Recently there has been a lot written about the power of forgiveness. However, little has been written on forgiving offenses that often change the course of one’s life. So what do you do when the person continues the offense or refuses to apologize for past wrongs that they have done? Their past or current actions may include: children who were sexually or emotional abused, adult children who are taken advantage of by their aging parents or having a partner who struggles with an addiction. Being a victim of such offense can leave you feeling unloved and unable to trust others again.
Much of what I talk about also comes from my personal experiences. I don’t know if this is a blessing or a curse but I truly understand the pain that comes from being a survivor of abuse by a step parent. I remember years ago seeing an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show, where she stated that she had decided that it was time for her to step into her truth.
She told her father that she would no longer be coming to Thanksgiving dinner where her abuser, a relative, would also be seated at the table. Her father was probably torn and didn’t understand. But Oprah had to take a stance for herself. Yes she had forgiven her abuser, but she decided she would no longer dine with a person that had caused her emotional pain. She started her healing process by standing up for her beliefs. That episode taught me a powerful lesson about claiming my on strength.
To truly be free and to forgive, we must step into our own truth. We must call a spade a spade. This is new for some of our parents and grandparents who came from a generation of secrets where no one dare spoke the truth. Today, I am liberating you to make a choice that protects your heart and nourishes your spirit.
Follow these steps to move toward forgiveness and love today:
- Keep your distance. My grandmother, Mama Tucker, use to say, “Some folks, you have to treat them with a long handled spoon.” In plain language, have boundaries around repeat offenders. Do not allow them to linger in your inner circle or hang out in your backyard.
- Maintain a spiritual practice so you can stay at peace mentally and emotionally. Each day you must take time to pray, meditate and reflect so that you can be the best you that God has called you to be. Having a spiritual practice will ground you in love and forgiveness.
- Remember that forgiveness is for you. It so important to forgive yourself. So many times we place blame on ourselves for the actions of others.
- Choose to live a life free from dysfunction. We live in an era where reality television and talk shows have shown us that dysfunction is okay. We are even led to believe that everyone is dysfunctional so accept it.
I am here to liberate you beloved. Disrespect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and domestic violence are not normal and should not be accepted under any circumstances. You have a right to live a life of freedom and peace. Let 2015 be the year that you free yourself to have the love you deserve.
BMWK: How will you be guided by forgiveness and love in 2015?