I went to Unity Church in Clearwater, Florida for the first time yesterday, and the topic of the sermon was Radical Forgiveness. It was very thought-provoking and I thought about the people in my life whom I considered unforgiveable. The pastor, who was incredible, likened withholding forgiveness to me drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. The withholding of forgiveness really causes ME to suffer, NOT the person who hurt me. It doesn’t affect the other person at all. There are two people I can think of whom I consider unforgiveable: The first being the boyfriend who beat me up on my thirty-fifth birthday. That experience damaged me beyond belief. It hurt me down to my soul. I haven’t allowed another man to come close enough to me to love me since. And that was thirteen years ago! Who is suffering because of a lack of forgiveness? Me. Only me. This man has gone about his merry way. The second person who I have a hard time forgiving is my youngest sister. She is one of those people who takes the most tender, vulnerable parts of me, and uses them to hurt me. She has no rules when it comes to what comes out of her mouth. She will do anything she can to injure me. So I have no relationship with her, out of self-protection.
The Unity pastor suggested that we take a big yellow legal pad, and fill the front and back of a page, every day, for a week, writing “I deeply and completely forgive -________.” I don’t have a yellow legal pad but I do have a lined journal that will work just as well. I am going to take this challenge, because you know what? I want love in my life. I want healing. I want to stop drinking the poison. This doesn’t mean that I’m saying that what that boyfriend did to me was ok, it was absolutely NOT ok. It means that I am releasing the hurt that sits on my soul, which prevents me from allowing love in. This doesn’t mean that I’m opening myself up to my sister, I’m not. I know that what she has done in the past, she will do again. It means that I see her as a child of God, and that I am praying for her wholeness and happiness. I know what holding on to the pain and hurt has gotten me, this week I’m going to experiment with letting it go. If you can, if you have the need, please join me. Have a great week, everybody.