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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Forgiving Myself has freed another chain holding me down!

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Forgiveness, so what does this really mean? I knew the importance of forgiving myself for deeper healing to occur, and yet I danced around completely feeling into it. I knew that I still blamed myself for what had happened to me, and I found it easier to forgive others for hurting me, than it was for me to forgive myself. I just wasn’t quite sure on how to really forgive myself, and so I just continued to sit with this question until clarity came. I now realize that I held a deep buried ancient belief that I needed to sacrifice myself to keep the peace, and so I kept silent and allowed the abuse to continue, not just to me but others as well.
Forgiving myself was a process that I did little by little, day by day. I began to treat myself better, I ate better, changed the critical damaging thoughts that I continuously had running in my mind. I chose people, things, and places that were nourishing and nurturing to me. I made one choice after another that supported me in loving myself.
Then one day a deep body felt wave of sensation, of recognition, that I had punished myself long enough and that I could now forgive myself washed through me. I was not to blame, I was not responsible for the actions of others. I did everything that I could at the time with the resources that I had. An understanding then emerged that I was Alive, and that I was now free to live! IT WAS OK TO LIVE NOW! The voice of my soul pleaded out for me to hear and the recognition resonated in every cell of my body when I became quiet enough, and ready to listen. This message came to me through an interpretation of a dream that I had. How powerful our dreams can be as part of our healing and guidance!
The other part of the struggle to forgive myself, was a belief that in order to forgive, you needed to forget and just move on. I could never forget, so how could I forgive? I have a deeper sense of what forgiveness means now. A definition I recently heard from Wayne Dyer helped put things into more perspective…. Non-Judgement, Non Criticism, Non Condemnation = Forgiveness.
Further writings that I have come across also helped settle this belief I held. It says…”Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. Forgiveness empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting that pain define you.”
A quote from Fred Luskin states “At the most basic level, forgiveness is on a continuum with grief. When you’re hurt, or violated, the natural response is to grief. Forgiveness is the resolution of grief.”
Forgiveness is the resolution of grief! To sit with this knowing and feel the weight that has lifted off me as I no longer sit in the puddle of this trauma, is indescribable! Every time I think that I have found such a blissful state of stillness, I sink deeper into another pocket of it.
Forgiving myself has freed another chain holding me down!

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.

Taking things Personally

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I have been observing my behavior and reactions to situations and people around me, and that of others recently. I listen to my clients, friends, family, and strangers as they speak. I witnessed a common theme which led me to the question, why do we take things so personally and interpret others issues as being about us? Why do we allow the actions and words of others effect how we perceive ourselves and dictate our mood?

It wasn’t so long ago, that I also lived in this prison jumping instantly into defense in reaction to others emotions or words. I took things to heart. If I came in contact with someone having a bad day, angry and spewing it towards me, I gave it right back not even realizing what had happened. Ahhhh what a viscous cycle it was. Then I would spiral down into that deep dark hole, as the energy was sucked from me. What did I do to this person, I don’t deserve to be treated this way, what’s wrong with me, ect. ect. ect. Sound familiar? Then I would allow it to “ruin” my day and pass the nastiness along. I chose (without knowing it at the time) my reaction.

The inner work that I have done has changed drastically my perception, understanding, and how I view things now. The first step is knowing how and why you are reacting, so then you can make new choices! I’m learning to not let my mood be dependent on someone else. (Am I still affected? Yes… I’m still human, I still forget  sometimes to ask that question, Is this mine?) Is the anger, hurt, or frustration coming at me mine? If its not resonating from a place inside me, I allow the wave of emotion to wash over me, and I no longer cling onto it.

A strangers bad mood has nothing to do with me, what I have done, or who I am. I choose how I respond to it. If it stirs up great emotion within me I stop and ask myself, what is it that I am feeling from this interaction, what is it triggering in me? Why am I reacting in this manner? Then it is my responsibility (if we choose to, its always our choice) to own and heal that part of myself. What gets brought up for you? Maybe you feel bad because you somehow believe it is your fault? Do you feel helpless, because it reminded you of a time when you couldn’t help someone you loved that was hurting? Are you uncomfortable with anger because of your childhood? Does it remind you of an old unresolved trauma you have buried? What does your reaction say to you?

Sometimes with those we love, we feel a great need to fix, change, or react back to them when they are having an “off” day, and are in a less pleasant state. This used to make me feel worse, and it wasn’t usually helpful for me at all. It is not our responsibility to change someone else’s mood or fix the state they are in. When this situation occurs and it isn’t something that you have done (nothing you need to make right or apologize for ) don’t take it personally, it is not about you. If you react, sit with the reaction you have, acknowledge it, feel where it settles in your body? What emotion do you have? What is it telling you? Is there some belief that you are holding about yourself, your world?

Now, I am going to tell you to take it personally. lol But in a different context. If you react to it, it is yours to own and  work with, it is personal but let go of the blame to others for making you feel this way, or for doing this or that to you. Look within yourself and see what has been overturned in you and brought up for healing. This experience has been shown to you in reflection of what is stirring already within you.

Open to the possibility of a different interpretation of what is going on. Sometimes our belief of the experience may actually have nothing at all to do with what’s going on. Everyone is dealing with something. Have compassion for others, and most importantly, have compassion for YOURSELF!!

This concept of not taking things so personally has brought me such a sense of freedom. So how do you help others when you bump up against them in this ‘negative’ state? (emotions are just energy, our perceptions to them makes them good or bad in our mind) What I have experienced to be so profoundly helpful for me and what I now can do for others, is to hold a healing space for them. In short form, you become completely present within yourself, grounded, and open to all the energy around and available for all of us. Feel your own support, unconditional love, and that ‘still’ place within you. This is turn allows them  the space, feeling of safety, and support within themselves that they need to shake off whats built up in them. When you hold this space for someone they recognize this place also within themselves (at a very subtle level) and it gives them the energy they need to make a shift.

This is a much more empowering place to live from.

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.