So let's be honest. How many of us are still holding on to grudges, hurts or pains from past relationships? Let me guess, somebody hurt you and never acknowledged how that made you feel. Another person possibly took your kindness for weakness. Or how about this, the person you truly cared about wasn't putting the same effort into the relationship as you were and while they’re moving on with their life you're still stuck in that same mindset from ages ago...
It's time to forgive and let go!
To be completely honest with you I take my relationships pretty seriously myself. So much so, I only ask for 3 things to keep a healthy relationship with me. Those three things consist of being honest at all times, make a valiant effort towards the relationship and lastly be consistent. These seemingly simple three principles apply to romantic, family, friendships and professional relationships across the board. In my mind that isn't too hard or too much to ask for when attempting to have a solid relationship.
However, I'm starting to learn that sometimes living up to these standards at all times is a bit much for people to handle or keep up with depending on where they are in their lives. Am I asking you to change your standards, absolutely not. But what I am saying, is not to become hellbent or extremely rigid either. People are human and life sometimes happen. It truly may not be that person's intention to fall short in certain areas in the relationship, but are you willing enough to genuinely forgive them anyway?
Granted some people are just selfish and hurtful in their behavior and could careless about taking you or anyone else's feelings into consideration. But even then, putting my therapist cap on, usually hurt people hurt other people. So it may not even be a matter of them intentionally hurting you on purpose, but more so they feel safe enough to take their frustrations out on you. Again, not to excuse their behavior, but what I am doing is removing the behavior from the actual person.
By nature we all start out as a blank canvas in this world. However, once life gets a hold of us and we begin to experience a variety of things that shapes our viewpoints/perspectives on just how imperfect we as people can be. It humanizes us in ways that are relatable, but it also makes us more cautious as to when to extend empathy or even sympathy to one another for fear of the possibility of getting hurt.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
So naturally I began to think just how many times I may have unintentionally or sometimes intentionally hurt someone I love or care about. How many times did I try to plead my case or attempt to make someone understand my point of view? How many times did I fall short on my own values in terms of relationships? When did I become Patty Perfect and thus left me free from making honest mistakes? Oh that's right, I had a human moment. And because I'm human you should automatically forgive me, while I hold your faults against you.
Ummm let's try this again.
Now mind you, I understand some wounds require more time to truly heal. But I still challenge you to set an intention of wholeheartedly forgiving that person or dare I say persons. And as cliche as it sounds, you are truly doing it for you and not just for that person. Think about all the fun you've missed out on in life because you were holding on to grudges from what others did to you. What missed opportunities did you lose out on this year alone because your brain was still wrestling with thoughts of the past unable to be open to anything or anyone.
What I've learned from this year is that until you find the space to truly forgive and let go, God would have you repeat the same cycle over and over and over again until His point has been made. There's a lesson within it. There's a new future attached to it. Most importantly, God Himself can easily forgive you when you find yourself in those same human moments and fall short in the relationship you have with Him.
Be open to the possibilities of change, restoration and/or genuine forgiveness of others before the close out of 2016. Don't let anything hold you back from all that God would have for you in 2017. I promise you, this will be the year that God wants to bless you in extraordinary ways, but he needs you to let go of the past in order to receive it!