Forgiveness is a concept that many people talk about, emphasize, and also preach about.
But what about the person they are speaking to? The person whose feelings are so deeply rooted in their own pain the idea of forgiving the person who hurt them is alien.
I had no idea how much resentment and anger I had been holding for my husband. After 19 years together, those feelings had been buried deep within the recesses of my subconscious. And the day I told him it was over and meant it, I thought that I had let go and was ready to move on. Of course, I had spent several days knowing that I was going to tell him, but I needed time to process such a monumental decision. In truth, he wasn’t so bad in the end.
But it was the beginning, middle, and parts of the end that finalized my decision to leave.
When I did tell him, I spent days and weeks mourning at first, because as an empath, I felt his pain. Then later because of all the years I lost being with him and all of the pain he caused me. I was done. There was no going back. The awkward part was having to continue living with him for several months after the break up for the sake of the kids and getting financials together. It was during that time that I had a woman come to the house for a womb steaming party. If you aren’t familiar with this, it’s where you sit over a pot of herbs, the steam travels up, and is supposed to help pull out negative energies that are trapped within a woman’s womb. The lady was also a coach and talked to me about my husband. She accused me of not forgiving him, and I really thought I had.
But then she challenged me and said, “If you are really over him, then you need to love him.” If you had seen the scowl on my face, you would have laughed. Why did this bother me so much? It was because I was afraid she wanted me to get back together with him. I didn’t want to be with him, not ever again. Why did I need to love him? I thought. But being the Aquarius that I am, I refused to back down to a challenge, so I accepted it. For the next month, I thought loving thoughts toward him, the same I would for others that I cared about and loved deeply in my life. The same way I would think about my friends, family, children.
When those 30 days were up, something remarkable had happened.
It was no longer awkward to be around him, to talk to him, to be in the same space as he did. The weirdness, the conflict, it just didn’t exist. Even the way he dealt with me had changed. He was civil, cordial even. And as I reflected on this new level of being, this new relationship we were establishing, I realized that forgiveness is hard. And we are so complicated we cannot ever fully know how much pain we are holding onto from things others have done to us, ways that we have been hurt. So how do we move on? How do we forgive? The answer was simple. But I will get to that in a minute.
Fast forward many months later, I have entered the dating world and met a man, someone who no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get out of my mind. And soon we became closer and by the end of three months, I was madly in love for the first time since I was a teenager. As an adult with all the life experience I had, this was a weird, yet euphoric experience. That was until I got a text from him confessing that he was married. I know, my life is straight out of a drama.
I was beyond hurt and my heart was broken.
And once again I was faced with so much pain and angst and I didn’t think my heart could take much more. I cut him off and blocked his number. But after seven weeks, he came back, marriage over. And I, who had been in therapy and thought I had moved on and that I was over him, until that message. All the hurt and pain, in the form of anger, surfaced like an erupting volcano. I found myself shocked that the feelings were so intense. How was I ever going to get over him, so I could move on? I wondered.
I ended up talking to him despite my tribe telling me to ignore his messages. That just wasn’t who I was. And so, we talked and talked, and both wanted different things. Eventually, I broke down, seeing that there was only one way for me to let go of all this pain and anger. To make love, not war.
When It’s Time to Forgive:
After everything, after the betrayal, the pain, I realized that the only way to stop being mad was to love again. The answer, the key to forgiveness, was love. It was the secret ingredient in me all along. It’s what is within all of us, what we have the capacity to be. We came from love and will return to love, yes, love is in us. But how willing are we to let go of our egos, our pain, and say, despite everything, I love you, to the ones who hurt us? Many will ask, why should I? But I ask you, why shouldn’t you? We have all heard forgiveness isn’t about the other person, it’s about us. About releasing those toxic feelings that dig and burrow deep within us, breaking us down, emotionally, mentally, physically. We get sick, we suffer. But if we can just find a way to love them, we would also heal ourselves.
When it’s time to forgive, make love, not war.
Are you interested in learning more about personal growth, forgiveness, and healing? I invite you to book a coaching session with me.