In life, we have all done things that hurt others to some extent whether intentional or unintentional. Sometimes we do the hurting and other times we get hurt. It’s a part of life. As a result, we create barriers and or boundaries to protect ourselves. Healthy boundaries are necessary and ensure that you receive what you deserve. In the event, you receive less than you deserve, or your boundaries are not being respected you make the conscious decision to walk away from that person, place, or thing. While barriers prevent you from being hurt they also prevent you from being loved.
Forgiveness can be a daunting task, trust me I know. The deeper the pain the harder forgiveness seems. The pain we experience can be physical, verbal, and/or emotional. Everyone’s experience and perception are unique, so we should never be condescending but empathetic.
We must try our very best to forgive others because at some point we have needed grace to be extended so that we may be forgiven. With each waking day, we are given an opportunity to forgive. I am grateful for such an opportunity. Forgiving easily comes with prayer, practice, and patience. I’ll be the first to tell you I still need to do all three.
In addition to needing grace, we also need peace, healing, freedom, and the power that forgiveness provides. I strive for peace daily because it is a priority, and resentment disturbs that peace. I’ve witnessed firsthand on multiple occasions what resentment, anger, and bitterness can do to you. Trust me it’s far from pretty. Resentment and bitterness have the power to ruin your life and the life of others because it is toxic.
When we fail to forgive others we prevent our healing. As a result, we never have victory, and we remain powerless victims. I don’t know about you but I was created to live a victorious life that is full of power! God is powerful, I was created in his image therefore I am full of power, and I refuse to willingly give my power away.
When we fail to forgive we are essentially in an invisible prison cell and trapped in bondage. Bondage in any form is crippling and wears on you mentally. Some people are in bondage due to their lack of unforgiveness and they are not even conscious of it. As a result, they live their entire lives in chains. Can you imagine how miserable their lives must be? You must decide what you want more. I don’t know about you but I love my freedom. The freedom to walk, speak, breathe, dance, sing, laugh, write, create, eat and drink, etc. And the freedom I currently have come at a hefty price. God provided us with a new beginning when he died on the cross to forgive us of our sins. A new beginning which we didn’t earn. In addition to humbly receiving God’s grace, I refuse to dishonor my ancestors by not fighting for and walking unapologetically in my freedom every day and in every way.
Forgiving others will unlock doors that would otherwise remain locked. Forgiveness provides a sense of fulfillment. That thing, which seemed impossible, has now been conquered and you should be proud of such an accomplishment. In forgiving others you can share your story from a healed place rather than a broken place. When you are able to do this you not only contribute to your own healing but the healing of others.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean to be a doormat, it is just the opposite. You are forgiving them not because they necessarily deserve it, but because you deserve it. You may never receive an apology and or closure and you must come to terms with that. After you forgive someone you decide how to deal with them in a manner that serves you and not dealing with them at all is just fine too. In ensuring you are not hurt in that same manner be sure to establish and maintain healthy boundaries.
If you are currently struggling with forgiveness I encourage you to write a forgiveness letter to the person that hurt you. Read it over and over to yourself until it becomes lodged into your memory. Once it is in your head, it’s time to get it in your heart. I believe the way to a forgiving heart comes from continuous prayer. It is God who will soften your heart so it becomes like a boiled potato instead of a boiled egg. And over time once you begin forgiving those who hurt you it will become easier.
My Forgiveness Letter:
I forgive you for hurting me.
Forgiving you has healed me.
I am forgiven, therefore I am forgiving.
Forgiving you has freed me.
Forgiving you has renewed my peace.
Forgiving you has fulfilled me.
I am grateful for the opportunity to forgive.
I forgive you for hurting me.
Thank you for forgiving me quickly.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally.
Thank you for your grace and mercy.
Thank you for always being accepting of me.
Allow me to extend grace.
Allow me to learn how to forgive.
Allow my heart to be softened.
Allow my healing to begin,
Allow me to experience peace that passes all understanding.
Allow me to walk in my freedom unapologetically.
Allow me to exert the power that you have placed inside of me.
Allow me to live victoriously.