I had a personal achievement a few weeks back. One that I had been working on/through for months, if not years. I understood the feeling but I couldn’t grasp the concept nor put it to words….. Until last week that is… A dear friend of mine asked me to elaborate on the subject… So here goes.
My life, like most anyone’s life, has been full of ups and downs. Some of my downs have been a lot deeper than most, but I always found my way out and back up to where I needed to be. Surviving conflict though, whether within yourself or with someone else is not the same as finding peace within it, OR the same as healing… I don’t like to survive life… As one said before “We all die at one point anyway, so what’s the big deal about being a survivor?” Well, that question resonated with me. And I started looking for the answer. Because surviving isn’t peaceful, it isn’t happy, it isn’t inspirational and it isn’t a mindset to be grateful in either. You can’t grow from survival, you can’t learn from survival, you just survive. So once you have survived whatever it is that you have gone through you need to forgive. Ah, yes, forgive. Such an easy task, right? I’m sure you sense my sarcastic undertone… But in all seriousness, forgiveness is truly the key to personal growth and ultimately inner peace.
Chew on that for a minute……
Now, forgiving someone (including yourself) isn’t a one and done kind of thing. You can’t force it. You can’t fake it. And you definitely can’t go without it. The question now is how to forgive. And here is where my epiphany came to play.
You can’t bundle forgiveness.
You have to compartmentalize it. You have to choose forgiveness every day. Sometimes multiple times in one day. This goes for self forgiveness as well as for others. Allow yourself time and space to heal by accepting, understanding and letting go of the pain for individual hurts. Don’t bundle them up into one blanket of forgiveness. It doesn’t work that way. You’ll continue to fall back into the same dance over and over if you do. Take the time to address each hurt…. And learn to forgive them on their own
Does that resonate with you? It does with me. I realized I can’t just forgive someone for everything they did just because I want to let it all go. I have to go through the list and understand why I forgive each thing that happened or that transpired individually because they all had lasting effects that trickled their way into my NOW. Thus allowing me to let go of the pains that relate and are attached to those memories or hurts. It takes time, effort, patience and for me, a lot of tears…. But as I work my way through my forgiveness I feel an enormous amount of peace. I feel confident in my decision and confident in my emotion that now correlates to that memory/event of forgiveness.
When you see me smiling…. I am truly smiling, it is not a vail or a mask like it used to be. With patience, perseverance and a passionate desire for wellbeing and personal growth I have been able to over come what I never thought I would.