A friend of mine asked if I had any posts on Forgiveness. I do now…this one’s just for you 🙂
There are a great number of sources that I consulted in order to learn how to forgive. One of the best sources I found was in the Grief Recovery Handbook (see resources). After my marriage ended, I experienced a deep loss and floundered for a sense of purpose…I was so SURE, I had the answer to life and the key was hidden within my marriage…I didn’t have to think beyond that relationship for purpose, and I NEVER even thought for one second that it would END. But, it did…and when it did. I was in a kind of fog and asked myself…Now what??
I felt like a failure. I felt like a bad mother. I felt inadequate because I couldn’t make it work.
I blamed my ex. I blamed society. I blamed my parents. I blamed myself.
One of the earliest healing exercises I learned about was THE LETTER. Basically, in dealing with loss, regardless of the relationship (divorce, death or other loss) there are significant dreams, hopes and visions associated with the relationship. According to the Grief Recovery Handbook, the letter helps you to lay these visions to rest. You have opportunities to make amends, apologies and tell the person in question your true feelings. You have opportunity to learn how to let go without one word being spoken directly to the person in question.
Within our traditional teachings, I have found have similar exercises. The moon ceremonies provide women the opportunity to speak with grandmother moon and let go, or celebrate the growth since the previous moon. Offering prayers and tobacco at this time assists in the “renewal”. Offering tobacco in prayer is a form of letting go…expressing, and sharing what is on your mind with Creator.
One of the things that stuck in my mind after reading about Forgiveness and healing loss (Grief Recovery Handbook), is the notion that Forgiveness is something you DO. Often, when you are asking forgiveness, what you are really saying is “I’m sorry.” And, if it is you that was wronged…it is never a good idea to tell someone “I forgive you”, as this can be seen as arrogance and can lead to more conflict.
I was reminded of these teachings after a particularly heart-breaking relationship experience. I was devastated, and had never in my life, experienced pain like that before. Feeling rejected, unloved and deeply scarred. I set about picking myself up off the ground an inch at a time, one day at a time. I wrote THE LETTER and burned it. I went to ceremony. I sketched. I danced. I prayed. For weeks…I went through deep depression and listlessness. When I thought I couldn’t bear another moment, I found a website with an amazing message – and finally, a song came.
The song talked about Healing rejection. The steps toward healing were found in those words. The premise is that I have a choice about how I want to live my life, and my saviour was in recognizing that I am fully accepted by creation – and in being accepted by creation, I accept myself. Here is a link to the article I found http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Denise_Boggs
Once I had learned acceptance, I was then able to move forward. I thought about the relationship that ended, and saw that we were being ourselves. I was finally able to release this person to Creator because I realized we were living our truth. We were walking our own individual paths. Nothing had to be forgiven, because we were just being ourselves. Each of us responsible for our own actions.
Everything happens for a reason, the pain that I felt – I had CHOSEN. At the time, I didn’t understand. Looking back on that experience, I can see how Creation had given me what I needed in order find a new way of being. I can ACTIVELY choose LIFE.
Sometimes I find myself being hard on me, and I find myself reacting to life’s events. Often I remind myself how to do what is necessary to free myself. Let go, and remember to forgive myself. I continue to learn and practice forgiveness in many different ways, many different situations. Life just happens, it’s not good or bad…it just is.
When things get tough…I dig out that song and comfort, and accept myself and continue on…