Forgiveness

by rheeb

A few days ago, while on the phone with Chocolate Baby, something shifted in my life.

As I have done on this blog, I was talking about how I didn’t understand how my mother could stay married to a narcissist for so many years.  I talked and talked and talked, and then Chocolate Baby gave me a hypothetical scenario.  She said, “OK, so, if your mother were to get married again, and your new stepfather told you and SuckaMC to move out of the house, how would you feel?”  I really took the time to place myself into the scene, and what I realized was that I could give two shits who she was married to.  I realized that it’s not about who she’s married to; it’s about me trying to get retribution for all the pain I have gone through in my life.  I framed my tangent on saying that my mother deserves so much better, but the truth was that I was so hurt by not being protected growing up, that I just want everyone to hurt just as badly as I have–my mom to no longer have a husband, and my dad to no longer have a wife.  I noticed that all I really wanted was to spread my pain.  I also realized that I was being an arrogant, judgmental person.  That was very, very difficult to admit.

And that…THAT is what leads me to where I am now.  I am not excusing what happened to me growing up.  It all happened, and it has affected me adversely for years.  I am not negating any previous occurrence, but I must say that, after thinking about my true motives, I know that I have been harboring deep unforgiveness towards my parents to the point that it has stolen my life.  They are not perfect by any means, but they are also not the complete monsters I have made them out to be.  Taking a step back and looking at their families of origin has also helped me to realize my error.  My mother grew up in a terribly unstable family–same as my father.  They have just repeated the pathologies that were passed on to them.  And again, I’m not saying that they were right to do this, but I am saying that, after taking a step back and looking at the facts, I do not believe that either one of them meant to hurt me purposely.  In addition to that, I saw how unfair I was being, as a fellow human being with flaws myself, to judge them.  Although people do terrible things to each other, we never have the full story–ever.  I don’t know anyone’s motivation for what they do, but my guess would be that people who hurt others have been deeply hurt themselves.  I can only imagine all of the people I’ve hurt in my life, and how they may hate me, not knowing that I never purposely meant to hurt them.  I know that they wouldn’t know my motivations, but the reality is, I was hurting.  Judgement is terribly unfair unless you have the full story, and when it comes to my parents, I know in the depths of my being that I was judging them without full information.  I was sitting on my high horse.  I was trying to get vengeance.  I now understand why Jesus said that we should not judge others.  It’s just another way to deny our common humanity by elevating ourselves above other humans.  It’s simply a way to play God.

For the past month, I have been reading Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw, and it has truly opened my eyes to myself and how shame is passed on from generation to generation.  And I can see those patterns in my own family.  It was like my heart opened up, and I saw how being angry with them (and for me, angry means deep, abiding, guttural angst) did not help me or anyone else.  If anything, it separated me from being fully human–able to move, talk, laugh, cry, and be real with the people around me.  So I made the choice to let go and forgive them.  After many years, apologies don’t matter.  Gifts don’t matter.  After a while, nothing the person you’re harboring things against does matters.  At that point, you just want to spread pain.  And since I have forgiven them, I’ve found that I am much more at ease in my everyday life–especially around them.  I feel like dust is settling now–like a door is closing so that a new one can open.  I know that I am not at Venus yet, but the journey towards it is becoming easier and easier as time goes by.  I feel my load becoming lighter.  Now, floating through space doesn’t seem so aimless anymore.

Song of the Day: Ooh Baby Baby by Linda Ronstadt

Quote of the Day: “Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released.” – Luke 6:37.  One of the keys to Venus was to release so that I can be released–released meaning “set free.”  And now I feel tears welling up.

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