Become Willing to Forgive and Make Amends!
What do I need to do in order to become willing to forgive others and myself?
Willingness. We must first become willing to repair.
Willing means I am inclined, prepared, ready to act gladly, eagerly compliant, accepted, borne voluntarily or ungrudgingly, without constraint or expectation of reward, agreed.
Repair means to restore to a good condition, to renew by any process of making good, strengthening.
This is an extraordinarily difficult step for many of us to take. We don't want to forgive those who hurt us, and we also don't want to take responsibility for the damage we have caused others for lots of reasons. And to forgive ourselves for what we have done to ourselves seems somehow indulgent if you struggle with people pleasing!
Some of the reasons we don't think that people deserve our apologies or our forgiveness may be that person is still acting out in whatever dysfunctional way they hurt you in the first place. We don't think it's fair, why should I say I'm sorry when the other person has never acknowledged their part. I may be feeling embarrassed or ashamed myself, so I'd rather not say anything at all. Maybe the other person will reject or minimize it or act like I'm crazy, or maybe they may unleash all of their anger and resentment towards me and tell me off and I might feel worse!
And forgive myself, well many of us don't believe we deserve to be forgiven, we think things like: "I should have been stronger, smarter, tougher, calmer, happier " or whatever, "should have been" you may use to punish yourself and perpetuate the cycle of shame and self-abuse.
We become ready to be willing to forgive when we have acknowledged the pain, hurt, anger and resentments we've endured. When we have truly felt our feelings, accepted them and honored our pain. It is hard to forgive and let go when the feelings are still raging inside of us. We need to grieve our losses before we can become willing to make an amend, forgive someone else or forgive ourselves.
Unacknowledged grief and loss often keeps us stuck in unforgiveness of ourselves and others. If willingness and readiness are not available to you, then find someone you trust, someone that can validate and help you process those feelings of loss, anger and resentment you still carry with you.
Pray, tell God your feelings, ask for willingness and grace. Always rest in the knowledge that God loves you and wants to help you, and that is grace is sufficient for you, that His power is made perfect in your weaknesses and where you are weak He wants to be strong (2 Cor 12:9).
When I become willing to make amends I become willing to be restored to a good condition. Do you want to be whole, do you want to be in good working condition? Relationships work best when each person is in good working condition! Joyful Restoration will begin a FREE 6 week Forgiveness Seminar starting April 25th, 7pm at our Storehouse Church Location, please join us and learn how you can REACH forgiveness too.