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Monday, 14 September 2015

That Bullshit about Forgiveness Part 2

That Bullshit about Forgiveness Part 2

Hi dear friend and followers. Today I have for you part 2 of That Bullshit about Forgiveness. Thank you very much for visiting my blog. The notes in orange and my own 

I need this. I. Need. This.
If I couldn’t have his help in understanding, then I’d get it from elsewhere. And elsewhere did come along. It showed up in a white car on the roadside on an afternoon walk. It showed up in a podcast. It showed up in office gossip. It showed up in a new audiobook. It showed up in memories of my father with his easy charisma when he was still young and dashing and flirtatious for an audience and dark and brooding and angry for those who knew him best.

Understanding. All knowledge in the Universe came together, coalesced to help me understand him, who he really was, why he’d done what he’d done. The anger faded. The hurt faded. The Bible story of Jesus on the cross calling out, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!” suddenly took on new meaning to me. Forgiveness was a place I could get to because I understood his helplessness in who he is and how he deals with life just as we are all helpless to be who we are. That doesn’t condone anything, that doesn’t reignite trust in him, but it does bring me to a place of understanding. I tiptoed into this idea of forgiveness and welcoming the idea of forgiving.

A decade ago, a woman tried to take my children from me. Years later, after much struggle and anger toward her, she would come to me with an apology and an explanation of behaving badly toward me because she was hurt by my absence. She asked my forgiveness and I gave it to her. Then and there. I understood her, even if I didn’t like what she’d done and would be forevermore wary of her. And the old anger and hurt released and our lives balanced. I could not have been more surprised that she would have grown personally to the point of being able to ask forgiveness or how brave she was for approaching me when I wanted nothing more until then than to claw that miserable bitch’s eyes out for threatening my family. I still remember the sense of peace that wafted over me in the days after I’d forgiven her. But then, she’d shown contrition. She’d made the first step to set things right.

I needed to feel the same sense of balance and peace this time, too. I needed the healing. I needed him to understand me as I understood him. I needed to let him know he was forgiven. For him to have that part of the equation to work with in his own healing. I was still thinking then that forgiveness was a gift I could give him in helping to set things right between us.

I. Need. This. 

I need to do this.

Note: I have done my best to forgive this very close friend of mine, a friendship that was as close to a sisterhood as one could have. I have tried on many different occasions to make contact with her personally, but I was unsuccessful. So the only way I could do this forgiving was by way of an email, which I can only hope she will read, and in these documents. I forgive her for any misunderstandings she may have had about me as I sincerely pray she forgives me for any and all wrong doings I may have committed against her. 
Forgiveness for any perceived harm, both intentional and unintentional.
She will always be in my prayers and will always have a place in my heart, and along with her family, I pray that all will be well with her in the future. 

It was as if my spirit guides would not let me rest until I finished the task. And so I defied the barriers between us and told him I was forgiving him. And I did. I really did forgive him, meaning it, willing, doing. So hard, so easy. With a dash of a third ho’oponopono ritual thrown into my message to both grant and ask forgiveness for any perceived harm, both intentional and unintentional.

I did not in that instant feel that soaring sense of freedom that zealots had preached to me, all that bullshit about forgiveness. No, that came later. I waited for an answer, not knowing if one would come at all.

I sat alone on the living room floor and prayed while a storm raged outside, tearing through trees and shingles. I knew that night, as the winds howled and the rains beat against the walls of the house, that I would hear back, and I suddenly knew what the answer would be the next day.

And I was right.

There was no acknowledgement of my forgiveness. And I am unforgivable.

It was then that the cement block around my ankle melted to mud, and I surged upward through the surface of the water. Breaking through. Breathing. I can breathe. He didn’t have to forgive me. I’d been freed of the awful burden I’d carried for so very long.

There were two things I realized in his response that I had not known before, and those things broke the spell I’d been under and gave me the release I so needed. Over the next few hours, I realized that he still did not recognize the extent of pain he had caused me, that he believed his own pain was far deeper and more important than mine. His pain was worthy of not forgiving. My pain was a sad inconvenience, regrettable, but nowhere near as important as the hurt I’d caused him. He knew back then that this thing had hurt me more than any hurt ever done me in my life, and that includes abuse of many types at the hands of other people. This was the height of emotional pain in my life, something I did not think possible to recover from. I think he truly does not–or at least will not–recognize the damage done to my dreams, my beliefs, my sense of trust. Or maybe he just never believed how deeply I loved him or that he could be loved that deeply and so thought that his actions wouldn’t have any long-term consequence in my life and I’d simply be happy again soon enough and we could just pretend nothing had ever happened. In those moments, I was finally able to see him as he was, instead of looking at him through the eyes of a woman in love. It was…freeing…to see him that way instead of how I remembered him. I’d been pining his ghost all this time.

The other thing that stunned me was realizing that he’d done no work on himself in all that time. At least, none that was evident in his answer. I mean, I have done the hard, facing-the-shadows spiritual work that’s gotten me to this new place in my life. It’s been grueling. There has been no rest. It’s been a matter of survival for me, because if I can’t heal these wounds and I let them continue to haunt me, then I’m not so sure life is worth living. I don’t want to live in misery or negativity or hatred until the end of my days. So it’s been “do the work” or stagnate and resign myself to never allowing anyone to love me again for fear that I’ll be as wrong again as I once was.

But I’ve done the work. I’ve done it alone, walking 3000 miles over the same paths and while turning it over and over in my head to make sense of it and figure why I attracted this situation into my life–and I did figure it out, how it’s all connected to a childhood tragedy that I’ve been working hard to heal over the last year. I’ve talked to more than one good counselor, though they’ve lost their patience that I couldn’t release it faster. I’ve done it without the support of friends and family, though they would disagree. Their idea of support has been to hate him. They’ve shaken their heads at me, not understanding. They’ve cursed his name, thinking they understood. They’ve yelled and fussed at me and judged because I couldn’t turn off my feelings for him or either turn all my feelings for him into hated. They’ve stomped out of the room if I’ve mentioned his name or something we used to do together as if the syllables of his name were an incantation to the God of toying with women’s hearts. They’ve tried to be nurturing but overall, they’ve done more harm than good by refusing to allow me to give voice to my thoughts and just be there for me to vent or wonder or work through it in words. So the brunt of the work has been alone and in private. Not a day of it has been easy.

Note: I am fortunate that I have one supporter. Maybe the only one I have in this world who truly understands my feeling and their depths even when I am not being very reasonable. I have not anyone like that in my life for a good many years. I am grateful that this person walks beside me today. I have two confidants, close friends and sisters left in this world. One is at my side and the other is half a world away.

Seeing where I would be in my life right now had I not done the work made me realize just how far I’ve come, how deserving I am, just where a lot of the fault lies that I had placed on myself. And that I can stop blaming myself for everything wrong in myself, even if he blames me for everything wrong in himself.

I forgave him first, then the peace began as I saw things in a new light and could finally forgive myself for my part in his life and his part in mine. I don’t wish that he had never come into my life as he probably wishes about me, and I do earnestly wish that he could get to a good place in his life and to the peace he needs. Sometimes though, I still wish things could have been different, that they could been what I thought they were instead of what they are now.

It’s crazy what you could’ve had.
Thank you very much again, dear friends, for visiting my blog. Please share your thoughts with us, if you will. Have a great day.

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

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