I used to believe that to forgive someone who had really hurt me , or had done unspeakable things...was letting them off of the hook. I always said I forgave this or that person. But, the rage was still inside. I would go so far as to allow people back into my life just to prove to myself and others that I could forgive.
Something wasn't right about it. My heart rate would go up and my throat would close up and horrible anxiety would set in. Why was that happening to me? I mean, I prided myself on how I could handle it all. My closest friends would say "How do you do it? You must be so strong".
No, I wasn't strong. I was betraying myself by telling myself that I had forgiven. When just beneath the surface when scratched, a million feelings would emerge. I learned that it was a process. Learned that letting go was a part of the forgiveness. And I learned to cut that wound out of my life. Many times, I would write down the hurt and put it in a bottle and when I was at the beach, I would send it out to sea. Letting go is the biggest part of forgiveness.
It has taken me a REALLY long time to set a certain prisoner free. That is me. My whole life, I have blamed anything wrong that would happen on myself. If I fell short of expectations, I couldn't forgive myself. I was scared to make people mad, or sad, or anything. Somehow, I took that as me failing and I could not forgive myself for that. It has happened even recently with people that I thought were friends. They cut me out, and I blamed myself. I would not forgive myself for anything at all. It is something that I work on to this day. Like being sick....I can't forgive my body for not doing what I want it to do. It continues to betray me. I believe that the poison of not forgiving goes through my veins and has attributed to making me sicker.
Most recently, I learned of one of my dearest friends father passing. It hit me like a ton of bricks. She told me it happened many months ago and the reason that she didn't tell me was because I had too much going on and she didn't want to bother me. I was sick for days over this. I beat myself up so much for not being there. For being consumed in my world. Becoming blind. I could only think "What horrible person would not see her friend hurting?" The same goes for my family and extended. I always feel that I am never there for them and they are all going through rough times. I keep making the same mistake over and over again with loved ones, and friends. Not seeing what is going in others life. What horrible person could I be if I was so consumed that I did not know about her fathers passing? Or being there for my friends and family in there time of need.
It is a bitter pill.
However, the beautiful thing about forgiving is you stop poisoning yourself. Remember, forgiving is not to make the other person feel better. It is for you to release and to let go. And shut that door and protect yourself.
As for me forgiving myself....it is work in progress. I realize that no one is perfect. And no one can make you feel like you are worthless. Only you can do that. But, I find that each day that passes..the prisoner in me is slowly but surely being released. It has left me raw and unprotected, because I have never known a life where I didn't beat myself up.
Letting go is so freeing and I am lighter each day I am grateful for every single event that has happened in my life. Every one. Believe it or not, I am thankful for the illness these past 2 years. It has forced me to chisel away at the rock of pure poison that I was holding on to. I am finally seeing that sparkling diamond that is inside.