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!

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.