If you haven’t see our recent SHL episode about Forgiveness, it’s definitely one that is worth a watch. I just re-watched it myself to write this post, and the conversation about forgiveness, healing, and letting go of things from our past is incredibly important for us all, particularly in the climate of things swirling in the popular ethos these days like #metoo.
We all have pain. We all experience wounds from other people and experiences of life. It’s the nature of being human. But how we deal with that pain? That’s the nature of being Christian.
A Christian is marked by walking the long, difficult path of forgiveness, just as Christ forgave us.
Colossians 3:12-13 says, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
So of course, this is not easy; it is an act of the mind, heart, and spirit to truly forgive. For me, my mind was the thing that kept preventing me from release. That logical part of me would jump in with justifications for why something happened or how it wasn’t intended by the other person to hurt me in that way because they didn’t know better. My left brain of rational was stomping all over my right brain’s ability to actually feel and heal.
As I mention in this episode, I was able to find new freedom in forgiveness through the help of a specific type of therapy session I went through. It’s called EMDR which stands for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing”. Basically, I had two little buzzers, one in my left hand and one in my right. They don’t hurt, they just provide a light vibration in your hands- left then right then left then right. It keeps both sides of your brain stimulated through the exercise, not letting one override the other. Click here if you want to read more about EMDR.
The therapist brought me back to some earlier memories of some unresovled areas in my life. By the end, it very much led to a classic Matt-Damon-in-Good-Will-Hunting moment where I was able to fully understand with all my mind, heart, and spirit for the first time that “It wasn’t my fault”. Don’t remember the scene? Here it is on YouTube.
I’m not trying to say it was exactly the same for me as Matt Damon’s character, or that EMDR is for everyone (I’m no doctor), but the result was significant for me. Forgiveness. Letting go. Freedom. Love and compassion. It was the last therapy session I needed, and the key to my own mental health.
However it may come, with Jesus as your source and strength, may you find the capacity to forgive that person or those people in your life who come to mind as you read this. It is as much for yourself as it is for them.