Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A thought on Forgiveness...Powerful!

I heard Oprah repeat a powerful quote that she heard from one of her guest, "Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed" … That quote was like a flaming arrow that penetrated the core of my soul.  I've heard and held on to that old saying, "I will forgive but I won't forget."   I believe like me many of us have taken that saying out of context based off our own experience. 
We often forgive with our mouths but our emotions as well as actions are depicting a total different response.  We say we forgive while our mind takes a mini and sometimes over-extended vacation from the offense until something else reminds us of the pain, betrayal, rejection, lie, etc and brings us back to the home of our soul.  We find ourselves back living with the very offense we said we forgave but didn't forget.  When I heard this quote I had what I like to call an Ah-Ha moment.  I didn't forget the offense therefore I didn't forget the emotions behind it.  I believe what we are not suppose to forget is what we learned about ourselves through the situation and the lessons behind it as well.  Yes, what did you learn about yourself? I remember there was a situation that happened to me when I called a person who I respected to share how I felt about things that were done and I was hurt by, but I never was truthful with her about it. Well I didn't even get very far and I didn't get the response I expected from her.  I called one of my prayer partners to come over and pray with me about it. After I finished explaining the situation and explaining that I had forgiven this particular person already, my friend boldly & truthfully looked into my eyes and said, "This is not about her this is about you."  You should have seen the bewildered look I gave her as my response.  She said, "This is about you still trying to prove to people who you are."  She went on to say, "you have to stop trying to please man." Wow! How did she get that from me telling her someone hurt me in the past and I forgave them? As we began to wrestle through the incident it was plain for me to see that she was right.  I had forgiven this person a long time ago but I was still visiting the incident in my head so when something else that similar happened it triggered that memory of offense and I wanted to come off my vacation and deal with what she did years ago.  Had I truly forgiven her?  Let the truth be told if I had learned the lesson from before or may I say seen how I was affected before I wouldn't have even been in the same situation again with someone else.  Yet I wanted to call her and make her accountable for something she did to me years ago.
This has happened to me before but in an entirely different way.  I thought I had forgiven an ex-boyfriend of mine only to find myself 7 years later married with three girls, awesome job and friends, content, but yet memories of his verbal abuse was still vacationing somewhere in my mind.  Well 7 years had passed when my ex-boyfriend's grandmother had the family over for dinner which wasn't unusual. We have a daughter together and I was very close to his family. Well while we were visiting my oldest daughter had gotten in trouble and I was in a room reprehending her when my ex walked by to go to the rest room and he made one statement on how I should handle her instead of the way I chose to handle her and it took me back seven years and I was right back in the middle of our past relationship full of fury. To put it bluntly- I went the hell off.  I say that because after I cursed him out … I went after my husband because I felt like he should have knocked my ex out for saying anything to me instead he was trying to calm me down.  Now before I go on let me say this, my ex didn't say anything wrong he was actually giving me some good wisdom about my daughter, but coming from Him I took it as him putting me down about the type of mother I was.  Also my husband and Him was just in the room watching the game so he responded how any man who didn't understand his wife's irate behavior coming from another room.  So why did I go off? Had I really forgiven him? The next day I was so conflicted by the woman I thought I was and the woman that went the Hell off.   Then I heard the saying above, "Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed."  Ah Ha Moment!
I wanted the past to be different. I wanted him to be a different person in the past when we were together but the fact of the matter he wasn't a different man back then and we were no longer together.  I had to forgive him for who he was with me and also understand who he was at that present time is what I should have responded to.  I didn't go into detail of all the lessons that I should have learned when I was hurt, betrayed, misunderstood, etc., but I will admit that I know now there were lessons to be learned in every situation that I found myself having to forgive someone.  One lesson I learned and I wanted to share is "Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed." That is true freedom!  You are not being imprisoned by woulda, coulda, shoulda thoughts. The past is over, we are suppose to learn from it not hold on to it. Letting go of the hope that the past can be changed or different also frees you from standing at the prison cell to make sure the person who committed the offensive pays for it. It's time to move on!  Whether you are imprisoned or standing guard of the prisoner, you are still bound!  So I will add to that quote, "Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed" and "allows you to grab a hold of the future that can be!"  I have seen so much fruit in my life from this truth! I was able to even let go of the hope that my childhood and relationship with my mother could have been different it can't be it's over but now I am able to embrace what can be and what is! My mother and I have an amazing relationship and I never had to hear the words I'm sorry!  There is so much more to forgiveness but wanted to give you a simple post to cause you to think about forgiveness in a new light and may it stir up something on the inside of you if you haven't been able to forgive someone or if you haven't forgiven them.  Be Ye Encouraged and Be Blessed 
To order my new book, "How did I get here?" It's time to be set Free! ... Go to www.encouragingtouch.com 
Tiffany James, Encouraging Touch Enterprise
"Give a gift that creates a Legacy to Encourage, Inspire, and Bless those you love for a life time"

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