“Love, Forgiveness, Letting Go, Peace.” ~ meditation affirmation given by best-selling “self-help” author Karen Salmansohn in her article “8 Ways to Forgive and Forget” posted on Oprah.com
I recently finished reading this book called THE SHACK by WM. Paul Young. To keep from spoiling the book, I’ll just put what’s on the back of it…in case some of you haven’t seen/read it:
“Mackenzie Allen Philip’s youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant THE SHACK wrestles with the timeless question: Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain? The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book!”
I’ve had it on my mind to do this post on Forgiveness. But, I’ve been putting it off and putting it off, until today. We all are in need of a little help “letting go” at times. Honestly, I wasn’t aware of what I’d take away from THE SHACK when I read it, but by the time I reached the end I knew it had a purpose in my life; my journey – at this point in time. It was time for me to Love, Forgive, Let Go, and find Peace!
* A year ago, I wouldn’t have shared this. But, the whole purpose of my blog is to inspire someone, to help someone, even if it’s just one person. I know I’m not the only one who has had to overcome these bumps in their journey. And maybe, my journey will bring you to a different place in yours…
Love. Forgiveness. Letting Go. Peace. Those are all things that I’ve had challenges with over this past year. Love betrayed me. And I chose to Forgive. But Letting Go seemed so hard. And Peace was so far away.
Being betrayed by Love is one of the hardest things one can go through. Especially when you expect Love to be true – forever. Maybe I was being naïve, to think that such a thing was possible…I like to think not. Love was so good to me. Love, to me, was meant to be. I met Love when I was 12. Love was quiet when we first met, but we stayed on the phone that first night for hours. I remember sneaking on the phone to talk with Love during the school week when I was supposed to be doing my homework. We’d laugh, talk, and Love even sang to me a few times…yeah, those were the days! We didn’t date until high school; took a break; then again later during college. We’d come full circle. Love must’ve been meant to be. I just knew Love was made for me. And our love was sure to last. Three years later, and a few 100 miles apart, I found out how Love betrayed my heart. It’s been hard. Looking into Love’s eyes. Feeling Love’s touch. Hearing Love say, “I love you so much”. Yeah, that was tough. And still, I love Love so much. Am I crazy? Some may say so. But tell me who hasn’t been betrayed by Love and chose not to go. I’m sure there are many who chose to leave, and decisions like mine; they can’t perceive. But I choose to believe… in Love, unconditional love.
When Love apologized, I decided to Forgive. And I made it clear to Love, that like this, I could not and would not live. Love needed to get real. And Love did. My questions, Love did answer. My heart, Love is trying to heal. My concerns, Love took care of. My requests, Love did fulfill. Still, some may ask, why did I Forgive Love? Because WWJD! Seriously, if Jesus can forgive me; then why can’t I Forgive too? And I shouldn’t have to explain myself to you, you, or you. We’ve all done things before that we knew we shouldn’t do. And when I’ve asked for forgiveness from God and those whom I’ve caused pain, they gave it to me willingly; so why shouldn’t I do the same?!
Letting Go has been my challenge. Love filled my heart with pain. Forgetting was the hard part. Would loving Love ever be the same? I wondered…and I pondered the thought. I’m on this emotional roller coaster when none of this is my fault! Unwanted contact. Drama I just don’t need. Did Love not see these signs before? Did Love not know to heed? No, Love was blind. Love was full of greed. Love wanted what wasn’t there. So, Love decided to fulfill a need. And me, I just wanted love to STOP! But, Love has yet to let it. Through it all Love has been here. Holding my hand. Calming my fears. Easing my pain. Drying my tears. “We’re in this together” Love lets me know. And as time goes by, it’s getting easier to just… Let. Go.
And as I Let Go, Peace, which was once so far away, is closer to me today than it was on yesterday. I feel it from within. Not just when Love’s around. This Peace I feel is setting me free. I’m on a high, and I don’t want to come down.
A character in the book says it best, “Forgiveness is first for you, the forgiver, to release you from something that will eat you alive, that will destroy your joy and your ability to love fully and openly.” – THE SHACK
And if we have joy and the ability to Love fully and openly; Letting Go will be a little easier; and Peace will be right around the corner!
My Question to you:
Are you ready and willing to Love, Forgive, Let Go, and find Peace?
~ Ciara Walker