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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I Am Not My Pain

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A deeper layer of my pain body has come to visit me yet again yesterday.

Part of my journey has been to learn how to exercise again, and not have this healthy stimulation elicit a trauma response. Roughly 5 years ago I came to the decision to finally listen to the pain in my body and I took a break from all strenuous activities. I had gotten to the point that I would cry myself to sleep at night and wake up in tears from the pain and burning sensations that I felt in my body. I was so stiff that it would sometimes take my breath away to even move.  The simplest activities like house work or lifting a water bottle onto the water cooler was too much most days. The only exercise that I did for a couple of years was to just walk. Walking felt good and it helped lift my mood.

My emotional pain was locked underneath all of the physical injuries and traumas that my body had endured. I was in a constant trauma state and so physical healing was not occurring. My body was in a serious crisis.  I had also become intolerant to a lot of things in the world around me. The pain and inflammation in my body was being exacerbated  from my reactions to the food I was eating, the environment around me, and the energies of others that were constantly bombarding me. I had very little filter or boundaries to the world around me. I did not understand yet that I had the power to say no to what entered into my space.

I completely changed my diet, no gluten, dairy, corn, soy or nightshades for a couple of years. I still mostly eat like this today but not as strict as I once was. I did many alternative therapies to bring my body back into balance emotionally, energetically, and physically. I just kept trying one thing after the other, inching closer and closer to wholeness. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I had thought that I had jumped off the cliff into a deep dark abyss that I would never come back from! There were times when it took a month to get myself back from the trembling psychotic state that I felt like I was in. There just was no other option to me other than to just keep going.

Next I began to incorporate yoga into my life. I kept my practice to a gentle meditative form of yoga, and my body cautiously began to open and unravel. Some classes I still pushed myself too hard and I have since learned how to find that place of stillness in each posture, and not push myself into pain which was one of my patterns. A few years ago my body was feeling better so I wanted to start working out again and building back up my strength and endurance. I found again that I had to stop. I discovered that when my heart rate would be elevated, the next day I would feel like I had been run over by a bus even though I was very careful and gentle. I would feel so stiff, sore and utterly fatigued. I had hardly done anything! The emotions of frustration, depression, and worthlessness would appear as well. My mood would plummet. My nervous system interpreted all sensations as danger! I would sometimes feel like I had reverted back to a child.

I continued to work with many different type of therapists, and I learned how to be more grounded and present in my body with healthy boundaries. My nervous system began to recognize pleasant, safe healthy stimulation from that which would harm me. I began to feel safer in the world. I unwrapped layer by layer of pain until I got to the core of my trauma symptoms buried deep in my pelvis. A big shift occurred and when I tried again to exercise about a year ago, I was ecstatic at the difference I felt. For the first time that I can remember, I felt so energized and alive. My muscles felt awesome and strong. This is what you are supposed to feel like after you exercise, I proclaimed in joy!! I honor and respect where my body is and I know when to stop and what my limits are.  I am still strengthening and repair old injuries. There is such a freedom that comes with movement and I am opening into it at my body’s pace.

In January I also noticed that another shift had occurred in my energy field, and I was no longer living in a post traumatic stress disorder state. I have begun to really feel at home in my body and not as easily attach to the sensations or emotions that I am feeling as being who I am. This brings me to yesterday and something that I have been observing in my body during yoga for the past couple of weeks. I have noticed that my quad muscles are becoming unhappy and if I hold a asana a little too long and I become nauseous for a couple of hours afterwards. It’s like a deep trauma memory stored in the cells is being stirred up as I work to strengthen them, and they are fighting back. On Monday I tried a new class at the gym which was too intense for me at the time. Yesterday I felted the old sensations flood back into me like I had been in the fight of my life. The pain, fatigue, anger, hating my body, why the hell is this happening again?!

It took me the day to work through what my body was speaking to me and I’m still sitting with it, but I woke up this morning in a peaceful place. My body is still sore but that is ok. I had to come to accept that is was needed for me to sleep in the afternoon for an hour, and I didn’t need to feel guilty or weak about it. These sensations I was feeling where not typical for me anymore so I took the time to sit down and listen to my body. I stopped judging it, blaming it and found the place in myself again where the week before I held such gratitude and love for my body. I recognized that part of the reason I am so careful and put limits on what I do is because I am still in fear of feeling that physical pain in my body again. I was partially associating that pain to who I was as that was my identity for so long. It was like neon lights flashing from every cell of my being… Pain, pain, pain. I am Pain!

I changed my question to my body from why why why…(because in asking, I was just yelling at it and not waiting for a response anyways) to what do you need from me? I learned a few things that I was not being truthful to myself about. My body needs more water and I need to tweak my diet again as I am showing signs of being too acidic. I acknowledge and understand that I need more rest right now. I have been telling myself that there should be no reason why I don’t have more energy, I need to be doing more, getting on with my life ect. but in reality, these last 4 months have been the first time I have allowed myself to just be. I have been able to release many deeply held tears and have been riding wave after wave of emotions as I make space for what I am going to create next. I am right where I did to be right now. I need to ease up on the demands I have for myself.

I had to bring myself back to remember again in a time of great physical pain, that I am not my pain. I release my grip that I have so tightly held on pain. I am able to move once again in this knowledge.

I drew this card yesterday morning and it was the hardest thing for me to do with how I was feeling;  today I understand.

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Putting Myself First

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Saying goodbye to honor me,

Starting fresh

Stepping into my Truth with power and softness.

Silently at first I walk,

my head held high

confident.

My wings outstretched and glistening

rediscovering their freedom.

A sensation stirs in my womb

aching to dance.

Re-birthed with compassion

and alive through passion

A ferocious gentleness emerges.

In this silky radiance love bursts forth

I begin to open again and prepare to celebrate my victory,

recognizing my worth,

empowering myself….

AND THEN…

A stabbing pain plunges through my heart

The victim sulking inside rises up with brute force

screaming relentlessly in sorrow

Why did you do this to us?

Why did you take away our happiness?

I rocked the boat and the anchor of grief tied to my heart,

began to sink me  into the depths of a dark sea of victim mentality.

Poor me, all alone

blaming this and that,

everyone and everything else,

Taking no responsibility

I CAN’T DO THIS AGAIN.

This power sucking, energy draining, narrow perception.

The voices continue to scream in breath crushing sobs

What is wrong with me?

Rejected again – not good enough – want to die – no reason for my existence.

A tug of war between my truth,

and this ego driven worthless attitude.

I recognize this pattern, I STOP.

Reasoning with this part of me and arguing with her does not work.

I  did NOT want to admit that she still existed with all the healing I have done,

and yet here she was.

A little girl standing before me

questioning why it took so long for me to recognize that she mattered?

I softened,

feeling more space open around me

listening without judgement,

I witnessed her,

I gathered all our pain and allowed it to wash through me.

Then rooted in my strength

with compassion,

I open again into loving myself unconditionally

Celebrating the victory I have come to embody

My existence matters,

I MATTER!

~Lynndel~