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Dealing with Unforgiveness |YegWatch Episode 4

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Coming to Canada has enabled me to face and deal with certain demons. One demon was unforgiveness. I didn’t really know before that I struggled with unforgiveness until recently. I exhibited certain patterns of behaviour but that was just what that was. Patterns of behaviour I thought nothing about.

A couple of years ago, when I moved to the city, the first time I saw my sister, I saw my dad. She looked so much like my dad. We don’t see each other often, but I remember being struck and reminded of my dad. I cried so much. I was my dad’s daughter, but his death left me with more questions about him than there were answers.

I had to forgive him.

My dad was my hero. He gave me wings to fly. Since his death twenty years ago, my family has been embroiled in a bitter fight with a son from a careless relationship. It has taken me a while to understand why my dad would live us with so much mess.

Seeing my sister’s smile – she smiles like my dad – and conversations about our childhood and so on.I finally was in a better place to understand how he could have gotten himself into the mess of a strange woman and a strange child.

Eventually, I had to let him go. I can now think about him with love and respect he deserves.

It took twenty years.

Forgiveness is a hard thing to do. Christians will tell you it is easy. They lie. Christians will hit bible verses at you about how you must forgive seventy times seventy times. I get this. But, forgiveness does not come easy to us all. Christians are hypocritical. They tell you all sorts of things that are not necessarily true.

Forgiveness is a gradual process. It is a process of redemption and a path laden with pitfalls and ugliness. You must be ready to forgive that spouse, that friend, that school teacher, that ex-boyfriend, that boss, that sister or brother, uncle and auntie.

You must get to a place of fatigue and helplessness. A place where you are ready to let it all go.

It is only then that forgiveness can come to you with grace. Jesus Christ died to save all sinners, but you must accept that sacrifice to qualify.

I will share another experience.

With a faith group recently, I described how long it took to forgive the father of my child – ten years. I didn’t plan to be a single mum. I didn’t plan the hardship in my thirties but every day, I resented and hated him. For ten years, I could not speak peacefully with him. I hated him.

Emotionally, my heart was at the same place for ten years. I could not get past the disappointment. I didn’t deserve the treatment I got from the church I attended at the time and from life.

My decision not to forgive was a decision to remain at the same place. For ten years.

Recently, I got to a place where I asked my self: why am I angry? For a decade?

It was then I decided that I was done with being hurt. I decided to let him go. I am able to talk to him now easily even without remembering the hurt – all he did. I have embraced forgiveness and healing. I have embraced life. It has taken me ten years.

It has dawned on me that amongst the many flaws in my character, unforgiveness is one. So I started intentionally to reach out to people I had blocked out of my life.

They say when unforgiveness is eating you alive, different things happen to you:

  • You experience outbursts of anger
  • You are petty and impulsive
  • You are compulsive
  • You are sick
  • You are not taking responsibility for your feelings
  • You are desperate to make people understand how you feel

I didn’t necessarily experience any or all of these as I compartmentalize things. Many people are in the furthest part of my heart. They just don’t matter any more to me. Ouch. That sounds nasty.

See, I am becoming a better human being. The job now is reconnecting with these people as I remember them with humility and brokenness.

Little steps. I am going to keep small accounts. Apologize and make things right with people before they are forgotten in the abyss that is my heart.

What do you struggle with? I am not a saint. I am trying.

Grace abounds with healing, but we must decide to forgive.

 

Tee writes for LCCMedia

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