February 16, 2016

The Truth about Forgiveness: An Ode to my Abusers.


“The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin

This past Valentine’s Day, I began a quiet period of reflection.

I had spent 14 years immersed in one big, commercialized “buy me roses and chocolates, make it all look good on the outside while I am dying on the inside” relationship.

As I spent the day in solitude, I enjoyed time genuinely processing how I had gone from the deepest, darkest misery of my life to a place of abundant peace, bliss and joy.

How did I get here?

What does peace look like?

What does forgiveness look like?

What does love really look like?

As I processed the pain inflicted on me by others during my childhood and my decision to invite and allow this pain in even when I was old enough to make my own decisions, here is what I learned:

First—and the biggest epiphany for me—pain breeds pain.

It is not a happy, healthy person who violates the body of a toddler. It is not a happy, healthy person who repeatedly comes to the bed of a 12- year-old at night. It is not a happy, healthy person who violently and forcibly inflicts himself on an impressionable teenager.

Nor is it the behavior of a happy, healthy person to break promises over and over and say words they do not mean. When my relationship began, I had no memories of my childhood and was baffled by my own behavior. I knew very early on how this would play out, yet I continued and it progressed deeper into the darkness.

Until I realized that it is also not the behavior of a happy, healthy person to allow this type of relationship to continue for 14 years—so ultimately this journey of forgiveness started with me.

It started with owning that I was not a happy, healthy person. Yes, that was a big one. A giant exhale accompanied that realization.

It was time to go inside—I felt the answers there all along.

The second truth I discovered is that people love in the best and only way they know how. Most human beings do not marry to hurt another person, most do not have children to hurt them and almost all child abusers were in some way abused themselves, which brings us back to pain breeding pain.

And finally, my last truth was deciding where does it end?

Today, I look to me to end my pain. Today, I realize that my pain will only continue to breed more pain in myself and others. Today I know how to love in a new way. It is the best and only way I know how. It begins with a deep knowing of the pain of others. It comes from a place of remembering that pain inside of myself—the hopelessness and sadness.

This does not mean I’ve forgotten. It just means I no longer want to live in that pain. It means I will transform that pain into creativity and love which now fuels my fire to make the world a better place.

Pain breeds pain and where does it end? Mine ends here, with this, with forgiveness and love:

I send love to my abusers.

I send love to my rapists.

I send love to every person who violated me or hurt me in any way.

I send love to every person who has ever broken a promise and spoken untrue words to me.

I send love to every person who has ever been unkind to me.

Today I send love to every being who has ever caused pain in the deepest reaches of my soul as I realize that each and every one of you did not pass through my life so that I could love you, you set foot in my path, instead, so that I could learn to love me.

On this day, I feel deeply loved so I will celebrate that connection with the rest of the world.

I will celebrate the connection to self, which is the reason for every hard lesson of suffering we endure.

In learning to love me, in genuinely seeing, connecting and becoming intimate with every piece of me, I now see you.

I see your pain.

I see your suffering.

I see we are the same, just in different places in our journey.

Your pain spilled out and made you hurt people.

My pain stayed inside and made me hurt me.

Both need to end. It is time for us to stop inflicting pain on ourselves and one another.

It is time for us to forgive.

It is time for us to move as one to a better place, to higher ground.

It is time to let love win.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. ~ Mark Twain


Author: Christie Del Vesco

Editor: Nicole Cameron

Image: elzoh/Flickr



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