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The Candy Castle - and the adventures of forgiveness

Forgive (verb) stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

Forgiveness (noun) the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.

Seems pretty cut and dry, right? We all understand the concept, the idea - I mean, it's never wrong to do the right thing, right? Y'all this concept is not black and white - nothing crystal clear here! I would like a little process map, much like the path through CandyLand, that walks you through the path to forgiveness. You know what, I will walk you though the process map in my head.

Peppermint Forest – Our first stop on our way to forgiveness. A snowy thicket of peppermint candy canes. The peppermint forest is dense and this is where the adventure that is forgiveness begins. The snow and trees are thick in the peppermint forest, your feelings are raw, there is a lot to push through here - this is where you face your emotions head on, you really unpack the hurt, the anger, the resentment, the problem. You let the chill of the peppermint forest permeate. You are face to face with the unrelenting emotions.

Peanut Brittle House – Now that you are unpacked and through the forest, you approach this is a cottage made of peanut brittle and it's just outside the Peppermint Forest. After the chilly awaken you experienced in the Peppermint Forest, the PB House is a nice resting point. It is at this point you decide to forgive, you make the commitment to yourself - you will do this. You will make it through Candy Land on your way to the Candy Castle. It is here that you truly - honestly decide to forgive - making that commitment.

Molasses/Chocolate Swamp – A swamp of molasses/chocolate with brown Popsicle plants. This is where you get your workout. At this point in the adventure of forgiveness, this is where you get stuck - in the swamp. To help you get unstuck - you stop the blame game. The blame game consumes your energy and fuels a lot of those feelings you unpacked in the Peppermint Forest. The pause (while stuck) in the swamp is the point in forgiveness you realize forgiveness is FOR YOU and no-one else. It is during your time in the swamp you will find your motivation, the focus on you and getting unstuck is all the motivation necessary to move on towards the Candy Castle.

Lollipop Woods – A forest of rainbow lollipops, which resemble trees. The lollipop woods is a gorgeous rainbow of color and this is the point of the journey you gain perspective on forgiveness. You let go of any feelings that stem from hurt, you let go of any lingering resentment and focus on positive perspective. As a matter-of-fact, it has been said, you can hear the song from Frozen playing throughout the lollipop woods because this is where you let it go and move on along down the pat of forgiveness towards the Candy Castle.

Gumdrop Mountains – Offers a "gumdrop path", or a shortcut. After you come out of the lollipop woods, you are so close - you can smell it! The gumdrop mountains offer a shortcut in CandyLand and they an offer a shortcut here as well. You are ready! You are ready to give up on preconceived expectations and focus on the positive vision for your future that has come to life on your journey through CandyLand.

Candy Castle – The destination CandyLand players are attempting to reach is the Candy Castle. This is the ultimate level of forgiveness. Essentially - now that you are in the castle - you are able to release yourself from the emotional prison you have lived in. There are no longer any hard feelings, all is well, what is done is done, it is in the past. You. Are. Free.

.Forgiveness is something I have struggled with for years; it doesn't always come easy when those wounds cut deep, but maybe next time you walk through the steps of forgiveness - think about the stages and how you can navigate. Working on this piece is when I truly had an "AH-A" moment. Forgiveness is not a big show, it is not a production event, it's not a parade of all the bad to get to the good. Forgiveness is FOR YOU - BY YOU! You got this and remember to always keep pushing through - one way or another we all make it to our Candy Castle.

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