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In time....

For years, I grappled with supporting individuals who had hurt me too many times. It has been a challenging journey, but ultimately a rewarding one. People often ask how I could continue to stay and support—or rather, tolerate—such people. I might not have had an answer before, but now I do. Colossians 3:13

Codependency is a serious and harmful issue. For a long time, I was in denial, failing to realize that this was my exact problem and that I needed to break free from it. It took a while to recognize the codependent patterns in my life. While many associate it with addiction, it extends beyond that. Struggles with codependency can stem from unhealed childhood trauma and unresolved past issues. Often, our cultural norm is to remain silent and avoid discussing it. After many years in my relationships, I tolerated things I should have not. The older I am the less fear I have to face the giants that once tormented me.

The scripture reminds us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world. It suggests that we must actively apply the teachings of the scripture to stand firm against the forces that seek to defeat us. Ephesians 6:12

Learning and overcoming are among life's greatest challenges. However, if you allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, the transformation that ensues is beyond any reward. You will learn how to navigate interactions with individuals and handle various circumstances and situations in such a way that will bring favor upon your life.

Let me leave a few helpful tools here:

Always remember Forgiveness is a commitment to change. It takes practice. In order to move toward forgiveness, you might:

  • Recognize the value of forgiveness and how it can improve your life.

  • Identify what needs healing and who you want to forgive.

  • Write in a journal, pray or use guided meditation. Or talk with a person you've found to be wise and compassionate, such as a spiritual leader, a mental health provider, or an impartial loved one or friend.

  • Acknowledge your emotions about the harm done to you.

  • Release the control and power that the offending person and situation have had in your life.

What happens if I can't forgive someone?

Forgiveness can be hard, especially if the person who hurt you doesn't admit wrongdoing. If you find yourself stuck:

  • Practice empathy. Try seeing the situation from the other person's point of view.

  • Ask yourself about the circumstances that may have led the other person to behave in such a way. Perhaps you would have reacted similarly if you faced the same situation.

  • Reflect on times when others have forgiven you.

  • Be aware that forgiveness is a process. Even small hurts may need to be revisited and forgiven again and again.


1 of Many at Lakeshore

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