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Sort of thinking of Fiddlekat's anger, and Lord knows my own!!! but I attended a great dinner talk at Pensacola Christian College- an invitational Valentine's couples do- where before they got to the heavy recruitment (to Christianity) they taught a great marital lesson which has much wider application:

When we are angry at someone and do not forgive and forget we are carrying a continual heavy weight around- as a metaphor he pointed out the bookloaded backpacks of all the PCC students- and burdening paining hurting OURSELVES without in any way (well maybe more so for our spouses than a relative we never see!) punishing the wrongdoer or bringing them to justice in some way. Of course we can pass it all to Christ though that was not the true message, just that we should have a burden guilt anger free marriage with our spouses just for our own sake, not to be nice to our spouses or let them go unpunished for transgressions.

I luckily have never been abused by a family member and even my only abuse at the hands of another human was not too bad relatively speaking, but I think those with such experiences know and will agree that the attacker has WON forevermore if their abuse is something you relive or at least dwell on every day for perhaps the rest of your life. How much easier and just as good to forget and forgive so much as possible the smaller slights and sometimes only careless hurts we receive...

So my current one is my evil step-mother (not to me just to my sister but the family concern that injustice continues, lingers...), and that same sister's relative lack of contact which leaves my children barely knowing their aunt. As I told her when she said "I'm sorry! I've been so neglectful!",

"Hey my only problem is I remember you as a 15 year old (25 years ago!) and now my oldest looks exactly as I remember you it's like you're a ghost in my house! I want to know the 40 year old sister!"
 

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Thank you for your thoughts. I am a survivor of abuse in many forms by different people over my entire life.

I am now in a peaceful life and have a wonderful DH. i can see myself carry the weight you mentioned and wish I didn't. Now my abusers cause him pain too.

I want to be free but it is hard to control fears and thoughts.

Did they give any wisdom aside from faith? Something I can do for myself?
 

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I remember struggling with forgiveness towards my dad after I moved out at 17 years old. I looked up the root meaning of the word "forgiveness" as it was used many times in the Bible and found great comfort in it.

The root word means something like "To repeatedly push away offense". It brought great clarity for me to realize that if i forgive my dad one day and wake up feeling angry the next, it doesn't negate yesterday's forgiveness but is simply a reminder to choose today's.
 

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For me letting go is the only way not to stay trapped.

How I chose to handle it, I could control. I found that when I spent too much time dwelling on the past, it was like staying trapped in it. I asked myself what could I do the change it? Well, I couldn't go back and change anything, what's done is done. I couldn't stop those who hurt me. I could however control how I dealt with it.
I did my best to learn from it, then I chose to forgive and let it go. For me forgiving was a way of letting go of the anger. It didn't make what had happened to me OK, but it released me from it.
I'm not saying to just let someone who harms you off the hook. Press charges and make sure they are punished if it's a criminal offense. Do what you can to make sure it's never repeated. Just don't remain their victim and trapped in a past you cannot escape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hl I'm sorry I can't remember if they explained HOW to move forward- I think for us spouses bringing up a laundry list of offenses from years back at every argument (either verbally to the spouse or just mentally to ourselves) was pointed out as something to just try not to do, and explaining how that hurt mostly only us with the mental baggage helped me see why it was best for ME not to do it.

I don't know if it would help everyone but aside from Christ's forgiveness is the judgment say of Jahweh and that we do not need to punish (except as All country says in criminal cases and to protect other possible victims), that eventually there will be punishment. I am not Christian but it still comforts me sometimes to say or think "there is a special place in the underworld for that bad bad person!" although I do not really truly believe in the underworld- I sure hope it is true, or that they will come back as cockroaches or something.

Any comments from the folks who use this concept for more minor slights like aggravating or annoying not evil family members?
 

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If you look at the Lord's Prayer, it says it all there. "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". When we come to realize that one sentence, we can feel great peace in our lives every day. We will be forgiven THE SAME WAY we forgive others. (as we forgive) If we want to be forgiven of OUR sins, great or small, doesn't matter, we must forgive others. It doesn't matter what anyone has done to us, or not done to us, forgiveness is choosing not to hold a grudge, not to be angry at that person. We are responsible and will answer for our own hearts, if we were a forgiving person.

And anger is ok, IF it is something that angers God. (murder, evil, etc) We are angry that an innocent one was killed or hurt.

We are not to sin in our anger towards another person (cuss, name calling, hurting feelings, wishing them harm) We can talk to the person, and tell them why we think the way they acted was wrong and hurtful to others, but then we are to let it go and not hold a grudge. We are to have no grudges against anyone, ever, if we are to walk in obedience to Christ. It's a big order, and a tough order, but that's what He said. And it frees us to love more, and look inside ourselves at our own behavior, and walk each day with a goal to never hurt another person with our actions or words.

The hard truth is if we don't forgive others, period, He won't forgive us our sins when we ask. He loves us all equally. No one is more important than another. I believe God tests us too. That one person you won't forgive will come to you one day and ask for help.

There's a story in the Bible about the banker guy. Every seven years debt was forgiven, to everyone. His debt was forgiven, yet he ran to the guy who owed him money, and demanded the guy pay up. God was not pleased. It's a good story.
 

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So much of who we are today is based on who we have thought ourselves to be in the past. Many many (most?) times we are incorrect in such thinking - that person isn't who we are it's our fears getting the better of us. And being creatures of habit it is difficult to not think about yesterday and how it relates to who we are today.

Perhaps you could attempt to spend more time thinking about today and what you hope for tomorrow. Day ream about the person you would most like to be. Picture yourself being that person. Get a feel for it in your thoughts. That and constantly reminding yourself that YOU can be that person. Instead of listening to the thoughts that tell you can't etc. ask yourself what the person you would most like to be likely do - and do that instead.

Everytime you have a thought that makes you feel bad and you act on it you give this thought strength. The same thing with everytime you have a thought that makes you feel good - act on it and it will become strong. The trick is to focus on the good thoughts.

You are not the child that was abused, you are not that person that someone else took advantage of - you are an adult you has learned from her past and from this day forward shall be a stronger person, happier person.

As Melissa pointed out, the only person you can truly change is yourself.

Forgiveness is not really for the other person, it's the bandaid you put on your own hurt so that it can begin to heal. Do it for you, you are more then worthy.

Hugs,
Marlene
 

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You said allot of good things, Marlene. I too, don't like to see people struggling each and every day for something that happened to them years ago. Today is brand new. Get up, get your chores done, do something good for someone, and be thankful for all you have. (don't think about what you don't have) The things that are done, are done. We just gotta go on.

Like the story of the black dog & white dog. The black dog is negative thoughts, anger, anger, anger, bad feelings, jealousy, resentment, etc. The white dog is the good in us - love, forgiveness, kindness, patience, mercy, charity, clean talk, etc. Those 2 dogs are always fighting inside of us, always battling against each other. Whichever dog we choose to feed the most will take over. It becomes stronger than the other. And the one we don't feed becomes weaker. A dog that is well fed will whoop a dog who is weak and hungry. We choose which dog we feed each day. There will always be that battle inside of us, it won't ever stop, but we do have choices.

My husband and I watch Disney movies all the time. Funny, wholesome, great movies. Yes, we are both over 45, no kids in the house. We don't watch any bad movies or shows, none. Never have. We love to laugh and smile. Our latest rage is High School Musical....yep. Makes us feel good, makes us sing and dance! Reba, Still Standing, Raymond, make us laugh together. Laughter will cure just about anything. We do watch CNN in the mornings, but then in the evenings, it's only shows that are funny, or neat, like Trick my Truck.

I don't think this is too off-topic, because we choose how we feel each day. Happy or sad. Be happy as much as you can, it's better for ya..... :)
 

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Speaking as someone with a difficult past, I'll say forgiveness is possible, but for me at least. It can take months to years. It's hard to separate things, to realize that forgiveness is not saying 'oh, it's okay, I realize you did xyz because... Rather, it's about releasing anger and moving on. Forgiveness also does not mean you have to be sweet to whoever it is, to continue to interact, etc. You don't want to set yourself up to be hurt anew, and if that person is toxic, it is perfectly sensible to forgive and at the same time to want nothing to do with the abuser.
 
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