The door to forgiving

In this journey to end my relationship with FEAR and ANGER there has been a huge discovery. First let me say that I am not on this journey alone, I have a counselor, having an objective perspective from someone who does not know all the people involved in my past hurts is very helpful. Not to mention a husband who loves me, that may not understand all of this but is okay with my travel plans.

My first milestone was the realization that I am human and having feelings and addressing them is OKAY. (I tell people this all the time…but did not realize I was not applying it to myself) If you ignore or suppress or try to control your feelings it really creates a bottleneck and eventually those feelings will find a way to be dealt with. I had heard this before, but did not really HEAR it, if you know what I mean.

So my latest discovery is that my Fear and Anger were unaddressed and misplaced. I had earlier realized some of what I was afraid of and what I was angry about BUT the WHO behind the WHAT was misdirected. After my last blog post I had so much emotion rolling around inside of me that I ended up leaving an important meeting because I was making myself SICK trying to not cry…so I left (discreetly) and went and typed a 5 page “This is what is p!$$!ng me off” paper. I even used the F-word in it once and did not edit it out. It was very cathartic but afterwards I felt like a lunatic. It did not solve the problem. I wanted so very badly to send it to the people that I had been typing about but all that would do is cause them unneccessary pain, or anger and me guilt for causing it. So I emailed it to the guide on my journey and to a trusted friend who has been through the process and knows my story so as to get some perspective. My guide sat down with me the next day and noticed a pattern in my writing…I did not want to BLAME the people who hurt me for my hurt or for the dysfunction they created. I did not understand the ripple affect that not BLAMING them had created within my own household. My wise counselor pointed out that if I am not appropriately placing BLAME for these things then I am likely taking on the responsiblity for everything myself.

Yep, that sounds about right. I was raised to take responsibility for myself and not to be a tattle tale. Pouring my guts out to a counselor feels a lot like shirking responsibility and tattling. It is REALLY uncomfortable. The whole process is exhausting. Sometimes the need for change is very strong, but you cannot open the door for change if you are sitting comfortably on the couch of your own misery. So, I made the decision to get my lazy arse up off the couch and open the door.

I was still afraid, I thought that placing BLAME on those who hurt me would make me even angrier at them. My anger toward these people was never really obvious to them, or anyone really, it was just a heavy emotion inside my heart that I let build and build over time. Outwardly, no one knew…even I did not really KNOW…I just felt a shift in the tectonic plates of the relationship…so slight and so slow that if it had been an earthquake, it would not have registered on the Richter Scale and would have been dismissed as a vehicle passing by or a strong wind.

My desire for Change was stronger than my Fear. I opened the door, I made it happen. I let myself place BLAME for the hurt. Yes…I was angry. Even though there were years of anger there that I thought would just flood over me and I would possibly wallow or drown in it…God was right there with me. He did not stop the flood, but He held me up and when I thought I could not breathe He handed me an oxgen tank. When you have that kind of support…standing in the middle of a tidal wave is not quite as scary.

Once the wave passed and I could see what was on the other side of the door, I was amazed. Funny how, I did not realize that by not opening that door, I was barricading myself from all the paths and doorways on the other side of it. I did not realize that by not blaming I was blocking the way to FORGIVING.

The logical part of me knew that my hurt was not my fault. I took on the responsibility for my feelings but in my core I knew it was not mine to take and so why would I need to forgive myself for something I did not do. Even if it is appropriate to BLAME oneself for something I think it is harder to FORGIVE ourselves than it is for us to FORGIVE others. It is hundreds of times harder when it is misplaced BLAME. Forgiveness may not be on the other side of that door…it is in the wrong place. Is it possible that you have to keep walking through poorly placed doors until you find the right one. I think so. Is it worth it?

I found the right door quickly, maybe not everyone does, but I feel the payoff of FORGIVING and I think so.

My journey is not over, but I think I am going to hang out on this path for a little while.