How Forgiveness Can Set You Free
To forgive another is to set a prisoner free, then discover the prisoner is you. ~ Lewis Smedes
It’s a funny thing how this letting go stuff works. I never thought letting go of past hurts would free my soul so easily and permanently. But it did.
It can for you too. Now, I’m not going to tell you I had the perfect childhood. I didn’t. I endured several years of emotional and verbal abuse from a man from my mother’s past and had some scars left over as a young adult.
I managed to put together a nice business career, a house, a nice car, but that was just the surface stuff. Everything inside was a mess. Of course, initially I blamed the world.
“If only he hadn’t done that,” I thought. “If only I hadn’t had to go through the yelling and screaming night after night, life would be enjoyable.”
Then suddenly one day, it occurred to me. Taylor, you have a choice. You can decide how this ends! Are you going to become him or something different?
In that moment, my life changed.
I realized, for the first time, I had the power to decide how my life should be lived. Scars or no scars, my life and everything in it was clearly up to me.
So, with choice in my pocket I went on. Several years passed. Life was better but not outstanding.
There was something else pulling me inward like a magnet. I felt I had to forgive this man. So, I mustered the courage to let him go. All the pain, the hurt, I just let it exit my soul.
As I let him go, I began to understand that he endured the same abuse in his own childhood, but he was unable to break the cycle. However, it would stop with me.
Big relief ensued but still, something else was missing. I felt I needed to let go of this situation for my own sake as well. I just didn’t know how.
I received some instructions from a professional asking me to go back to the young boy in that terrible situation and write down what comes to mind. When I did, I saw a ten year old boy, waiting for relief and desperate to be rescued. However, no one came for him.
As the universe has it, second chances come along and are like solid gold. I went back and rescued that little boy as a forty year old adult. In my mind, I put my arm around him, comforted him, and said, “You can rest now young man. Your job is complete. Well done!”
In essence, I forgave myself for holding on as a young boy, feeling responsible for getting this man out of my mother’s house without having any tools or resources to do so.
I let go of all of that responsibility and the shame that came with it.
Surprisingly, a freedom ensued that words cannot fairly describe. My heart opened, energy flowed through me. I felt a quiet calmness all around me.
After 30 years, I found Peace of Heart.
Naturally, we don’t want to forgive, but it is necessary for our souls to get unstuck and clear the pathways for life to flow within us. Letting Go creates a sense of inner freedom that can't be matched. Who or what needs forgiveness in your life? Is it you?