“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.