Today is another Friday, and we can look at the week past and think about the near misses or end with a positive outlook.
I was struck by the lyrics of James Bay’s song:
I used to recognize myself/It’s funny how reflections change
When we’re becoming something else/ I think it’s time to walk away
So come on let it go/Just let it be/ Why don’t you be you/ And I’ll be me
Everything’s that’s broke/ Leave it to the breeze/ Let the ashes fall/ Forget about me
Everything we have in life comes because of our belief that we can move on. Yet, believing, especially in forgiveness, is much easier said than done. Forgiveness falls in the struggle category for most people. I know this first hand, because for the majority of my adult life I have made it clear that I remember everything. It is a New York thing. We grow up and harden our shells and hold grudges for things that should never be. I have found the most inspiring moments in my life were the ones when I just chose to believe and forgive.
Sometimes there are moments that stop you from forgiving.
I have learned that one of the most special precious things I own is my heart. Your heart is the most important tool you have. It is not your experience, knowledge, or skills. It is your heart that matters most of all. It is your heart that gets you through the tough times. I would be lying to you if I didn’t say I never felt pain. I have had heartbreak and heartache that I don’t wish on anyone. I recall one winter night when someone shattered my heart so bad I felt like I would die. I actually willed my heart to stop. I clutched the dashboard of the car and lost breath and will. I can hear the wise words of my mother echo…’Let It Go.’
Years later, I would have a friend affirm me every day simply by looking me dead in my eyes and telling me: ‘Breathe’. He will most likely never know how much I appreciated his words. He believed in me when he could see the light going out in my eyes, knowing that I was dying of heartbreak inside.
Let’s face it: human beings are messy and hurtful. We don’t mean to be that way. We don’t intend harm. But most of us have caused and received many relational injuries. We have all insulted and injured our parents, siblings, spouses, friends. co-workers,children and a wide array of other people.
To forgive is to release. Let it go. Freely and wholeheartedly grant freedom and blessing. It has very little to do with feelings or even trust. Forgiveness is simply a decision to let go of our regrets and our own view of justice. I think that is why some people find it almost impossible to apologize.
Wounds can fester into infections if left untreated. That’s exactly how unforgiveness works. Whatever was done to us pierced our skin, but if we keep prying it open and looking at the wound, it won’t be able to heal.
So today…I say I forgive. I decide not to be a prisoner of unforgiveness and I let it it go with blessings.