A wound superficially covered will cause infection, but bleeding and allowing the wound exposure is often the best way to heal it. At least it is for me…
- True Forgiveness Requires Grief!
- It Requires Stages.
- It Requires that one face the pain of what happened and why it happened.
- It Requires Identifying who is responsible.
All the answers may never be gathered, but to slap a “Forgive and Forget It” Band-Aid on a Gaping Wound is senseless and now I realize is simply not biblical! The Process Requires the need to not just breathe in God’s redemptive air, but to also bleed…
The Stages of Grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
So now I realize why I had pangs of guilt after thinking of the pain I’ve endured at the hands of others were unwarranted. I didn’t respond out of order. I didn’t respond at all, I reacted.
A response is a statement or action made with thoughtful intention, while a reaction is bred in a tainted petri dish: one where there is the absence of original thought. The patterns are learned, but subconsciously one is not given permission to “unlearn” the things that should be. For instance, I was once led to believe that forgiveness is an all or nothing process.
In retrospect, to say anything is an ALL or NOTHING PROCESS is oxymoronic in itself. Every process requires LAYERS.
I’ve been forced to consider things differently now and I am glad I’ve obliged.
There is a delicate and perpetual PROCESS to forgiveness. One might think, the first step is forgiveness of others is to forgive oneself. It seems plausible considering that to properly love others, you must first properly love yourself. However, I’ve learned that forgiveness of self is often the last step to the process of forgiving another. Forgiveness it is not merely “letting it go” as the Greek word for forgive, “aphesis” has so often been misapplied. Now the term does mean “let go,” but there are other meanings so don’t wig out on me here. I am still a word nerd so I dissect for the sake of doing so.
“Release” is the definition that resonated with me the most when I researched. I realize now the meaning is more than “releasing the offender from accountability.” Rather, for me this release is solely for me. It is for my peace of mind. I release him for my joy. I release her for my rest. I release them to be my best self!
I have learned to release myself to fully go through the process of grieving the loss of my ability to trust, to set proper boundaries, to receive unconditional love, to be myself without shame or condemnation, and to be angry with the fact that sometimes it seems those who do wrong get away with it. I have also given myself permission to be sad when things don’t work out the way I wish they had and that the thought that denial of what happened or even of what almost happened will make everything better.
I have learned to release the need to bargain with God or myself as to whether I feel comfortable having this person or that person in my life again. I’m cool with being okay with goodbyes now. In doing so, I am actively embracing the freedom of accepting that forgiveness is not one size fits all and that the process is a perpetual one. So, like it hasn’t made or broken me, one error or indiscretion is not an automatic life sentence of condemnation. It is but a mistake…a moment and I have had many moments like those. Undoubtedly, I will likely have many more. Regardless, just forgiving and forgetting is not an option anymore.
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