Posts tagged ‘Forgiveness’

August 15, 2011

Lesson #28: Forgive Everyone Everything

by bye2mrwrong

We often hear the slogan “Forgive and Forget”. Most people can’t do the latter, and maybe shouldn’t, to protect themselves. But what if, instead of forgetting we retold the story? Instead of telling the saga that portrays you as a victim and someone else as a villain, rewrite the script. Once you decide to change your story you get your happy ending.

Too often we keep telling the injury story. We get attention and sympathy by being a victim or by being right or by being wronged. We seek cheap payoffs that keep us stuck. If we’re invested in someone being our villain, we must love being the victim. We have to let go of both characters in the story.”

I kept telling myself my husband was the villain. He broke promises, abandoned US, and hurt ME. But what if I saw the story in a different light? What if I actually accepted that my husband had done the best he could, but for some reason wasn’t capable of giving more. He couldn’t tell me the truth, if he wasn’t being honest with himself. He couldn’t love me or accept my love, if he didn’t love himself.

I don’t know if I want to forget. If I forget, I might always make the same mistakes. That’s not an option. And I don’t know if I want to completely forgive. If I forgive then I allow him to get a free pass for what he’s done. But if I don’t forget or forgive then I allow him to live rent-free in the catacombs of my mind. Catch 22 isn’t it?

While I’m nowhere near forgetting, and I’m not even sure I’m close to accepting, I think I’m half way at forgiving (at least in some kind of shape and form). I feel that I am no longer raging with fury at his choice, but rather disappointed and sad. I no longer blame only him, but rather partake. It’s not resentment I feel, but something else. What that something else is, I don’t quite know. Maybe it’s just me, as usual not being able to let go of the past. Or maybe it’s me not having accepted it yet. How can I accept that he let me go? How can I accept that he didn’t love me enough to fight for our relationship? I guess the loss of love is not nearly as painful as our resistance to accepting it.

July 23, 2011

Lesson #11: Make Peace with Your Past So It Doesn’t Screw Up the Present

by bye2mrwrong

Who of us hasn’t heard this cliché before in one form or another? “Learn from the past, live in the present, look to the future”, “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us”, “Yesterday was the past, tomorrow the future, today is a gift and that is why we call it the present”, “Don’t worry about the people from your past, there is a reason they didn’t make it to your future”.

So how do you get unstuck from the past that’s haunting you?  How do you stop from wondering about that someone who you left in your past? How do you let go?

 Here’s what Doctor Phil says:

  • Forgiveness is a choice. Don’t wait for it to just wash over you all of a sudden. You have to choose it.
  • Don’t give your power away. The pain of what happened is inevitable, but continuing to suffer is optional. The only person you can control is you. By constantly reliving the pain of what happened, you are giving your power away to the person who wronged you.
  • Don’t cling to negative feelings. Anger is nothing more than an outward sign of hurt, fear, guilt, grief or frustration. While the pain may never completely disappear, forgiveness can help you release the anger and bring those in your life closer to you.
  • There is no right timeline for recovery. For some people, making peace happens suddenly and spontaneously. For others, it takes time and effort. You may have to make a conscious effort every day to forgive. To say, “I’m letting this go. I’m not going to invest hatred, bitterness, anger, resentment in this person anymore.” You can find closure in forgiveness.
  • You can’t change the things that happened in your life, but you can decide how you interpret and respond to them. If you didn’t receive support when you needed it, give it to yourself now.
  • Listen to your internal dialogue. What are you saying to yourself? Write them down without censoring them. Is what you’re saying fair and true? If not, generate new ways of thinking. Someone may have said horrible things to you long ago, but it’s possible you took over for them when it stopped.
  • Consider what you need to do to get emotional closure. Maybe you just need a simple apology. Find your minimal effective response – the easiest thing you can do to resolve your pain.
  • Share your experience with others. Finding a lesson in what happened can help put the experience in perspective and your emotions in check. People can thrive and suffer at the same time.

It all makes sense. But boy is it hard. Letting go of the life my ex-husband and I had planned together? Being hopeful for the life that is waiting for me alone? Letting go of dreams I dreamed, of the plans I made. Not only is it hard to fathom, but there are days when it feels unbearable.

I’m nostalgic as it is. The past always seems prettier, better, easier (especially after I’ve already overcome whichever hardships were in my way). Letting go has never been easy for me. Not with things and definitely not with people. Dare I dream new dreams and hope for a better future than the one I already had in mind?

I know that I have to move forward. Being stuck in the past isn’t healthy. But sometimes my history, OUR history smacks me in the face, and takes me backwards spiraling back to those memories; those happy moments which I wish would have lasted forever, those what if thoughts.

I want to be happy and feel complete and content in a future I did not expect. But this life I am living feels so foreign. I never imagined I would be here, in this place, without him. For many long months, it was more of a nightmare than a reality. But as the nightmare fades and I inch back into reality, I face a present with no clear direction or goals. What’s next? The future looks scary and lonely.

So, how do I dream again? How do I begin my new, different, and solo future? Lesson #2 said to start by taking small baby steps. It’s time to take a step.

March 6, 2011

Victim of Love

by bye2mrwrong

The longer we dwell on our misfortunes
The greater is their power to harm us

Too often we assume that God should allow us to live without pain. We assume that we know what’s best for us. But we should never assume that we know God’s plan. For what may seem like a big and at times sad, painful or disappointing incident for us may be something small in the long line of chain-events which are meant to happen. It may be part of our destiny.

For a long time I’ve pondered why I deserved this fate? What have I done to warrant such unending pain? Who have I wronged? And why am I being punished?  I played the victim and I played the part flawlessly with a passion. The fragile weakling that got burned; shot through the heart, and stabbed in the back, through no fault of her own. Playing the victim role allowed me to gain self-worth, after all I did nothing wrong – I was the good guy. And it allowed me to gain people’s pity and sympathy.

In retrospect saying “poor me” kept me chronically passive, and powerless. And while that part, so easy to play, became me for some time, suddenly I realize that as long as I play the victim I will not be able to move on. I will not be able to mend my broken heart. Resentment has held me back; for we only resent people to the extent that we have given away our power to them. So now after a year of anger and resentment, with courage and pride I am taking my power back. I don’t want pity or sympathy. I just want to move on. So I am letting go of the victim role. And I have found it in myself to accept, forgive and forget. Forgive myself for being stupid and forget he ever existed.

November 22, 2010

Getting Caught!

by bye2mrwrong

Why do men always think that they will get away with cheating?
Do they think we’re stupid? or just blind?
Or do they just expect that flowers and gifts will cover it all up?

When it hit me that my husband was having an affair my body started shivering all over. I screamed, I yelled, I fell to the ground, I cried. I was in pain; I was angry, upset, disgusted, and devastated. I had never had so many emotions all in once. It was unbearable.

A few hours passed by before my husband came back home….and there it was the moment of truth. But as I sat there, ready to approach him, I amazed myself. Because the only thing I wanted was not to yell at him, or hit him, or even bite his head off. I just wanted to hold him and for him to hold me. I wanted him to tell me how much he loved me and no one else, to tell me that it was just a stupid mistake. After all everyone makes mistakes. I wanted for us to work it out. So much so, that against my better judgment and my usually  unforgiving nature, I was willing to forgive, to let bygones be bygones, to find a way to repair and move on. This was the love of my life…and I couldn’t bear the thought of letting him go. I wasn’t ready to let him go.

Unfortunately it wasn’t about what I wanted, and life wasn’t just going to hand anything to me on a silver platter. My husband’s first reaction to this “insane” accusation of mine was denial. Still I wasn’t willing to back down. I gave him a second chance to redeem himself and tell the truth; but once again he shook his head and contested to my “absurd” allegations. After the third time, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I looked him straight in the eye and told him he was a liar and that I knew it. I had found out everything there was to know, I had the proof in my hands and there was no sweeping it under the rug.

He was stunned, flabbergasted. In retrospect I guess he just couldn’t think of any excuses on the spot. And so he gave in and confessed. But not even two minutes passed by and his mood suddenly changed into that of anger. How dare I have snooped in his personal stuff? How dare I betray his trust like that? I was the crazy, jealous wife, who was going through his things, spying on him. And this was something he could not forgive me for. He needed to show me that I was in the wrong and put me back in my place. This was of-course what I would later realize to be the beginning of the end.

But at that moment in time,under all the anger and disappointment I knew that what he was really feeling was shock and dread. He had underestimated me, misjudged my intelligence, and now had to deal with the grief, torture and aggravation of having been caught.

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