True Forgiveness ~
‘Forgiveness is the greatest expression of love.’
‘We cannot be right with God when we are wrong with others.’
~ Lehman Strauss
‘We all agree that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until we have to practice it.’
~ C.S. Lewis
I have found that forgiveness is a word that for myself and many others causes no end of angst and confusion. While I cannot define it for another, I can and am willing to share its transcendent meaning for myself. My understanding of this word has changed tremendously throughout my experience here and I am sure that its meaning will continue to deepen as I walk my path moment by moment.
I am a firm believer that taking total responsibility for oneself and one?s life is paramount to living a joyful happy experience here. I will also say that I have had to go through many experiences to come to this realization. Understanding Wisdom, and?gaining Knowledge of God’s true loving and compassionate nature towards me,?brings simplicity and ease to my life, the actual learning to forgive is a process that is acted upon moment by moment.
One of my greatest lessons in this life to learn, that has affected all other of my relational experiences so far, began with my formative years being spent with my earthly mother. I can remember my beliefs about my upbringing with this woman as one of daily torment and a living hell. She was a cruel and very hateful woman in my eyes. I wanted to be nothing like her and did whatever I could to prove I was otherwise.
?’It takes a lot of emotional and psychological energy to keep a wound open, to keep a grudge alive. The longer I allow a wound to fester, the more bitterness, anger and self-pity poison my blood and eat at my heart.’
?~ Albert Haase
Once I was able to get the hell out of there, I took the opportunity and ran like the wind. In fact I flew across the Pacific Ocean to be thousands of miles away. What is interesting is that without really knowing myself, I was doing exactly what I swore I would never do. Repeating family History. Like my mother, I ran far away from an abusive home.
I was bent on doing, being and having a life so the opposite from what I had experienced. While I succeeded in some areas as in keeping abuse out of and away from my children, the fact that I wasn?t doing these things from the position of a forgiving State of Being,?caused me to?miss some foundational or structural processes. I was putting bandages on old wounds. My skeletons were still attached to my ankles and the more I was running away from them they kept following behind me and nipping at my heels. I kept looking ahead for a way out and it was driving me into all sorts of bizarre behaviors. Hiding, numbing, repeating behaviors. I was experiencing what drives me nuts, repetitious patterns of a negative nature. I felt like a dog chasing its tail. Confusion, and no bearings were the results, not to mention a sense of giving up and looking for a way out of this hopelessness. I was earnestly seeking a daily living experience of calm, peace and freedom from this living hell.
All I truly wanted was to be able to forget my past and leave it behind me for good. Or did I? Why was I not able to accomplish this one desire? Did God really desire for me to have peace, joy, happiness and a constant sense of well-being in my life? Why was this alluding me so much while it seemed like others had accomplished it? Wasn?t this a genuine heart prayer, one that God would surely honor by giving me this desire? The answer is always present in the asking. I can see it is always here in this now moment. How? Well due to recent events in the course of the last five years of my life, I have been given the opportunity to understand and know more deeply the meaning of forgiveness.
In the church, I learned forgiveness?means when your brother offends you, go and make it right before coming to God. H mm? This created some interesting controversies in me because I have a tendency to have an excellent memory and I felt at the time that I was the one who was wronged. I was very good at defending my position to be right. So why was I so miserable? Where was my happiness if I was right?
I struggled with understanding True Forgiveness for years and not really getting this one down. There was still residue left over. I noticed a good indicator of lingering unforgiveness when a person or event would pop up and I would get a sensation in my gut. I would then pray (talk to God in my Inner Closet) and ask for its release. Trying to get the whole offense out of my mind was a different story. It worked some of the time but not all of the time.
H mm?. More people and events kept coming and added to the ongoing wrestling match. More characters were jumping into the ring and it was a me against them mindset.
The one consistent belief underneath it all was I kept blaming God for it. Why would you allow this to happen to me? Why won?t you help me, free me, etc?? Where was I in this equation? What could I possibly have to do with any of this? I wasn?t willing to accept my responsibility in this seeming ?problem?. I was playing the role of the weak and helpless victim. Is this what God says I am?
Fast forward to now, many events and people later. Seeing any changes? Well, Yes!! I recently had a confrontation with my tribal roots family also known as my birth family in this picture. It was unpleasant to say the least. But something began shifting inside of me. After years of being in the classroom of learning True Forgiveness 101, something was sinking in deeper within. I was being shown all along a different way and meaning of forgiveness, which is why I call it True Forgiveness for it doesn?t resemble the meaning of what I was taught at all.
Until I realize I have the resource of God to be able to draw forgiveness from, I will always choose to remain a prisoner of allowing others to shape and form my life by influencing my behavior and my habitual ways of dealing with these things by blaming someone else.
I can measure this Truth when I compare the results of my actions directly due to the way I am responding or reacting to any situation of what I think happened, is happening or possibly could happen. Am I experiencing peace within this moment or not? Simple measuring tool.
?’Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it makes you free.’
~ Stormie Omartian
When I choose to decide to not allow my behavior to be determined by the way another chooses to act, in this very moment, the Holy Spirit reveals to me that preceding anything that may seem to show up at any moment, there is absolutely no thing (person, place or thing) that can have, be or do anything to remove my peace given by God, unless I allow it to be, by choosing to believe another can take my peace, worth and value away. I am then?making the choice?to believe?that?I am a helpless, weak victim by empowering something or someone outside of myself to over take my own?life choices. I have the power to choose. I always have this?ability to choose. I know this very well Now. Why would I choose otherwise? Perhaps when I fear change and the unknown? Or is it that I want the other to change so I don’t or won’t have to?
‘Forgiveness is the key which unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.’
~ Corrie Ten Boom
Seeing Now with much more clarity that it is about claiming True Ownership of my portion in life, which is God given. From this now realized empowered position, it isn?t possible to lose myself at all because I am?able to be grounded and?anchored in the Holy Spirit’s strength and power, beyond my own and others strength to do lasting harm. It all comes down to the way I choose to see myself and how I relate myself to others, based upon God’s perspective or a human only perspective. A Belief is based upon a choice. What do I believe? Decide. Am I a slave to others or am I willing to receive God’s freeing me through His kind of love and forgiveness, so I can be myself as God created me to be, in His likeness. I am now willing to be set free to be able to choose?Forgiveness and so experience the Peace, Love, Joy and Happiness that follows letting go of the heavy burden of grudges carried along throughout the years.?I can?let go of needing a defense in order to be right, by handing it over into God’s hands, God who sees the whole picture from far above the world we tend to get land locked and completely focused into…
The battle of wills is no longer mine to contend with, I lay it down before God and ask Him to carry it for me.
Simple? Yes. Easy?
Only when I choose?to?let go, and Let God have it,?one step at a time.
I went to see my mother the other evening as she had called me and asked to be with her. She is in transition of going home to God.
I have struggled for years with learning how to forgive her. I was being given a gift in a moment of clarity of seeing through the culmination of all these years of experiences for me. I went in to say good night to her as she lay on her bed. She looked up at me and I saw so clearly how young she looked. There were strange sensations coursing throughout my being. I could not get over how childlike she looked. And her face beaming up at me in beautiful childlike wonder, she whispers, ‘Thank you so much for coming to see me. I love you so much. Thank you for coming and helping me. Will you come see me again?’ I smiled at my mother, Yes. I will be back, rest in God tonight. I love you mom. I kissed her cheek, wished her sweet dreams and went home.
The next morning as I drove alone lost in thought, an aha! came to me and touched me so deeply, I wept freely.
‘Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.’
I had been holding my mother in prison all these years by the verdict of guilty as charged, because I continued to blame her for my past. In doing this, I had become the very thing I said I hated. A prisoner of my past, held there by my inability to forgive my mother for what could not be changed. I held her verdict as forever guilty of her many offenses in my life and not worthy of my forgiveness, she was to be forever punished. She would never be able to undo the damage done in my past way of thinking.
‘By letting go, the offended refuses to let herself be held captive by the offender’s unwillingness to repent.’
~ Carolyn Holderread Heggen Canadian Christian Psychologist
‘The most miserable prison in the world is the prison we make for ourselves when we refuse to show mercy. Our thoughts become shackled, our emotions are chained, the will is almost paralyzed. But when we show mercy, all of these bonds are broken, and we enter into a joyful liberty that frees us to share God’s love with others.’
~ Warren W. Wiersbe
I was her prison keeper as long as she was my prisoner. What?s worth noting is that in order to maintain her position I had to remain in prison with her! Who else was keeping her there?!? I reached a point where I have had enough of watching life stuck from behind the bars. I no longer want to serve time there. It?s dark and lifeless and besides, the gruel sucks. What would it really cost me to just simply open the door and walk out into the light of day as a freed being? Nothing between me and freedom but reaching forward and turning the handle of the door. The end of the sentence of this imprisoned state of mind and heart.
My desire to be free was greater than any other desire I have had to remain unforgiving. I ran out of reasons to keep her or myself there. The key to freedom and happiness?is forgiveness, and Jesus was the most excellent example of forgiveness which is love’s greatest expression, and no matter how much I tried to forgive my mother and others who had wounded me deeply, I found that without Him to help me, when facing the difficult people in my life who have hurt me deeply, made forgiveness seem like an impossibility, a mountain I was unable to climb.
He held the key for me to be able to unlock this door, that I had been trapped behind for so much of my life, and the time had come when I simply had to reach out to Him and accept that He forgave her for me, as I myself have been forgiven for offenses I have committed against others in my lifetime, both known and unknown, and He then opened the door and led the way through.
How easy is this?
As easy as I choose to make it by deciding to just accept forgiveness so I have it to give.
What do you really want Julia?
Unturned, Untouched. Forever a prisoner or finally Free. Freedom is this close.
I finally came to understand that I kept waiting for my mother to change for me, looking for her to ask me for forgiveness for what she had done. It never happened and would not be coming. So now, I was faced with a choice that would decide the quality of the rest of my life.
Would I be stubborn and hard hearted by demanding this of her or I would not ever be happy?
If so, then I would not be able to find happiness in my life until she?gave me what I wanted from her.?I would be giving her the power to make the choice for me. Allowing her to determine for me, the level of happiness and peace I would experience in my life because I would be giving her this power over me, based upon her behavior towards me and not choosing to let her wrongs go, therefore making my own choice to be free of my past.
Otherwise, I was holding?another outside myself responsible for my own happiness.
I was standing at a major crossroad in my life, that would have far reaching affects?from now and possibly well into my future…
Being present with her as she transitions and transforms in returning to becoming a memory always within me, she is free to transform in Love and Peace in my chosen memory, as I give her what?Jesus is giving to me this very moment in viewing her childlike face.
Her Innocence, now my eyes being opened to seeing her through the eyes of Innocence of the One who came to set us all free through Love’s forgiveness.
Giving us the ability to choose to be set free from bondage to our debilitating emotional wounds, and destructive psychological ancestral patterns passed down from one generation to the next.
I am agreeing to see her in an?Innocent State, as Jesus came and paid the price of His life to offer her what?He came?to offer me and all of us. Making us righteous in The Father’s eyes by offering Himself as the forgiveness of God towards humanity, taking our place and willing to pay our own debts owed through?un forgiveness, and in return I am amazed at how I am able to feel the release and heavy load leaving me, so clearly now, as I accept His offer of forgiveness for myself.
It is truly a healing and freeing place to be, and a wonderful, joyful way to live.
I am Free from my old life, I am cleansed of my past.
My mother has been my greatest teacher of learning what I am here to learn and to teach as I live?as an example of being?forgiven especially after being unforgiving towards a fellow human soul.?Understanding more deeply what it means to live from true forgiveness first by God revealing His nature, whose love is?unconditional. Unconditional love is one sided, and not based upon the behavior of the other, nor expecting to receive love in return.
It is one sided because of the nature of the giver being Love itself.
And now I see Love from a new perspective. There is nothing left to forgive her for, when I leave her at the cross, and step into a new life, being raised from dying to my past.
It is finished, as Jesus Himself said.
True Forgiveness is offered in advance, because it was ordained by God that Jesus?would die?before the creation of the?heavens and the earth?ever came into being. This was done?not to improve our lives, but to offer us the?gift of becoming a completely new creation, if we are willing to receive it.
He offered me a fresh new start, and?wasn’t attempting to patch over my old life patterns. I tried many different ways for years to be forgiving and found?they did not work completely.
It?s taken me awhile to understand this Truth. This has deeply altered the way I view all other relationships and events in my life and still does. A cycle coming around full circle. It?s good to begin all over with a clean slate. It all begins with a tiny seed of faith. I will not ever be able to choose the same way based upon this knowing that continues to grow as my understanding of forgiveness grows. Will there be more opportunities to learn this?
Only until I find there are no more more prisoners of my own making left to release into freedom. The cell is emptied, as I give each one of my prisoner’s to God, and He opens the door, so I can see the light to show me the way to walk out of the prisoner’s door, entering into the freedom of a new life while I continue to turn and walk away from old patterns that once held me hostage.
I can choose to remain the same, or choose to be released from?the old patterns to allow?a new lease in life to begin.
Prisoner-Slave or Free under new ownership. Impowered by God?or stuck in the weakness, loss of vitality?caused by unforgiveness.
Held forever a hostage or made into a host of God’s Spirit.
Guilty as I charge another?with the same verdict,?or Innocent by accepting forgiveness as my new nature begins and extending forgiveness towards others.
I ask you, are you willing to consider deeply this thought:
‘Spoken forgiveness, no matter how heartfelt, works best when we do not demand the response we want. I mean that when we tell people we forgive them, we must leave them free to respond to our good news however they are inclined. If the response is not what we hoped for, we can go home and enjoy our own healing in private.’
~ Lewis B. Smedes
Sending Loving Blessings to you All today with compassion ~
‘Forgiveness brings freedom – freedom from being controlled by the past, freedom from the emotional ties to the offender, freedom from the continual inner conflicts of bitterness and hate, freedom to become whole and enjoy the fullness of life.’
~ Jeanette Vought
Injoy?the freedom to be able to choose?wholeness, happiness, and a peace that comes from being truly?set free when?cutting the emotional, mental soul ties that can only come from experiencing the True Forgiveness that only Jesus offers.
Many Blessings and Be Well ~
Be Loved in the forgiveness of Christ,
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