If you're reading this, it's likely that you or a family member or a friend have been terribly harmed by someone. You may be finding it difficult or even impossible to forgive.
For that reason, I'm choosing to share this Analogy. It's my desire that you find the peace that can come through forgiveness. It's an important part of the healing journey.
The Analogy of the Forgiving Landlord - by James R. Rasband
(To help explain the two sides of the Atonement, let me try a rather homely analogy. Like most analogies and metaphors, it is not perfect in all respects. I hope, though, that it can aid understanding.
Suppose I find myself in a home built for me by a very generous landlord. It is a nice home. He encourages me to maintain and improve the home and gives me a number of instructions for making the home a nice place to live.
Over the years I sometimes improve the home, but other times, through my negligence, I make it worse. One time I flood the home when I fail to set the faucets to drip during a freeze. Another time my kitchen catches fire because I fail to turn off a burner on the stove. A couple of times I lose my temper and put my fist through a wall.
In each instance the landlord forgives me and encourages me to pay a little closer attention to my home and to his instructions for making the home a joyful place to live. He does not charge me for the damage caused by my mistakes. Instead, sometimes he is patient while I figure out how to fix things on my own; sometimes he sends someone over to fix the problem; and sometimes I wake up and things are fixed in ways I don’t quite understand.
This same landlord happens to have a son who is quite wayward. The son is always up to no good, and I don’t particularly like or respect him. One night the landlord’s son, as a prank, sets fire to the shed attached to the back of my house. The fire gets out of control, and the entire house burns down. I lose the home. I lose all of my possessions, including some particularly valuable possessions that I can’t replace, such as photos and heirlooms.
I’m angry and distraught. I want the no-good son to pay. I want him to fix things and to make me whole. A part of me knows he can’t really make it better. He may not have the resources to rebuild the house, and, even if he could rebuild the house, he can’t retrieve the photos and heirlooms. And that makes me even angrier.
As I sit in anger, the landlord comes to visit me. He reminds me that he has promised to take care of me. He promises me that he is willing to rebuild my house. In fact, he says that he will do more than that: he will replace my house with a castle and then give me all that he himself has. He says that this might take a while, but he promises it will happen.
“What’s the catch?” I say.
“Here are the conditions,” he says. “First, you need to put your faith in me and trust that I really will build you that castle and restore all that you have lost. Second, you need to continue to work on implementing the instructions I gave you about keeping up your house. Finally, you need to forgive my arsonist son, just as I have forgiven you all these many years.”
That sounds easy enough and seems like an obviously great deal, but why might it be hard for the tenant to accept the landlord’s offer? Or, to move away from the analogy, why is it sometimes so hard for us to forgive others? Let me suggest some reasons:
First, we are probably angry. We want the arsonist to pay. But if we harbor this sort of anger, we may spend so much time pursuing the person who burned down our house that we don’t get around to rebuilding our house. As someone once said: “Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies.”
It might also be hard to forgive because we can’t quite believe that the landlord will fulfill his promise. He’s never failed us when we’ve messed up the house before, but what about this time? Besides, it is usually easier for us to believe that the Lord will forgive our mistakes. This time it is someone else’s mistake.
Trust can be particularly difficult if the rebuilding project will take time. We want things fixed now, not later. Trust may also be hard in the case of losses and hurts that do not seem easily fixable. Perhaps the landlord can rebuild the home, but can he really replace the photos and heirlooms? What if we lost a child in the fire? Can he really take away that pain?
My testimony is that the Atonement really can make us completely whole, even for those things that seem like they can’t be fixed or repaired. As Isaiah foretold of the Savior: “The Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, . . . to comfort all that mourn; . . . to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning” (Isaiah 61:1–3).")
(This story is an excerpt from a talk given by James R, Rasband titled "Faith to Forgive Grievous Harms: Accepting the Atonement as Restitution")
Are you or a loved one striving to heal and wanting to forgive someone, but finding it nearly impossible?
Forgiveness is challenging for most people. However, it's a crucial part of healing that leads to peace and joy!
Let me help you start your journey of forgiving. Sign up here for your Empowering Positive Solutions Sessions.
If you enjoyed this article you may like to read Are You in a Toxic Relationship?
Is your loved one robbing you of your God given right to joy and happiness?
Do you have someone in your life who drains you mentally, physically and spiritually?
It's a fact that relationships can be difficult and challenging at times. However, toxic relationships can be down right sneaky and hazardous to your well-being. They can start out seemingly normal and then sneak up on you over time. And then once you realize you're in one, you find yourself wondering how you got there, and you're not sure what to do about it. Maybe you haven't wanted to admit that you're in a toxic relationship. And like many people who find themselves in a relationship with a difficult person, you just keep hoping it will get better.
Let's get right down to it. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, then you are dealing with a toxic person in your life.
Maybe you are experiencing some or all of the above. Or maybe you are experiencing even worse. Toxic relationships can manifest in more devious ways, but we won't be covering that today.
Let's determine how you are fairing in your relationships. For the most part, toxic relationships are very one sided. One person is doing the caring and giving and the other person is doing the taking and controlling. However, Sometimes the toxic person in your life may be giving and smothering and controlling. Toxic relationships can show up in many forms. And that can be very crazy making.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine how many of your relationships are toxic:
Write down the name of a person in your life and answer the following questions:
It is my hope that this exercise has given you more clarity and helped you to see more clearly where you stand with the significant people in your life.
You may be in a relationship with a Toxic Parent, Child, Sibling or Significant Other. Or maybe it's a friend or someone you work with. Whatever the case may be, I want you to know that there are steps you can take to overcome and heal and get to a better place! Even if you think you've tried everything, you may want to sign up for a Free Consultation.
I'm here to listen and to help you experience relief and to assist you with proven solutions to heal your life! I've dedicated myself to helping people overcome challenging emotional, relationship and health issues that are keeping them stuck and feeling hopeless.
There is Hope for a brighter future!
If you liked this article, you may like to read "6 Helpful Tips for Moving on From a Toxic Relationship"
Anyone who's been there will tell you that ending a Toxic Relationship with a family member or Spouse is one of the most painful and stressful experiences they've ever been through. They'll also tell you that it is freeing and brings with it a new found feeling of hope and peace, healing and health.
Breaking free from a toxic relationship can be a confusing, gut-retching and sorrowful time. You may feel off balance, insecure and have lots of questions about issues you've never faced before. That's why I've put together this list of helpful tips that my clients have used with great results.
1. Seek Guidance from God and Learn to be Lead by the Spirit
The most important advice I can give is this; seek to know God’s will concerning your life.
Pour out your heart and tell Him how you feel and what you want. Let yourself be comforted and supported by Him at all times. He won’t take away the free agency of another, but he will carry you through the rough times. Take time to be still and listen, you will learn to recognize His presence and you will know that you are not alone. Listen to what the spirit is wanting to communicate to you. The answers will come, and when they do, act on them as best you can.
Ask Him for the strength and power to accept His answers to your prayers. Ask for strength to move forward with hope, faith and conviction. Don't let fear cause you to retreat from what you know is right for you.
2. Seek the Company of People Who Will Lift and Support You
Prayerfully reach out to a trusted friend or church leader. Let them help you through this difficult
journey. Be careful of those who will seek to take advantage of you or who have a desire to dwell on the negative aspects of your circumstance. Watch for the good people who will show up in your life to lift you and lend positive encouragement. Embrace them and let them into your life. Learn from the experiences of others who have been where you are.
3. Create a Plan of Action
It can be very hard to think about practical matters when the heart is hurting. However, moving forward with a plan of action will help you to look forward with hope for your future. Your plans will undoubtedly have setbacks and you’ll need to adjust them from time to time, but having a plan will help you to stay focused and motivated on your healing journey. Following a plan will help you to feel grounded and give you some hope for the future. You may want to enlist the help of a trusted friend, lifestyle consultant, or other type of professional to help you create and navigate your plan. Following a plan is freeing. It brings with it a feeling of accomplishment and increased self worth and helps you to focus forward.
4. Take Loving Care of Yourself
Most likely, your self-esteem has taken a beating! You may also be morning the loss of this toxic loved one, regardless of how bad the relationship was. Be gentle with yourself, and give yourself time to heal. Educate yourself on the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Look for simple, healthy ways to create a self care routine that you can look forward to. Learn how to Pamper yourself and practice saying nice things to yourself. Learn how to be your own best friend.
5. Create a Positive Environment
As you go through this transition time, look around you and notice what you can do to create an environment that uplifts you. Listen to music that uplifts and invites the spirit of God to dwell with you. Let go of things that are not serving your best and highest good. Learn how to create a toxic free environment that encourages health and well-being.
6. Make Time to Play and Relax
Make time to play and relax. You deserve it. Close your eyes and remember how easy it was to play and have fun when you were a child. Now open your eyes and think of something you can do that will be relaxing, entertaining or even exhilarating. It can be as simple as taking a walk through a park, laughing and talking with a friend or playing a game with a child. Use your imagination and create some fun, relaxation and enjoyment for yourself.
You may want to print this list and post it as a reminder to be good to yourself and stay strong in your convictions.
If you haven't already, you may want to sign up for a Free Consultation. I'm here to listen and to help you experience relief and to assist you with proven solutions to heal your life! I've dedicated myself to helping people overcome challenging emotional, relationship and health issues that are keeping them stuck and feeling hopeless.
There is Hope for a brighter future!
If you liked this article, you may like to read "Are You In A Toxic Relationship?"
I'm a Personal Lifestyle Consultant, Family Herbalist and Emotion Code Practitioner.