This I believe. I believe in the power of words and of love and forgiveness. Having been raised in a loving Baptist home, I was accustomed to hearing the messages of forgiveness, mercy, love, and compassion though I never truly understood what they meant. This past year I have struggled and faltered with the questions I had regarding these things. What truly is love and what truly is forgiveness? I was in a verbally abusive relationship not too many years back and having watched my father watch it occur and choose to say nothing about it caused me to lose just about all my trust in men. This summer I decided to be mean and manipulative back to them- having toyed with several of them at once. At first I felt in control but something inside me ached with the pain and knowledge that this wasn’t right. Many things brought upon this ache that summer. I did many things I told myself I would never do. Yet, something inside of me also questioned. . . why did I say I would never do those things? Were they truly my own choice? And it really came down to no. I was taught they were right and wrong things but then I questioned is that truly love? But anyways. When I came to realize this my ache went away with a lot of the things I did but the one things it always stayed for was the very thing that was harming others in the process. It eventually came to a halt when I took my full revenge on my ex-boyfriend. I led him on, let him cheat on his girlfriend with me, and then told her. I knew full well he still “loved” me regardless of the way he had treated me in the past and I used that to my advantage. But afterwards I felt horrible. I knew what I had done was not beneficial. It was not kind. It was revenge. It hurt him but it also hurt me. It consumed my mind, my time, and I didn’t care about the needs and values of others. I realized what forgiveness was in that moment and I realized what love was that moment. Love is warnings and shared experiences. Love isn’t fear or threats. Forgiveness is truly letting go resentment and not harboring bitterness. I believe in the power small words can have. . . small words such as I forgive you or will you forgive me or even I love you. I believe words are a way to present our thoughts and feelings to the world and unite us closer with each fellow human being. After that past summer I met a wonderful guy and we started dating. He has slowly been teaching me what love really is and what it entails. He has also been teaching me how to forgive and ask for forgiveness. I went back not too long ago to apologize to my ex-boyfriend. I asked for forgiveness and told him I forgive him for everything. I also am soon meeting with an old friend from 5years ago soon to talk about the past and tell him I forgive him. This understanding of what is love and what is forgiveness has also come about from my deeper and richer understanding of God and through the questions I have asked. I came to realize that what I used to think was love is not love but control. I came to see that the love reflected by my boyfriend is the love reflected to me by God. I came to realize that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial and regardless of our choices (whether they be right or wrong to the world), I am still loved by the one who calls me child.
Love is kindness, mercy, forgiveness, knowing when to let someone make their own decision, a desire to understand, honest, and patient. I believe in love and the power of it.