Lately, I've been doing some deep forgiveness work on my dad. If you don't know my story, in a nutshell, my dad was a Ranger in Vietnam. He struggled with severe PTSD and alcoholism. He's a good man, but tormented by post-war illnesses.
I forgave him years ago, for all the trauma I experienced. So, I assumed this work was complete. In many ways, it had improved tremendously.
Recently, I noticed, in my self-coaching and time with the Lord, I was still getting offended easily by others. Which caused me to put internal walls up and harden my heart for hours, sometimes even an entire day.
"What's going on- I know better than to STAY angry or NOT forgive, quickly."
Thankfully, I'd finished an amazing book called, Experiencing the Father's Embrace by Jack Frost. I recommend you read this book, if you haven't.
The author addresses this exact problem- being offended easily and the need to control others which leads to unforgivness, anger, resentment, or bitterness.
As coaches, we know the POWER of awareness. We can't solve a problem we still have a blind eye to.
I was grateful for this revelation, and honestly a bit frustrated, to see that being easily offended was caused by some old wounds.
This deeper work, I'll share with you, allowed me to get specific about some old memories that have still haunted me- sometimes with out noticing in the moment.
It was hindering my ability to TRUST, feeling the need to protect and defend myself. That creates a lot of unnecessary problems in relationships. So I knew I needed to address this ASAP.
I recommend, before you do this exercise, ask the Lord to give you courage and reveal the deeper parts of your heart. There may be certain things you're blind to.
1. Wrote my dad's name on a piece of paper, then made a complete list of all the offenses- small to big.
2. Next to each offense- I wrote the emotion I felt.
3. Say a forgiveness prayer out loud, "I release you dad from all of these offenses. You owe me nothing, no debt. I choose to forgive you. I choose to feel compassion toward you. Holy Spirit come now and heal my heart, renew my mind towards him. In Jesus Name, Amen."
4. Asked the Lord to forgive me. I wrote down everything I did to him that was disrespectful, rebellious, or hurtful- to remove my offenses from my heart.
5. Renew your mind + gratitude. I wrote down scripture that reminds me of who I am in Jesus- righteous, forgiven, whole, loved, new, redeemed, and daughter of a King. Thank you Father God!
Yes, this is an extensive exercise and you'll want to set aside 30-60 min for.
Don't expect to feel motivated to do this work, but know there's more FREEDOM and LOVE on the other side. Your other relationships deserve both.
I'm always willing to do this work, so I'm less controlled by my emotions or other people. If you've noticed other people's behaviors or your own emotions are having more power over you than you want, then I recommend you prioritize this.
You are strong enough to feel this discomfort.
Lean into the Lord- His strength, comfort, and peace as you do this.
The prize is YOURS when you step out in faith.