Have you ever had specific themes present themselves in different seasons of your life?
While I would say an overall theme in my life has been healing (body, mind, soul), under that overarching theme there’s been a sub-theme of forgiveness, both asking for it, receiving it from others, and forgiving myself.
Forgiveness is important because it’s a significant part of our healing process. Learning to let go of any guilt and shame and forgive ourselves is often the most challenging part.
Recently, I’ve been asking God to bring those into my life whom I need to ask forgiveness from or whom I need to forgive. I’ve asked Him to put those on my heart whom I need to reach out to ask forgiveness.
Warning: When you ask, be ready to receive.
Since making this declaration, I’ve had many opportunities to reconnect with high school friends, an ex-boyfriend, family, and more. It’s been a humbling experience.
Through vulnerability, I’ve gotten the chance to ask for, receive, and give forgiveness. I feel an inner peace because I’m finally learning to give myself the gift of forgiveness, regardless of whether or not I receive it from someone else.
When we hold onto things and beat ourselves up, we are mostly hurting ourselves, which keeps us back mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually from all that God has for us. Life is too short to hold ourselves back from being of service to the world.
Through connecting with others in this way, I’ve deepened friendships, healed wounds, and made peace with the stories I’ve created in my head.
I learned the way I perceived a situation wasn’t always how the other person recognized it. With this fact in mind, we must challenge the stories we tell ourselves, because if we don’t, we act out of what we believe to be true, not by what is the ultimate truth.
We must re-write and re-frame these old stories so we can let go and move forward. When we do, we feel peace; we feel free, we feel unstoppable.
One of the most helpful books I’ve read on this topic is the work of Byron Katie in her book, Loving What Is. Let’s stop wasting time and energy holding onto old stories we believe to be the truth when we don’t actually know if they are real.
Instead, let’s challenge those stories. Then we can free ourselves of the negativity and drama that holds us back from forgiving others and ourselves, and start moving on with our lives. We have so much more to give and invest in when we are free from the heavy load of guilt and shame. So start with forgiveness first for yourselves and then for others.
Grateful for our time together! Love and Blessings.