Recently I have moved back to Syracuse New York the place I would consider my home. I have lived in 5 different states and 7 different cities throughout my life but I consider Syracuse to be my home sweet home.
The decision to move came very abruptly. Without divulging any of the details I will simply say there came a time when I was made aware of things in my heart that I did not know still existed and I knew I needed to take care of them and make sure they never came back again. That may sound a little dramatic, but it is true.
There comes a time in our lives when we cross lines we swore we would never cross. I can honestly say that every time I have made a firm stance on an issue, "I will never do (fill in the blank)" I eventually do (fill in the blank). Maybe it's a form of judgment; I judge situations, people, or circumstances and then sooner or later fall into that same area myself. Whatever the reason may be, I find myself on the end of repentance and self exploration.
Self exploration can really, really, really suck! Especially when you are exploring those dark, cold, nasty corners of your heart and your life that you forgot existed. It seems like every day you are discovering more things about yourself that you do not like! As a matter of fact, you would never hang out with someone who had the issues that you have yourself! Each day you discover something old and something wrong in yourself and you try to find out how you can remove the problem from your life and be done with it forever.
I would have to say the most difficult part about this journey is the self-talk and the un-conscience thoughts you have about yourself as the days drag on. Evaluating the darkness and finding area's where you could have done better, finding area's where you know you could have been more loving, more accepting, more generous, more normal and then beating yourself up for not choosing better and for not making better choices with your words, your actions, your thoughts, and your emotions in the midst of the area.
I can take negativity and harshness from almost anyone but the worst sort of hatred is always self-hatred.
What I am beginning to learn and beginning to remind myself of is how God has so much more grace and love and acceptance for my life than I could ever have for myself. Every time I find an area where I could have been better or when I find an area that's dark and cold I tend to beat myself up and tell myself how disappointed I am in myself for my behavior. However, self-hatred is not a fruit of the spirit and I know God is not wanting me to remain in emotional purgatory because of bad decisions I have made. God has grace for me even in area's where I did not know I needed His grace. When I realize my failures and I begin to drag my head towards the ground God comes running up alongside me, He puts his arm around my shoulder and He says "Come on man! Let's try this thing again." He encourages me, He lifts me up, He reveals area's in my heart that need to be healed and He loves me through the healing.
It is one thing to extend grace and mercy to other people in my life and I think I am really good at doing so. But the hardest person I can have grace and mercy for is myself and I know God is wanting me to start with my own heart and to release His grace and His mercy to my heart as I continue the journey to wholeness.