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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At Home in my Body

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forgiveness

I have come to love, appreciate and hold gratitude for my body in a whole new way this week. I am able to recognize my wholeness and see my pain body for what it is, a messenger to me. My body is not my enemy, trying to punish  me, or make me suffer. It is not broken or damaged and I am not the pain. The pain, stories, and beliefs are shown to me through my pain body but I am not them. I am able to witness the pain and my wholeness together.

For years I had a unhealthy relationship, a disconnection to my body. I did not want to be in it, I despised it for the pain I felt, I blamed it for failing me. I wanted out of my body, to escape the prison of limitation I felt I was confined to. I intentionally inflicted pain upon it, to punish it – to punish me. I starved my body, tried to drown the pain with drugs and alcohol, and end its very existence. I experienced one injury and trauma after another, and I pushed my body to the point of exhaustion. In spite of it all, it still held on for me! In recognition of this in the last few years,  I have held a deep sorrow and guilt for what I had done to myself. Some things intentional, some unconsciously. I was so mean to myself.

I have been playing this week with my pain body, changing again my perception and understanding of it. I recognize now my partnership to my body. I am able to hold the pain body and discomforts that I still feel out from me at distance, acknowledging that it is part of me, but not defining me. I have gathered a great appreciation for what my body does for me and am in awe at the level of reconstruction, repairing, and rebuilding that it has does for me despite that stress I put upon it.

I have come to feel a sense of peace and stillness within my heart and feel at home there, but something still felt like it was missing. Through a guided meditation I became witness to my Divine Body Blueprint. I watched from the moment of conception as my body was created into a perfect divine being. I could see and feel everything  as it formed and moved with everything functioning in perfect divine form and alive with energy. I reactivated this original blueprint of the body within me again, remembering the connection and partnership between my body and soul. I then came to feel at home in my body once again, understanding  wholeness.

We were then to ask our body what it needed from us, our soul, our consciousness to support it and how would that feel to have it expressed in the body. My body asked that I have forgiveness for myself for the guilt I felt for not treating myself with love, compassion and dishonoring myself. It would be expressed  in my body as ease, lightness and a great joy that brought so much energy to me. Forgiveness would set me free.

The key to unlocking this blueprint is gratitude, gratitude for the body! We are to honor the body daily with this sensation, remembering this blueprint and activating it again and again.

It feels so good to me to have this partnership with my body, to be at home in my body. Thank you body for being my partner, I love you body!

Divine blueprint

 

Reclaiming, Embracing, Embodying Innocence

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IMG_1084Someone recently shared with me that the were able to see an innocence within me. My initial thought to this was one of surprise. Really, how could this be? This made me realize that I had not fully embodied this belief of innocence.
As I open deeper into forgiving myself, I understand that I have still been blaming myself and believing that I was responsible for the innocence (I thought) I had “lost”. The innocence of a child that I told myself I would never get back. The disgust, filth, and guilt I felt for myself because of what I experienced. The horror, shame, and pain I held in believing that I was dirty, damaged, and no longer an innocent child. The burden that I then came to assume, that it was my responsibility to hold the pain of others to make them feel better. In doing so, sacrificing myself because I was not pure enough or worthy of joy and love.
Believing that I was no longer innocent made me feel robbed of the joy of experiencing life and feeling the sensations of pleasure, as I was no longer deserving of it. I felt heavy, burdened, and the weight of it all felt like a suffocating weight pushing in on my chest. It began to get harder to feel compassion as I could no longer hold any more of others pain. There was no space for myself.
There were many things that I enjoyed in my life and yet I observed that in doing these things I experienced little joy. I feel that part of this for me was my inability to recognize my innocence, to feel that child like wonder and excitement. Understanding that it is not my responsibility, embracing my true god-given innocence, forgiving myself, and understanding that my innocence has always and will always be there, has begun to open me back up into the sensations of joy. My perspective on life is shifting again.
Innocence to me feels like a breath of fresh air. As I sit back into this sensation an opening is occurring and a deeper understanding and feeling of love for myself is settling in. I had disconnected myself from innocence with judgement and criticism, separating myself from the pure divine love that I am. Embracing this truth once again, has sent bubbles of joy cascading out from my soul.

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!

Transformation from a traumatic state to a peaceful state

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I wanted to share this week, a page from the book Waking the Tiger – Healing Trauma by Peter A. Levine. This sums up for me this new place I have come to explore. A place that I was once skeptical would EVER be possible. The shift in my being from a traumatic state to a peaceful state.

Page 193… Transformation

“For a traumatized person, the journey toward a vital, spontaneous life means more than alleviating symptoms – it means transformation. When we successfully renegotiate trauma, a fundamental shift occurs in our beings. Transformation is the process of changing something in relation to its polar opposite. In the transformation between a traumatic state and a peaceful state, there are fundamental changes in our nervous systems, feeling, and perceptions that are experienced through the felt sense. The nervous system swings between immobility and fluidity, emotions fluctuate between fear and courage, and perceptions shift between narrow-minded-ness and receptivity.

Through transformation, the nervous system regains its capacity for self-regulation. Our emotions begin to lift us up rather than bring us down. They propel us into the exhilarating ability to soar and fly, giving us a more complete view of our place in nature. Our perceptions broaden to encompass a receptivity and acceptance of what is, without judgment. We are able to learn from our life experiences. Without trying to forgive, we understand that there is no blame. We often obtain a surer sense of self while becoming more resilient and spontaneous. This new self-assuredness allows us to relax, enjoy, and live life more fully. We become more in tune with the passionate and ecstatic dimensions of life.

This is a profound metamorphosis – a change that affects the most basic levels of our beings. We will no longer view our world through fearful eyes. Though our planet can be a dangerous place, we will no longer suffer from the constant fear that creates hypervigilance – a feeling that danger always lurks and the worst often happens. We begin to face life with a developing sense of courage and trust. The world becomes a place where bad things may happen but they can be overcome. Trust, rather than anxiety, forms the field in which all experience occurs. Transformation ripples out into every corner of our lives, much like the debilitating effects of trauma once did. Tim Cahill, the adventurer and writer, puts it this way, “I put my life on the line to save my soul.” In trauma we have already put our lives on the line, but the reward of salvation is yet to be claimed.”

Reading this brought to my awareness where I am. Integrating this felt sense of trust and peaceful into my body. I am grateful, and hold the support and encouragement for those struggling on their journey to also feel this bliss.

One step at a time, one day at a time.

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.