Less than a year ago, I received a box from a family member.  I was told it was a present from a loved one that passed away. To be completely transparent, I didn’t receive it with an open heart or a sense of gratitude.  Due to unresolved trauma, I received this box with hesitation nervous about the strings that would be attached. Emotional abuse is sneaky, it can appear genuine but can be more damaging than physical abuse. I am always on guard for emotional abuse.  This box has sat on a piano bench since the day that it was given.  Today, I opened it. The Lord woke me up at 4 am this morning; I could not fall back asleep. I thought my assignment was to clean the house, so I did.  I put up my Christmas tree, yet still, my spirit was restless. My attention was drawn to this box. I sat down and slowly opened the blue and yellow box decorated with lemons.  The lemon zest immediately struck my nose as the lid was removed.   My teary eyes fell on the bright yellow journal titled Journal with Joy.  I had seen it before, but I didn’t open the plastic. Slowly, I removed the packaging that protected the journal. Mentally, I braced myself for a potential message from my loved one, or maybe something to take away my doubts about the authenticity of our love but there was nothing handwritten. There was a  satin yellow ribbon bookmark that turned to a page. At first, I did not notice the writing prompt on the page, but when the words “forgive those who have hurt you, immediately tears began to fall. The person that I am missing is my mother and I could hear her voice saying “Nee” (only she called me Nee) “Nee it doesn’t matter forgive them.” At her funeral, the minister got direct instructions, from her, to talk about forgiveness. This is a tough assignment for me because in the past I thought forgiveness meant that I had to let someone back into my inner circle and disturb my peace when I forgave them. However, situations, maturity, and time have opened my eyes to understand that forgiveness is not for them but me. Forgiveness does not require me to forget, but it allows me to let go of the trauma that comes when you hold in the hurt from the situation. There are so many things that I would consider unfinished business but it is also business that I can not get the closure that I want because my loved ones are gone. 

As you move through this holiday season and begin a new year,  I invite you to join me in authentically letting go and forgiving those who have hurt you. Whether they are still living or have transitioned on. This will not be an easy journey, nor will it be instant. This process will require you, to allow yourself to feel the emotions and be ok with letting go without the answers you are seeking. However, going through this process will allow room for blessings coming your way, improve your emotional wellness and allow you to begin to experience life again with wisdom but not baggage.  Will you join me in 2022, forgiveness is for you. 

About the Author: 

Denise Williams is the founder of Be ReZilient, Healing Through The Arts. No matter who she serves, Denise believes it is essential to open the door of communication through trust, empathy, and compassion—meeting people where they are and allowing them to be unapologetically themselves. Her education includes an MS in Human Services (Lincoln Univerity), MA in Leadership and Accountability (Cappella University), Certified Life Coach (Life Purpose Insitute), Certified Therapeutic Art Coach (Transformation Institute). She founded her non-profit, Be ReZilient, Healing Through The Arts, in 2019.

Be ReZilient,  strives to help people move from trauma to healing through workshops, coaching, and wellness products. through creative arts wellness methodology and aromatherapy. Be Rezilient has a holistic approach to help the clients and communities in which it serves.

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