A Letter to Myself
Updated: Feb 5, 2020
Just stop it. Stop rehearsing the past. Stop rehearsing your pain. Stop replaying conversations in your head of things that people have said or done that have been hurtful. Some of them tried to hurt you, but most of them didn’t. They said and did hurtful things because they’re hurt – they’re wounded.
And even those who were aware of every conniving thing they did and every word they used like a knife in your chest to hurt you – yeah, even those ones - they’re hurt individuals too. Like Christ said, they know not what they do. They really don’t, because if they realized how they were hurting them own selves by hurting you they wouldn’t do it. So, have pity, not hatred.
They’re just either not aware how to get better and stop hurting people or they’ve allowed their own wounds to so infect themselves that they no longer look for healing, and have allowed the pain to engulf them and take over their souls.
This is why you must forgive. This is why you must pray for your enemies.
Why? Why must I pray for those who have hurt me?
So, you don’t become them. If you don’t release this hurt you will hurt others inadvertently out of your own pain. So, let it go. And let it go quickly. Immediately. Every single time you must release it. Lord, cleanse my soul of every offense that tries to hide and linger in hidden places.
I don’t want to be a victim. Victims are never victorious. Victims never inspire. Victims never overcome. They only nurse and rehearse every pain, every offense, every hurt, every injustice…repeating the same sorry story over and over again to anyone who will listen until they wear out the ears of those who’ve heard the story so many times they can’t stand to hear it again. It’s like screeching chalk on a chalkboard. No…stop it.
No, I don’t want to be her – embittered in soul, crying myself to sleep. Yes, I’ve had many of those nights – crying from knives I’ve taken in the back by those I’ve trusted. Yes, I’ve been abandoned by those I was loyal to. Yes, I’ve been misjudged and misunderstood. Yes, I’ve been lied on. Yes, I’ve had my heart ripped out by giving my love to someone who didn’t give it back. Yes, I’ve been disappointed by hopes and dreams that have yet to be fulfilled, and at times have felt dead. Yes, I’ve had to grieve these deaths many times over.
Grieving lost friends. Grieving lost relationships. Grieving unmet expectations. Grieving many deaths that had no bodies to bury, but yet grieving the deaths of many things.
But I will no longer give these things power over me. I have to stop giving life to them. They’re dead. It’s time to bury these things. Say your goodbyes. Hurt, pain – you have no power over me. You have to go. Leave now. Tears may still come and that is a reminder that I am human and I have a heart and still care, but you won’t own me anymore. You won’t dictate what I do, who I’ll love, how I’ll give and how many times I will forgive.
No matter how many times others hurt me or misunderstand me I will love them, pray for them and release them. They owe me no apology. They owe me no recompense. They owe me no acceptance or acknowledgement of their wrongdoing. Would it be nice? Sure, but it’s not necessary and I don’t say that flippantly. I say it so that I can be released from this mental prison that has had me captive of disappointment for so long. I may smile and say all the right things to encourage others on the outside, but inside I’ve been tormented by unrelenting thoughts of….again?
Do I really have to go through this again? How much longer? Why, Lord?
Always bracing and waiting for the next kick in the gut. Waiting for the next person I’ve allowed inside this close inner space to hurt me. The first instinct when I suspect the pain, is to run. Leave them alone it tells me. And sometimes I should leave some people alone, but not everybody who hurts me should I run from.
And so I’ve allowed all of these disappointments to build upon one another like bricks. They’ve built a house – a house of disappointment. With each brick it built a wall between me and hope.
Am I being too hard on myself? Some would say yes, but I say no because disappointment that isn’t dealt with is like leaving just one or two rats or cockroaches. They multiply until the entire house is infested and taken over by rodents and vermins. They don’t just go away. They must be forced out. And where you find one you will find more.
So, I must hunt them down and annihilate every last one that is hiding in darkened places because my house will not be overtaken by them. Something beautiful and valuable lives here and I must protect it, cherish and honor it. And what is that you say? Why, that is purpose for which I was created.
I don’t know why other people were created. I can’t speak on behalf of them. I can only speak about my own life and why I am here, and I was created for greatness, and lately, I’ve let myself down in a lot of ways. I’ve been living below my potential. I’m sorry. We’re going to do better. I promise.
Today, I make a promise to myself that when disappointments come – because they are guaranteed to come, (In fact, just because I decided to write this there’s probably one coming today) but let’s make a promise that when you fall, and that will happen too, that you stop staying down so long. Yes, we’ve always gotten up, but here lately you’ve been staying down there way too long. And it has cost you time – time that you can never get back. You deserve better than this. So do your children. So do your friends. So does your community and the people you’re called to help.
The only thing standing in my way – it’s not people who are against me or didn’t help me. It’s not God. It’s not satan. It’s me. Because God is not against me. He’s for me. And if God is for me who can be against me?
Yes, you could have done more. You could have done better, but it’s okay. I forgive you. I release you too from all condemnation and shame.
Let’s just make an agreement that it starts today. Change starts now.
So, today I lend you my hand – here it is. I’m reaching it out to you. Get up. You were never meant to live down there. It’s time to hope again. It’s time to dream again. It’s time to love again. It’s time to fight for those things you believe in.
It’s time to be everything you were created to be. Here’s your wings and your cape. Let’s fly.