let's stop wasting our energy

It's remarkable what can happen when I just let go.

I tend to hold very tightly to the ways people have hurt me. Every word and action becomes a piece of evidence in my case against them. After years of doing this I was weighed down by so much evidence that I couldn't even take a step forward. I spent so much time and energy preparing to prove how in the wrong everyone else was that it was all I could see. I lost sight of all the good stuff, all the great stuff. One day at a time, one small offense at a time, the people in my life had been reduced to emotional inconveniences. I'd lost the clarity to find joy in the happy times, because I was too busy tensing up in preparation for the next fight.

I finally realized I was at a crossroads. I could lose myself to the anger and bitterness, or I could let it go. That would mean letting everyone off the hook, but what was surprisingly more difficult was letting myself off the hook. For so long I'd been worried that if I didn't make someone see and regret exactly how they'd hurt me, then it would be like it didn't matter. If I was going to move on then I had to let go of that lie.

It came down to was deciding what has more important. Did I want to live with only my (maybe) righteous anger to keep me company? Or did I want a life marked by joy, grace, and love? Was it so important to me to be right that I was willing to give up everything else? When I was being rational I knew the answer was no. So I began to let go. Those moments I could have assigned subliminal meaning to based on the past, I instead took at face value.

I still struggle with it. It's hard to live in this moment, to breath deep and loosen my death grip on the past. But I've learned something important: not everyone is out to hurt me. People are just doing the best they can. Sometimes they trip up, just like me. I mess up all the time, and I always hope that people are gracious. I hope that they will see past my mistake and understand my heart.I pray that my lowest points don't define who I am in their eyes, and now I pray for that same grace to offer them.

Let's pray for the compassion to see others' mistakes as just that, and to believe the very best in them. Let's let go off our need to be right and use that energy to love well and instead.

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