt like Thursday. It was weird. The week went by fast. I had a lot of time to work on W-2’s and finished one state and began another state for entering year end w-2 reporting – each person’s one by one. The data entry is kinda boring for me but I put on my headphones and then it becomes enjoyable. ;-). My mind is one that has to be occupied and I am not a very good data entry person. I like for my mind to be engaged but like I said the music does that for me when I’m doing something mindless like that. Well it’s not totally mindless but boring, if you know what I mean. I always have to be working through something or solving some issue I guess. And that is just transferring data from one format to another manually.
I did something I rarely do yesterday. I was a bit late because I had to stop and get gas. I went out for lunch for the entire hour, might have even gone over by 5 minutes – not sure as I’m not sure what time I left. And then I was out of there by 4:30. My mind was just weary, from not good sleep the night before, and I felt very much like I was heading into a depression with no zest for life, no positive things going on in my head, and I was DONE. Seriously done. The roads were already building up for Friday afternoon horror traffic. So it took almost an hour to get home as everyone seemed to be heading to Providence in Mount Juliet and our little highway was backed up for miles into the country side. I just wanted to be home. I promptly put on PJ’s and called Mom to check on her once I arrived. My head has been into work all week and it felt weird to be home and heading into our weekend.
I worked some on Canva, making some photos for the blog and vlog and worked on the INTRO some. We had eggs and ham (they were not green, nor were they mean). And now the Weekend is here. I slept ok last night but woke up about 3 times, but still I feel much better today. I will be cleaning for our company coming and looking forward to tonight. And maybe, just maybe, this weekend I will be able to finish this INTRO and get on with the making of videos for Less Hustle More Coffee.