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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Reclaiming My Power

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Powerlessness…. Another layer of this feeling has shown up for me to work through these last couple of weeks as new experiences arise in my life. This feeling stems back from the abuse and has been intertwined in my life. This feeling that I had as a small child as being completely physically powerless to fight back against something that was being forced upon me. Having no voice to speak up against it, and the emotional immaturity to comprehend what was taking place. I felt utterly helpless in having any control over the experiences occurring in my life.
Although this may have been true as a child, in my life today I know that am in control and that I have the power, but subconsciously this powerless part was dictating my mood and my actions. This belief that had formed from my experience was deeply embedded into every cell of my body and holding me in a victim mentality. I have been carrying it forward with me and I have been looking out into the world at my current situation through this belief and child like eyes. I was feeling like everything was being taken away from me and I was powerless to do anything about it.
I have learned that stomping my feet in anger, closing my eyes and ears, and locking down my body in a rigid, defiant, defensive stance were keeping me powerless!! This was an old pattern to the fear of not knowing what was coming and the perception of something being “done to me” that I did not like. This was the only way I knew how to fight against it, but it has been closing me off to the people and things that would move me in a direction of a more nurturing and healing outcome.
I may not like what I am going through now, but I have the power to choose how I deal with it and my reactions to what is said and done. Changes are occurring for me and I could take that stance of feeling powerless against it, or I can choose to rise up once again with grace and choose to be flexible with the change. These waves of grief and loss bump up against me and flow through me, as it is all energy moving and I am learning to allow this to just occur.
I choose not to take things so personally and attach them to defining who I am. Once again I take my power back, as I understand that I never lost it to begin with. It was my perception that I had. NO one can take it away from me unless I allow them to. At the time when I was a small child I may not have been able to fight back and was powerless in that situation, but those circumstances did not take my power away. It was always there, but the fear and the lies I was told as I was being hurt made me believe that he was now in control of my life, and I could do nothing about it.
I am in control and I have the power to change my life, but this concept has not been just this simple for me to grasp. It has been conscious choices made one at a time, one step at a time, and one day at a time. I have heard these words and even consciously believed them, but it took time to really feel what they meant. Coming into stillness, listening, and allowing opening to occur, has enabled this truth to reverberate into my cells and the knowing to rebirth my strength.
I love the purity and power that I feel when I can rest back into myself, and feel the strength in who I am and what I can do.