Forgiveness…who are we without it? Who are we with it? How much does forgiving and refusing to forgive tear us apart or heal us? What brings us to forgiveness? What keeps us from it? Being able to forgive is part of the ebb and flow of life. Without it we cannot truly live nor can we truly feel.
The journey of forgiveness is really the process of learning about ourselves. And in the act of learning about ourselves we grow. It is inevitable. In the process of forgiving we must feel every ounce, every shattering hurt we have experienced. In this excruciating process we release this hurt, this pain to make room for something more, something bigger than ourselves. Many times we want to hang onto this hurt or refuse to forgive, we feel a need to punish and to avenge. We may have the urge to hurt even as we have been hurt. Anger has its place, however very rarely is it productive. Many times anger is vengeful. It becomes about an eye for an eye, trading one injustice for another and somehow believing that in doing so the scales of justice will be balanced and then somehow everything will be right with the world. However, very little is right with the world when we are not. What we fail to realize is that this really hurts us more than helps us. It keeps us immersed in a place where we cannot actually heal and the wound remains open, oozing its ugliness.
What are we to do then with this anger of hurt that wells up inside of us? Sit with it. Sit with it and let it wrestle up inside of us seeking places to flame up and when it finds nothing to feed the fire, it will abate and dissolve into our being where we can begin to build a bridge of forgiveness. This road to building a bridge to peace, understanding, and forgiving is not an easy one. We will encounter many stumbles along the way. Each stepping stone and pebble however makes us stronger, wiser and better for each one piercing our flesh. Do not resist. Feel. Feel with your whole being, without abandon. Surrender yourself to the torrent of tears. Do not be afraid. They are a baptism of sorts. A washing away of all the ugliness so that something new can be born.
If we do not allow ourselves to feel every ounce of this journey we will find ourselves broken and we will begin to live and breathe ugly which will eventually become who we are. We will become toxic and we will begin to infect everyone around us. We will become like a plaque spreading our hateful energy and thoughts to the world. Unfortunately this energy will return to us in a greater form from the one that left us and we will have a reckoning with it. It is like a fire that is continually fed and becomes blazing and out of control.
Which do you wish for yourself? A fire that consumes you and there is no escaping from or a baptism that renews you and brings you new life? I beg that you will choose new life and as much as I beg this of you I know that ultimately the decision is yours. If you choose new life it is a decision that will bring you great peace and understanding. It is the beginning of building the bridge to forgiveness that will bring you the ability to love without boundaries. If we can find the courage within us to forgive we will become whole again. Not the same as we were before, maybe battered and bruised but we are better and wiser for the experience. It brings us further down this path of life so that we may feel without abandon and rejoice in it. If we instead run away and refuse to forgive we can never truly become who God has intended us to be. We are numb, not experiencing the world in all its vivaciousness. This is not how God wanted us to live our lives. He weeps when we choose to live in the grey. If we can believe this and know it in every part of our being then we will be able to begin building the bridge. Once we cross this bridge we will be able to honestly say that life is good and will always be if we remember where we came from and are not lulled into the unconscious forgetting. Build your bridge today and find your way.