“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.” – Criss Jami
I am a secret keeper. People (friends/family/strangers) regularly feel comfortable storing some of their most intimate secrets with me, good or bad. They also tend to share the intimate secrets of others…but that is neither here nor there 👀 (lol). I’ve always wondered why people were drawn to me in that way, but honestly, I love it. Makes me feel trustworthy, makes me feel special, makes me feel needed. I’ve definitely embraced that role in people’s lives and don’t take it for granted…until the secrets started to hurt me personally.
It’s hard holding on to the secrets of others when these private actions have caused you not only pain but also the return of previously “removed” depression and anxiety. It feels unfair to have to protect the privacy of those who didn’t consider your feelings enough…who seemingly didn’t consider you at all and have cut you so deep. But that is the world I found myself in. Drowning from the weight these individuals tied around my ankles right before pushing me over the edge. How can I even consider healing when I can’t even speak on these circumstances that cloud my thoughts, affect my actions, and impact my opinions of my very being? So I became angry, at everyone and everything. So…much..anger. Frustration and bitterness took root, hard. I kept hearing sermons and motivational speeches on not allowing yourself to get to the point of bitterness but never anything on what to do if/when bitterness becomes you. It affected my entire life.
What’s worse is I kept seeing these people…these people who hurt me. And I kept seeing them thriving…and that pissed me off even more. How is it fair that people can hurt others so bad, most taking no accountability for their actions, and still seem to be doing so well? Scratch that, doing so much better than me? It didn’t seem fair, didn’t even seem biblical. How could God have seemingly abandoned me so hard while blessing them so abundantly?
I was spiraling, until one day I kept running into meme’s, videos, etc on forgiveness. Which annoyed me even more! Why do I have to put forth the effort to forgive those who have wronged me? Why don’t they need to ask me for forgiveness? I ignored it. Decided to continue on the path I was journeying because it felt comfortable at this point, felt normal, felt right. But those messages kept coming. They started even coming out of me in the form of advice to others. I felt inundated with the prospect of forgiving until one day I decided to finally take my own advice. I decided to reach out to each of the people who hurt me and tell them I forgave them. It was terrifying! What if they denied their actions? What if they told me to get over myself? What if they ended up hurting me even more with their response (or lack thereof).
But somehow I managed to convince myself to do it anyway. I think I was at the point where I saw how much unforgiveness was hindering my life. How much it was holding me hostage and torturing me from the inside out. It was one of the only things I hadn’t tried so far so why not give it a shot. I even told a few people, including my therapist, that I was planning on reaching out to folks I needed to forgive so that I could be held accountable to it. I decided to reach out via DM and get everything I needed to get out in one message, while still presenting the option for further discussion if they desired. Someone suggested I try to contact them via phone or in person, but I knew that would have been too much which would have made it unlikely that I would have followed through. Know thyself and be true to thyself, right? There was one person I was able to forgive in person, but I had to force myself to do it randomly so that I caught even myself off guard.
When I tell you, it was the most freeing experience of my life. Once I hit send on every message/forgave those individuals, it was like the weight of the world was lifted off of me. I didn’t have to be weighed down by these secrets anymore, because I was finally able to let it go. I was able to shed those scales that were covering my heart and my mind. It has been absolutely amazing! I’ve reached another level in this healing process and it really feels good. Especially now that I am back to operating in my “secret keeping” calling with joy. It’s truly magical the power forgiveness has had in my life. While there are still some people I need to forgive and I still have moments of depression/anxiety, I definitely leaped over that specific hurdle. I am finally free in that area. And ain’t no feeling like being free!
Let’s talk! Can you relate? Are there areas you can be freed from with forgiveness? Let me know in the comments or send me a message on the “Contact” page! Thanks for reading!