After my last blog, “Forgiveness “Happens,” great questions were posed to me that I felt needed to be shared with all of you.
“What if I come from a deeply disturbed family and their behavior is so destructive to me that I can’t forgive, or be in their energy, without it damaging me? What does this have to do with seeing what is happening in me?”
From my experience, this circumstance and the “seeing” are intimately linked.
The point of seeing clearly what is happening inside you is that at some moment you will become very clear about what you are witnessing. Then you take right action. No one can tell another what right action is because it’s a spontaneous response from being present.
So, for example, after a few times of being with a family member who is abusive and the conversation hasn’t changed you may decide to never interact again. Or you may decide to only interact when the circumstances are a certain way or with certain boundaries. That’s for the individual to decide.
This is where the skills of therapy come in. I learned so much about boundaries and self-talk that was supportive in traditional therapy. But aside from that, I was still left with what was unhealed in me. I was left with what was unfinished and unheard in me.
That is where my work with others comes to the forefront. It’s work that helps what’s unhealed, unfinished, unheard. In a word…forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not an outside event. It’s an internal happening. It doesn’t take a certain form in the outside world. For me, it certainly does not mean that you need to become a wimp and allow others to do whatever they want without care for yourself.
Maybe you need to say something to the abuser, walk away and never see them again. Maybe you need to let them know that their actions are inappropriate.
I’ll never comment on what you do that is appropriate in the present moment. What someone does in the outside world is not where my work concentrates. I am concerned with what’s left inside of you after the event is over. What is left inside you that keeps calling this abuse back to be healed, and can we take the time to see what is actually happening inside of us.
When we are aware of what’s happening inside, we will make right choices for ourselves, feel into what’s next and be able to let go of our pain in that moment. We won’t go back and second guess our actions.
Continuing with the example of an abusive family member, if you were to see them years later at a family event, could you approach them with an open view to once again see what is there?
Most likely, they will not have changed, but you will be different in some way. You’ll get to see how it now affects you inside. Is it the same?…or different? Then you’ll take right action again from where your consciousness is at that moment. Please, take real care of yourself and do what feels appropriate for you.
As I mentioned, therapy helped me with tools, and boundaries. These are essential. But in the end, I was left with my heart still broken and my health deteriorating because I didn’t know how to deal with what was left in me.
So you can see that in the work I do, my focus is not the outside world stuff. We have experts for that and they are great. My job is to help others stay present to what’s happening inside of them.
I can’t tell you how often through my work I see beautiful people carrying around doubt, fear, pain etc., that was placed there by crazy people. They don’t know that these vibrations inside them are radiating out into the world and the world is responding to that.
This is a universal dilemma. How do we love ourselves when that might mean letting go of our families, or our own tightest held beliefs?
It’s unfortunate, but true, most of us struggle with being able to see how our minds have trapped us. Our presence has been squeezed out for a whole lot of “have to” and “should be.”
Can we sometimes accept the fact that our families or relationships are poison? Can we be the first in a line of decedents to change that? Not change it from a judgement that they’re bad, but a perspective that they’re trapped by a mind gripping them so hard they can’t be present to the pain they’re causing their loved ones. From that view, can we then take care of ourselves?
Just knowing how we all get trapped by the stories in our minds naturally causes so much forgiveness in me. Not forgiveness of the behavior, but letting go of thinking that this is about me, or on purpose to hurt me. They’re trapped! They can’t change unless they want to change! You can’t change them!
But since we are all intimately connected on a spiritual level, witnessing what’s in you brings them closer to being able to witness what’s in them. The work you do on yourself is the greatest gift you can ever give your family.
As I’ve said, I don’t focus on what actions are taken in the outside world, but rather, that you are willing to be present with yourself. And that is a turning point for every member of your family who will come after you.
No greater deed can you perform.
True, you might not look like the sweetheart of the family on this plane, but you are most likely being praised on the higher levels.
This is the work. Keep going my friend. You are deeply loved.