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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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