Asking Forgiveness—The Personal Side
Forgiveness was a runny, gooey ball of wax in my mind for years. Back then, I did not understand the importance of forgiveness and the freedom found within it. I found myself trying to reach out and touch or hold forgiveness in my most treasured relationships, but I always wound up messy. Also, I had no handle on asking for forgiveness because I was never properly taught how to. Perhaps most troubling is the fact that it took years for me to grasp how necessary forgiving others is for my own personal, emotional health.
Now, in middle-age, I still see forgiveness in my imagination as a ball of wax. However, I have learned to hold the ball and mold it between my hands into something that works for me. I have a better understanding of how to ask for forgiveness AND of why I should forgive. Yes, my hands are still a little sticky because forgiveness (asking for it and giving it) is rarely an easy, neat, or orderly process. BUT, I no longer shrink from that ball of messy wax the way I once did.
Now that I reach for forgiveness more often, I can honestly say that forgiving others—even when I DO NOT agree with what they did because sometimes I don’t—brings peace, healing and a renewed sense of energy to my life. On the flip side, when I choose not to forgive, I harbor negative feelings like anger, hurt and rejection. I often end up feeling bound to the person who hurt me. I imagine it as being tied to them with a rope. However, when I forgive that person—whether verbally or just in my mind and heart—the rope is broken and I am free. I no longer have that negative energy pulling me down and I am free to pursue better, more encouraging, life-giving endeavors. In the same vein, I am also finding out with time that asking for forgiveness brings a certain level of peace and freedom. There is value in knowing that I have tried to make things right when they have gone wrong.
How about you? Are you reliving a past hurt every day? Are you walking around with negative feelings like depression, anxiety or rejection because someone hurt you? Is there a relationship in your life that is suffering because forgiveness needs to take place?
If you are living with overwhelming negative thoughts and emotions more days than not, a licensed mental health counselor can help you. She can help you (and your spouse/partner/family member if you so choose) identify and process feelings related to hurt and unforgiveness. Don’t wait! You can experience healing, peace and even joy in your most important relationships. Contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment with one of our knowledgeable therapists.