Recently divorced, feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and what seemed to be an endless pain seeking every worldly distraction to numb the hurt, with every book to read and every sermon to listen to…not one offered me the fix I was seeking yet they all had the right answers… the guidance was spot on and the sermons in perfect time but I just couldn’t execute what needed to be done. It was easier to numb the pain one martini after another than it was to say the three simple words I knew had to be said.
My entire life I’d been a quick study, able to achieve whatever it was I committed to and I think in that was the very curse of my own existence because in order to say these three simple words they had to have meaning, substance, and it had to come from the heart…a genuineness that would guaranty its very success. Well remember when I said “recently divorced”, recent has a lot of meanings and timelines to many people and to me it was part of how I lied to myself to justify my actions. The honest truth was that there was no such truth in the word recent, I was divorced over five years now and my former love of my life and best friend remarried. The little white lie in the word recent was just one of many I told myself to hide from what had become the greatest fear of my life…These three words I had to say.
My life had become paralyzed my emotions uncertain what was real and what was an illusion and my heart had become closed off, guarded, hardened and black. Growing up I had learned the usual things a young man does in one’s emotional journey but the one I needed now wasn’t in my tool box. The head way I’d come to day in and day out had begun to kill me inside like a disease. For how do I forgive myself? How do I say those three simple words Josh “I forgive you”.
No one ever taught me how to forgive myself, how to give myself permission to move on, to give myself permission to live again. If you have ever felt alone, scared, depressed, angry, crushed, confused, bitter, sad, or out of time then you have an idea of how I entered this 4 day program… Shattered and Broken. Shattered and Broken is no way to live yet in our DNA we find its program enough survival based to operate on. I came to this class utterly terrified…I wasn’t leaving without radical transformation. Oh I did my best to hide, pretend I wasn’t interested in being there, tried to be fun and funny and outgoing, witty and charming, I tried to make it seem as If I was doing a study to see if this was the program for me. Haaa, I was only lying to myself.
The eyes are the window to the soul and this my dear friend we just can’t hide. The truth was I was awaiting someone to give me permission to let go, permission to be free, to lay it all out there and to leave it all behind and in that room to no longer haunt my every thought… I just didn’t know how. I did the exercises, I acted like everything was cool, I played it off like hey no big deal. Well… when your soul wants to be set free it only needs to be given permission to, it doesn’t require the worldly strength we usually rely on. I will never forget that day, I poured my heart out, I cried and I cried in front of a group of strangers that had become an inner circle of strength and support like an emotional board of directors yet they knew that my three words were the only ones that could stand the waves of life ahead. Permission Granted, I uttered softly over tears…”I forgive you” I said to myself…there was a freedom in that moment it illuminated my heart, spirit and soul like a child and the weight lifted…along with over five years of heavy pain and sadness.
Today I am free, hopeful, compassionate and have plenty of time and great life ahead of me. I’ve been given opportunity after opportunity to speak light and life into others lives who were hurting just like I was. I’m not any stronger than you, I can’t endure more than another but I can tell you this…I made it, did you catch that…I made it…I survived, I conquered, and above all I am free to share with you today that if you follow the process there is Hope. There is Light. There is Love. There is freedom. I used to think the light at the end of the tunnel was a Train…it’s not…it’s a Sunrise and it’s really really bright when you are used to living in the dark for so long. Whoever you are where ever you are at in your journey if you are like me and over analyze everything and struggle with opening up and trusting others…these people are legit. My victory is real. My life restored. My heart healed and my soul set free. Above all I give you permission to live. It’s time for you to do the same. Its time!
By His Grace, For His Glory – Joshua