...and it's especially hard to forgive someone who isn't sorry.
When we tell them the effects their words or deeds have done
and they still don't offer a heartfelt apology it can very hard to let go of the pain.
So we carry it around...sometimes for our whole lives.

Years and years ago, in my 30's, I wrote my estranged father a letter.  It wasn't an ugly or mean letter, it was just about my life around him.  There was a lot of pain.  He wrote back that it was all my mothers fault.  I laugh now, but at the time it wasn't funny.  I felt invalidated.  He denied all wrong doing.  He was a distant man, quick to anger, and I don't believe he ever liked me.  And his letter to me reflected that.  I know that a lot of things would have been different for me had he been a better father....and if I had forgiven him sooner. 

 I didn't know about the power of forgiveness then, but I've slowly come to realize how much it matters.  I thought for so long that forgiveness was for them, that somehow it meant it was ok what they had done. 
Now I'm coming to really understand that forgiveness is for me.

I've held on to many things in my life in order to take out the evidence of what had been done to me so I could show the jury of my peers... .''see, I'm like this because so and so did this to me...''...''see my wounds!  How could I be any different.''  ''What do you expect.''.  What I really should have been asking, and have asked of me was, ''How long are you going to keep hurting yourself?" 

I know now that what I held on too gave me what I thought was an excuse for my crazy and often self-destructive actions.  Often doing the same things over and over again but expecting different result.  Keeping me in constant victim mode.   

I would often preface my reasons for what I'd done, or didn't do, to myself or someon e else with, ''well my dad emotionally abandoned me, yelled at me, didn't like me...was often cruel to me...So I do, did, or think this way...''  My hurt and disappointment and anger at him, and my desire to make him say he was sorry was big...and I didn't want to let it go.  I also recognize now that those grudges and angry feelings I hold on to prevent me from moving forward into my light.  They are like weights. 
People can and will hurt us.  But we don't have to take it in and hold on to it .
And there is this...when I am in judgement, my heart is closed.

Forgiveness for me rarely comes overnight...not for the old wounds...the ones that are so much a part of me......A lot of forgiveness is about self love, and finally getting to a place of not wanting to carry that icky around anymore.  
I always believed there was something lacking in me that kept my father from wanting to be my dad...
it took a long time to see that it was about him...not a deficiency in me.



Snowbrush said...

Julie, maybe you got some of that explanatory stuff from a shrink. They are often good at explaining ones actions in terms of past hurts. I wish I could forgive because I agree that it's more for my good than for the other person's, but I'm not, by nature, forgiving.

Vivian Helena said...

It is a blessing to recognize an issue and you can grow from facing it, and moving on.

You are moving on and growing from the experience... he is still stuck. You are in the better place.

AkasaWolfSong said...

Ahhh Dear Julie...I know of this well. Thankfully we haved moved on. Forgiveness is very much about the self. We could write the very same story only change the names.

Sending you Sister Love You (((Beautiful))) Spirit...

julie said...

Hi Snow...Forgiveness isn't easy...especially if the other person isn't sorry. And yes, many years ago I went through a lot of therapy. What is interesting to me is knowing that usually the offending person has moved no thought to what took place. They move on and live their lives and I am still holding on to whatever it was, living it again and again. Like being wounded all over again and they are just fine. sigh...xo
Vivian...yes, my dad lived on for many years without any contact at all..with either me or my beautiful girls. He missed out. Forgiving does not mean having to invite the other person back into your life to do it all again.
Akasa...I knew you would get it..big (((love))) back dear Sister

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