All of us have experienced betrayal, hurt and loss in our lives. It is part of existing on a planet with other individuals who are in constant battles with their egos just like we are. Some losses and disappointments warrant a fast recovery and leave minimal damage, others cut us to the core and break our hearts, spirits and even our lives-if we cannot find forgiveness.
I suppose the greatest opposition to forgiveness is indeed the ego. The ego wants to be lifted up and bowed down to reverentially. If we are allowing our ego to dominate our lives, then we will have a much more difficult time forgiving others. In order to thwart the ego, a stronger power must be the active and leading force in our lives. I believe that when our spirit is the guiding and directional force from which we live, forgiveness is a more natural process.
The spirit doesn’t hold onto grudges and old pain-it is built to understand and respect that we are all equal to one another and that we all face the same challenges and shortcomings in life. The ego however, is built to dominate and to force surrender by all other opposition because its intention is to feed the flesh. Therefore, the ego filters through the events in our lives and pays little attention to the good things others do for us-but holds on relentlessly to the injustices that take place in our lives. The ego grows and builds upon those things, making them large enough to disrupt our emotions and cloud our decisions. This sabotages every good thing that God has planned for us.
Honestly, if you have stumbled upon this and you are living through the ego-you are going to want strongly to close your browser. The ego doesn’t want competition-it doesn’t even want you to know that it is in control. It seeks to fool you by stirring up emotions that are negatively charged and then, like a child during a tantrum-seeks to get its way by reminding you of how much has been taken from you and how terribly wrong others have been to ever DARE to cause you pain. The ego seeks to cause you to believe that revenge is right and justified. It seeks to forward its agenda by fooling you into submission through emotions such as anger and jealousy.
If you will call out the ego and define it for what it is and what it is doing in your life right now-it will diminish, because it cannot stand in the light of truth. Let’s do a little exercise. Think about a person whom you are not fond of because of something they did or said to you or about you that hurt your feelings. Think of the worst betrayal you have ever experienced in your life. Take a moment and reflect on that person and the feelings. Now imagine that person happy, healthy and having everything that he or she ever dreamed of-some of which was purchased at your expense. What do you feel? Are you feeling irritated? Angry? Jealous? Does some part of you feel the need to knock them off of the pedestal you are imagining them perched upon?
That is ego. Call it what it is-it is your ego seeking vindication for a wrong that you have suffered so that it can feed your flesh and rule your emotions. It wants to stay in control. Now, tell your ego (which is demanding by now that you shut your browser) to be quiet and I want you to turn to your spirit. There is a soft energy just below your heart in the top of your belly that you can tangibly FEEL as a warmth when you seek to access your spirit and it has great healing potential for your life. In order to access this healing part of yourself you have to put aside every negative emotion and allow your spirit to speak to you.
You see, your spirit is the part of you that God will work through to heal your life when you refuse to let the ego control you any longer. You will begin to feel a softening toward that person that you were so angry with a few moments ago. You will begin to remember things about that person’s life that caused THEM pain and you will begin to understand that even though it isn’t okay that you got hurt, it is important that you let go of that hurt.
Maybe your anger and resentment are directed toward YOURSELF and your own past actions. If that is the case, then you will be comforted in knowing that all of those old things have been washed away and that you are a new creation. None of the imagined damage and pain are left from those old destructive patterns, that is unless you are holding onto them. Softness in the spirit seeks to forgive your past indiscretions and heal those old wounds by helping you to embrace forgiveness of yourself and a gentle understanding that who and where you were then is an entirely different person and place than who and where you are now.
Surrendering our pain to God is a transformational action that reaps healing and growth in our lives and helps us to forgive EFFECTIVELY. Putting all of these things that have broken us down in the palm of the hand of the almighty gives us freedom from reliving the pain through old emotional wounds as time goes on. If we choose to keep even a fragment of the pain we have been through, we are keeping that seed of discouragement, abandonment and failure in the fertile soil of our lives and it will grow. We don’t always see the current circumstances in our lives as having anything to do with any grudges or unforgiveness we are harboring, but the truth is that the roots of resentment grow deep and they choke out every good seed that could spring forth an abundance of good things in our lives.
Ultimately it is our choice whether or not we hold onto pain. God is asking us to give that to Him. He wants to carry our burdens and help us to find fulfillment and joy in our lives. God never created one individual that he did not have a dream and a purpose for. What was he purposing when he formed you in your mother’s womb? I can tell you this, whatever He imagined for you in that moment of your creation is greater and more beautiful than anything you could ever dream for yourself. He can help you realize that purpose in your life, but only if you are willing to trust Him and surrender to Him your painful past. He is the judge and all things will be made right in HIS timing.
We spend too much of OUR time making ourselves the focal point of every disruption in life. We never stop to think that most of the time when we are hurt by someone’s actions, it isn’t deliberate. We all make the best decisions we can with the information we have available in every set of circumstances. It is the emotional storms that cause low visibility that lead us to hurt ourselves and others by our choices. So many times in life we are simply caught in the crossfire of someone else’s battle with their own ego-or are engaged in a battle with our own. Seeing events in the light of this truth is healing in and of itself.
Aren’t you tired of feeling angry, guilty, sad and lost? There is hope and help and love that far outweighs the circumstances in your life and it is available now. God loves you dearly. You are the apple of his eye and he is waiting and anticipating the day when you will turn away from your pain and throw yourself into his arms so he can help you. Is today that day?