Principle of (Personal) Release

Warning the following content is overwhelmingly good news. Proceed with caution.


To give this message some context for a long time I’ve had random moments where an event from the past, recent or otherwise, will just bubble up from some dark corner and come to the forefront. I would find myself reliving an embarrassing moment or dumb, hurtful statement spoken or decision made. The feelings that accompanied that experience would hit anew, fresh as if it were a ten-second old incident. It would be a very random occurrence too, doing some mindless task like washing the dishes or taking out the trash. I believe that’s evidence of undealt with baggage. Maybe it’s not, but below is an advisory antidote.


Dr Edwin Louis Cole, the late pioneer of the men movement in the USA, popularised a biblical truism which will be the basis of this, our conclusion in the Vulnerability series. 

“The sins you forgive are released, and the sins you don’t forgive are retained in your life. If you forgive, you release. By not forgiving, you retain. So simple. So profound. So divine. So true.”

I’ve known that phrase for a while. I know for a fact I haven’t applied it consistently but there has been some concerted effort on my part. One area I totally spaced out on was on the aspect of self-forgiveness. The very concept eluded me for its sheer alienness. “Forgive… myself? What drugs are you on gancho?” From that Christian worldview – where the wonderful, too-good-to-be-true news of Jesus paying the ultimate price and taking the punishment for my own wrongdoing so I can be reconciled with the Father by believing in Him – it was more than a little difficult to ingrain the idea of the wrong party being the one to also dole out forgiveness. 

“I did the wrong but I forgive you.” It sounds absolutely absurd – except it isn’t. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ve probably encountered the powerful speech tool “I am”. If not you’ll want to check it out here: Self-Esteem Building Hacks

We’ve talked about being vulnerable with others and being real. Can we take that step to be real with ourselves too?

Ok, so maybe it’s starting to make sense. Maybe I can buy into forgiving myself for foolish decisions I’ve made in the past, releasing the thing that I’ve actively tried to bury deep in my heart… but, how? How do I do that? I’ll take a leaf from a page a friend of mine shared with me just this Friday. It sounded corny. I almost didn’t do it. Almost – but it worked for me. I trust it will for you too.

The Process:

Look yourself in the mirror.

Hold your stomach.

Take a deep breath.

Then talk.

Say your name aloud, affirm that life is a journey where you make mistakes and learn from them.

Say I forgive you *insert your name here* for the bad decisions you made.

Now it’s time to stand up and walk.

And then address the thought of regret.

Whenever it jumps up again say scripture. (If you don’t know any appropriate one I would suggest looking up “verses about forgiveness and being made new”)


That’s it. You can breathe out now and walk tall and free. Thanks for reading. We’ll be jumping into habit formation on Thursday.

Image Source: Heart Shaped Lock

 

Kryptonite Tolerant

Vulnerability is akin to shedding off armour, sliding off the carapace that shrouds a soft centre or prying apart the ribcage surrounding the fragile heart. It’s potentially, devastatingly torturous and no one likes pain.

This right here encapsulates the majority of the overwhelming response to yesterday’s post ‘Pride Barrier‘. I encourage more of you to comment below as I feel your responses add so much more to the discussion.

In the previous post, we also pointed out that to form real deep and meaningful relationships that a shedding needs to occur. We need to disassemble the impenetrable aura around us to be better able to cleave to others. It’s dangerous. However, the possible results are amazing.

Imagine an environment where your authentic self is loved and accepted, where your gifts and talents are not envied but supported and perhaps even honed by those around you. Imagine crying without the fear of looking foolish, laughing as goofily as you desire knowing that you won’t be turned away. That is the beautiful alternative.

Yes, unfortunately, the people around us are human. That means they will make mistakes and be prejudiced. That means they’ll be hypocritical and exercise their free will even when it is detrimental to you, me or themselves. If we’re honest with ourselves we’ll realise we have the same tendencies, if not on the surface deep down that we may have to fight against; I for one definitely do.

Some people will say no. They will reject your true self because you’re not their cup of tea. Maybe they are a coffee person or a milkshake addict or whatever… but if you are authentic rejection will happen at some point and that’s ok.

What if… what if we embrace the rejection(s) because they will ultimately point us to where we will be accepted? If we looked at rejection and the pain that comes with it in the sphere of relationships as a signpost pointing us in another direction, could we possibly develop stronger hearts? I’m not talking about hearts sheathed in ice or hearts of stone but something akin to a muscle you’ve worked out several times, tearing those fibres and replacing them with multiple, stronger and tougher ones. Like salespeople who have come to understand that they will not make the sale every time, is it not possible for us to be able to overcome this seemingly immense hurdle, this emotional kryptonite and become (you guessed it) kryptonite tolerant? At the very least it’s something I believe is worth trying. Do you?

I’ve heard this too often, “Ayanda, I’m sick of these phoney friendships man. People don’t really care. Everyone out here is fake.”

Maybe it’s time to take a stand and start being the real people in our circles. Authentic not just as an act but as part of our identity.

I don’t want to be disingenuous any longer. I hate the fruits of it. There’s this graphic proverb that states: As a dog returns to its vomit so a fool repeats his folly. If I hate the fruit of invulnerability it only makes sense that I stop doing so. A way of looking at insanity is repeating the same thing over and over while expecting different results. (The irony is that I have an amazing topic titled ‘The Power Of Monotony’ in the pipeline.) Even though it feels insane choosing vulnerability in this instance perhaps it’s time to change.

To quote Batman in the dreadful Justice League movie as he tried to motivate a mortified Barry Allen, “Save one. Save one person.”

Similarly, when you’ve made the decision to be vulnerable, start with one person and see where it goes.

Just do it.

-Nike

Image source Batman-News