Monday, January 18, 2010

Unburdening, letting go, and moving on

I had a really long talk with God yesterday morning about letting some of my walls and defenses down. I am thin-skinned – I admit it and I’ve struggled my whole life with it. I prefer to think of it as wearing my heart on my sleeve, but a true translation is probably that I get my feelings hurt easily. {sigh} I don’t know why that is the case, but it’s there.

I have many “hurts” that satan continues to throw up into my face, even when I think (and believe) that I have forgiven and moved on. Understandably, you can’t forget that an action took place, as there’s no way to undo something that has happened. But, we should be able to forget the pain that the action caused and therein lays my problem. Even perceived pain should be cast aside if we’ve forgiven the action. I can be enjoying something totally that has no bearing on the past and, suddenly, out of the clear I get this remembrance of an insult, a slight, or an actual event that “hurt.” It is time to let go and unburden myself of these things.

In that respect, I’ve taken some steps to clear the air with a few people. Part of the cloudy air between us is my fault, part their fault, part perceived fault, and partly the fault of others we were in contact with. I’ve extended the olive branch and asked forgiveness where I have either said something or did something that offended them and accepted my part in our troubled relationship. I can only wait to see if they accept and acknowledge how each side could have made tenuous relationships better.

Just to show you how the devil can use little things to plant seeds of doubt and mistrust in your mind…. In one instance, I paid for someone to attend a conference and did so anonymously. Later, when I asked around, including this person, about sharing a room (4 ladies to a room or you could pay to have one by yourself), they all said they had someone to share with. A couple of people only had one other person in their room so there was room for me, but the offer was not extended. I could not afford to pay for this person’s ticket – and to pay for myself to reserve my own room – so I did not get to go. None of the people I approached about sharing a room thought to ask me if “I” had someone to share with and/or if it meant the difference between me attending or not. In addition, none of them asked after the fact why I hadn’t been there or indicated that my presence was missed. The devil has used this against me for years to keep me from allowing myself to get close to people or allowing them to get close to me. I MUST keep the walls in place for self-preservation.

In another instance, I approached a lady who is near to my own age and indicated that I was very shy and didn’t have many friends in the area. I acknowledged that I’d really like to have some “girl” friends but none of my family or friends lived in this state. I outright asked her if she would help me to develop friendships, including one with her. Nothing ever came of it. I never asked again. I decided that I must not be friend material to her and her friends.

In another instance, I was encouraged to invest time into someone and share what was on my mind. I really hesitated on whether or not I was willing to do this. I don’t open up very easily to anyone. I think that is something that my dad taught me – keep it to yourself because no one really wants to hear it. I loved my dad but he really did plant a lot of the low self-esteem issues in my psyche. He didn’t mean to – I just think it was because of my own molecular makeup that his comments and actions affected me the way in which they did. Anyway, once I opened up – I got nothing in return. I tossed that around a bit and tried to decide – should I have not opened up, should I, or what. I decided (after much deliberation) that I think I shocked this individual with what I had to say and that this person didn’t quite know how to take me. LOL – take me with a grain of salt! Most of what I have to say I try to say very matter-of-factly and not with malice or discontent. I mostly succeed in not having a pity-party. Sometimes I fail. I might have failed that time in making my voice sound matter-of-fact. I don’t know. I let it bother me for a while but this was one instance in which the devil failed in his attempt to say, “See… so-and-so doesn’t like you either.” Maybe it’s true – and maybe it’s not. I don’t know for sure and I probably never will.

So, God is working on me to help me let go of the past. I know that I cannot go forward and expect God’s blessings if I don’t forgive, forget, and bless others. I’ll still make mistakes. I’ll still fall short. I’ll still make some people mad. All I can say is – please forgive me in advance for my stupidity. May God bless you and as He blesses you, He will also bless me.


Rae said...

This post sounds like I wrote it. I truly understand what you have written. I deal with similar issues from my past also. Forgiving is certainly easier than the forgetting.
You sound like an excellent friend to have. Too bad we don't live closer. I would accept your offer for friendship anytime.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

Thanks! That would be fantastic. I think a bunch of us Internet pals should have a trip to some central location - like Kathy's Kampground! LOL!

Pat said...

First of all, I think you are being too hard on yourself.

Secondly, it takes a friend to be a friend. When you mentioned to that woman about not having friends and suggested being friends, then never heard from her again, you could call her and ask her to do something with you. Maybe she's shy.

Being mad at someone or not forgiving someone takes up so much energy. If you can't forgive that person, then get them out of your life so don't waste energy or have stress in your life because of them.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

Very true on everything you said. LOL - the lady I approached was far from shy though. If anything, she was probably too busy with other obligations, but my mind at the time couldn't even see any reason except that she had no interest in being a friend.

There were many things I did wrong in those days, many things I had to seek forgiveness for. I'm happy to say that I've heard from all but two of the people that I needed to clear the air with and I'm very happy with the results.