I opened my eyes to a sharp pain in my dry throat, heavy burning eyes and strapped on a hospital bed. I looked around to find some type of familiarity but nothing, no familiar face, clothes, or sound.

The room stood still, no sound, no color, and no hope. My mind started running and heart beating fast, and then I heard the sound monitor beeping. A sound I’ve grown to hate yet love at the same time. It’s the sound that indicated and reminded me that I was still alive.

These were the first few minutes of the last time I tried to end the pain which was consuming my very being — the pain of un-forgiveness.

The bitterness of un-forgiveness is one of the hardest battles I’ve fought. I tried everything from becoming a psychologist and behaviorist. I searched for answers for a silent disease which hunted me inside. No matter how many degrees I obtained, books I’ve read, researches I’ve done; I was left in the same roller-coaster of self-denial and drowning in un-forgiveness. Until I found the forgiveness of the one true God.

Today I am so blessed to share that I didn’t allow un-forgiveness to overcome me or seduce me into staying in a broken state of mind. I broke free and I wanted to share with you what steps I took to free from it and the 5 Keys I discovered in forgiveness.

To really understand something I must dissect it. I need to truly do research on it, so I looked up the definition of Forgiveness. Here is what I found:

It’s a noun; it is the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven. It’s a process which means it takes time.

This is very important for you to understand and accept. It will not take an hour, a day or a month. There is no measurement of time for how long it will take for you. You must go through the whole process to get the results you’re seeking and most important in need of.

As a person with a strong faith, I believe you will not be alone. God will be with you each and every step of the way. His promise to us is that he will not leave us nor forsake us. Whatever he starts he will finish. He will change you inside out starting with your mindset. You will be Renewed, Revived and Restored!

“If there’s a Goliath in front of you, remember there’s also a David inside of you!” Baby Jeudy

Here are the 5 Keys in Forgiveness

1. STOP Being the Victim Key!

You must refuse to accept people’s negative views, words, and thoughts of you. I felt so broken, so lost and in pain. I was a worshiper with no song or sound to worship to. I was a lover with no one to love. I was a woman who had lost the ability to conceive. I was a queen with no crown. I was all of those things, because I was the victim of others’ words and maltreatment.

So I know where you are and I want to encourage you to not give up and not to give in. This is not a glamorous journey. Take a stand and make the decision today to NOT BE THE VICTIM anymore — but be the VICTOR.

2. Get Professional Help Key

To me this was very hard. I was programmed to keep my secrets inside. I was not to share because no one needs to know what lied behind my mask.

I have learned to renounce negative words and counsel. I had been shown how I am in control of me. You too are in control of you. Make a decision which will help you and not hinder you. Be wise about who you allow in your life during this process. Trained individuals include therapists, counsellors, practitioners and coaches. Seek help and support that give you the sense of self worth and inner peace.

3. Forgive Yourself Key

I was broken. My tears became my best friends. I had a heart with no heartbeat. I was living in a mindset of numbness. My life was all chained up in a mental prison. I could not see a way out.

You know when you can’t forgive yourself because you keep replaying the shame and failure movies in your mind. I know the feeling of no hope and emotions that over take your thoughts. In fact, I would be so lost in myself that I would look at my face in the mirror and wasn’t able to recognize the woman looking back.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

At this stage I found myself crying like I had never before.

The key at this stage is a very powerful one. I learned to submit myself and just let go. For me I submitted to the will of God and invite him in my life. I learned that he loves me and made me for a reason. I learned he saved me many times from myself destructive ways for a reason. So I started to declare God’s Truth over my life despite my reality.

I learned to forgive myself. I was sorry. I let the past go. It happened and I am still here. I was now open to who I could become. I learned to let go of situations that were not in the will of God for me. This changed everything in me. It changed my mindset!

4. Have Courage Key

This Key is the one that opens so many doors. It starts a new relationship, a new life and new hope.

In pain lies a blessing. I call it a light of Hope.

For example, when I lost myself I wept to a faithful God. I had nobody around me. I failed at everything but I looked to the one who was victorious over it all. So even though I lost hope Jesus became my HOPE.

Whatever it will be for you this is what I call your rebuilding stage.

You will learn to recondition your mind. What you took for truth about people’s words about you will be reprogrammed and reconditioned to a more loving truth. For me it was what God said, “You are precious, loved, cared for, made for a purpose, strong and can overcomer so much more.”

The same promise is for you. You must first acknowledge you were created for a greater purpose. Maybe you don’t see it or feel it today. Just have faith that you were. This is not easy for everyone to grasp. I encourage you to walk with faith and trust that you are worthy.

5. Strong Support System Key

For you to really maintain success in this journey you must first develop a healthy attitude towards yourself.

By now you have learned to stop identifying yourself with your issues. You’ve learned to stop listening to negative people. You’ve learned to seek professional help. You’ve learned to forgive yourself. So now you have to make sure you build a positive support system around you. These will be people who will help you. Some will push and some will pull you through to your new way of being.

· BE strategic about whom you engage with

· BE intentional about whom you spend your time with

· Be attentive about whom you listen to

Who you allow in your space has influence on how you think and how you feel. It doesn’t have to be family members; it can be whoever is put on your path to help you through your life.

I want to let you know no matter who you are, where you’re from and what you’ve done, life can leave us bitter, broken and drowning in un-forgiveness. What is most important is our decisions to stay or change our situations.

I chose to go through this process to live and not just to be alive.

I believe that you can too!

Originally published at medium.com