Our yard is covered in a blanket of fresh snow.
For now, it’s clean and new, sparkly and undisturbed on this star-lit morning.
For this moment, everything underneath is hidden from view. All I see is white.
Earlier this fall, yellows and browns filled our yard.
We made a huge pile and while the kids jumped and then buried themselves deep into the leaves, I used a wheelbarrow to move the leaves to our backyard, where I dumped them over the side of our hill and into the ravine below.
As we worked to sweep the leaves away, hiding them from view, I struggled with a heap of anger and frustration in my life related to a crisis in my career.
I wanted to hold onto hurt and anger, cherish it.
I saw my anger as a security blanket, insulating me from further hurt, keeping those who disappointed me at a safe distance.
Then, and now, I understand that holding onto anger is not a healthy strategy for coping with pain in life.
Holding on to pain does not make it subside. My regret, my disappointment, my failures, my hurt, my anger, my fear: when I keep them close, they turn to poison – bitter and vile.
As fall turned to bitter cold, I let go of the anger I was holding so tightly. I offered forgiveness to others and found it for myself.
When we forgive, we do more than just throw a blanket over our hurt. We do more than cover up what is underneath. When we forgive, we strip pain of power and create a fresh start for ourselves — and others.
And: this process repeats. Disappointment, anger, pain — forgiveness. Again and again, whatever happens, I want to return to forgiveness.
The snow in my yard, so brilliant this morning, will eventually turn grimy and gray. More snow will come, or it will melt away.
For now, all I see is white.
Whatever happens, I want to return to forgiveness.
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
You captured the struggle that we all experience inside of us. May we each have that same commitment to forgive no matter what.
I would love to know the Scriptures that encourage you to come back to that place consistently.
Very nice post, and I agree with becky that you captured it. I struggle with the word ‘forgiveness’ sometimes; it’s packed with different meaning for some.
Rather than the “absolve” definition, I prefer to use the “place accountability where it belongs” definition. So more of a forego than forgive. Generally, this means no one has the right/power to make you feel anything, it is only our own reaction to it that creates the fear and anger. Shed the anger for the actions of others (that poison doesn’t belong on your shoulders to carry) and give the responsibility back to person whose actions or words created it.
Thanks again for the post (picked up via a RT by Erin Schreyer).
Thanks, Laurie and welcome to Weaving Influence.
I adore Erin and any friend of hers is a friend of mine, too.
I appreciate you sharing your perspective on this topic. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the importance of placing accountability where it belongs. We cannot forgive without recognizing the full extent of the wrong against us. It is because we realize the depth of our pain that we can choose to release it.
I hope you will return to this space and interact with us here!
It is easier to hold onto the anger as we feel like we are betraying ourselves by forgiving, almost as if to say it was alright. Forgiving frees you more than you will realize. You open your mind up to other possibilities and like you say Becky, strip the power someone else holds over you but rather empower yourself.