What do we need to give away to start a new beginning? What are you hanging onto that stops you from beginning again? I am not talking about things or people. I am talking about you. What are you hanging onto? Sadness? Anger? Frustration? Jealousy? Grudge carrying? Other Negativity? Sin? Think about it but be warned, “Here there be Dragons!”
Perhaps we should shed whatever is holding us back from a new beginning, from being who we really wish to be. Maybe we should let go of the negativity because we are only hurting ourselves. If we do not forgive others, it does not hurt them, only us. If someone cuts us off in traffic and we are angry and it ruins our day, who does that hurt? Our day is ruined, not the guy that cut us off, not anyone else.
God wants us to be happy. We can’t be happy if we brood or wallow in self-pity. We can’t be happy if we carry grudges or keep a strangle hold on our pain. We can’t be happy if we don’t let go of the negativity.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28–30
If you have anything you need to let go of just do it. It’s not so hard, not really. Write it down and burn it. Look at it from God’s point of view, and see how silly it is. Laugh. Cry. Scream. Run. Walk until you’ve walked it all out.
Now that will work for quick things. Like yelling helps when you smash your finger. It doesn’t work for the deep things. Those deep dark parts of you that you don’t even like to admit to yourself. The bad habits, the negative tendencies, all those things that actually make us hate ourselves. In some religious books and teachings they say “Repent!” Then they proceed to make you feel guilty and judged and then they move on like that is all there is to it. IT ISN’T! Repenting is actually the second to the last thing you do! Hear me out.
The first thing you need to do is acknowledge this dark part of yourself, what Carl Jung called, the Shadow Self. For now, just focus on one aspect of that Shadow You. Let’s say that you tend to lie. Little white lies, no big deal, no harm, nothing to do with nothing. So you’ve acknowledged that you lie, okay a lot… okay, okay, all the time, but it’s not like it hurts anybody. It hurts you. You feel guilty about it. It isolates you because lies keep people from knowing what you truly think. It hurts others, because they will uses your lying as if it is the truth. It hurts God, because He wants what is best for you. He wants you to be happy. This is usually where someone mentions sin and you feel guilty and judged, and just want to leave.
Two things. First of all, sin is an archery term meaning you didn’t get the bullseye. You shot. You missed. YOU CAN TRY AGAIN! Second of all, it is a part of you. Part of you lies. No, part of you is a Liar! Admit it. Say out loud, “I am a Liar (or whatever your vice is).” Now that you know it, take responsibility for it, own it. It is like that ugly sweater you have in your closet. You own it. You hate it. So why do you keep it? Now is the time to throw it out! The same goes with sin. Be aware of it. Know that you lie. Know when you are doing it. Don’t just go on auto pilot next time someone’s askes you what you think and you tell them what you think that they want to hear. Tell the truth. Be kind, but tell the truth. Now that you are aware of it, focus on it, so that you can purge it. Know you have the tendency, be aware of the tendency and stop yourself before you do it again.
Now, only now, can you truly repent. You know what you do, how it affects you and others. Now, you can truly, truly repent and let it all go. Go to Reconciliation, or at least pray the Act of Contrition:
“My God, I am so sorry for having hurt You by hurting myself and others. I never want to hurt you again, because I love You with all my heart, with all my soul and all my mind. I detest my “lying” and with Your help I firmly resolve never to offend You with this again. Thank You, O Lord for Your forgiveness.”
Now, comes the hardest part, accepting that forgiveness. Repenting is one thing. Accepting God’s forgiveness is another. If we truly repent, God has already forgiven us, but we have to accept it. We are no longer who we were. We are a new person. We have to thank God for his forgiveness, let go of the sadness and say, “I am Honest.”
Most certainly I tell you, all sins of the descendants of man will be forgiven, including their blasphemies with which they may blaspheme; Mark 3: 28
Even though you are forgiven for your sins, your sins will always be a part of you. This isn’t a bad thing. Because just as bad things that have happened to you and have made you who you are, so too does sin. When God forgives you, your sins, He turns the sin into a way to make you stronger.
Peace be with you.