I remember on my first day of counselling, I talked and blew my nose A LOT. She was a christian counselor so after endlessly talking about how I think I am messed up, she first prayed for me and told me I need to forgive.
With tears balancing on my eyes, I stared at her and asked,”What do you mean?” During my rambling period I centered everything on me so why are we talking about forgiveness. I started thinking getting help was a mistake or maybe she was not qualified and she didn’t know what she was talking about.
When I was little I wanted to be a teenager. Sixteen to be precise. I’d like to think that is the norm for many children, then I became a teenager and the nightmare began. I was an angry teenager, very angry if I do say so myself! I was angry at God, my parents, my relatives, especially my parents… It was insane. I used to walk around with this load of bitterness I still can’t explain even if I try to. I built walls and no one could get to me you know. But I didn’t think I had a problem, I felt my actions were justified cause everyone around me was being inconsiderate or a bully.
Before leaving my counselor’s office that day, she asked me to get a notebook and list all the people I feel have hurt me or offended me in any way, how I feel when I am around them and whether I can talk to them about how their actions made me feel, and If I can forgive them. That was my day one assignment! I hadn’t realized how much I had been holding onto until this moment. I always say I’m not one to hold onto grudges but on that day I learnt otherwise. I hated my assignment but I needed to do it. I was angry all over again just writing down all these things I had caged in my heart.
On my second session which was a week later, she read my list and asked,” Why can’t you forgive them?” Again, I stared at her and with a Daah! tone replied, “How can you forgive someone who isn’t sorry? Who hasn’t made an effort to ask for forgiveness?” and her response was, “How can one ask for forgiveness if they don’t know what mistake they’ve done?”. My mind started racing! I felt my whole life had been a lie, I always thought counselor’s coddled their patients’ but this woman was getting on my nerves. I was planning on storming out of her office when she asked me to recite The Lords Prayer and I officially knew she was insane.
“Say it,” She encouraged me calmly. Taking a deep breath, I think out of habit I closed my eyes and silently recited The Lords Prayer. I’m sure by now you can all guess how it went down. I was a wreck! Never in my life had I ever felt remorseful for simply expressing an emotion. That session turned to be good and eye-opening (too long to write it all in one post). We prayed again. I sat for a while thinking over what I felt and what we discussed and I CHOSE to forgive, not because I feel they deserved it because I wanted peace and healing; and in God’s eyes I was being a hypocrite.
Forgiveness is a process that needs revisiting over and over again. Reconciliation might be impossible but you can forgive when it comes from deep down. I won’t lie and say it was easy or I’m this perfect angel who turns the other cheek when slapped on one side or doesn’t go to my archives when you wrong me and remind you how many times you’ve crossed me before. But I like how lighter I felt – It brought me peace and emotional healing and with time I have learnt to intentionally control my reaction to people’s actions. Everyday, I choose to learn to forgive others.
Over To You …
What is your story when it comes to forgiveness?
Thank you for reading.
With Love, Jade.