My Internet connection is still kicking my behind, so I'm still not caught up. Oh well. I'm just going to keep going as best I can.
When it comes to lessons I learned in 2014, I don't think there's any one of them that I learned (or am still learning) than forgiveness.
It's a hard lesson. Especially given the amount of damage the people who betrayed me had done. My natural inclination is to fight back. Which means that if I can't fight back more than I already have, my natural inclination is to cling to my anger.
It's a bit of a defense mechanism too, I think. When I'm furious, I don't feel much beside the fury. Which means that I don't really experience the pain like I should. (More on this later, if the Internet holds.)
The thing is, while anger is a valid response, clinging to it is bad. I'm figuring any Christian knows that we're supposed to forgive. If for no other reason, then because we've been forgiven by God. I'm not focusing on this, though. This doesn't mean I see this fact as any less true. Instead, it's just because I've known this truth for most of my life.
Last year, though, when my anger took on physical manifestations like nausea, migraines, body aches and exhaustion, I realized that there's a reason why the Bible tells us not to let the sun set on our anger.
Simply put, it's just not good for us.
Last year, right in the midst of my situation with my publisher (which was pretty much the first step in a long line of crap events in the year.) I happened to see this quote on Twitter:
Holding on to anger is like drinking rat poison and expecting the rat to die.
Luckily it stuck, because as soon as I felt that poison working, I knew to purge it as fast as I could. The first thing I did was to find a way to get my anger out as fast as possible. (Writing is very effective at that.) Then, I've started focusing on forgiving the people who'd hurt me.
Not going to say it's easy. But at least now, I can write about all this without instantly feeling bitter about it. Which is saying a lot, because the temptation was certainly there.
Of course, I probably wouldn't have been able to do it alone. But God has a way of giving me supernatural strength of will when it's good for me. Which is another thing I learned. Praying for help in forgiving someone is probably the best way to get it done.
What about you? Have you gone about forgiving someone for hurting you?