Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
– Ephesians 4:32
Forgiveness. It’s not an easy word for many of us. Ok, I don’t really know about others, but I know my own stubborn self and how hard it is for me to forgive, and then, rest in my forgiveness. I work through painful, difficult issues, I let go, and I think I have won the battle, but all the sudden I round a corner and, it seems, outta no-where, BAM – there it is again, and I realize I haven’t quite reached as far into that forgiveness force field as I had intended to go, and so I start again. I am so glad that I realize that life, and this forgiveness thing, is a process, and that I have made progress, and so that encourages me to work through it again…and again…and…!
One day I think I fine, and then the next, unexpectedly, I can plunge down hard – just by driving past a house, having a conversation, getting a glimpse of a something, hearing a song, or melling a familiar smell. I filled with pain, loss, anger, sadness, grief, regret and longing. I get overloaded with these feelings today, additionally I have can also experince anxiety, exhaustion, overwhelm and the battle with the demons inside my head which say things like, ‘I can’t sing, am ugly, fat and undesirable, and I’m just too stupid, vain and like attention too much to know it. That everything that has ever gone wrong in my life is because of me, and that I will never find anyone who can stand being with me because I am weird and unloveable.’
All of this is mixed up and complicated in my head and I have to sort it all out and begin to let go of one layer at a time, as I work to identify the lies and change the story. Then I work at forgiveness, first for myself, others, and the ‘house’ in question. It’s not easy, and I many times, and hours, I just pray, with Anne Lamont, “help me, help me, help me” until the pain eases and I can move forward in a measure of peace.
Like a baby learning to walk, each time I get up from being ‘stuck’, I gain ground, I get a little farther, a little stronger on my feet, and I pray that some day I will have arrived at the goal and will run freely in the yard of freedom! I want to live in the Land of the Free and Forgiven, and in order to do so I know I must let go of any resentment and anger I am still holding to and just breathe love. Just breathe. Just love. I know I am loved and forgiven and so I am called to forgive. I try very hard to be easy on myself, because I realize I will probably be in heaven when that finally occurs completely, and that’s ok! I will run through the golden streets with children and puppies at my heels yelling, ‘wooo hooo! Thank you!!!! I have learned the way of forgiveness!’ Until then I continue to hold myself accountable and keep doing the work!
New issue of the newsletter on this subject of Forgiveness at www.songsfromthevalley.com