If you give people the power to feed you, you also give them power to starve you.

So many times, I have said this to others. When I was an angry person, I felt that in a hostile way. I felt like I couldn’t allow anyone to control me. It’s still true. I don’t let anyone have the power to feed or to starve me unless it comes from a place of love.

When I say “starve you,” I am not just talking about food.

People can starve you financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and through your stomach. You have to take care of yourself. You have to do it for yourself.

I know that sounds selfish, but it’s not. We are better people if we work on ourselves. Sometimes that means going to church, going to counseling, exercising, eating right, sticking to a budget, spending time with your family or loved one, and all the things that would typically come to mind.

For me, it’s helping others unconditionally. That is how I work on myself. It humbles me in so many ways. I have to make sure it’s without conditions, or it doesn’t work for me. I can’t get involved in what is happening to that person. I can’t personally take on what God intended for them. I love them where they are and let God do the rest. As soon as I start listening to drama, gossip, or what people say behind my back, or lies about me, then I am allowing that person to starve me. It drains me emotionally and spiritually. I am not useful to anyone that way. No one is.

When you are starving, you are left weak and helpless.

We can’t do God’s work if we are starving spiritually. That’s the other way I work on myself. I need the constant forgiveness of Jesus to help me because he is the anchor that keeps me grounded. My mercy reminds me that I am here solely on that forgiveness, and I have also to forgive others. Not forgiving will starve you quickly.

Forgiveness, as I am learning from my Christian studies, is not about trust either. It’s not about allowing that person to continue to be toxic. You can forgive a person and still keep them out of your life. You can forgive a person and always demand boundaries. What I have learned is how It’s about your relationship with God. It’s about finding peace even when that person doesn’t apologize or admit they are wrong. It’s about finding peace also if that person continues to molest other children, or beat their next wife, or cheat on their future spouse. If you don’t forgive, you are only hurting yourself. You are giving those actions the power to starve you both spiritually and emotionally. Physically too, because you will lose sleep.

I have given it to Jesus. He already died for it. I will no longer let it stop me from living my fullest life. I will allow the world to exist as it is and be grateful because, after all, we are only here for a brief moment. I will spread love in spite of the hate. I have chosen to forgive because that is where I find the most peace. I am finally full and satisfied.

If we were discussing this even ten years ago, I would have laughed in your face. I have had to work on myself to get here. I am still a work in progress as they say. I probably always will be. I am a rebel and fighter at heart. I will continue to fight the fight for myself and my children because I want them to know that they can fight too. I want them to know, and I want them to use it to teach their children to fight for themselves.

When we heal, we heal generations of pain. We halt the starvation in its place, and we don’t allow those that starved to death to die in vain. That is why it is so essential to work on it and never stop fighting for it.

We can strive to make life better. We can teach others to feed themselves with self-love. To do that, we have to put the power in the right hands.

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