Friday, January 17, 2014

Pensacola's Pearl of Wisdom: The Chains of Unforgiveness

One of the hardest things to do in life is to forgive someone who really hurt you in the worst way. Often people want to forgive, but can’t let go of the anger, the thought of revenge, or the bitter memory of the offense. There is so much advice available regarding forgiveness. People counsel you to confront the person, do it without confronting the person, keep a journal, put yourself in the offender’s shoes, be empathetic, talk to someone, forgive yourself for whatever role you played, protect yourself from further hurt by severing the relationship, and most importantly let it go. Bingo! The magic words: “let it go.” I remember when someone I loved dearly broke my heart. 
The hardest part was letting it go, until I truly understood what I had to let go. I kept reliving what happen over and over and each time I did I was wrapping a chain around my own mind. I kept thinking about what the person did, which kept me in the past. I kept thinking about how I wanted them to see the error of their ways, which kept me longing for something that wasn’t going to happen. I kept thinking about what I wanted to do to them so they would feel what I was feeling, which continue to fill my heart with anger, vengeance, and bitterness. The more I held onto unforgiveness and all its emotional trappings, the less freedom I felt. 

The pain was the biggest culprit for me in the journey toward forgiveness, but I knew if I continued to hold on to the pain its whole purpose was to defeat my freedom to fully live. Like watching an old video my mind kept pushing PLAY over and over again. Pushing PLAY made me relive the incident and the PAIN each time. One day I picked up the Good Book and discovered God’s forgiveness for me. My empathy was released. I cried like a baby, because I was not deserving of such grace and love. My pain was released. And like a bird in a cage, I was set free. My personal power was released. The chains were finally off! 

There is no magical way to forgive and it varies from person to person. However, I found supernatural help and a miracle in the Good Book that healed my unforgiving heart… maybe you can too. “You will know the truth, and the truth will MAKE you free” (John 8:32).

Pensacola Helene