I am still working so hard on forgiving and forgetting. I find myself carrying around hurt feelings from things I will probably never be able to change. I find myself judging instead of just loving. I want to release those things so that I can achieve the lightest heart for the most joyous journey with our family.
Two things happened this weekend that I am hoping to remember so that I can let go, lighten the load, and grow into living free from the extra emotional baggage. Let’s just say Saturday and Sunday were very eye-opening days.
Have you ever heard the saying that goes something like, “Be kind to others, for you do not know what kind of load they are carrying”?
I just found out that someone who I often poke fun at in private conversations with my husband is a survivor of abuse. I could not have felt more unkind or undeserving in that moment of realization, and by taking a look through a clearer lens, I can see how well this person is doing, and be even more in awe of the difference they are making in the world. I will now just let those idiosyncrasies I used to poke fun at alone, and not comment on them anymore.
It also helped me to remember that people in my own family are abuse survivors. While I do not need to enable their behavior, I also need to stop taking it personally. I can do my part by being more thick skinned, remember why sensitivities are there, and love them instead of judge them. I cannot imagine the things that they may be carrying, so better to make their journey easier than add additional roadblocks to a healthier path for them. Realistically, anything I hold onto only hurts me in the long run.
Something we heard in our Sunday sermon yesterday also convicted me…it’s a quote from G.K. Chesterton, a British writer and lay theologian:
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”
We live in a day and age when our children see excess. It’s all about me-me-me and having more, and a “click for likes” mentality. It reminded me of another intention I had this year of wanting to do more serving. No one forgave more, or overlooked more, or loved more than the example we were given of a man named Jesus. He came to love and to serve. His message was love me and love one another. If His followers live that mantra, would we really engage in endless wars of all kinds?
There are so many ways that I could be more Christ-like: minister to others, give more, love more, and serve more. He ate with the sinners and the rejects of society, and taught indiscriminately – he didn’t save his message for his own people – it was a message of love and redemption for the world. I definitely need to get more uncomfortable and be outside of my comfort zone in order to really and truly Live Love.
How much easier it would be to forgive and forget like I want to, if I just remembered to love and to serve others. I need to explore more about the difference between enabling and loving, however, I feel like that is a good starting point. I want to arrive at the waypoint in life where I stop worrying about what others think and do, whether it influences my life or theirs. Instead, turn the focus inwards: what I am thinking and doing to make this a more joyous journey for people in our community, my family and the people in our circle of influence. If I concern myself with doing more and doing better I suspect there will be no time to fret over inconsequential things. There will be nothing to forgive and forget because the gaze is constantly moving forward, and that is where I want to be – growing.
So, good-bye, proverbial baggage. I am checking you at the curbside. I am getting on the next train and moving forward without you.