Forgiveness surrounds me…

You know when you’re thinking about something and all of the sudden it pops up everywhere? I know when my ex and I were trying to have a baby, I would feel like every single commercial I saw was about pregnancy tests and diapers, and I’d see pregnant women and moms with little babies EVERYWHERE. This has happened to me SO many times in my life, and it’s happening again right now. As the title to this post alludes, I’m seeing stuff about forgiveness all over the place right now, and I’m thinking it’s no coincidence.

When I went to see my favourite author Brené Brown speak in Nashville in August, she mentioned something about forgiveness that really resonated with me. I don’t want to paraphrase what she said on stage, so I’ll quote from her book Rising Strong where she quotes the Archbishop Desmond Tutu as saying:

To forgive is not just to be altruistic.  It is the best form of self-interest.  It is also a process that does not exclude hatred and anger.  These emotions are all part of being human.  You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things:  The depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger. However, when I talk of forgiveness, I mean the belief that you can come out the other side a better person.  A better person than one being consumed by anger and hatred.  Remaining in that state locks you in a state of victimhood, making you almost dependent on the perpetrator.  If you can find it in yourself to forgive, then you are no longer chained to the perpetrator.  You can move on, and you can even help the perpetrator to become a better person, too.

I LOVE this concept – the idea that forgiving someone isn’t condoning their behaviour or letting them off the hook, but rather unshackling ourselves from the label of victim and from the person who made that label a reality. It is so easy to be full of hate and anger and to buy right into this victim status. I remember when my ex first left last year, I would tell people (like EVERYONE who would listen lol) all about how he had left me for a young girl he met on the internet who lived in another country. I TOTALLY bought into my victim status and people felt seriously sorry for me, and I identified with that and felt somehow better because of it. After seeing Brené speak, I realized that I wasn’t doing myself any favours by being an angry victim, and that it was time to work towards forgiveness.

So this has become a new way of living for me, or at least I’m continuously working towards achieving it 🙂 Of course being upset, hurt, frustrated, betrayed, disappointed, devastated, etc. by others is an unavoidable part of life, but how we deal with these feelings and situations is what makes us who we are. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be authentic in how we feel – being hurt sucks and I’m not suggesting that you forgive someone before you’re ready. This isn’t about pushing through a problem, it’s not about being inauthentic to yourself, and it’s not about acquiescing to another; it’s about a new way of thinking about forgiveness that allows you to accept what has happened, decide you can rise above, and forgive for the sake of freeing your spirit and soul.

I love these two screen shots from Instagram below. The one by @belongtolove is so spot on…what we’re conditioned to think it means to forgive and what it SHOULD mean to forgive. And @sacredsoulliving says it all when he says forgiveness is love.

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Here are some other great quotes about forgiveness from some of my favourite humanitarians and visionaries:

So I say make the choice to be STRONG and forgive – it’s not always easy, but I can promise you that your body, mind and soul will thank you. In my most recent relationship struggle with Ghost Guy, I never really felt angry about what happened when he disappeared, just incredibly hurt and confused. As a result, I never really thought about needing to forgive him, because I just thought I’d move past it. Oddly enough, I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately, and writing this post has made me realize that I have to consciously work towards accepting that apology that I never got from him. And also forgiving myself for obviously making such a huge error in judgment, and forgiving him for screwing me over royally…clearly I still have a bit of work to do with this one lol 😉 but I’ll get there and it’ll be with a full heart and free spirit! XO

Be unshakeable…

I cannot believe that its been two weeks since my last post! I honestly feel a little hollow when I don’t write these days, it’s kind of bizarre! I have literally been going non-stop since getting back from Halifax as my ex and I prepare to list our home for sale, and I can’t even express how incredibly exhausted I am. I have been at our house every day working working working and it just seems like the list of what needs to be done never ends. Having said that, I have enjoyed the process of working hands-on to get the renovations completed, and have soooo many things to be incredibly grateful for. 

My ex and I have had a pretty rocky relationship since our marriage ended last January, and as you’ll know from reading my blog, there have been some major fights, petty disagreements, and lots of seriously distasteful behaviour over the past 15 months. Because of all this, I thought FOR SURE that working together to finish the house would be an awful nightmare of a time, but I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised as the house nears completion. We have been able to work together as a team, and I feel such a sense of relief because of this…relief because I feel like I didn’t marry a monster who hid himself in lamb’s clothing; relief because I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to forgive, but now I know that I have; and relief because I am so happy to be closing out one chapter of my life on a positive note before moving forward into my next big, bold, amazing chapter.

That doesn’t make it easy of course, to let go, to accept the finality of the house being gone and my ex moving to another country to be with his new partner. I know that my life will be SO much bigger because of what happened with him, because I’ve been given this incredible blessing of a fresh start to make sure MY dreams are realized, but letting go of the past is HARD. Like, so so so hard. And I feel like I need to keep qualifying to people that it’s not about wanting my ex-husband BACK, it’s not about wanting that life BACK, it’s simply that it is scary as fuck to start over and to lose people from your life that played such a HUGE role in it.

My favourite quote in the world is one by Joseph Campbell: “We must let go of the life we have planned so as to accept the one that is waiting for us”. I have this quote (in the photo below) posted on my bathroom mirror and I read it numerous times a day. It’s such a strong reminder that if we’re not willing to let go of what we THINK we’re supposed to have in this life, we’ll never find what is right there waiting for us. I learned so much as I grew in my relationship with my ex-husband, and I can see now that that relationship was simply a stepping stone towards what is meant for me. 

To get through all the hard stuff, you have to be unshakeable in the belief that you’re meant for bigger things…HUGE things, and I know that I am. I’m super excited today because I took one more step towards my writing dream and signed up for a creative writing course AND a writing workshop and I’ll pay for both with part of the proceeds of my house sale…taking from the past to move into the future I’m destined for 🙂 seems almost poetic, right?! More soon! XO

 

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