1972 and the orange outfit (forgiveness)


In the past I have thought of forgiveness in absolute.  Black and white.  An event or series of events would leave me sad, angry, frustrated, confused and/or a wide array of other emotions that are energetically draining.  Someone has taken my toy or an emotion and I am left hurt.  I gave this other person all the power over my state of being.  I waited for an apology or something to “make UP’ for what they did so that I could forgive.   For me it was rather a helpless feeling that ultimately gave the opposing individual or individuals all the power.  An energetic drain from my own being.  What we focus on has an emotional impact on us and those surrounding us.  It may or may not be conscious but the way we carry ourselves, how we react to others, how we interpret events all can be linked to our past and which feelings/emotions we allow to sit at the steering wheel inside our extremely complicated noggin. 

When I was about 4ish I would guess I had this new outfit.

 I remember really thinking this outfit was cool.  It was a two piece light shade of orange with an evidently risqué cutout pattern for a 4yr old in 1972.  Anyway, I went next door to play with the neighbor kids (whom I played with quite often).  They teased me about this outfit, made fun of me (as they actually also did often for various things).  I came home crying and explained to my mother what was happening.  She said, “Shelley.  If they make you sad and hurt your feelings don’t play with them”.  BOOM!  I vividly remember this and naturally mom calmed me down and I went right back to play with a new mindset.  I made the decision to not hold onto my hurt feelings and let it ruin a perfect afternoon.  I felt more powerful.  I like this outfit say what you want.  I am choosing to play with you.  This is my decision. My neighbor friends accepted this within a second and we were off to get popsicles.  I would have been nice for them to apologize but I with the help of my mom I made the decision mine.  What I learned through this little experience was that time was better spent not hanging onto my hurt and loneliness.  I was a better version of myself by talking through my discomfort with someone I trusted and was safe.  Had I made the decision to not begin the process of letting go of the hurt, it would have been a long summer of possible loneliness.

When we are hurt by someone we have a process of mourning. 

It is a very personal process and will vary by a multitude of items from the magnitude for the insult or injury, how much you love yourself that day, the positive and negative impacts going on in your life.  All these items and many more are like super fancy scales that are constantly swinging.  

Mindfulness Alert for Redefining Forgiveness. 

What is your personal vision and where do you want to sit with your own self love and personal inner peace?  How do you prioritize it in daily life?

If I focus externally on those who have done me wrong Im sucking negative energy outside of myself and redirecting inwardly.  This over time will build even more resentment and anger.   If I can acknowledge my pain and suffering, consciously make a decision to work toward inner peace, I can begin my healing process.  I can start my path of becoming the master of my domain.  I become much more reflective and can act as an observer of myself and my experiences.  I personally have my struggles with “why do I have to do self work and let go of the wrong doings of other people?”.  I have been through some major trauma of which I will never fully recover.  I have little traumas that have built up over time.  And then frankly some people are simply assholes and will refuse to ever look at themselves and initiate their own healing that could help the world be a better place.  Forgiveness is not forgetting, not condoning, not a form of being a doormat, and it is most definitely not a black and white, clear cut instant decision.  Its a path we must choose and work on every day.   Anger and fear are things we can either use to help us grow or we can use it in a platitude of self destructive behaviors.  Over time the negative energy becomes a part of our cells and will greatly enable us to hurt people who have done nothing but love us.  

Healing process can begin the minute we are hurt……denial, recognizing the hurt, processing blame, denial again, self blame …… through this process we may realize that maybe the person that hurt us did not intend to hurt us, maybe the person was completely unaware, maybe the person is so hurt themselves they are not cognizant of their actions,  surroundings and the impact on other people.  Maybe…we don’t know.  We each heal different and have our own unique process.  There are scientific processes identified however we all move through the stages at different paces and in different patterns…….

Forgiveness is not forgetting. 

Forgiveness is merely processing what it means for our best being.  Forgiveness is also not stuffing.  Hiding emotions always bites me as it comes out unexpectantly in destructive ways.  Forgiveness is an ongoing  process as a result of accepting and confronting painful experiences so we can begin to heal and release the negative implications that our body otherwise will store deep into our cells.

Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves.  The path on forgiveness is acknowledging our pain and loving ourselves enough to stop hurting ourselves.  We learn, we forgive ourselves for being a human being, we grow and we put one foot in front of the other.  One tricky last Yoda thing, it may at times be better for our soul to admit we are not ready to forgive than pretend to forgive.  Its all a big dynamic process!  

Forgiveness opens myself into positive energetic space so I can better create boundaries for individuals and experiences that don’t serve me.  I must need to be able to self reflect and learn to grow from experiences and accept I may be the issue. 

Reading Recommendation:  Forgiveness: How to Make Peace with your Past and Get on with your life” by Sidney and Suzanne Simon).

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