Hey, Rising Family!
We are going to continue to our walk towards reaching purpose. This next step, is a big one. We rose to the occasion and learned to be fearless like an eagle. We then embraced being focused on our goals like ants. Now we have combined our ability to focus like an ant while being fearless like an eagle and exercise…
Forgiveness can be a difficult lesson to learn and sadly one so many people never accomplish. We often think that by not forgiving a person we are the victors serving a dose of harsh punishment to the people who wronged us. We often feel they do not deserve our forgiveness. What we do not realize is by not forgiving someone, we are holding on to negative feelings, which do not let us move forward.
Forgiveness is the key to focusing on more positive parts of our lives.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is sometimes the most important person we need to forgive is ourselves. On these recent journeys of self-reflections, one statement I heard growing up that I can hear clear in my ear is, “We have to clean our own house before we go try to clean up others.” As a child, my mother would say, “Charity starts at home.” As I get closer to my 30th birthday (Sept. 1 🥳), I am taking a new appreciation for her advice that I often found irritating as a child.
Yup! Today is my daughter’s birthday. She is finally six, and she has completed kindergarten and is on her way to the first grade. (Yaaaayyyy!!) Her school year did not end or start how anyone planned, but she completed it with flying colors! I am blessed to be her mother.
I am so proud of what she has overcome at such an early age. She overcame her father and me divorcing right after the loss of her grandfather. She has embraced her blended family now made up of my husband and his two children along with our new little bundle of joy. She really loves our little-big family we affectionately call #TheParkerPartyOf7 (we are slowing shifting the to #ParkerPlatoon, let me know how y’all feel about that in the comments).
My daughter is resilient and has overcome so much in such a short time. She has overcome being removed from her school, friends, teachers, and girl groups due to living in the midst of a pandemic. There were countless times I felt like a horrible mom undeserving of her love. A horrible mom for bringing her into a world and home that was not ideal. A mom who just couldn’t get things right.
While reflecting this month, I now realize I was being too cruel on myself. I understand now that before we can begin to forgive others, we need to first forgive ourselves—for things we regret or feel bad that we did in the past. The weight of regret and guilt is a heavy burden to carry, and it is one we need to unpack.
I am at a place of true forgiveness. I had to forgive myself for feeling bad about working hard and missing out on precious time trying to provide for her. I had to forgive myself for hating the fact I did not create the “perfect family” for her. I had to forgive myself for her exposure to things I felt I could have protected her from.
Forgiveness is a lot to digest. It is a slow process, but it can be learned.
I now understand that I am not to blame for all that went wrong. For the parts I am to blame, I can truly move forward because I forgive myself. God has already forgiven me, so I had to question why I had yet to forgive myself.
In Romans 8:1-2 (NIV), Paul reminds us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
God is not holding us to our faults, so we should not keep ourselves bound by our wrongs. After getting to a place where we are able to truly forgive ourselves, we can now extend that forgiveness to those who have wronged us—even to the people we have no intention of forgiving.
When we hold on to the feelings of hurt and anger because we were wronged, it allows us to be tied to bitterness and resentment. Forgiveness is an important tool for us to rise and walk in our purpose. Forgiveness is a coping strategy to replace negative feelings with positive ones, eventually leading to emotional or soul healing.
Imagine keeping a small bag of shrimp in your back pocket. Eventually, it will start to stink, really bad. Why keep holding on to trash? Holding onto unforgiveness is like holding on to trash. Free yourself. Forgive.
Any dog lovers in the house? I have a dog, and she has excellent memory. She gets excited when she sees the groomer because she loves being pampered. One thing I have learned from dogs is they do not hold on to things like humans. When dogs get upset with their owner, they are quick to forgive and restore relationships. I suggest we learn to forgive like them. Forgiveness brings happiness.
Here is a snippet from my FREE EBOOK:
Cut the ties
and let go.
and you will grow.
When trying to forgive someone, try doing what I did.
Fill in the blanks below:
I forgive _______ for ________.
I release them to their highest and me to mine.
I am free.
Keep saying this until it is true. Remember, our words have power.
Life is about choices. Choose forgiveness. Choose freedom. Choose joy.
In my book, Rise, I talk about what I was able to accomplish after allowing forgiveness in my heart for myself and others. You can preorder your copy here.
Remember to exercise self-compassion.
Be kind to yourself and forgiving of your mistakes.
You will then be able to forgive others of theirs.
Let’s reach our purpose.
I love you.
It’s time to rise.