I don’t know why my second ex-wife wanted a divorce. I mention that because—7+ years after the fact—I recently realized I still harbored unforgiveness in my heart for this and a couple other things, and it was harming me! I’d been battling an occasional, but growing sense of self-shame for a while, and I realized the root cause was my unforgiveness. Truly this, and any, journey into forgiveness is freedom, in the “my spirit soars into the heavens” sense of the word!
During our separation, and well passed our divorce, I defended her to friends and family. Now, I don’t think this was bad; after all: Love woos us to believe the best in others, see the good, and make sense of situations and people in a redeeming way. AND, in my commitment to honor her, I made excuses and overlooked things that needed to be addressed and let go of (key side note, I was responsible for 50% of the “things”).
While I thought I’d made peace with everything, it turns out: You can’t forgive what you overlook, cover up, or brush aside!
Anne Lamott said, “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” Unforgiveness does nothing but hurt, limit, and imprison the unforgiver. Mine showed up in the form of self-shame, i.e., not forgiving my previous, or current, selves. Wow! I literally just realized that as I typed it.
So, in a real way the freedom my journey of forgiveness is bringing is a mentality and spirit of mercy to myself. Woohoo! As this new wave of forgiveness continues to wash over me this year, where before there was judgment, shame, and struggle, I’m noticing an increasing sense of lightness, ease, and grace within me. I believe this freedom is forever waiting for us to receive it, as we live in an inherently forgiving reality (at least in the ways we crave it). I say this both based on experience, and because I believe it’s one of the things the Divine, via Christ, did for everyone.
I don’t know about you, but the person I have the hardest time forgiving is myself. And I’m grateful that’s the gift this round of “releasing” my ex is bringing. To forgive is truly divine, and may we all bathe regularly in its peaceful, healing waters.
Hugs & Love,
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