For some reason as adults we tend to hold on to things that hurt us in the past. We have unforgiveness in our hearts, we hold grudges, we are historical. As someone who has always been a bit emotional, I had to learn that sometimes people hurt you unintentionally and you have to just let it go.
As I look around at my friends and family I often see people allowing past hurts to continue to shape their futures. Relationships are so often severed because people want to continue to punish someone for something that they did in the past. Distance is created, walls are put into place, bridges are burned. We hold onto our wounds, we pick at them and never let them heal.
The question I must ask is the same question my mother asked my step sister – “How long is long enough? When will you stop punishing him? How many years does he have to suffer for something that he did 40 years ago?” My Father isn’t the same man he was 40 years ago. That was a different lifetime, that was Dad B.C. – Before Christ. He wasn’t verbally or physically abusive to his daughters, but he wasn’t a good father either. It wasn’t something he did on purpose, he didn’t have a good father either, and his own father, my grandfather, didn’t have a good role model either. Three generations of bad parenting cannot be changed overnight. My dad has changed. He is a great man, one of the greatest, most loving, kind-hearted men I know. He has done all that he can to undo all his past mistakes. He has said his apologies, there is nothing more he can do. At 70 he works full time and spends his weekends ministering to young men at a boys home mentoring and being a father to those that need a father figure in their lives. My step-sister only hurts herself by holding on to her unforgiveness. She has traded a relationship with her dad for a relationship with her hurt.
We all make mistakes. Each of us has scars from our parents, our exes, and sometimes even our closest friends. Don’t hold on to unforgiveness, it only hurts you. Move forward with your life and learn from those experiences. It isn’t always an easy thing to do. It takes time, but the freedom of letting that burden go is immeasurable.
As Always, I love you…