I went on an apology spree because this part of the Lord’s Prayer had backfired, “Forgive us of our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. I realized I had unhealthily been blocking myself from moving on by holding grudges. I remember leaving my friendship with my best friend from high school in shambles. I just sat in the pain until it calcified…for 18 years. By then, I had already been let down and thrown away so much that the fact I didn’t make it last with my best friend was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Why bother? I was just a high school friend, and high school was over right? I had a habit of doing this because I held the belief until recently that unless I was seen as important or valuable to someone, I wouldn’t be able to settle conflict and move on from it. I kept looking to others for my price tag. How valuable am I? What am I worth? No matter what, I always saw $0. Letting other humans determine my worth has been my downfall for years. If I determined I wasn’t valuable to the other person, those were the two choices I picked from. I may have spoken up, but by the time I did, I was a volcano of anger, or an open wound of pain. I sucked it up and acted like it never happened, or walked away. Sucking up past problems builds resentment, and resentment is dangerous. I didn’t think I was worth the conflict resolution in my family or friends eyes. I developed defense mechanisms that shut my soul up in a concrete fortress. I kept looking outward for gratification, instead of working on my own skeletons. I realized I had been a hypocrite, and couldn’t be upset at someone not forgiving me when that is what I had did for years. I hadn’t learned the art of maintaining boundaries with people I loved. I hadn’t learned to value myself first and foremost. When I left it to everybody else, the price kept changing. I know what God says about me, but I turned away from Him too. I thought, “Well if that was the case, if I’m so “fearfully and wonderfully made”, why did my father leave? Why did I put my hand through that window? Where were you?” I was either on or off, hot or cold. That is no way to live. I am free to forgive others, and I am free to forgive myself. I had been holding so much in, that my blood pressure shot up last year. I just swallowed the pain like I’d been trained to do. My old habits and ways have been survival tactics that wrecked havoc on my life. I don’t have to be afraid anymore. I am free to be me. Me, without all of my fears. I have to let all of the pain go. I am giving myself permission to move forward. I have to drop offenses as soon as they happen, because I cannot carry a hardened heart. It’s okay now. I am allowed to breathe. I have to take out the garbage and declutter my mind multiple times throughout the day, not just once every ten years.