love and forgiveness

When Love and Forgiveness Collide

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Love and Forgiveness

My love is based on the idea that all people are lovable, if you allow yourself to see it. This is unconditional, this is the way I believe God intends for us to love one another. There are no regrets that I have from living with this perspective of love. Forgiveness is an added bonus that is a non negotiable.

Love is having expectations and conversing when those expectations have not been met. You discuss what could be done to make things better – through compromise, changed behavior, or simply an apology. Your boundaries will be crossed unless you speak up about your expectations. This isn’t easy, trust me I know. Truthfully, I’m guilty of stirring away from having the hard conversation or lying just to avoid making things awkward sometimes. 

The Impact

It can be costly to have a big heart and believe in unconditional love and boundless forgiveness. When I am disappointed with someone, instead of focusing on what they did I tend to think about what their rationale was behind that behavior. For example, when I am driving I have gotten better at not lashing out at other cars. I mean, when I do it it’s genuinely an accident, so couldn’t that be the case for this stranger as well. And listen, even if it wasn’t an accident getting upset solves nothing. This reframe gets me over the issue and back into a positive frame of mind quickly. 

Similarly, say my friend doesn’t hear me out when I need them to. Instead of focusing on my need for companionship at the time I tend to think about where their headspace may have been in that moment. If they aren’t emotionally available to help, that could limit their ability to extend comfort to me since their main focus is on themselves. While this makes perfect sense it can also leave a gap for me and my needs.

Where love and forgiveness collide. Have you felt like you aren't getting what you're getting? You are not alone! How do you love? How are you being loved?

Where do you draw the line

No one should have to constantly put their feelings to the side to rationalize why their needs are not being met. I do this too often, and it honestly speaks volumes to who I am and what I allow. While I hold others accountable for needing to be more aware of how they treat people, I am also responsible for speaking up and advocating for myself. The difficulty I have with this fact is that putting others above myself is scriptural, it’s ingrained in me (Philippians 2: 3-4). Balancing how much I allow myself to come second is the point in which I fall short. Improving this balance is a lifetime goal for me. It is a current work in progress. 

Anyone has the opportunity to to experience love and forgiveness from me. They also have the opportunity to be welcomed back into my life. But those two situations are not synonymous. I can forgive without rebuilding a relationship that has been scorned. I can also forgive and reconnect any relationship that has severed ties. Cutting someone out of my life for good seems harsh. So I built the boundary of needing to have “the hard conversation” before they can cross the welcome mat into the doors of my world.

The conversation of “why did we fall off” “what did I do that made you behave that way” “why did you (xyz)” rarely happens, which is why relationships go unrepaired. There are some who believe that these conversations should not happen – once you screw them over it’s done. Dealing with people in that manner would be much easier on me, but that’s just not how my heart and mind operate.

Love and Forgiveness Personified

It truly saddens me that Beyoncé, the queen, has this love story that surrounds a level of forgiveness that should not have to exist. Having your spouse cheat and taking them back, whether a child is conceived or not, is one thing that too many people of all genders experience. 

Without passing any judgement to the many people who forgive and continue building a relationship with their partners, I say this with love – this common experience not only hurts, it also brings me much fear. The fear is that my willingness to love and forgive will make their story my own. So yes, I have work to do in my own heart and mind to make sure I know that whatever life I choose it does not devalue me. This same grace goes to anyone else whose story reflects the hardships of the Knowles-Carter family.

Forgiveness comes at a price, and that price is never holding a grudge. Everyone’s forgiveness looks different and that’s the beauty of it all. I wrote this blog to highlight the fact that no ones story is perfectly mirrored, but love is the common ground that holds us all together. Some people I encounter don’t agree with my life philosophy, but I believe “people need people.” Relationships we build make us better humans altogether.

Cheers to the growth

My love and forgiveness is all consuming and unconditional because I see the beauty when it works. And I don’t want to miss a moment of it. The one thing that keeps me from hating anyone that has wronged me is knowing that they have people that love them. So they are worthy of love as well. This is not me trying to convince anyone to take up a new way to love and live. But I am challenging you to break down your own way of loving and see what you may find out about yourself. Enjoy the journey, and share your stories with others. You’ll be surprised just how relatable your life may be. 

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