On Forgiveness.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the soul.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I always felt it was the other way round. That to forgive, to give in, made you weak. That strength was keeping the barriers firmly in place, pushing away those who had brought you the misery because that was the only way to block it from your mind.

And maybe it is. Maybe that really does work for some people.

I thought it worked for me.

For the longest time, I held hatred close to my chest like a suit of armour, constantly allowing it to lay its hand across my life. Unbeknown to me (for years, anyway) it was the cause of my anxiety. It was the reason I would spend days at a time hidden under the covers, unable to physically function due to the sheer level of poisonous thoughts spinning through my mind. The sadness, the anger. The inability to let anyone else in lest they hurt me as well.

My relationship with my Mother has always been far from healthy, to say the least. Anyone who reads this blog will know that. And much of our history, of the words that have already been written, have left wounds that cannot heal. They are a part of me and I of them.

I have always taken it upon myself to be the “hard faced” one. I suppose I get that from her, my stubbornness. Whilst my sisters would be riddled with guilt, allowing her back in time and time again, it was my job to stand strong. To prove that I wouldn’t let anyone get away with treating me like I was anything less than what I was worth.

Because I am worth a lot. I know that now.

But when it comes down to it, who does holding on to such levels of anger, pain and hatred help? Who does it impact having that toxic grip clawing against your chest every single day? To be bursting with such negativity?

I’ve been opening myself up to something bigger than myself recently. To spirituality and inner peace… A world bigger than the constrains of my own body. And in doing so, I’ve been devouring book after book guiding me through this.

A quote that stopped me in my tracks came from Deepak Chopra. It read:

“Holding on to anything is like holding on to your breath. You will suffocate. The only way to get anything in the physical universe is by letting go of it. Let go & it will be yours forever.”

Just reading the word “suffocate”… I felt the breath catching in my throat. Because that is what I had been doing: drowning under the unfathomable weight of it all.

And as I came up for air, I realised there was only one answer. One way to finally lose the shackles pulling me back into the past so I could move forward as my strongest self.

When I began to build a relationship with my Mother again, it was not something that happened quickly. It was a slow process; a tentative one. Each step I took with caution, with fear even. Fear of something awful happening again. Fear of what others would think of me.

But now I am not afraid.

I’ve come to realise that to finally let go of what hurts your heart shows courage. It isn’t a flaw.

And courage? Bravery? These are the values that matter to me the most. The actions by which I need to live my life.

So take a chance. Release the negativity and never allow yourself to be defined by your past. Bring love and positivity back into your life.

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5 thoughts on “On Forgiveness.

  1. I too have a fraught parental relationship that to this day means we cannot spent much time together and we continue to hurt each other accidentally too often. Always the guardedness that comes from old pains. But I am learning at the ripe old age of 47 that I sometimes just have to forgive him, for not having been able to be the father I craved. Instead he has ended up being the man he is. It makes me cry even thinking about it but maybe his weakness has given me gifts I have yet to realise. And I sure recognise now we are all flawed. Be gentle with you. You are walking a path you have no alternative but to walk.

    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful and honest comment. I truly do believe that (whether we know it or not) we gain strength and, as you say, gifts from growing up with something “missing” almost. You teach yourself to become the person they couldn’t be, as much as that is possible. And as you say, we are all flawed in our own way! Thank you again for your wonderful words.

  2. My sister and I are both working on our relationship with our mother and comparing notes on how it effects our lives today in hopes we can get passed it and not let it negatively effect our adult lives. We see things in each other and in how we are in relationships that stem from our relationship with our mom and we want to do better and be better. I completely agree that we get to decide how things effect us and I try everyday to choose happiness -although I often fail miserably when it comes to my mom. Would love to know what books have helped you the most?

    1. Hey Kimberly… thank you so much for your comment. I think it is so important to be honest with yourself in the way it has effected you. It’s only something I have done recently, but I can feel myself growing more and more everyday for finally accepting it. My sister and I are the exact same… she has (a year ago) become a Mum to two beautiful twins and is truly the most fantastic Mother I have ever met in my life. She decided to be more than what our own Mum was, and be better because of it. It isn’t easy, but you should be so proud of yourself for being so positive and choosing happiness! Absolutely – Baron Baptiste “Being of Power” and also Deepak Chopra “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” were the two that hit me the most. I hope they can help you too 🙂 x

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