Forgiveness

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Forgiveness came to me by surprise and when I least expected it. I believe that sitting with and working through the old grief that I had been clutching to, allowed the space within my heart for forgiveness.

Many years ago, my grandfather had phoned me up and expressed his angry opinion to me on how he thought I should handle the abuse I experienced. His words hurt me deeply and I felt betrayed,  unsupported and like somehow it was all my fault. It felt like I had been punched in the stomach and my relationship with him changed that day. I could not forgive him until recently after he had passed away. Something in me softened and I realized that this anger I was carrying around with me was only affecting me. What point was it to continue to be angry at him? I felt a sadness arise for all the years I missed out on getting to know him.

On the way to the funeral I listened to The Book of Forgiveness by Desman Tutu and Mpho Tutu for the whole 6 hour drive there. I had made the choice to forgive my grandpa and my heart felt more at peace and my love for him grew. I also knew that the man who abused me would be at the funeral, and what I did not expect or anticipate was the miraculous healing that incurred for me that day.

I walked in and he was the first person I saw. There he was standing before me and I could not avoid his presence. But this time, something was different. I no longer saw a monster looming over me, I saw a human being and man who was also holding pain and suffering.  A strength rose up in me along with a shocking decision I made, that it was time to forgive him. Never ever did I believe it would be possible to forgive this man who I hated, and wished pain and torment upon everyday of his life like I endured. But, I forgave him, for myself, to free myself from the suffering and resentment I was carrying around with me. I could see how it affected my life and that was not ok with me anymore. I was ready to let the story go.

From The Book of Forgiveness…

“What Forgiveness is not”

  • forgiveness is not easy-it requires hard work and a consistent willingness.
  • forgiveness is not weakness-it requires courage and strength.
  • forgiveness does not subvert justice-it creates space for justice to be enacted with a purity of purpose that does not include revenge.
  • forgiveness is not forgetting-it requires a fearless remembering of hurt.
  • forgiveness is not quick-it can take several journeys through the cycles of remembering and grief before one can truly forgive and be free.

And now to release all aspects of the abuse and free the pain and suffering that was hunkered deep down inside me, I turn to forgiveness for myself. I intentionally and unintentionally inflicted abuse, neglect, criticism, and suffering upon myself. I did not believe I was good enough, worthy or loveable and I hated myself. I forgive myself for these false perceptions and behaviours. It has been holding me back in trusting myself, living life and experiencing more joy!

Someone recently shared with me on what forgiveness meant to him and it resonates deeply with me now. He said “forgiveness is forgiving without forgetting” and “forgiveness was the path to his heart where he lived.”

What does forgiveness mean to me…

FORGIVENESS IS THE PATH TO MY HEART WHERE LYNNDEL LIVES.

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Transformation from a traumatic state to a peaceful state

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I wanted to share this week, a page from the book Waking the Tiger – Healing Trauma by Peter A. Levine. This sums up for me this new place I have come to explore. A place that I was once skeptical would EVER be possible. The shift in my being from a traumatic state to a peaceful state.

Page 193… Transformation

“For a traumatized person, the journey toward a vital, spontaneous life means more than alleviating symptoms – it means transformation. When we successfully renegotiate trauma, a fundamental shift occurs in our beings. Transformation is the process of changing something in relation to its polar opposite. In the transformation between a traumatic state and a peaceful state, there are fundamental changes in our nervous systems, feeling, and perceptions that are experienced through the felt sense. The nervous system swings between immobility and fluidity, emotions fluctuate between fear and courage, and perceptions shift between narrow-minded-ness and receptivity.

Through transformation, the nervous system regains its capacity for self-regulation. Our emotions begin to lift us up rather than bring us down. They propel us into the exhilarating ability to soar and fly, giving us a more complete view of our place in nature. Our perceptions broaden to encompass a receptivity and acceptance of what is, without judgment. We are able to learn from our life experiences. Without trying to forgive, we understand that there is no blame. We often obtain a surer sense of self while becoming more resilient and spontaneous. This new self-assuredness allows us to relax, enjoy, and live life more fully. We become more in tune with the passionate and ecstatic dimensions of life.

This is a profound metamorphosis – a change that affects the most basic levels of our beings. We will no longer view our world through fearful eyes. Though our planet can be a dangerous place, we will no longer suffer from the constant fear that creates hypervigilance – a feeling that danger always lurks and the worst often happens. We begin to face life with a developing sense of courage and trust. The world becomes a place where bad things may happen but they can be overcome. Trust, rather than anxiety, forms the field in which all experience occurs. Transformation ripples out into every corner of our lives, much like the debilitating effects of trauma once did. Tim Cahill, the adventurer and writer, puts it this way, “I put my life on the line to save my soul.” In trauma we have already put our lives on the line, but the reward of salvation is yet to be claimed.”

Reading this brought to my awareness where I am. Integrating this felt sense of trust and peaceful into my body. I am grateful, and hold the support and encouragement for those struggling on their journey to also feel this bliss.

One step at a time, one day at a time.

What is it about trusting myself that has me feeling disorientated?

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What is it about trusting myself that has me feeling disorientated this week? I have peeled back many layers of distrust as I have opened into feeling safe enough to inhabit my body again. I have trusted the process to get here even when it felt like hell, and I would have preferred in the moment to hide. I have trusted my intuition as it has guided me to the people, places, and experiences that I have needed to heal. I continue to trust it as I take each new step in creating my life. I trust my seen and unseen supports that are always with me. I trust my journey knowing that each choice I make is neither right nor wrong but just a choice that leads me to a new experience, and understanding that if I don’t like it, I have the ability to change it. I have learned to trust that I am safe and I can always remove or defend myself if I am in a situation where I am not. I trust that I have my back and that I have the support and resources that I need at all times.

And Yet…..

I witness that there is a newness as I have learned to trust my feelings, my gut sense, and heart felt knowing. I have learned to differentiate, trust, and allow the sensations of pleasure. To my nervous system, there was no difference between pleasure and pain, all sensations registered the same. They invoked fear, panic and there was a time that I would even dissociate. Also at a young age, I discovered that I could  help people feel better when I held their pain and suffering. I formed the belief that this was my responsibility. As I result, I walked through the world with no boundaries taking in the hurt around me as my own. I could not trust what I was feeling as I did not know what my emotions were or who I was. It got to the point where I felt like I was going to loose my mind and I did not leave the house much. Letting go of this belief and recognizing that I am only responsible for my own healing has allowed so much more space within me, the ability to see and feel who I truly am, and trust it.

I took me a long time before I could say the words, “I trust myself”. It took more time before I believed these words and longer yet, to be able to feel this in my body. As I have begun to allow myself pleasurable experiences, I have accessed a new part of myself which has not fully integrated yet. I am now able to experience sensations and emotions with a new perspective. My brain registers that these are safe pleasant feelings and sensations, and my body now trusts that this is also true.  As I began to re-frame my beliefs around trusting myself and what I felt, confusion set in. At first I thought that I still must not able to trust what I felt, but I was shown many examples over this last year where this was untrue. I was trusting what I sensed with my body (but perhaps maybe only at the skin barrier).  I was growing frustrated trying to understand what it was about trusting myself that I was not understanding.

Ah ha…

I trusted what I felt, but I did not trust it wholeheartedly with my body. I recognized that I needed to embody the sensations, emotions, and trust of what I experienced. Trusting with not just with my head, a gut sense, my knowing, but to feel this with my whole body, incorporating all parts. Giving permission to my body to trust, choosing to continue to let the sensations in, recognizing these as positive experiences. This feels disorientating as it integrates, but I am now able to feel this new trust in myself as it soaks through my skin to settle into my bones. Its new, its uncomfortable, and I rest back opening deeper into it.

I TRUST MYSELF…. these words today have a much deeper meaning as I peel back another layer, widening my perceptual lens and allowing this integration. I shake and I soothe as the process unfolds.

Trust

Healing does not always come in the manner that I expect

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Healing does not always come in the manner that I expect, but it always comes in the form that I need. Once again, I was shown this as an experience was presented to me. My initial response had me caught up in the sensations of trauma and my view to what was happening narrowed. My world became distorted and I felt the pain of past events rise up and take over my reactions. This had me sink into a layer of great disappointment. I was disappointed in myself and with the experience of pleasure that I was wanting to have, as it did not present as I was expecting it to. I was holding attachment to an outcome and how I thought it would look like, and feel like. I was still trying to control my healing, instead of allowing it to occur. It was my perception of the event that I first interrupted as being so unpleasant. I was fixated on the old patterns and behaviors I exhibited and what I had “done wrong”.

As I stood back and became open again to a new perspective, I became aware of the new choices I had made, and what I had done differently. I was able to understand a deep seated belief that I had about myself, as it was brought up for healing through this experience. This belief that I was harboring was hindering me from having the pleasant experiences I was yearning for. It order for me to move deeper into the healing that I have been doing, this experience showed me what was holding it back. It taught me many valuable lessons once I understood it for what it was, just an experience. Also, in letting go of taking the situation personally the emotions that arose began to fall away and the belief of being traumatized all over again, dropped away.

How we look at a circumstance, an event, even people, and choose to feel about it is truly in our perception. I am amazed at the difference I felt once I changed my perspective. I was open to looking at it differently and everything shifted. I even briefly started to complain about why I had to go through such hard lessons ect., but then once again understanding, that I was making them hard through how I was perceiving them. I saw two completely different views to the same event and I chose to re frame my experience and so the healing continues, and I continue to grow.

INTEGRATING THE NEWNESS OF CHANGE

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Lately I have found myself feeling a bit speechless. The words have not been coming to me and my writing has stopped. Over the last few years the words, feelings, and tears have spilled out onto the pages. They  brought me much healing, understanding, encouragement, and strength. I have opened, grown and found the support within myself from them to make the changes I needed in my life. These words have soaked through my skin and settled into my bones. They have reminded me of who I am, motivating and encouraging me to keep my eyes up and moving towards that which nourishes me.

Recently, I have needed to go through a period of integrating and soothing as I journey through this experience of change and transformation. I have felt a great sense of loss and grief as I let go of the familiarity, comfort, and security of the things, people, and identity of who I believed myself to be. I also hold excitement of the freedom as I learn and witness that I am enough, and that what I have been searching for has been within me all along. I am my support, unconditional love, comfort and strength. Acceptance of who I am brings me into stillness. My thoughts, beliefs, perceptions create my life. I CREATE MY LIFE!! So now I sit with the questions of what do I want, where do I want to go and how can I support others on their journey?

I also experience the feeling of guilt over the excitement I feel to be moving on with my life.  There is a part of me that believed that this was not an acceptable response and that happiness is not allowed.That critical, self-sabotaging ego that was battering me!! I have also become aware of that small child part that believed she was responsible for holding others pain. I acknowledge all of these emotions, holding them all together and allowing each their expression. I allow their energy to rise up within me and wash back out like a gentle wave. I feel the fluidity and strive to sway like seaweed while connecting, rooting into the earth, and opening to the energy and support of the heavens above.

I breathe, I move, I write, and I make conscious choices to things which will nourish and support me. I remind myself to rest back, to feel into the ease, to move through my experiences from that place of stillness within me where all my answers, support, and knowing lie. That place where the essence of who I am radiates out from. From here, experiences I encounter and the emotions that arise do not become overwhelming. I can see more clearly, my perceptions do not get skewed, and I learn to not take things personally. This has been very freeing and healing for me. I remind myself constantly and consistently to make these choices. Day by day, moment to moment, one by one, I change these old patterns and beliefs.

I ground and fill, keeping myself in an energy rich state and so therefore I am stable, my strength unwavering.