As I begin writing each time, my humble words come from a place of love and hope that the message will land in just the right place for even one soul. So many times in my life I have received words of encouragement at just the right time and never forgotten it. That is my intention in serving others – to pay that forward. We all have a different walk in life and personal struggles that are unique. But, one common thread to healing and moving forward is forgiveness and letting go. I may have lost some of the audience with those simple words, but there is truth in them. Some people are not ready to forgive and let go because they identify so strongly with their hurt, they have made it a staple for everyday life. They cling to it like it’s their lifeline. They feel blaming and holding on to the hurt will somehow punish the other person who will likely never apologize for what they did. The only problem is…you are the one it continues to hurt. You are the one held hostage. There are so many other wonderful thoughts you could put in your brain besides the toxicity holding you back. The person who hurt you may not have the spirit they need to even know or care about what they did – sad, but true. In addition, they continue to hurt you when you allow toxic thoughts about them to rattle around in your head. With that said, here is a practical exercise that has helped me through the years. When we can’t forgive someone, we think we are the ones who get to judge them. We want to get even. That’s normal. But go on this journey with me…visualize your offender in a court room seat and you’re the judge. The problem with that is, you are not the judge. You don’t get to hand out the punishment and make them apologize. So now, visualize yourself taking off the judge’s robe, laying the gavel down, looking at the offender and saying, “I forgive you.” Then walk out of the courthouse, sit down on the steps, take off your shoes, shake off the dust, and walk away. What a relief, huh? What a relief that God is the only fair and just Judge. Revenge is His, not yours. What is yours? Freedom. Breathe in the freedom now that you have let it go. God knows the truth and that's all that matters. In your paths of healing, and loving, and moving forward, dust off your shoes my friends and lighten the load you are carrying. I wish for you peace, happiness, and joy that only God can give.
“If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” Matthew 10:13,14