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Moving Beyond Unforgiveness

Last month at Women Talk I shared about Intention, asking the question, “how we want to show up in the world?” I shared a list of questions and when I got to the question “Do I have unforgiveness in my life?”

I found myself spontaneously sharing about a recent incident with my mother. When I arrived at home that night I wrote about what was on my heart; the memories and the emotions tied to those memories as it related to my relationship or lack thereof with my mother. My anger, sadness and frustration poured out onto the paper. Not about everything in my life, only the toast crumbs and dust bunnies of the past in relation to a floor that I cannot even see at my mom’s house, along with the beliefs that were ingrained into me as a small child. I thought I had already gone through forgiveness and put this in the past, I could not understand why I was facing all of this again.

The next day we suddenly lost our precious Faith at the vet during the medical exam. Shocked doesn’t even come close to describing those moments. As my world spun around me it didn’t matter about the relationship with my mother or the problems that existed. The loss of Faith filled my world, my thoughts and my emotions. I realize now that there was significance to my emotions that day as it relates to my mother, which I will share in a moment.

At the beginning of July during a conversation, stories were shared about situations and struggles other women were facing in regards to their moms. It was eye opening for me, in my belief system and approach to my own struggles with my mother. Then when someone said to me, “remember you are the daughter” it gave me pause to assess where I had been placing myself in the relationship.

Going back to the day we lost Faith I did struggle with wondering why the painful situation with my mother didn’t matter in that moment and then I began to understand. It was the relationship… the unconditional love that I gave to my cat and that she gave back to me. It was the love, the cuddles, spending time together; the purrs, the playful moments, the late night naps under the covers and so much more. The relationship to my mother… certainly not one filled with unconditional love and all things that I believe that I needed. It is neither right nor wrong, it just is.

I don’t have it all figured out yet but I am on the journey to healing. The questions I am working through right now might apply to anyone that may be facing struggles with someone that has caused unforgiveness to creep into your heart. I ask that you will consider these questions in your own situations so that you too may move beyond unforgiveness.

  • Am I responsible for the choices and decisions the other person makes?

  • Who said I had a say in those choices and decisions, is it my life or theirs?

  • Does it matter to that person if I agree or not to what they do, how they live their life?

  • Are they impacted when I “offer” my opinions and ideas when they have not invited me to do that? On the other hand, how am I impacted by those opinions and ideas in my own life?

  • What is my role in relation to that person? In my case, if she is the parent and I am the child, should I be trying to change the role or allowing her to?

  • Who is responsible for how I feel?

  • What do I need to do to replace the feelings that do not serve me with feelings that bring peace, comfort, hope or whatever it is I need in that situation or relationship?

  • What are my boundaries? What is okay and what is not okay? Can I live with the decisions I make around the boundaries I set? If the answer is no, have I chosen the right boundaries for me? Am I walking in my authentic truth or am I allowing the misconceptions placed upon me to rule these decisions?

  • If I feel guilty, why? What is the fear that is showing up as guilt? What is the worst that can happen? Can I live with that? If not, then what can I do to break the fear and bring peace to me?

It is a process and a journey but well worth it. I am just stepping onto this road, learning the answers to these questions and to truly move on from this place.

I believe we can release all that does not belong to us whether it is where we have injected ourselves into someone else’s life with our opinions or where we have allowed the thoughts and opinions of others to form our own self-beliefs.

May we find our own peace, freedom, forgiveness, our authentic truth, healing and the answer to the original question, “how you want to show up in the world?’

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