30 days of forgiveness
“Blame is simply giving away our power, power to direct and change our own lives, to someone else. When we blame someone, we have said, ‘I cannot change unless you change. I cannot forgive unless you change. I cannot love unless you change.'”
–Danny Silk, Bethel Church, Redding, CA
I must have heard, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” hundreds of times growing up. Shame and guilt were wielded like swords. I was sliced, diced and gored almost daily.
My self esteem was nonexistent. I had zero eye contact and flinched at the sound of a belt coming off. That sound still haunts me.
My father regularly ripped me to shreds. It was as if I had a bull’s eye on my back. Everyone noticed he was particularly vicious and reckless with me on a daily basis.
Mom made sure I watched Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and Sesame Street so I would hear positive, esteeming sentiments. It wasn’t until I was in fourth grade when the principal began interacting with me regularly that I finally started to get some relief.
Concerned, Mr. Crocker mentioned what he observed to my parents. Since my mother who was a mandated reporter she was obliged to get me some help. I can only recall one visit to a child psychologist.
Hurt people, hurt people
It took several years of 12-step recovery work to see what was going on. I and my siblings were the beneficiaries of dysfunctional parenting practices handed down from generation to generation.
I had no idea beatings were considered abuse. My cousins were beaten regularly so I thought it was normal. However, God had a different plan for me and my kids.
The thought of beating my children killed me. My heart broke whenever they cried. It wasn’t until I had parenting classes that I began to see where my parents got it wrong. I began to understand beatings and verbal abuse were unnecessary. They were horrible motivators that could scar them and my grandchildren for life.
The power of compassion
God chose me for a higher calling. He made me spiritually and emotionally sensitive for the express purpose of breaking the generational curse of abuse. I parent in such a way as to encourage, strengthen and love unconditionally.
Little did I know he was preparing me to forgive my parents the way I forgive my children. He has been teaching me the value of compassion. I see how it changes those around me when I practice it well.
Where there is compassion there is no shame or blame.
Points to Ponder
Who have you blamed for your lot in life? What was your part? What are you ashamed of? Why? Are you ready to ask Jesus to remove your shame? Will you ask Him now?
“You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.”–Booker T. Washington