What does it mean to forgive? For me it is a process I am working on, that like anything in life must start out small and grow, much like a tree that starts off from seed, to grow into a large tree that bares fruit, so too is my forgiveness process. A seed of thought is planted on why forgiveness is so important, taking root and as it takes hold in the ground, and grows and new branches grow, all the things I must work on forgiving this person come forth. When my tree bares fruit I will, at least I so believe, I will have released everything I have had to overcome and forgive this person for.
The pain and suffering he has caused and continues to cause me, well it is easy to get angry and point toward him for all the misgivings he has done throughout the years, but the truth of the matter is, if I continue to focus on all the ways he hurt me over the years, not only will I continue to relive it, but instead of improving and moving on, I will get worse. By rehashing those negatively impactful experiences I will keep experiencing over and over what he did. This is not a healthy way to go about life, plain and simple.
My plan of action, is to take every branch of my tree and decide how best to handle it. Will I prune it, cut it off completely or allow it to be? If I prune it, I will take off the parts that hurt and leave the rest, if I cut it off completely, I will get out everything about what hurts, but if I allow it to stay its existence serves as what it is, there. In each circumstance, I will have to forgive so I can move on and heal. I need my tree to not only grow leaves, but bare its fruit of forgiveness.
When I think about my tree, I can see it as a seedling plump with moisture with a small strong root base growing down into the ground, while the stem strong but resilient has the capacity to move with change. It, much like me, is strong and can adapt to many changes. I see myself in the early stages of growth in my forgiveness process. The shoots are starting to jet out, to grow into each branch I must carefully take care of. In this process I keep visualizing how I want my tree to look and be seen, how I want to be seen.
I have allowed myself many unfortunate experiences caused by his actions. Marred with lies, deceit, negativity and ultimately scars, which have caused me deep pain in the end. It has hurt the children I love more than anything in this world, and one to be used at the hands of this person, or so I believe. I have held on for longer than was healthy, allowing him to poison the very ground I was growing from. I see that now. I wish I had seen it sooner, but truth be told I wanted him to be held accountable for the things he has done. I wanted Karma to repay him. I thought by putting out there the things he did, it would somehow cause him to feel bad for what he has done and others would see and turn on him.
The only thing that has happened is it hurt me. He used the one thing he knew would cause me the most pain, and I allowed it to hurt me. I allowed him the ability to control how I felt and thereby giving him power over me. He didn’t behave in a better way, on the contrary, he behaved as I should have expected. When I realized how difficult the experience was for me and that he behaved in the extremely negative cutthroat manner he is accustom to, I realized in my grief I had to let go. I was expecting this person to want to be morally a good person, to think of how his actions caused harm, but I was putting my beliefs on him. This is who I am.
The act of forgiveness, is not an easy process. As I see it, you need to work through the pain, relive it, and grow from the experience. You are, when you forgive, looking inside of yourself to see what is hanging you up and come to terms with it. In many ways you let go of the pain and no longer see it as a hindrance but use it to empower you. As I sit here I think of all the things he has done, to me, our children, other people. It occurs to me this is my way, of repairing my self, making me strong and resilient. If I can move past many of the hurtful ways in which he treated me, abused me, the only person who will have control over me is me.
I know I will never get back the losses, those pieces of me that matter and continue to be in my heart and mind. It isn’t a choice I have made, but one that has been made for me. It is that pain I need to come to terms with, let go of and ultimately forgive. Those things that matter will always matter, but finding a new way to look at them, kind of like looking through a kaleidoscope with an ever changing view of the same things, this is how I will work toward letting go of my anger. I will free my mind of the negativity and heal, for me, for the days I have ahead and the years I have yet to live.