Part of my grieving process was acknowledging all of my emotions and working through them. This included the “what if” game.
“What if I would have done something different?” “What if I said something different?” “What if I hadn’t filed for divorce?” “ What if ….?” “What if…?” “What if…?” This game can consume your thoughts, emotions, and create guilt. Guilt was created from the divorce, from the children’s deaths, and guilt from continuing to live.
Then add in to the “what if” thoughts, lots of anger and the “whys”? “Why did he lose control?” “Why did he kill the children?” “Why did he leave me alive?” “Why?” “Why?” “Why?” These “whys” added fuel to the fire of anger.
I had to realize that John’s actions were not mine and they were out of my control. Answers to the “whys” were also not possible. When I finally realized this, I knew I had to change my thought process.
The only way to heal and move forward is to let go of the baggage and grant forgiveness!
Forgiving John for his actions was one of the hardest things I had to do. Holding onto that anger would eventually affect my health, as well as keep me from experiencing joy again in my life.
Weekly I listen to Joel Olsteen via my phone app to hear his weekly message. A couple of weeks ago part of Joel’s message was in reference to dropping our baggage. My take away from the video was that carrying baggage serves no one. God does not want us to add guilt, anger, hatred, and wrong doings into bags and hoist them onto our backs. I think we tend to punish ourselves and stay in a negative frame of mind toting around those heavy loads. It keeps us from moving forward and experiencing all the love and joy we deserve. I believe God forgives us of our sins and wants us to release the negativity so we should learn to just let it go.
Easier said than done, I know. I read a couple of great quotes,
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi.
“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” – Tony Robbins.
I want to encourage you to find the strength to forgive. When I was trying to work through my anger toward John, I stepped back and changed my thinking. How much pain was he in? Where is his soul now? I believe that John had to answer to God and work through what he did from the Other Side. I wanted no part of the anger and hatred so I forgave him. What happened was out of my control but how I deal with it is what I can control.
Dumping the baggage – this isn’t a one and done event. Life’s hard times and negative emotions happen all too frequently. When I feel my “bag” getting heavy, I sit and work through what I am holding onto. Sometimes I write those feelings down, cry a little, then rip up the paper and throw it away. When I toss it, I let go of the baggage and start again.
I want to experience a life filled with as much love and joy as possible. So I continue to “let go of the baggage” and forgive.