I asked my Grandmother years ago what she thought the secret to good relationships might be.
She paused for a moment, and simply said “Be kind with one another.”
I wish you could have met her.
If anyone was having a problem, was struggling in life, or needed healthy input,
Grandma was a wellspring of wisdom and thoughtful observation.
She had to be the least judgmental person I have ever met.
In her life she forgave things that seemed unforgivable, she was strong & had a quiet confidence
that was partnered with humility and grace.
She had discovered the secret second blessing of forgiveness.
The world will tell you that forgiveness is weakness, and not sticking it to the person who did us wrong.
We sometimes find ourselves in situations where we have every right to be angry.
Every right to be hurt, and maybe we have lost trust as well.
Forgiving another person when they have wronged us, is not condoning what someone else has done.
And it’s not about being a doormat either, quite the opposite.
The power of forgiving someone who has wronged or hurt us, as hard as it may be,
gives us power over our emotions.
We take control back when we no longer allow someone to continue to hurt us by
waiting for an apology.
Maybe the apology has come and you still feel very raw and hurt.
It seems so easy for the other person to seek forgiveness while we walk around
with a hole in our heart, not sure if we can survive the pain we are enduring.
Or perhaps we never did receive an apology, no closure.
No way to wrap our head around what has been done, and no way to hit the reset
button and make it go away.
No matter what has gotten us to that point, it’s extremely painful.
And it seems like there is no way it can ever get better. Friends have kind words and
try hard to take some of our hurt, they trudge through the battlefield with us and point us
in the direction of healing.
Time heals all wounds is what we hear, but it’s hard to imagine how we feel ever getting
I wish I would have embraced this much earlier in life, and been able to truly understand
what my Grandma meant. I didn’t know I would be in my mid 40’s when I really embraced the power of forgiveness and releasing the offender from objecting us to further pain.
The human heart does not seem able to be lied to, bruised, and still survive.
But it does, and the song that the heart sings in freedom has to be so beautiful to our Father.
God did not design us to merely exist, but to soar friend.
Grandma, chances are she was well on her path before she too realized the power in releasing
another person from the responsibility to make us happy.
If no one can truly make me happy, and happiness is a choice to see the good and not so good
but cling to the good with a grateful spirit, then there seems to be no room for resentment.
It can’t survive there.
There isn’t room for it anymore when we want to be peaceful and choose joy.
And releasing someone else is not forgetting, not letting anyone hurt us, or saying it’s ok.
But rather taking the power and responsibility of our own happiness back, and making a
choice to no longer wait for the perfect apology to come.
Because chances are when it does, we have put so much energy and time into how much better
we will feel once we get it, we are often disappointed to see it doesn’t take the hurt away.
That is on us in this human experience, and while it may not seem fair, I am beginning to
think that in all of His beautiful design, God intended for us to heal this way.
If we spent our lives seeking lateral acceptance, approval and sometimes apology, we would
never be satisfied. When the process takes place really between He and us.
And has little to do with the person who hurt us.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not recommending letting anyone take advantage of your
kindness or treat us poorly.
We naturally no longer allow that when we choose forgiveness because we are called to,
and receive the healing and peace that this choice makes.
The power is back in our hands, and we are no longer passing our hearts around hoping
someone will make the hurt stop.
Two halves seldom make a whole, and we spend this walk here bumping into each other’s
histories and stories, hopefully helping each other along the way.
I can do things that make the people in my life feel and see the love I have for them, but I
cannot make them happy.
Holding onto anger or bitterness keeps us from joy and peace, and typically the person who
caused the pain is walking around having no idea that we are stuck, and waiting for them to
come unlock the chains that keep us from really living.
We aren’t letting them off the hook by forgiving, but rather, releasing ourselves into freedom.
It seems as though it’s the key to happiness in this life, owning our stuff and not letting other
people rent space in our head if it’s non-productive.
It’s humbling to take off the resentment that we have worn like a badge we earned.
It has a time and a place, to notify us that someone is not taking care of our hearts, but it’s
a warning signal, not meant to be a lifetime alarm sounding off.
Letting go seems to have so much to do with us and little to do with anyone else.
We all have a free will, and hopefully we will do far more good than anything else in this life.
But the truth is, we sin. And we hurt each other. And that sucks.
It’s not the end of the story however, and I would love to go back to the origins of phrases
like “time heals all wounds” and maybe change it to “forgiveness brings back our joy”
to include the part that we must do.
This life is beautiful, and hard, and exciting, painful, funny and wonderful. All rolled up
into a ball of experiences, perceptions, and choices.
Wishing for a day full of forgiveness, and release from your hurts today friend, I am right
there with you, taking the stuff that doesn’t feel great and setting it down.
It’s not comfortable to carry any longer, and it feels good to look back and see it.
Then look ahead to what is in front of us.