• Spring Has Sprung: Renewal Revisited

    Hello! For the newcomers to our blog, welcome; for those who are frequent readers, welcome back! Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared our thoughts on a variety of issues both here and through our newly revamped newsletter. This week, we turn our attention to the topic of ‘Renewal’. As I write this, today marks the first day of Spring 2022. Lest you think you should stop reading here because you might not be reading this on the actual 21st of March, be not dismayed! In this blog, I dive a bit deeper into the idea of renewal and the way we can use it as a mindset, not just as a seasonal aspiration, though there’s nothing wrong with the occasional seasonal aspiration!

    And that means that it’s time for renewal. Renewal, however, isn’t just about starting fresh: it’s a mindset. And that’s the topic we’re revisiting. In previous posts, we shared our thoughts on the tricky difficulties that come along with forgiveness. We’ve focused on the healing power of forgiveness and ways in which we may seek to forgive ourselves and others for the hurts we experience. Last year, we examined Renewal in a Spring Renewal series.

    How can I be renewed through forgiveness?

    Martin Luther King Jr. once noted that “forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.” I want you to take a moment to pause and contemplate what that means. Forgiveness – what we generally think of as the act of releasing judgement for an act onto another or oneself – is not just about the action, but rather about your attitude. Notice Dr. King didn’t say your attitude towards another or towards yourself. That’s because attitude is universal. When we forgive and are merciful, our attitude changes. The way we see others fundamentally shifts. Everything becomes different, and we are made new!

    That can often be a key and significant factor in renewal: being able to loose ourselves from our past, from who we once were, from who others may still think we are. The reality is that all of us are dynamic beings, ever changing, on an infinite journey towards growth. That mindset, one of growth, implicitly connects to the desire, and indeed the absolute necessity, for renewal. Renewal naturally requires growth. Think to that spring analogy. What makes spring so special? Why do we associate it with renewal? We do so because of the new growth we see all around us. The cold recedes and there around you is the beauty of nature: growth in its most fundemental form.

    How can anger and resentment poison my mental wellbeing?

    As we’ve covered in a number of posts, forgiveness is powerful. It liberates us from any and every hindrance in our pasts and creates a path forward whereby we can overcome the obstacles that present themselves. By forgiving, we can experience real, powerful healing. If we let the anger and resentment in, it can do the opposite! If we don’t forgive, it can embitter us, make us jaded, and make us uneasy. We can form barriers to not only healing but other people. It can affect every relationship we have, including the ones we have with ourselves and God. Too often, we are the barrier to renewal and healing because we stand in the way, perhaps fearful that forgiveness will make us vulnerable.

    Rather, if we maintain a growth mindset, one grounded in our ability to learn and improve always and through all challenges and obstacles, we can also find that growth liberating and renewing. The first step is to acknowledge your own struggles to forgive. Whether you’ve struggled to forgive yourself or someone you are or were close to hurt you, the first step is to recognize your struggle. Seek peace. Be merciful. It isn’t just something that happens overnight. Every day you have to wake up and decide to forgive. Every day you have to wake up and choose growth. You have to work through your anger or enmity as long as it remains present in your being. The goal is to live each day a little bit better than the one before.

    If you feel yourself struggling to forgive, or if you are ready to tackle the issue head on, the clinicians on our team are both experienced and ready to help you. We are trained and have extensive experience working with and helping people deal with these very struggles. Feel free to schedule an appointment today.


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