“I will never, ever, ever FORGIVE you for what you have done!”
Have you ever said these words to anyone or had them said to you?
Sometimes people make emotional choices to live backwards, ourselves included, when we are governed by fear. If you spell the word live backwards, it spells evil. When travelling backwards in life, we walk a thin and precarious line. Life for the fear driven is a one-way street; often it is my way and my rules or the high way. This street leads to a dead end when it comes to matters of the heart.
When people live forwards and choose to progress, change, FORGIVENESS and learn they move through different seasons of the heart, and don’t stay stuck. They are able to FORGIVE themselves and others for their human flaws, failings, mistakes and fears, for they have mastered how to FORGIVE themselves first and foremost for our common human frailties.
Nelson Mandela could have become an UNFORGIVING bitter man for all he endured, but he survived the winter of his soul and moved on into spring and therefore was able to be grateful and loving and is an inspiration to many.
You, like me, may have had some upsetting traumatic events occur in your life at the hands of those you trusted and loved. I was sexually and physically abused by two trusted male elders as a little girl, and the consistent physical violence was witnessed by a female elder also. I was asked recently as I spoke to a client in New York via Skype how I could ever forgive those who let me down as a small child.
FORGIVENESS I have found in my own life and when working with others, takes time, support from wise elders and caring tribe members, willingness and a lot of love. I remember being enlightened whilst reading a wonderful book called “The Shack” by William P. Young. If you like spiritual exploration it is well worth a read. In it there is some wonderful wisdom about FORGIVENESS.
“Anger is the right response to something that is so wrong. But don’t let the anger and pain and loss you feel prevent you from forgiving him and removing your hands from around his neck.”
The character who is the father of a murdered child, in this book goes onto cry and get in touch with his feelings about the horrible evil act that had happened to his little girl but feels embarrassed about being so vulnerable and not being able to stop his tears. The wise elder in the book comforts him saying ….
“Don’t ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing waters and a stream of joy. Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak.”
The wise words of wisdom in this book just keep coming. It occurred to me when I mentioned the line in a therapy session about holding onto the necks of others in anger throughout my life. My therapist explained that whilst I would not FORGIVE, I was on an emotional level still giving my power away by keeping one hand around my perpetrators necks. It takes a lot of energy to hold onto blame and anger and victimhood year in, year out, especially if there is more than one person you are angry with.
It’s exhausting actually.
Anytime sadness or grief arises to be flushed out in relation to traumatic events from my past and I think of those I trusted and loved who have since abandoned me, I close my eyes and send them gentle feelings of love and FORGIVENESS. However in FORGIVING those who have caused us harm does not automatically mean we must return into their lives orbit.
Learning not to put our head on the chopping block with others who choose not to change or take emotional responsibility is an important component of the FORGIVING process. There are many that my heart has made peace with that I choose not to continue an intimate relationship with. Love is unconditional for sure. We can still love those who have hurt us. But relationships are conditional, that is what marriage vows are all about, it’s just a shame parents are not asked to also take vows or responsibility. Emotionally irresponsible people who choose to live insensitively may no longer have VIP access to our inner world after the FORGIVENESS has occurred. Respect must be earned. History, wealth, social standing and biological birthright do not give any adult a free pass to continue to be disloyal, abusive or disrespectful. FORGIVENESS gifts us both with the ability to make peace in our own hearts and draw a line in the sand and also say “I need to move on now.”
There are still some people in my life who don’t FORGIVE me for speaking up about my past. They are entitled to not FORGIVE me, ever if they choose. However me not FORGIVING them for not FORGIVING me just makes me an angry perpetrator in my own heart, the very thing I am choosing to heal from.
When we finally take responsibility for our own hearts wellbeing and leave the Drama Triangle of codependency forgiveness becomes an option for us. When we refuse to play the blame game where there must always be a Victim, Rescuer and Perpetrator, we are finally free to FORGIVE ourselves and others and get on with progressing and enjoying life. We can finally live and let live.
There are people we encounter in our lives that no matter how responsible we go for our actions, our life choices, and our mistakes they will not FORGIVE us of our wrong doings. They hold a grudge and choose to punish, alienate and character assassinate us for the rest of their living days. These are the people I believe we must be the most FORGIVING with. For they still live with much sadness, which they cloak in anger.
When we have two hands free to embrace love, we will know balance and peace within. When we refuse to FORGIVE we choose sadness for ourselves instead of peace. That old saying comes to mind …
“If you don’t go within, you go without.”
Do you need to take your hands off of anyone’s throat to help free your heart up a little more?
Today I’d like to leave you with these wise words from one of my favourite wordsmiths Mahatma Gandhi …
“The weak can never FORGIVE. FORGIVENESS IS AN ATTRIBUTE OF THE STRONG”
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™