This picture was taken at a “family life” retreat when I was 8 years old. At the retreat my family (well my parents) gave a talk about Forgiveness. I don’t remember the contents but I remember watching families crying and embracing. And even at my young age, I remember how the energy in the room became lighter as families forgave each other.
Forgiveness is an ultimate example of Flawsome. Because it can really suck and feel Flawed to have something happen that needs your forgiveness while at the same time it’s Awesome to experience the peace that comes from forgiveness.
I was recently blessed with the opportunity to forgive (oh trust me, it didn’t feel like a blessing at first! I am human.) I was in a situation where I felt like I had been used and wronged. For days I felt filled with subtle anger which consumed my thoughts and manifested in my body with a stomach ache and fatigue. It sucked!
A dear friend knew what I was going through and prayed for me. She asked God for my peace and comfort. I woke up the next morning and knew in my bones I needed to forgive the person I felt had hurt me.
For a multitude of circumstances I chose that speaking with the person was not the best course of action. And then I remembered something I learned from an incredible mentor: You can forgive someone without them being involved. You can write them a letter (which you don’t send), ask a friend to step in and role play as them, or even speak to them out loud, to yourself.
I chose the third option and that morning while walking the streets of my neighborhood (with my headphones on so people wouldn’t know I was talking to myself) I spoke out loud all that was on my heart. I spoke out loud all the ways I felt betrayed and of all the hurt I was feeling. I spoke out loud of how hurt I knew this person was to be acting the way they had. And I spoke out loud that I forgave them. And my heart lightened. AND IT FELT FLAWSOMELY AMAZING!
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that what they did was okay. Forgiveness means accepting that the past can never be any different. It means releasing the hurt that is holding on to your heart and empowering yourself to move forward having grown wiser & stronger through your experiences. Forgiveness is giving yourself peace.
Practicing forgiveness has been life-changing for me. And I am committed to continuing to share about my journey with forgiveness, especially the practices I’ve learned and am learning. We all deserve the peace, freedom and all the Flawsome goodness forgiveness provides!