Sunday 5 August 2012

Thought Picnic: In Forgiveness I Feel Hurt Deeply

I cannot recall the collective noun he used for the 4 types of forgiveness my pastor preached about in church today but I found that I could well put myself into a muddle on this matter beyond what I have ever considered before.
He started with the fact that we had been forgiven, forgiven by God, that is and with it comes redemption, righteousness, justification, sanctification and peace. Much of what I can remember of what I have read in the Bible.
As I meditated on the words of his message on my walk to the lake in my neighbourhood, I was caught in the throes of feeling so inadequate and forlorn.
Drawing parallels with the prodigal son, there is the element of forgiveness Godward and there is that which is man-ward.
I wondered if I had been forgiven by the many I have interacted with in my lifetime, my parents, my relations, friends, colleagues and whoever else. This was not looking good, I decided not to dwell on it.
Forgiving others
Then it was the matter of forgiving others; that came with its attendant baggage, there are things I have not begun to handle of my parents, my relations, abusers, bullies, some friends, slight at indifference and the apparent lack of concern I felt others might have towards me.
That again seemed to plumb the depths of unnecessary depression, it was something I needed to let go off and stop it from taking root in my life for there was some indication of bitterness that for all intents and purposes was unhealthy and worrisome.
There is work to be done on this that I most definitely need help, much help, I must confess.
Forgiving myself
We need to forgive ourselves, he intoned, that was a really difficult one because as I did walk down to the lake, a very ugly thought crossed my mind like it did some 32 years ago. Would it not be such a great pleasure to kill myself?
All seemed dark as I seemed to gasp for air and grope about as if to grasp at something to hold onto that I posted the following tweets.
Left to myself, thoughts wander in my mind that I should never consider because I dearly want a better story than this.
Closing doors to rooms where I can't breathe and opening doors to rooms with no light, I've become a stranger in my own home.
The serenity in the distance is distant because I cannot run fast enough to walk on water, my boat is gone.
I shed my blood and I shed my tears, feeling and emotion though for a while is negative, this will pass.
I think I have not forgiven myself, I must write to expiate this melancholy.
I am the ruthless saboteur of my life may it is time to turn myself in. I laugh at my folly.
The lake with the other shore over 2km away has succumbed to the optical illusion of looking like a wall just 2m high, I can do this.
Then it dawned on me that I have to forgive myself for who I am, forgive myself for what I’ve become, forgive myself for what I have done, forgive myself for what I have not done, forgive myself for where I am, forgive myself for how I got here, forgive myself for not seeing the child in me, forgive myself for not being the man in me and forgive myself for not forgiving myself.
As I bled from the blister I had pricked I shed some tears for myself wondering about an unsure future that lay ahead of me.
Forgiving God
Which brought us to the topic of forgiving God, I have stories I have not even begun to tell for which the questions still start with why.
Time has passed and time is passing as things seem to unravel with no particular resolution in sight. Pastor said that we should reach beyond our faith to trust, we need to trust in the faithfulness of God that He is for us.
We need to get to that point where we can say regardless of what might be our circumstances we are nevertheless fully persuaded of the love of God for us and that His sovereign purpose is well beyond fulfilling needs.
But, I have grown weary in battle, I don’t know if I have strength, much less faith or I am just bluffing my way through life in the hope that all will eventually turn out right.
Never have I needed one to confide in as much as I feel I do now, a hand to hold, shoulder to find my humanity and frailty along with just a stronger assurance that it will all pass.
Forgiven, to forgive, to forgive and to forgive is a whole process of letting go of much hurt and pain exacerbated by trials and adversity. If I cannot look around for I am alone, I am left to look up and draw on sustenance that has no doubt helped me in needier times that this.
It is well with my soul.


Atoke said...

Boda Akin, this is really deep o. I pray the God of all comfort will comfort you at this time and you will come out on the other side much stronger. It is well!

zebbook said...

Uncle, may the Lord fill you with the strength and faith you need through this period. Sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Hold on Sir, the dawn of a new day beckons. It is well with your soul.

slyofili said...

Dearest Akin,

I think the hardest part is of course forgiving ourselves. Most times in life we are tougher on ourselves than we are on others. It is hard to be friends with our own selves but we can easily become friends with other human beings.

It is very difficult. I wish I could tell you that it is an easy thing to do but it is not. It perhaps will be one of the hardest things you have done in life. But...

You need to do it.

There is no other alternative. You might have to relive very painful moments and bad decisions made along the way...but...

You have to do it.

How? I am not sure how but I believe with all of my heart that this is the time to do it. Perhaps you can begin with thinking about something, just one thing that you would like to forgive yourself for? Just one thing, and it does not have to be the worst, it could be anything that you have beat yourself for over the years.

I know you can do it. It is time to reconcile with yourself, who you are in life and accept yourself as you are.

Many times in life we make decisions because we do not know better than what we are doing at that particular moment. We can live in regret or we can accept that we have made those choices and find a way to forgive ourselves for them.

Life is too short to live in regret, there is no other alternative than to forgive ourselves for our past.

Let the past be the past, Akin.

I believe in you, I am proud of you and I know that just as you have empathy for others, you can reach deep down and find  empathy for yourself.

Lots of love,

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