Sunday, March 20, 2011

Letting Go

In my lifetime, I have let go of many things... dreams, people, beliefs... but perhaps nothing so important letting go of as the things that have hurt me.

There's another word for that letting-go: it's forgiveness.

I've learned many valuable lessons about forgiveness in the last few years. First and foremost, no human can possibly forgive of his/her own accord. Without help from God, it just isn't happening. I've learned to pray to God to teach me how to forgive, and it was one of the best prayers that He answered. I also learned that bitterness and forgiveness are incompatible - the two won't coexist. You have one, or you have the other, but you never have both.

I have forgiven much; in many ways, I have forgiven more than I ever dreamed I would have to. But now I'm at a crossroads of sorts, and I realized today that I have more to forgive, more to let go.

(I know I am being unbearably vague here, so I apologize, but in the interest of not hurting others, ambiguity is going to have to suffice. Moving on...)

I have been holding in a great deal of hurt. It wasn't coming from any one person in particular (rather a large group of people), but it was more of an accumulation of years of keeping my mouth shut when I wanted - needed -  to speak, of being brushed aside by others when I desperately needed a friend, of bearing the knowledge that I or my family was the source of someone's gossip session, of years of frustration over a situation that I just couldn't change. I was talking to a group of friends today, and it dawned on me that I am painfully bitter. Though I learned the lesson of forgiveness in a very real way a few years ago, I hadn't applied to other areas of my life, and the bitterness was eating away at my soul.

So I am making the decision today to let go. I still love the people involved (although I don't think the feeling is necessarily mutual, and that's okay), but it is time to let it all go. I choose to forgive. I choose not to wallow in the past, but to forge my way into the future without being weighed down by the hurt from a situation I couldn't improve. No more excuses. No more complaining. No more bitterness.

God is good. He has blessed me richly, starting with His forgiveness for me. How much more should I forgive others! I don't want to blindly pass His blessings because I am so focused on my own hurts.

I am letting go... and moving on.

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