Forgiving Freedom

A couple years ago I was going through a rough time. Relationships had fallen apart all around me and I found myself just about all alone. I was just going through the motions. Getting up, going to my two jobs. I pretty much started to keep to myself with a few exceptions. 

It was my routine. Get up, go to work, go home, repeat. The number of people I talked to dropped to a grand total of four, at the most. That was just on a regular basis and outside of work. 

I tried to indulge myself in church and faith. Even there I found a lot of pain rather than the peace I was seeking. 

One day as I was talking with a friend how I was just getting by and that I was bored with the shows on Netflix they suggested a show. They told me it was funny and that I would like it. Might even cheer me up too. 

“The Office” is a mockumentary TV sitcom about people who work in a paper supply company. I not only found the show funny but in some way, I found a bit of peace. It was an escape from a reality I didn’t want to face, even though it was only for a short time. The show became part of my daily routine. Work, home, show, sleep, get up work, home, show, sleep, repeat. 

The thing is, it was just that. A routine of escape. A false sense of freedom. I was only spending time avoiding things I either wasn’t ready to face or just didn’t want to face. 

It’s been a year since I’ve started to write for Project Wednesday, and in that year I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. The road to healing and letting go of the past has been hard and difficult. 

I had spent all this time looking for freedom and it wasn’t found in a TV show. 

The TV show was just a brief escape from reality. When it ended real life was still there, waiting for me. I still had to face it. Go through sleepless and restless nights. With only a few people I could truly rely on for advice and help. Only two of them I could just vent to completely and I didn’t want to overload or annoy them. I started to bottle things in and overload myself. I knew that I had to do something to help myself. It was writing. In writing, I found the freedom I had been looking for. 

Writing brought me freedom. No judgment. Pen and paper don’t judge you or talk down to you. Writing doesn’t tell you to just get over things and move on. It doesn’t make you feel worse than you already do. Nor does it become condescending. In writing, I found my true freedom. All of my thoughts and feelings that filled my head and weighed on my shoulders found a place to go. 

I have spent so much time looking for someone and people to accept me as I am. With all my imperfections. I was looking in the wrong direction the whole time. 

This is why I have come to truly enjoy writing. It gets me thinking and allows me to look at places of myself I normally don’t. 

Writing allows me to reflect on things, allows me to analyze and understand my thoughts, to organize my thoughts. With all that I’ve been able to take the big picture of life and the process to heal and take it one day, one step at a time. 

I’ve been looking for freedom. Looking to be free from the pain and hurt I’ve experienced. I’ve realized through writing this piece that, the freedom I’ve been looking for isn’t in writing alone. It’s in forgiving those who have hurt me. 

Forgiving is not so much for them, but more so for me. To let go of the pain and hurt. To move forward in life. 

I started writing this piece not knowing which direction it would take. I thought I was going to write about how writing was my ultimate freedom. Only to come to the realization that my true freedom lies in forgiveness. 

Letting go and moving on is a choice that we need to make. No good comes from dwelling on the past, winning and complaining only keeps us in one place. We don’t go anywhere. 

Forgiving isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. In forgiveness we acknowledge the hurt, understand the hurt, and know that in the we are stronger because we are still here and we have overcome it. 

Forgiveness allows us the freedom to move on. To no longer live and dwell on the past. 

God Bless and positive vibes.

Niall Covington

Born with a genetic disorder, Niall knows what it is like to be knocked down. He has been there several times and he has been able to get back up because of faith and a small number of friends. Seeing others getting knocked down, Niall offers a hand whether he has just fallen or is on the way back up himself. Volunteering as a summer camp counselor for children, teens, and young adults with the same disorder, Niall hopes to inspire them to overcome life's road blocks. For Niall, writing for Project Wednesday is an opportunity to reach more people, and to help more.

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