Friday, April 8, 2011
I know I must have written about this before. When I started years ago to deal with the abuse I suffered as a child, I went to meetings in which I met with others who were doing the same. Those were important meetings in which I began the important process of healing. One of the subjects that was discussed was forgiving. I did not want to forgive those that abused me and nor did most of the people who were there. We were too angry. We were not in the place at the time to do so, and those who were in charge of those meetings said it was not necessary to do so.
Well, I have moved on. I don't know what happened to those people that were there for I have not seen them since. I have discovered for myself that it is important to forgive but most important it is to find out what it is meant by forgiving. Most of us were women and we are trained by society not to be angry. It was important then to express our anger, to get it out of our system in a good and healthy way. There are numerous ways to do this and it should match the person we are. For me, it was writing and art. One time, I stopped on a lonely highway and yelled over a cliff and just told an empty place how mad I was at those people that hurt me and at the same time I said thank you to those who helped me during those times.
I think I thought forgiving was condoning what was done to me. It isn't. It is letting go of it and getting on with one's life. There was a philosopher who lived very long ago who said most of our troubles in life was our attachments to things in the past. I have found that he was right. The key is to let go of those things and experiences and to forgive is a part of that process.
One time, a person said to me as she pointed out some scripture to me from the Bible that I needed to forgive as she did. From her actions, I did not think she did a great job of doing that as she stole from me and I am working on forgiving her. She is a relative and she stole from me because she was convinced I was loved and she was not. I know that this memory was so wrong. I am getting there and work on it all of the time because some of what she stole from me really meant a great deal to me. I could tell she thought all she had to do was say she forgave. It is so much more than just saying the words.
Forgiving someone means looking at the experience fully as much as possible. Sometimes, that means you have to have professional help to do this and sometimes it can be done with a form of meditation. I have done it with both. Some experiences were so horrifying that I needed the professional help, to have someone with me when I did this. Other experiences were alright with my spiritual guide. I should note that I believe we all have inner spiritual connections with the Eternal or Higher Power or whatever you believe in. I think it is a source of great spiritual strength and help especially in these matters.
There is a reason I write as I do. I am not writing instructions on what everyone should be doing with one's life because I am not everyone; I am me. However, if my experience can help anyone achieve some kind of clarity in walking their own personal pathway it will be worthwhile if not well disregard. I know that everything I do is based on information I received from others, and I have disregarded some and accepted others.
Dean Ornish said in an introduction to Marianne Williamson's book, "A Course in Weight Loss"(Hay House: 2010): "When we forgive others, it doesn't excuse their actions; it frees us from our own stress and suffering." Forgiving gives us the room we need to do the healing most of us need in order to get on with our lives in a more healthy way which is my goal.
Posted by Geneva Lorraine at 7:53 AM