Tag Archives: letting go of the past

Give a little forgiveness| 52 Acts of Grace | Week 11

acts of grace week 11 copy

Let’s face it. It is impossible to get through life without some hurts and pains. Big, medium or small, life offers up thousands of opportunities for we humans to be perfectly human in all our human imperfections.

Often, the other person may not have intended to hurt us. They may have been acting out from their place of pain. They may not even realize there is pain in their response.  Just as when we have been the one to cause pain or hurt, we did not intend it or did not know the source of our own unease that caused us to say or behave the way we did.

It isn’t what happened that makes the difference in your life today. It’s what you do with it.

Give a little forgiveness.

No one deserves to be abused, lied to, manipulated. No one deserves the countless things that happen in their lives that push them down. Name calling, deceit, the loss of a loved one, loss of any kind, feeling humiliated, feeling alone, feeling like you don’t belong.

No one deserves to have their feelings ignored, their truth called a lie, their beauty called ugly.

Yet, it happens.

The challenge is, when what happened ‘then’ continues to dictate how we feel, behave and see ourselves in the now, it isn’t the past that’s hurting us any longer. It’s our repetition of ‘the story’ we’ve created about what happened that is causing our distress.

Give a little forgiveness.

Sure, it may feel awkward, uncomfortable, different. Do it anyway.

And, if your mind immediately leaps to “I will never forgive ____________.” ask yourself, what does holding onto resentment, bitterness, distress get me? How does it serve me today?

This is not a big sweeping, I forgive you, will forget it ever happened or a ‘it’s okay, I swore I’d never let you back in my life and I still don’t trust you but I will’, kind of forgiveness. You may never want to let them back into your life. And that’s okay. That’s your decision. Only you know what is the best for your life.

Forgiveness isn’t about making what another did right or okay, or acceptable. It’s about releasing yourself from the past, letting go of the story you are telling yourself that keeps haunting you, hurting you, holding you down.

Forgiveness is not for them. It’s for you.

And once you’ve started practicing a little forgiveness, keep practicing. It’s not about biting it off all in one big chomp. It’s about taking tiny little bites that are manageable. Bites that slowly nourish you with their soothing grace, setting you free to flow into life without the wounds of the past limiting your brilliance today.

Give a little forgiveness.

And don’t forget to give yourself the same grace.

Forgiveness is the bridge to love

Twelve years ago, when I was released from a relationship that almost killed me by the police walking in and arresting the abuser, one of the greatest challenges I faced was to forgive myself.

“You have nothing to forgive yourself for,” well-meaning people would tell me. “He was a psychopath. He abused you.”

That wasn’t the point. No matter how cruel, abusive, or deceitful he was, I did things that hurt the people who love me most. To accept their forgiveness, (which I desperately wanted) I needed to believe I was worthy of their forgiveness by forgiving myself.

It took a lot of work. Commitment. Loving honesty, (not to mention therapy) to get to a point where I could look in the mirror and not see that mother who deserted her children. Not see that woman who did not love herself enough to believe she was worth more than his abuse.

It took a lot of belief in the power of forgiveness to not whisper back to myself every time I looked in the mirror, “Shame on you.”

In her blog today, my eldest daughter Alexis writes, after spending the last five days here at home:

“No matter how far or fast or long we run, our pasts remain the same.

And though I wanted for my visit to Calgary over the past five days to be different, I still carry the weight of a girl that used her pain as a weapon to drive the love of her family away. I am still condemning her for a past she cannot change.

When we don’t make peace with our mistakes, we recreate them over and over and over again. Though I left home in my rearview mirror, I am afraid of its shadow.”

If we do not hold our hearts in the light of forgiveness, shadows lengthen and block out love’s presence.

 

Throughout her life, I wanted nothing more than for my daughter to know that there was nothing she could do that would make me stop loving her. There was nothing she could say that would close my heart to her forever more.

I wanted her to see what I see when I look at her. But she could not see through my eyes. All she could see was the road to the past and the little girl who never felt like she was enough, who felt abandoned, who felt unworthy of love, and in many ways, unworthy of life.

There was a time when I carried my shame like a badge, even though I told myself I wanted, needed, had to, let it go.

I remember in those first days of freedom after that relationship ended, feeling like if I let go of my pain and shame, I would be saying, what I did to those I loved didn’t matter. I thought I would be making small of all the pain and harm I’d caused.

Fact is, those who love us want only the best for us but we can’t know that when we are holding ourselves in unforgiveness by holding onto our past.

While I can look at my daughter and tell her she does not need to forgive herself, she did not know any better at the time how to handle her pain, fact is, she is smarter than me. She knows what she needs to be free to love with all her heart.

When shame blocks the access to feeling your heart calling you home, letting the shame go is the only way to open the door.

Because no matter how far we run, Love is the shortest distance between two hearts. And forgiveness is the bridge.

 

 

 

When I get clear, the path to well-being is clear

Not everything that is faced can be changed;
but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

~ James Baldwin ~

I am on a diet. Yup. The wedding looms and I stepped onto the scale and scared myself! How did I let 10 pounds creep back on?

But wait! Maybe they didn’t creep on. Excess pounds are sneaky little devils. Maybe they just sort of snuck in while I was sleeping and attached themselves to my body in the dark of night with the stealth of barnacles clinging to a whale.

Oh right, Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

Time to face the truth. They didn’t sneak in during the night and they’re not some seaworld crustacean clinging to my flesh.

They are self created examples of me not paying attention. They are the result of me not balancing what I was eating with how much energy I was expending. When food in is greater than energy out, weight adds up to greater than what I want, need, is healthy for me or even desirable.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that I might have been, ok, no ‘might have been’ about it, I was not eating what was healthy, nurturing and good for me. I was all out into junk!

In times of stress, or when I’m tired, I am more apt to think the things that are not good for me are perfect. They call to me, inveigling their way into my lesser goodness-self, shadowing my inner wisdom with thoughts of, “it’s ok. you’re tired. You’ve worked so hard. You deserve a break. Worry about it tomorrow. Right now, you need to focus on the task at hand and not think about what’s good for you. Why beat yourself up for not eating healthily? Why not let yourself have a little give and take?”

Yea. Right.

The give and take becomes more giving in to the unhealthy and taking on the pounds and inches!

Just to be clear. I am not beating myself up about 10 extra pounds.

What I am doing is getting clear and focused on what I want. And going public with my belief I deserve only the best.

When I get clear on what I want, the path to what I want is clear and less becomes doing more of what I want in my life.

I want to be healthy. I want to feel healthy. I want to feel energized, excited about everyday. I want to wake up every morning feeling like this truly is the best day of my life to live well and live fully in the rapture of now.

That means finding value in all things.

It means being truly committed to living my best life yet. It means focusing on what I can change, and letting the things I can’t change go.

I can’t change the fact I allowed myself to indulge in bad behaviour for the past couple of months or so.

Just as I can’t change the past, I can’t change the fact I am 10 pounds heavier today because I quit doing the things I know create balance and harmony in my being present in this world everyday.

What I can change is what happens now. What I do next.

It means, I can change my focus on what happened, and turn to what I can do, now.

That means, loving myself completely and doing the things I know nurture and nourish me into well-being. It means loving me as I am present today and moving with grace and ease into eating well, exercising, and meditating — All three of those very important foundational elements of my daily routine have been missing from my daily routine for awhile.

Time to….

Begin again.

Always begin again.

Namaste.