- A person I care about makes what I perceive to be indirect, hurtful, angry comments from their public position of power. I have shared my concerns with them to no avail.
- Years ago, Patrick and I were in a situation where a company lied to us in an attempt to take our money.
The following “conversations” emerged within me after I woke from a dream regarding the first situation. I quickly realized that I still harbored unforgiveness towards both situations. The following is a transcription of those “conversations.”
Conversation on “Person in Power”
Me: His intention is to shame me or whoever he feels anger towards. This is okay?
Spirit: You are impacted by his words because you hold shame that existed before you encountered him. Deal with your shame and his intention will not matter. Only God truly knows what is in a person’s heart and how it got there. Maybe his intention is to vent his anger, transform his audience or hide personal fear. Maybe as a child he learned it was safest to express his emotions indirectly. From your perspective the bounds of “maybe’s” are endless and when you attempt to discern a person’s heart through your pain, you tell a narrow story of judgment often fueled by anger, bitterness, and fear.
But let’s say you’re right and he intends to shame; for your purposes it does not matter. His intention is ultimately about him and his path (as is your intention about you and yours). What matters is your primary emotion, your shame. Deal with that and notice that the intention of another only matters in so far as it gets you in touch with the pain that you have buried but need and want so desperately to heal.
Conversation on “Company of Liars and Thieves”
Me: But what about those who do seek to manipulate? Those specifically trained to take power away from others by backing them into corners and taking what is not theirs?
Spirit: Understand that is still a story you have developed for yourself. But even if that is the case--
In those situations, more than ever, you must remember that it is not personal, it is not about you. A corporation that seeks to manipulate is designed and led by those who feel it necessary to manipulate to survive or get what they want. They do not understand the law of divine abundance. They act from fear and pain.
In those moments, when you feel stuck and cannot get past the “intentional” manipulation, this is where grace enters. Gratefulness and grace.
Conversation on Power and Grace
Spirit: How did you feel in the “Company of Liars and Thieves” situation?
Me: Powerless and helpless.
Spirit: Was this true? Were you truly powerless and helpless, or is this how you felt?
Me: I felt powerless.
Spirit: In what ways did you have power? Help?
Me: Patrick was with me. I was able to stand my ground, and I ultimately got my money back.
Spirit: So is there anything for which you can be grateful?
Me: Yes! I ultimately got what I wanted, but it was such a hurtful process. I didn’t see it coming like I should have.
Spirit: Ahhhh, and this is where the need for grace enters. How do you feel towards yourself? What feelings do you hold against yourself?
Me: Stupid, stupid, stupid…should’ve seen it coming!
Spirit: Attempt to grant yourself grace; the grace available to you, allow it to flow through you. Trust that you did the best you could in the moment with the knowledge you had at that time. No one chooses to feel helpless or be manipulated in ways that they later regret. Regret is a hindsight emotion and thus it lacks grace. It assumes you could have/should have known thoughts, emotions, beliefs, intentions and motivations that you clearly lacked access to for whatever reason. Regret is what forms when you attempt to learn life’s lessons not with grace but with judgment. You are Loved, not judged. God’s grace abounds for and within you.
My Carousel of Judgment
I see how my lack of self-forgiveness was the impetus of my unforgiveness towards others. Shame and self-criticism fueled my judgments towards the “Person in Power” and “Company of Liars and Thieves.” I judged myself for not learning, seeing, or knowing and then attempted to protect myself from the pain of my regret by heaping hot coals of anger on their heads. Unfortunately, this immediate attempt to soothe my pain through judgment rather than healing, placed me in a habitual spin of secondary emotions-- anger, bitterness, and resentment.
How do I get off this thing?!
When we hold unforgiveness, we willingly hop on the Carousel of Judgment, give the emotional and/or physical controls to those we judge, and consider ourselves powerless. To take back our power we can take small steps:
- Without judgment, we can focus on and heal our primary emotions (e.g. hurt, fear, shame).
- We can allow ourselves to recognize the grace available to us. We did what we could with what we had in the moment.
- I once read, “Hindsight is ‘what was I thinking?' and Kindsight is ‘what was I learning?’” When stuck, we can find those nuggets of gratefulness, practice Kindsight, and thank God for the lessons.
- Always remember: Forgiveness is not about letting go of what happened to us. It’s about healing what’s happening within us.
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