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.
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.
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?
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.
- 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!
- 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.
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.