|Photo Courtesy of Linda Jackman Photography|
According to the dictionary….. Erosion is the natural process of weathering and transport of solids (sediment, soil, rock and other particles) in the natural environment or their source and depositing them elsewhere.
Recently, I used the following analogy about erosion to draw a word picture of how our hearts can be eroded by our loved ones, specifically our family members.
Often our loved one never “intends” to hurt us. Reality is though eventually they do actually wound us. They do things over and over which causes ruts to be carved on our hearts. Rarely do we bring this up. We just react. We pull back, hurt back or just ignore both the issue and the offender. We get over it and move on, but the rut grows deeper with each hurt.
Gradually all their stuff (words/actions) washes over our heart and trickles down the eroded grooves widening them. So we hear or feel things based upon it washing over the grooves and picking up remnants of the hurts that are deposited in the troughs.
Eventually everything they say or do…is covered in baggage and offensive. The result is defensiveness which is divisive.
Watching flood ravaged areas, one sees sandbags to prevent erosion and trucks backfilling things as earth is washed away. I pondered how to fill the grooves in my heart left behind by others whose words or deeds have gradually etched my heart and wounded my spirit. People I am forced to interact with daily.
Backhoes would destroy my heart. A sandbag would squash it. Avoiding people is not an option especially when you are related to them or even live with them. How to fix it?
According the Mayo Clinic: "Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you may always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you."
Our Creator’s word says:
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.
Forgiveness is an act we do without any action on our offender’s part. It is giving up our right to revenge. It’s our choice and it would seem forgiving is heart healthy for us.
Point to Ponder:
Does the erosion of my heart affect my relationships? What can I do to heal my heart? What choices do I need to make and whom do I need to forgive?