I posted yesterday about being tested, about being back at square one, about being given the chance to make different choices.
I suppose it is important for you to know that in the past, the choices I made included nursing my pain, blaming others for my pain, resenting those I believed were the source of my pain, and beating my head against a wall trying to change the people I resented so that I wouldn’t have to resent them anymore in a futile attempt to end the pain.
The person I resented most was myself.
Pain sucks. And it is inevitable. I am powerless over pain. But today I have choices over how I respond to it. Today I can chose forgiveness.
Today I share two songs about what forgiveness is. It is NOT what I give to someone else as the reward for their sincere apology. That gives them too much power over my life, and I’m through with that. Forgiveness means allowing them to have the dignity of their own choices and accepting that they are who they are. It means choosing to believe that all people are doing the best that they can, and their hurtful actions are a result of a sickness in them that they either don’t know about or don’t want to face. Sometimes it means loving them from a safe distance so that I don’t give them the choice to continue to hurt me and give me reason to nurse the pain. It means that I chose to let go of the pain. I can’t necessarily let go of the feeling of pain. But I can let go of the actions I take that feed the pain.
Forgiveness by Matthew West. Sorry about the quality of the video. The song hasn’t officially been released yet.
Losing by Tenth Avenue North. This is a fantastic video.
I know a lot of people out there are going to disagree pretty vehemently with me, and that’s fine. But here’s what I’ve found. My pain is MY responsibility, whether the injury was caused when I was an innocent, helpless child, or whether it was something that happened yesterday.
Mostly, I need to forgive myself. I’m doing the best I can, and beating myself up is not going to make me do any better. Who I am to hold myself hostage when God Himself died to set me free?
When I take responsibility for my pain and choose forgiveness, I find peace. It works for me.