After thinking and praying for the last few months about areas of my life where I feel stuck, I made a bit of a break though. Today I did some serious forgiving. I sat with a friend and God as my witness. I forgave, He listened, and she listened. I wrote it down and ripped it up. It is dated. It is forgiven.
I didn't think it would be immediate but I feel lighter already. In my shoulders and my jaw, I feel loose where I used to feel tense.
There are a million and one great quotes about forgiveness. All of them elude to not being able to change the past and but making the future better for yourself, that it has less to do with the person you are forgiving but has everything to do with yourself, that through forgiveness you give up hope that the past could have been any different. True, true, true. Hard, hard, hard.
I don't live a life full of resentment, so I definitely didn't realize how much forgiveness I needed to offer, until I started thinking about it, until I made a list of the hurts I wanted to forgive. Some of the people I forgave are integral parts of my life. Woven and meshed, people I could not live without. Some of them are people I will never see again and never care to see again. A few I will pass on the street but pretend not to see, definitely not make eye contact. And each is forgiven. Not for them, but for me. They don't even have to know about it, because it is mine.
It feels really good.
I know it will be hard, at times, to keep a clean slate with the thoughts of old wounds creeping in. Here is the verse that I will keep close, so that I am able to release any anger, or any hope that the past could have been different.
2 Corinthians 10:5
~We break down every thought and proud thing that puts itself up against the wisdom of God. We take hold of every thought and make it obey Christ.
~We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture our rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
~We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Three versions of the same verse, so that I can understand it, and recap it, and get it in my heart.