I live in a coastal town in Southern California. From my backyard I can see a beautiful mountain range in one direction, palm trees in a different direction, and an avocado orchard in the opposite direction. I love my backyard view!
However, when a morning fog often rolls in off the Pacific Ocean, I can no longer see beyond my backyard fence. After a few minutes my eyes won’t even look for the mountains, orchard, or trees. They instinctively focus on what is visible . . . my extremely tiny backyard.
#ForgivenessFriday aims to unleash forgiveness in people’s hearts. (Click HERE to read the beginning of this series.)
It’s as if the surrounding beauty has been completely erased. Deep down I know the beauty is still “out there” but the longer the fog lasts the more I forget. If the fog lasts for several days, I subconsciously begin to wonder if I’ll ever see my view again. The fog is especially heavy this month and is simply referred to as the “June Gloom”.
But in the moment the fog lifts, I feel as if God reassembled a majestic mountain, swaying palm trees and a fertile orchard that I can clearly see again. I usually take a deep breath and think, “Now that’s a beautiful site!”
While I carried my grudge I experienced a mental fog. I saw nothing but my pain. It’s all I talked about and I thought no one understood. I wanted to say, “If you only knew how badly I was hurt, you would feel so sorry for me.”
Forgiving seemed as far away as the mountains, orchard, and palm trees feel in a Venturan fog. Deep down I sensed the beauty of forgiveness was “out there” but the longer I was in this mental fog the more I doubted it’s existence.
Ever been there? It’s hard to fully describe isn’t it? Maybe, you’re there now.
What can you do? First, it will help to ask yourself “How did I get here?” “Why am I carrying a grudge?”
According to Dr. Fred Luskin in his book Forgive for Good, there are three components of a long-standing hurt:
1. The exaggerated taking of a personal offense
2. The blaming of the offender for how you feel
3. The creation of a grievance story
I had done all three of these things.
You can battle component one (exaggerated taking of a personal offense) with one simple exercise: Identify your specific injury. (If you haven’t done this, click HERE to identify your injury.)
Because the circumstances of your hurt are unique, you sometimes falsely believe your injury is unique. Your circumstances are unique but your injury is common.
The moment you identify your specific injury, I think you’ll feel the mental fog lift. You’ll take a deep breath and discover, “I’m no longer alone and that’s a beautiful site!”
Click HERE for PART 7 of #FridayForgiveness