“Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” ~Jesus
It sounds so easy. Just say it. “I forgive you”. Easy right?
Yeah, not so much. Forgiveness is WAY harder than that and actually WAY more simple at the same time. I know, I know, it’s all very confusing. That’s just how life is! It’s grey in color, on an undulating landscape of balance. Yin & Yang. The trick is to stand in compassion, in the middle of it all.
OK, Ok, so here I am, with a freaking TON of abuse heaped on me over the last 25 years (you can read about that here) and I finally have the realization that I am actually very hurt & angry. I have finally admitted that I have been wronged. Which in itself is a HUGE thing, because for whatever reason, women like me, have been taught to keep our mouths shut, stand there and look pretty. Don’t rock the boat, you’re not that important. So I have finally let the cat out of the bag so to speak. As one small admittance lead to another larger admittance and so on and so on, I became overwhelmed with anger, bitterness and … something else. I don’t know what. Sadness? Fear? Emptiness? Bewilderment? Fear? Overwhelming pointlessness? Fear? Did I mention Fear? In short, I was NOT ok. I cried in bed for weeks and weeks.
Forgiveness is a thing I never really thought about in my life up until recently. I din’t really think I had an issue with it. If you stepped on my foot, you apologized and I’d say, it’s ok, no worries. And that was that. If you backed into my car, you’d fix it and that was it. No worries. No hard feelings. Accidents happen. It’s ok. It’s ok. It’s ok.
But… I began to unearth some deep trauma, and I realized that in fact it was not ok. These were not accidents I was unearthing. And these people were getting away with it. They were getting away with treating me like a rag, like trash. Like a slave. Like a play thing. Like a toy. Abusing me and tossing me out to the curb. I began to feel again and not in a good way. I was feeling anger, resentment, rage and retaliation. Bitter and defensive. Vengeful doesn’t even come close. I wanted each of these men to have done to them what they did to me. I wanted them to die a slow painful death, have the life sucked slowly out of them. I was vindictive in my heart. And my heart was becoming more and more inhospitable. Dark. Churning rage. You wouldn’t know that by looking at me, I was all smiles and pleasantries. Keeping my mouth shut. Again.
I began to realize that my internal anger, did nothing to those I was angry at, but it was making me ill. I could barely function and I was lying to myself that everything was ok, distracting myself with things to make me feel better. The resentment remained. I started seeing problems in my body. I was getting lumps and pains, aching and stiffness. I said NO to myself. If I can take control of all of it from the inside, pull in, take responsibility for all of it, I can start on the path to freeing my self from resentment. I know, I know! Take responsibility for what they did to me!!! Are you kidding me? WTF Kristin?! NO! But hear me out….
If you don’t take responsibility for you life, all of it, then you are giving up control to others. You are at their whims of destructive behavior. You need to take your life back. You need to claim responsibility. You need to know, that because you are responsible you can change it all. When you have the realization, that you actually on a certain level, allowed this abuse, you will never allow it agin, and so can change your life, forgive yourself, from the inside out. Forgiving others after that is easy. Because it’s not their fault. It’s your fault for allowing it. Now this applies to the abuses that I have suffered in my life, while I was an adult. There are some that it doesn’t apply to, like child abuse. Unfortunately children don’t have the control of their environment. They may have tyranical parents, but from what I’ve seen, these children can grow to be unbelievably resourceful and powerful. If you’ve suffered child abuse, and you’re an adult now, you have control now. So take it! We get what we need in order to grow. So look at your hardships, the places where you hold anger and resentment, and look inside there for the lesson you need to learn. Think outside the box, these lessons can be deep and hidden. Especially, if like me, you keep getting the same one. God was I dense!! I was getting the same lesson over and over and over and over!!!
I finally figured it out, I needed to love myself first. Forgive myself first. Protect myself first. Cherish myself first. Then it all began to fall into place, After that, forgiveness for others was easy. A piece of cake.
When you realize that you have been running the program that you are not in control, and you take your control back, you realize the others are running a similar program. They are not in control, and they may not even know it. They are being worked over and they are taking it out on you.
1) They are running their programming and “they know not what they do” 2) you are there. And #2, that is something you can control.
So do you stay and allow it? or do you move away from your abuser and take control over your environment. The choice, as always, is under your control!