How can I forgive?

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New  you begin to see the true nature of the abusive relationship you have been in. Colored glasses off, the clarity is blinding. It is like flying above the devastation of an earthquake and fire. Down below is wreckage, vast stretches of ash and rubble.  The world you tried to create is gone.

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You know seeing clearly is the first step in creating a new reality, but that look back to where you have been hurts so.  You may wonder, how can I ever forgive myself? You might ask, how can I forgive the blindness, the inability to stand up for myself? How can I forgive betraying myself?  How did I allow the degradation, the abuse, and even promote it?  Why did I keep it secret?

How could I have let the need for love and approval stand in the way of seeing clearly?  How did I allow fear to control me?  How did I allow my needs and fears to create an illusory world, rather than the one I really lived in?

Being honest with yourself is difficult, but look both ways:  honor your strengths, your attempts at health, as well as see clearly the ways in which you twisted reality to your own detriment.

Carrying around bitterness, anger and resentment is toxic.  You are the one who gets sick. It contaminates all relationships and undermines everything you touch. You may wonder, how will I ever find peace of mind and the freedom to look forward, instead of being stuck in the devastating past?

Do you ever feel trapped by your hurt and anger – wearing it like a straight-jacket? You may be exhausted by the raging inner battle of self hate competing with hate of the other?

Getting past denial can lead to the murky waters of guilt, resentment, rage and bitterness.  Darkness threatens to overtake the progress that you have made. Without forgiveness of yourself and the other, you remain in the equivalent of Dante’s Hell.

Saying No

Without a strong and consistent No to abuse, you passively allow the attachment to continue. It’s not just no to the real flesh and blood person.  It is No to the energetic connection and well, and that is the hardest to release.  Yet, without forgiveness of yourself and the other, the attachment remains stubbornly intact.

What is forgiveness?

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Let’s look at the principles of forgiveness to see if we can find a path to the freedom from the pain and fear of an abusive relationship.

It may mean something like this:

  • By releasing the fate of “the other” back to them, we relinquish the false belief that we had control over them at all.  We did try, didn’t we?  By seeing that you are actually “doing them a favor” by honoring their path, you are able to come home to you!
  • Knowing that leaving that empty hole in your heart, you leave open the possibility that you can fill it with healthy energies.  It’s like living on a diet of junk food, giving it up and going through withdrawals.  When you add whole, organic foods, you give your body real fuel, fuel that enables you to live more fully.  Same thing!
  • By giving up the pattern of draining your life force into anger, guilt, bitterness and hatred you transform that energy into saving your own soul.  By forgiving and releasing, YOU are free.  Forgiveness, really, is ultimately about saving yourself.  They are the only one that can save themselves.
  • You have a right to be here for you.  By attaching to someone who disrespects or uses you, you may have created a false identity based around the distorted needs of the other.  What identity would you like to create for yourself?
  • Remembering that feelings are fleeting, changing, always moving you can witness your feelings instead of identifying with them as You.

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  • Which takes us to the next point:  The witness!!  If you float above your feelings you will see there is a conscious, wise and centered you.  Don’t see it yet?  Sit still and invite in your elevated consciousness.  When you “look down” you will see the running show of experiences and feelings and thoughts – all changeable and the basis for learning. The Witness is that precious part of yourself that is eternal and on an amazing life journey – capable of connecting with great wisdom and love.
  • Consider this: life is like a play, and we play our part.  That is a role, or we may live multiple roles.  The Witness is your authentic self, not a role.
  • Spiritual growth allows you to actually experience your Higher Self, and the intelligent life force – which may be Christ for one, Allah, or Buddha for another, an infinite number of forms of God-consciousness.  You experience God in your own way, but finding God is a sacred journey which allows you to realize you are not alone. In this way, you can do what seems impossible!

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  • Gratitude for what you do have paves the way for transformation.  Like a caterpillar creates a chrysalis which dissolves into the miraculous butterfly, you too can transform into your own unique shape and with your own flight pattern.
  • It is time to identify those thoughts and beliefs that are twisted on themselves, like:  “It was all my fault.  I was so stupid.  I am guilty of anger and if only I had been stronger.”  These are childhood beliefs (reinforced by your abuser); and when viewed from the adult perspective, you can release them like dandelions blowing in the wind.

Bing Dandelions blowing in the wind

 

What is compassion?

Compassion is the vehicle by which forgiveness can take place.  It is a form of love which accepts fully and unconditionally.  In it is the key to your healing. By loving yourself unconditionally and compassionately you liberate your ability to re-define your Self.

By having compassionate acceptance (and clarity) for your abuser, you can say NO to the destructive dance and embrace yourself.

Namaste,

 

Cynthia

Dear Brother

Here is a letter that shows that abuse can come in many forms and through many different relationships.  Years of heartbreak have induced the insight which she fought against for so many years.  This is just one example of the betrayal that can occur in family relationships, laced with addiction and narcissism.  And she points the way toward redemption – for herself.

“Dear brother,

I remember taking care of you as though you were my own child.  Filling in the gap, I loved you and cared for you, child that I was myself.  We grew up in a complicated family – filled with love, yet also dangerous and unpredictable behavior from our alcoholic father.  I tried to protect you – an impossible job.

As a teen you moved toward alcohol and any and all drugs.  So bright, you turned away from school and took the low road.  You disappeared always leaving us wondering – what happened to our brother?  Where is he, what is he doing now.  Always a mystery, hiding, twisting and turning, always with a mask on.  Where did that innocent child go?

You swindled that piece of property from our parents.  Where did the profit go?  Up in smoke, up your nose?

Head in Clouds

You turned on me so many times.  Just when I would come to trust you, you turned the knife.  At my most vulnerable times you attacked.  Why do you hate me?  Is it because I stepped in as mother and you resented me for that?  Is it because you are jealous?  I will never know because you don’t speak the truth.  Always the forked tongue.  I endlessly forgave, had endless hope that you would turn yourself around.  I wanted so much for you to be happy, to succeed, to fulfill your purpose in life – whatever that may be.

You would lead me to believe that you were back, but your words were tainted, containing artificial love words, with twisted dark intent underneath.  Your words left me feeling unsafe.  You turned on your brother when he was most vulnerable.  You turned on me just before my wedding.  You left your sister standing outside your door:  no answer to her knock.  Promises made and broken.  I offered help that you asked for, then attacked me for being controlling.  You got drunk when caring for my son, leaving him at risk.

I gave you a celebratory birthday party and you turned it into a drama,  claiming that we threw you out of the house.  What?  And what about the endless times that you didn’t show up.  Liar, manipulator:  I never really knew what the truth was.  Layers of obfuscation covered you over – the true self lost long ago.

Yet another twist:  as your sister lays ill you disappear.  The deepest betrayal of all.

My head was in the clouds.  I saw what I wanted to see.  It took me so long but I see now.  I release you from my inappropriate expectations.  I release you to your own journey.

I wish you love and authenticity.  I wish you forgiveness.

I come home to myself now as the clouds clear.”