In a book I wrote with my family, The Balancing Act, my daughter talks about the power of forgiveness in her life.
“My mom has shared a lot with me about growing up with her mother. See, her parents divorced when she was seven years old and she stayed with her mama. She said they had some very hard times because my Nanny used to abuse alcohol. Now, I cannot imagine my Nanny drinking because she is so quiet. As long as she has her classic R&B music, peppermint candy, television, and cigarettes, she is smooth sailing. I know it was not always like this.
So, when I think of my parents being creditable, I know my mama did not always have that in her childhood. Her mother would tell her to do the right things but she would not do the right things. The sad part about it is that my mama said she did a lot of bad things growing up and I figure this is why. Her mother was having a difficult time which made my mama have a difficult time as well.
I am most thankful that my mama chose to do something different as a parent. She said it took a lot of time for her to heal after leaving home at 17 years old. She was angry with her mother for years for the things they went through in her home. She said they argued a lot because she did not trust her mama to take care of her. When she left home, she told me she was very angry with her mama. She also told me how sad it made her to know her mama was so unhappy. She has been honest with me about how hard it was because she wants me to understand how we need to work together to be a family.
The one thing my mama did which has been a blessing in my life is she forgave her mother. She forgave her mother for the alcoholism and the things she did wrong. And because she forgave her, my mother is a happier person and my nanny is a happier person. My parents talk about forgiveness a lot. This means a lot to me because I think about them when I have a problem with my friends. Even if I am upset, I think about the goodness of people to move past the bad things that have happened. ”
How destructive would it have been for me to hold on to the “hurts” of my childhood well into adulthood? The choice to forgive was not about my releasing my mother from all responsibility in the choices she made (knowingly or unknowingly). It was about me releasing the hold the experiences had on my life so that I could feel the full impact of the “now” I had with people I love and cherish.
When we hold unforgiveness on us like a shield of armor it not only keeps other people out but it keeps us closed off. In this isolation, we continue to relive the trauma and the negative experiences over and over again through our response to new experiences.
So, I encourage you to release the shackle of unforgiveness and embrace the breath of life offered to us through our Heavenly Father. In Him is renewal and restoration. Allow your spirit to be restored to fully experience and enjoy the newness of your life.
In your journal, record the names of three people are experiences of which you are have held on to unforgiveness. Over the next few days, explore reasons you should forgive the person for you, not for that person or experience.
#GAI #forgiveness #relationships #AA2017 #Proverbs16and9