If you have ever ventured onto my Facebook page, I sometimes share a status update or two from Bishop TD Jakes. He’s a preacher for the Potter’s House here in Dallas, TX which is a non-denominational Christian church that serves all the communities in Dallas-Fort Worth from the homeless, the incarcerated to the up and coming and celebrated. Bishop TD Jakes has even been interviewed by Oprah and appeared on her network as a life counselor offering some of the most relevant advice and insight on life today.
Before I dive into his book Let it Go! I must tell you that the concept of forgiveness for as a single parent is a very difficult one. If you are also in my shoes then you will understand. I’ve noticed many single moms will go through life with a chip on their shoulder expecting another disaster to happen or another man to let them down. That is me. I blame my ex, I blame myself, I blame the world or sometimes even GOD for why such terrible and abusive men had come into my life. That’s why this book is so important to me, because it really gave me a thorough understanding of the disastrous effects that unsettled debts from the past can have on your ability to move on with life and become your greatest self. In order to understand this book, I must work it into my life experiences. Some of you may understand and some of you may not. Some of you may criticize or hope to put yourself into a position of judgment hoping this never happens to you, but we must all learn to let it go.
My path to forgiveness
It has taken me over ten years to even make headway into my own path of forgiveness. When I first moved to Dallas, TX I came here from Hawaii with a boyfriend who I loved. In the middle of our time here, we had gotten engaged and we both had great jobs. After a year, things slowly fell apart and as he got addicted to drugs and I began to feel lonely, the one thing I never thought would happen did. I ended up in infidelity. One can never truly understand the enormous amounts of guilt that I experienced and how much I could not forgive myself. Even though he had forgiven me, I felt that I did not deserve his love and so I stayed away from him. Every day I looked at him I felt guilty and I could not bring myself out of it. Infidelity is definitely something that I do not tolerate since then, mainly because the lesson in my early twenties has stayed with me to this day. Why I mention this is because this is what has kept me from forgiving myself over 12 years later. I never really got to tell him how sorry I was and he is now long gone with his own life. He has moved on and I’m pretty sure he has forgiven me, so why can’t I forgive myself?
The Wounded Warriors
The answer to that lies in a chapter 9 of Let it Go! In chapter 9, Recovery Rate, Bishop Jakes discusses that sometimes when a person experiences hurt or devastation they cannot move beyond that. I was one of them, in fact even though I had confessed my sins, I could not forgive myself. In essence it explains why I have a difficult time forgiving others. Bishop Jakes describes four types of wounded warrior: the insulator, the isolator, the inhibitor and the bully. If you have ever been hurt by your partner or spouse, your family, your friends, or your children then you will experience some of the emotions of each. Many of us can move and go back to normal but for a lot of us we cannot. An inhibitor typically doesn’t trust anyone and keeps people at a distance. In most cases, these individuals will appear to be well put together since that is the appearance they want you to believe. The isolator, will confuse solitariness for freedom. They will remain in personal dislocation and never try anything new out of fear of rejection. The inhibitor, is trapped in a perpetual state of frustration. No matter the goal or accomplishment reached, it’s never good enough. Then the bully, this person takes out their frustrations of their own guilt out on their own family or loved ones. One of the things that really hit home about the bully is that Jake’s talked about was at funeral services he presided over. For families where abuse was rampant, the bully would often be the one most hurt and grieving, an extension of the guilt they feel about themselves.
As I read this book, I realized that I was responsible for my own undoing by not forgiving MYSELF first. The importance of forgiveness is so that I can live in a state without fear of my choices and move on with my life. From a Christian perspective, Bishop Jakes talks a lot about the fact that God gives you many chances to make something right and you have many paths and opportunities to do just that. You are in a constant state of adjustment. I realized the resentment I felt for my ex husband suing me to take my daughter from me and my ex boyfriend spreading vicious lies about me and taking all of my own money was because I was too blinded by my own guilt and grief. The guilt of my first relationship, here in Dallas over ten years ago, was preventing me from realizing my full potential. This is the greatest gift that Let it Go has brought to my life. That those old pains no longer need to be nurtured and that I deserve happiness as much as anyone else. I’m not any of the evil things that my ex says about me and I’m not one to be used an abused as I have been over the past ten years by men that were less than worthy for myself and for my children. If I could ask anyone for forgiveness it would be God for seeing my worth and yet I not realizing that. For that I’m eternally sorry, I know I mean so much to you and yet I have treated myself with so much disdain and not in accordance with your teachings. Please forgive me.
In the last part of Bishop Jake’s Book he asks a question, “If you had no fear or any consequences, what would you do with your life?” I will be trying to answer this question and see where I am in six months. To learn more about Let it Go by TD Jakes check out their website.
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