After many minimal circumstances on the daily and bigger life altering occurrences that I have encountered in life, I have come to realize that forgiveness and freedom walk hand in hand. Strangely enough, the easy way out is to hold on tightly to the hurt and pain cause by someone close to us, or to focus on how that road rager on the way to work ruined our mood. It is so easy to live in a state of annoyance and play the blame game, when in reality, we can choose to forgive, rise above hostility, and live in gratefulness. Why is the positive solution the harder solution? It seems backwards that existing in negativity requires less effort than flourishing in a life of freedom. Why is this?
I truly believe forgiveness derives from self-awareness. It stems from a humble spirit and a desire to step back and understand the full story. It requires the acceptance that we are all human, that we all share differing values and opinions that are neither right nor wrong, that we each have triggers from the past that ignite our present reactions. If we walk in surety of who we are, the temptation to walk in broken friendships and negativity disperses quickly. A new desire for fullness and life-giving relationships becomes the goal, and the effort to create that becomes a joyful practice. But digging into the heart of who we are is intimidating and one of the things that so many of us avoid, but if you step through the immediate discomfort, there is so much abundant life on the other side. It’s ironic that forgiveness stems from us making a change, rather than someone else making a change.
Are you holding a grudge against someone? What is keeping you from confronting the issue? I must mention that I want to run away from difficult conversations. I often assume the worst – that I will not communicate clearly, that I will lose a friend, that I will hurt my husband’s feelings. Assumption often causes pain before it is even present. What I always come back to before I need to have a tough talk is that it is a loving gesture. If my intention is for fullness in relationships, hard honesty is key. It ultimately breaks down walls and ignites living genuine lives alongside each other. What is better than that? Vulnerable, but better. Also, remember that if you lovingly discuss a problem, and the reaction is friendship-threatening, know that their response is their own issue, and you have done all that you can. xoxo
This series is in collaboration with some stellar ladies. Be sure and check out their posts on Self Care too: Kat Harris, Tutti del Monte, Danielle Bennett, Kate Labat, Joanne Encarnacion, Nikia Phoenix, and Chelsey Korus.
images by felicia lasala