I have been having a lot of conversations about the past and the events and people that shape us. These life events and the people in our past can have a huge and lingering effect on our lives and how we react and respond to the world. I don’t think we should shut the door on the past, but I don’t think we should spend so much time there that we miss the wonder of what is right in front of us now. Yes, these things have shaped us and left scars on our souls in some cases. I am telling you it is nothing you cannot overcome if you choose to. You have already survived it, haven’t you? We are responsible for ourselves and our actions.
Grief, childhood trauma, hell just trauma in general, disappointments and betrayal, all these things can make you feel isolated and so alone in this huge world. No one seems to understand. Or do they? I don’t think there is anyone I know that has not been through some major traumatic event in their life. We isolate ourselves with our pain and our anger. Trapped within a vortex of emotion swirling around us like a tornado it can be difficult to not feel helpless. True we are helpless in the sense that we have no control how others will act or respond but do we want to live the rest of our lives based on how others have acted.
When you decide that what you have been doing is not working and take a good long look at yourself, you will realize how much power you actually have. For example, someone in your life has wronged you in a large way. You now have some choices. There is nothing wrong with getting angry but if you continue to live from that space it will bite your little butt! So you are angry, now forgive. Just forgive. Forgive them and forgive yourself. Sounds simple and it is even though we make it so complicated. I think people have attached all kinds of things to the word forgive. One of the on line dictionaries describes the meaning of the word forgive as “excuse, condone, pardon, forgive meaning to exact neither punishment nor redress. excuse may refer to specific acts especially in social or conventional situations or the person responsible for these.” Another describes it as “to stop blaming or being angry with someone for something that person has done, or not punish them for something they have done.” For myself, forgiving someone is something like this; I acknowledge their action and the pain it has caused me then I simply let it go. I do not seek revenge. I do not hold it over their head. Now I don’t want you to think that this is instantaneous. Sometimes it is, but for larger transgressions it can take a little bit of time. It takes me a while to process or work through some things. Some things are so large that in the process of forgiving the other person I end whatever relationship I had with them. Sometimes in order to let go you have to let go of the person as well.
I was abused by a neighbour as a child. This was a traumatic experience for sure and while I will not go into all of the details of the whole thing I will share a small part of it with you. I was abused then the abuser moved away. What sweet relief that was for me. Our family also moved to a different part of town about a year later. I was walking to school in our new neighbourhood and low and behold there was the man who abused me walking towards me. I was afraid, I was angry and I looked him in the eyes as he walked towards me. I am also stubborn so I was not going to run away or switch to the other side of the street. When I looked at him and he recognized me the look of fear on his face broke something open inside me. I was no longer the victim of his sick mind, I realized that he was the one imprisoned by it. I was free and I forgave him. I never spoke to him that day and I rarely ran into him again. I just knew, even as a child, that it was imperative that I let the anger and the hatred go or my whole life was going to be poisoned by it.
You will find your own strength in the letting go and forgiving. I have to admit that sometimes I have to do this numerous times for the same thing or person. Some things that I think I have worked through pop up again. So I let it go, then I let it go again. The forgiveness can only come when you have let go. The power or hold of the situation in your life only loses its grip when you let it go. There is freedom in that.
Peace and love to all