Forgiveness is for the Forgiver More Than for the Forgiven

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

I have had the opportunity recently to forgive some people in my life who wronged me over the years. I had forgiven them already, but I guess for them, it was necessary to ask…and in some cases, this was not the first request. In all relationships- business and personal I believe that when we part ways, even on bad terms, you should still forgive the person that you believe wronged you. It’s not so much for them as it is for you. This is your opportunity to leave the past in the past, release the weight you have been carrying around on your shoulders and in your heart, and free yourself from the venom inside that causes you to roll your eyes and suck your teeth every time you think of them.

So a few years ago I walked away from a personal relationship. I had forgiven that person for misleading me, betraying me, and mistreating me. I forgave that person for not treating me with the respect that I deserved- that I had given him. He thought money and gifts were good enough, and they would make me overlook his indiscretions in our relationship. He thought that material possessions and a ‘status’ and ‘title’ excused his behavior and treatment of me. He thought that telling me lies and misleading me were excusable offenses because he was, “a man” and “men will be men”, and some other nonsense.

He forgot he was playing games with a child of God. He also forgot my clear declaration that I shared with him, and every man before and after him…”Be honest and upfront. If you want to see other people then let’s just casually date, so we can both be free to date others” because “Once I’m through I’m through, there are no re-takes, breaks while we figure things out, or break-ups to make-ups…if you cheat I’m gone….”

But what was I thinking? Women didn’t leave him, he left them, so I was obviously delusional and way in over my head in his opinion.

It would appear that he was actually the delusional one. Once I walked away from the relationship there was no looking back, no holding on to memories and hopes for something more with him. No desire to punish him, get even, or parade around him and his friends as a reminder of what he had and lost. I was at peace. I had already moved on before I made the decision to say, “this isn’t working out.” But to have this overwhelming sense of peace and resolve it required me to forgive him, which I did.

Years have passed and it never crossed my mind that this individual would spend the time and resources to track me down to ask for forgiveness. But he did. So once again I forgave him. No emotion, no questions of why, how, and “what did I do to you to make you think I deserved this?” Instead, I calmly and rationally told him that I forgave him years ago, have no interest on rekindling flames or even being friends. I wished him well in life and said a quick prayer hoping he receives the life he has always wanted, and that it falls in line with what God believes he needs.

For him he felt he needed clarification; he needed to know how I knew he was cheating because he had been so careful; he needed to know if we could be friends (I guess he thought the first time I said “no” it was a typo), and if we could meet up from time to time. Quickly, clearly, and succinctly I explained the following…

I knew he was cheating because I pray throughout the day every day that God always reveals the truth to me and never allows me to be hidden from it or blind-sided by it; I told him that he should never attempt to mislead or battle with a ‘believer’ because no weapon formed against us shall ever prosper. I firmly yet respectfully told him again that he had no reason to contact me after that point, that if he has learned from his past and has no intention on repeating it then it’s time for him to move on and learn his next lesson.

Had I still been carrying around resentment, anger, desperation, or even a romantic-type of love for him, this moment would have been destroyed because I would have reacted and responded emotionally, and would have allowed myself to be engaged in a lengthy conversation. I would have allowed his need to feel like he closed the chapter on ‘us’ or manipulative desire to start a new one overwhelm me. Instead this dialogue lasted no more than 10 minutes (the time it took me to finish eating my sandwich, chips, and most of my drink).

Forgiving him once more was again for me.

I have learned over the years that I am quite capable of walking away, moving on, weeding out people who serve no purpose but to distract me, and doing so lovingly. My high self-esteem is an added benefit, because I know that no matter what I go through and who I go through it with, that there is always someone better out there for me; that God is there watching over me and setting things in motion where I eventfully (through obedience) afterwards end up with bigger, better, and more beautiful experiences each and every time…and this has happened after each and every ‘failed’ relationship- both in business and in my love life.

The only way to truly prepare for bigger, better, and more beautiful experiences and blessings is to unload the weight from anger, guilt, fear, and negativity. We have to drain the venom from our minds and bodies that poisons us and everyone in our path. We have to forgive those who wronged us past and present. If you haven’t done it, if you haven’t let go, release that weight and start living your life fully…today!

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Our World: Scandals, Liars, Cheats, Cons- but There is a Bright Side

By Natasha L. Foreman

I saw something a few moments ago that rattled me a bit, made me shake my head and question some things about life and about the world in which we live. It is amazing how God works through you and through others. It’s amazing how things will always be revealed to you because the truth can never be hidden for too long. I see the covers of the tabloids and magazines, I hear the news and I hear my friends share stories with me. I reflect on my past and I look closely at my today.

So today I want to share something that is near and dear to my heart because I see our world being tossed and turned by so much pain, hurt, frustration, hate and evil. I want to speak out about something I have discussed before but I feel as long as our world suffers from what I see as a mental disease it will always be an issue for discussion and concern. As long as there are young girls walking around in super-tight, revealing clothes trying to get love, attention, and affection from anyone and everyone I will scream this at the top of my lungs if needed.

I have major problems with liars and cheaters. If you ever want to lose me as a friend, girlfriend, lover, etcetera then lie and cheat on me. Over the years I’ve grown a thick layer of no-nonsense that has been treated in BS repellent, and I’m not willing to accept any person telling me lies, misleading me, or sharing only part of the truth.

Speaking of sharing, I may share food on my plate with a few people or reluctantly share a pair of shoes- but I don’t share men. I think no, scratch that, I know that with the alarming rate of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections and diseases in the world we for the most part are one “roll in the hay” away from contracting something that will take a painfully long time to get rid of or serve as a constant reminder for the rest of our lives of those few moments of passion and heavy breathing.

I am a firm believer in monogamy. If you are having “relations” with a person you claim to love then you shouldn’t be intimate on any level with another person. Let me be clear for those of you who have difficulty with defining and comprehending the word “intimacy”. I mean no kissing, petting, caressing, massaging, fondling, and tickling. I also mean no sexual contact of any sort on or near any body part or cavity. Is that clear enough?

So no, I don’t believe in having sexual relations with more than one person. If I’m with you then I’m with you, not with you today and so-and-so tomorrow. No I’m not about to kiss on several different men and hope that one of them doesn’t have herpes or some other transmittable virus, infection or disease. Let’s think about it this way…when we say, “wow the world is a small place” we should really think about that and understand that we all are truly connected on some level. So for every man I kiss or am intimate on some level with I have now been intimate with everyone he has ever been with and with every person that they have ever been with, and so on and so forth. Get my drift? That scares me.

It didn’t use to really settle in to my brain matter a long time ago, but as I got older and grew more mature I started to really think deeply about how my actions could impact not only my life but the lives of my loved ones; how by being intimate today with this one person could risk me having children in the future. I want children and I’m not going to risk not having them or risk them developing a birth defect for selfish pleasures or anything else.

Who considers the risk of birth defects in an unborn child when they are having sex? Who considers sterility when someone else is whispering sweet-nothings in their ear? Who thinks about how being intimate today could mean that 5 or 10 years from now you could be given a confirmed death sentence because you contracted a disease that was left untreated?

I do… and I believe in getting tested for all sexually transmitted diseases and infections annually (and preferably every six months). What you rolled around with 13 months ago may have done a sneak attack four months ago but it has gone undetected (especially a risk for women).

I am also a firm believer in maintaining trust in relationships. Once you lie to me I have a hard time ever believing anything that comes out of your mouth. My father always said, “once the trust is gone it’s almost impossible to regain” and that is true for any relationship. So if you lie to me about being involved only with me, monogamous in a relationship only with me, intimate on every level only with me and I find out otherwise- it’s a done deal and I’m through. I don’t care if we have been together six months or six years I can’t stand a liar, and I won’t stand or sit around being lied to!

I know this is awkward to hear and seemingly harsh, but an admitted killer is easier to be around than a liar and cheater because the killer admitted what he or she did, while the liar and cheater would rather go to their grave and burn in hell than admit that they intentionally lied and brought harm to someone else. The twisted irony would be that the killer was forgiven for their sin and the liar and cheater weren’t.

You can’t accidentally cheat on someone. You have to make the decision to step out, meet someone (or reacquaint yourself with someone), form a bond through conversation and shared interests (whatever those may be), and then you have to make the decision to kiss, cuddle, rub, dip, dive, and glide with this person knowing that later you will be returning to that one individual you claim to love.

You are willing to risk your life and your significant other’s life for a quick joy ride with someone else. That is pure evil.

With all of the cases of stalking, women purposely getting pregnant, and people intentionally sharing their infections and diseases with others- why on earth would you risk everything in the world that you have been blessed with for a moment or two of instant gratification?

Any man willing to risk my life for a few moments of lust with someone else is a man who won’t be with me.

Any man willing to invest his time in another woman when he should be spending that time nurturing his relationship with me, is a man who will see the back of my head as I walk away.

We wonder why our children are so messed up into thinking that they are sexy, “fly”, “fine” and have “swagger” when they are as young as 10 and not much older than 21, it’s because a group of 30-60 year olds are running around here like fools with too-hot-to-keep-on-pants trying to mount everything that smells good, looks good and has a pulse (and that second prerequisite doesn’t always apply).

I’m tired of the Captain-Save-A-Ho and the Ho that feels she needs saving.

I’m tired of all of the self-hate, self-loathing, low self-esteem and low self-worth. I’m tired of males and females running around thinking that their self-worth is in their wallet and between their legs instead of packed tightly in their brain and heart.

If we want to reclaim our country and our world then we need to stop thinking that we’ve been hijacked by thug terrorists and look in the mirror and acknowledge that we’ve pimped ourselves and our children- that we are the culture that has worked to destroy every fiber that makes us God-like.

These kids are emulating what they see…their moms, dads, uncles, aunts, cousins, and neighbors sneaking around telling lies, cheating and conning people. They hear our generations talk about keeping things “on the low”. We’re the ones who started the phrase, “don’t hate the player hate the game. …don’t be a player hater be a player congratulator” and because of that being a “player” has been celebrated, written about in songs, chanted and revered, and used by millions around the world- and I’m sick of it!

I may not be able to encourage people to practice monogamy and safe sex, to get regularly tested for STDs and STIs, to be honest, and  to not cheat and mislead others- but I can control what goes on in my life,  set the standards for how I interact with others, and quickly remove myself from situations and people where I am being disrespected. Because not only do I not have to answer to a name not mine, I do not have to be with any person or in any situation where I am not being fully respected. I love God and myself too much to disrespect either.

I know my worth and I know who is worth being in my life. Do you?

Okay I’m done. Those are my two cents and as usual I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this post.

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.