Recently, I had the opportunity to visit my hometown. It was my mother’s 60th birthday and I wanted to spend some time with her. I just moved to a new town (Atlanta, GA) out of obedience to God, and I wanted to love on my family for a while since it’s been a minute since I’d seen them. Little did I know of the life lessons that I was about to inherit!
But on the last day of my visit, I went to see my 96-year-old great-grandmother. What I thought would be just about 10 minutes turned into almost two hours of sitting and talking with her. In that time, my heart was saddened even more, and it really made me think about life. Here are some thoughts that I wanted to share with you:
- Harboring pain benefits no one! Click To Tweet Life lesson #1. My great-grandmother spoke candidly about how she feels all alone. No one comes to visit her (which is something she always say when I visit her). She looks at her peers and see how their grandkids visit and love on them, and she feels like she doesn’t have that with our family. Mind you, my great-grandmother has grandkids, great-grandkids and great-great-grandkids! Only a few of us actually take the time out to visit her. Why? Because, truth be told, she used to be one mean woman! She would criticize and say hurtful things. And rather than deal with that, we would avoid going around her. Which brings me to my next point.
- Avoiding the pain won’t make it go away! Click To Tweet Life lesson #2. Just because you avoid going around someone who makes you feel less than, won’t make that feeling go away. You feel less than with or without that person. So at some point, you will have to face that ugly monster. Because no matter how far you run, you can never silence that monster. You will always run around in circles until you come face to face with that pain. I am able to visit my great-grandmother because I walk in forgiveness when it comes to her. I understand that there is or was a reason for her to be so judgmental and cut throat. Because I was once judgmental and cut throat, and God forgave me. Her pain became my pain. And her healing will become mine. I was called to exude healing, which does not come without forgiveness of self and others. And no matter how hard I try, I cannot walk in that forgiveness for my family. Just as I did, they too will have to find their own way. Or live with their decision not to forgive. It is their choice.
- Living in a bubble does not make you invisible! Click To Tweet Life lesson #3. My great-grandmother was probably mean because someone or some people or life itself was mean to her. So she only reciprocated what was done to her on others. That caused others to not want to be around her, leaving her all alone in her latter days. Sitting with her, and looking into her beautiful eyes (my great-granny has the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen), all I could see was pain, disappointment and despair. For so long, she settled in those feelings. She made those feelings her comforter and that was her way of coping with the truth. I don’t really know if she acknowledged her part in that. Sometimes, the hardest pill to swallow is the fact that we reap what we sow. If you sow discord, you reap discord. If you sow hurt, you reap hurt. It’s a never ending cycle, unless you are willing to change. But best believe, those who are mature in the spirit sees you and will love you through it… maybe even love you from afar, but love you nonetheless.
- Despair leads you nowhere but to death! Click To Tweet Life lesson #4. Every visit with my great-granny, she mentions two things consistently: (1) no one visits her and (2) she’s waiting to die. It never fails. And this visit was no different. She talked about dying multiple times during this visit. Again, looking at how disappointed in life she was, and how much in despair, she settled with the thought of dying. She’s ready to go. Matter of fact, her exact words were, “I’m just sitting her waiting on the Lord to come git me.” Can you imagine how much despair she was in?? Yes, she always talk about her faith, but life has disappointed her so that she was ready to check out. She buried both her kids, her parents were gone, and even her siblings were gone. She was the only one left. Why do you think God has not taken her yet? Could it be that He’s working on her heart? Could it be that He wants her to experience a level of healing while she’s here on earth? Some of us, through our own choices, are walking around dead inside. We have settled with that level of pain, became lovers with it, and we are waiting for our physical death to come. That saddens my heart to no end!
Truth be told, I’ve been there. I attempted suicide three times because I was there. I felt alone and in despair so many times. I’ve been disappointment so many times. So many nights I cried myself to sleep only to be awakened by nightmares and panic attacks. Pain is real. Hurt is real. Heart break is real. It’s not all in my head. It’s not some disillusion. It is real!
But one day I decided that I didn’t want to live in that pain anymore. So I took the steps necessary for me to be healed. After doing it the wrong way for almost 10 years, I learned how to let it all go and heal the right way.
It is because of women and men like my great-grandmother that I do what I do: show others how to heal the right way! You don’t have to live in heartache and pain. You can heal, and it doesn’t matter how old you are. The moment you decide you are ready to let it go and learn how to heal is the very moment you begin the journey. It won’t be easy, I will never lie to you about that. But it will be worth it!
When I decided to be healed, my life got a little easier and my smile became a little brighter. Now I am on a mission to help others heal from the pain of their past. Matter of fact, I’m desperate about it! I’m determined to reach as many hurt and I possibly can with my voice, with my purpose, with my all. I feel the pain, I feel the hurt, but I believe God in all things. With His help, I will stand boldly and unapologetically in my healing just to show others that it can happen for them too.
Well, I just had to get that off my chest! I love you all with the love of God that lives fervently within me! I hope my life lessons have helped you in some way.
Together we fight, together we win, together we heal,
Founder, Jai the Author Publishing
Psst… I wanted to share some photos from my visit with my family! Look at those smiles 🙂