- Written by Lucy Shaw
LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE: Dear Lucy: Things have really been mixed up for me lately. I have done some things to the people I love. I have tried to explain to them. But I just can't find the right words. They are all mad at me and I want their understanding and forgiveness. It's like I am speaking a foreign language. I'm all talked out and can't listen to them beat up on me any more.
Dear "all talked out": It really is hard sometimes to explain to yourself and others the reasons for your actions, pain or transgression. Often it seems impossible. And friends and family can be just as confused and hurt as we are. In their confusion they try to make sense of it in ways that just bring more hurt and confusion. Next thing you know, everybody is wallowing in guilt, hurt, shame and guilt.
Your situation reminds me of Job. In the thirteenth chapter, verse three, Job gives the best advice for times like this. He says, "As for me, I would speak directly to the Almighty. I want to argue my case with God himself." (New Living Translation)
Sometimes it is nearly impossible to make sense of our mess ups and even harder to forgive ourselves. And frankly, the first step to healing and moving ahead is getting clear with ourselves and with God.
So this is where Job's advice kicks in. You mentioned that you were beginning to feel as if you must be speaking a foreign language. The most important language to learn to speak is the language of Spirit. Until we learn to do this, it doesn't matter what language we use with people.
1. Have you been to the Lord about what's going on in your life? Maybe you have talked to God about this. But have you listened? Did you go into your closet of prayer and close the door. Have you spent that private time with God.
2. Tell your pain and confusion to God. Tell the truth. Only God needs to hear all of the details. It's between you and Him. The language of Spirit is personal, truthful and patient.
3. So, in the interest of patience, you learn to wait to hear from the Lord. Whatever you are going through is an opportunity to learn, to grow and to get to know God better. Tough times will either teach us to go into our closet and learn the language of Spirit or find out that things just get worse until we do.
4. Learn what it means to first argue or reason your case out with God Almighty. Until we can talk it over with God and reason it out with Him we don't need to try to explain to others.
5. When you get your peace with the Lord, you can then begin to pay attention to the many ways that He will put answers in your path. People, events, opportunities and all sorts of things will show up to direct your steps. All you have to do is pay attention! And then, lo and behold, you will know the right thing to say and do around those you love.
6. Most of all, you will learn how to better understand and forgive yourself.
7. Forgiveness is a gift we must first give to ourselves. That takes following steps 1-6. Sometimes all we are called to do is to surrender everything to God without being afraid of the consequences. We do this by believing that "it's all good." No matter how you get there, keep your eye on where your heart tells you to go.
May you learn the language of Spirit,
(For help with the feelings that get in the way of prayer and peace of mind, get Lucy's new book, "BE NOT ANXIOUS." Order it directly from her at 901-907-0260 or go to her web site www.heartworks4u.com.)