My mom is the forgiveness Queen! Growing up I just didn’t understand how she could forgive at the drop of a hat. I grew up hearing and reading that one should forgive seventy times seven. So as I child I did the math and figured that if I forgave 490 times then all would be good. I would have a pad and anytime anyone crossed me I would ‘forgive’ and minus from that 490. One day in church I learned that 490 was metaphoric. Rats! I was disappointed. You mean to tell me that I should forgive infinitely? Really? Seriously?! Bullocks! On top of that you want me to forget?! You asking for a lot Lord, was my thought. But, again I would watch my mom forgive and forget. I was her external ego constantly reminding her that hey did you forget what he/she did? She would gently remind me that one should forgive. That we should take one positive and cover all the negatives. Blah!
I would love to say that I followed my mother’s wisdom throughout my 27yrs of life. But that would be a blatant lie. I didn’t learn the true meaning of forgiveness until last year when I got onto the spiritual path. I was looking for a book to read, something spiritual, something to get me going and Nikole recommended Iyanla Vanzant’s "Tapping the Power Within." Truly an amazing book…until I got to the chapter titled ‘Forgiving and Releasing.’ It so happened that I was on the train heading to see my therapist when I got to that chapter. I was FURIOUS reading her words in that chapter. FURIOUS I tell you! She was basically telling me that I should forgive the beloved next door neighbor that raped me for four flipping years! I should forgive my favorite uncle for the same sins as he, when I went on a vacation back home! I should forgive the boy from upstairs that used to torment me and then one day started touching places he had no business touching (I told my mom and she told his parents and he got a sweet buss ass from his father after his mom told him. They too are Jamaicans so you can only imagine. He got licks for hours!). I should forgive the guy that was grinding on me when I was only 8 when I took a summer vacation to the country?! Really Iyanla? You want me to forgive ALLADAT?!
I wanted to pelt the bloody book across the train. I started to feel this inner rage that rarely shows its ugly head. You see the thing with me is this. I’m very good at blocking things. My therapist calls it ‘self-preservation.’ Something would happen to me and if I choose to, I won’t remember it. I’m sure we’ve all done that at some point, no? Come on don’t make me feel weird. You’ve done it right? No? Anyway, that’s what I would do. I would put the event(s), even a person into a compartment in my mind and sealed the box and will it’s disappearance. It’s not until someone will ask me about it, or mention it, or something profound, or sometimes nothing at all will bring the memory back. I hate when I’m thinking of nothing in particular and will remember something I placed in that box. For instance what that guy did on my summer vacation to the country (it took a while for my mom to forgive my dad of that one.) I was walking home from Medgar couple years ago and the memory just BAM hit me. It nearly brought me to my knees! Why? Because count it. I’ve been through five instances where I was violated by men. Yes I only mentioned four here but in a previous blog I mentioned a 16yr old tongue kissing me when I was only 5/6yrs old. Two of these violations involved sexual intercourse. Who want to remember that? Who wants to tell someone, oh yeah this happened to me and that happened to me? That’s a lot for one person. Not to mention that one of these violations lasted for four years. So to preserve myself I placed 4/5 of these events in a box. Was this helpful? Yes! HA! *laughing at self* Ahhh the lies we tell ourselves…
Back to Iyanla. I was in a foul mood by the time I got to the doc. I told him what Iyanla said and I was PISSED. Like a typical therapist he sat and listened which pissed me off even more. Then I started crying. It’s been…shucks…I stopped counting after five years how long I’ve been seeing him…but its been a minute…he’s seen me cry less than five times. I hate crying in front of him. You would think he would have tissues in the office. Hmph! There I was crying because I was so upset that Ms. Vanzant wanted me to forgive all these men. These men who have caused me to distrust men. These men who have shaped my thought process in so many ways. These men who have taught me to think like them in certain aspects. Not only did she want me to forgive these men she wanted me to forgive people in general. It took me back to my church days. Seventy times seven. Naahhhhhh no way! But within myself I knew I was going to do it. Why? Because somewhere in my psyche her words struck a cord and it made sense. I need to forgive and release so that I may heal.
Eyes puffy. Nose red and sore from using napkins to blow my nose instead of puff tissues, I walked back to the train station, thinking pondering. I took a deep breath and as I waited for the train to arrive I read some more. Iyanla had a suggestion. Her suggestion was for seven days, in a composition notebook, in the morning write: ‘I (your name here) forgive (place person who grieved you here) totally and unconditionally.’ Free your mind and whoever’s name comes up write it. Now if you had twenty names in the morning then at night you would write twenty times: ‘I (place your name here) forgive myself totally and unconditionally. I am free to move on to wholeness and completeness.’ Do this day and night for seven days. If you missed a day you have to start over. Don’t worry if a name repeats each day. Go ahead write the names down. She also mentioned that to not be surprised if you hear from some of the people that made the list and receive an apology randomly.
So I went to the 99ct store and purchased a composition book and did this. My heart was like lead! But I sat down on August 19, 2012 and did my very first forgiveness ritual. The names floweddddddddddddddd. That first day I had 35 names! Who knew I was pissed at so many people! *cough cough* I didn’t understand the second part of the assignment to forgive myself. What the heck did I do? These people grieved me! The thing is my friends, there are times when deep down we may have blamed ourselves for what happened to us. If I had followed my mind and not go then this wouldn’t have happened, if I didn’t go over there this wouldn’t have happened, if I hadn’t, if I hadn’t if I hadn’t! Rid yourselves of this! Forgive yourself. Even if you haven’t walked down the ‘if I hadn’t’ lane still forgive yourself. It would open a door in your psyche. For seven days and seven nights I did this. I remember being annoyed that she demanded it to be written. I agreed. Handwritten is always so much more personal but damn if I didn’t wish I could type it and then copy and paste. It takes work my friends and that’s the point. You will be rewarded for the time and energy that you have placed into doing it. I also remember one time when I peeped the clock and it was 11:45p. I scrambled out my bed so fast to do the night time portion of it. NO WAY was I doing it over and I think I was passed halfway finished. LOL!
How did I feel after? Light. Very very light. I was at peace. Each time I wrote the names it was like something within me opened up. The chains that were imprisoning these people and me where unchained. It was like a weight totally lifted from my shoulders, heart and mind. I was free. Now, now I’m not saying that everyone on the list I’ve completely forgave. There’s one person in particular that I haven’t completely forgave. You know who he is. I mean it was four years people. However, in February of this year I woke up a morning to the thought: It’s time to let it go. Let me back up a bit and share something else with you. I’ve never, ever let what happened to me affect me externally. You would never ever guessed that I’ve been through a lot. My grades were always good. Even when I was playing hookie from school I would hand in my assignment early or meet up with a friend early and to hand it in for me. I was so young but I was determined to not let this affect me. When the puss was out the bag when I was 18yrs old everyone was surprised. I just didn’t want them to win. Internally I was screwed up but I pushed a lot to the side. I told myself that I want so much out of life and no way am I going to sit here and cry and pout or be angry. Not to say that any of these things aren’t justified. I can’t tell you how to feel. What I can say, is that it’s destructive. To wake up and be fueled by hate and anger is toxic. Cleanse yourself of it. Rid yourself of it. Forgive yourself. Forgive them.
A very good time to forgive is the night of the full moon. I have a different ritual than that of Iyanla’s that I’ve learned from Gina Sendef (Angel Intuitive). It’s shorter but still effective. However I will share that in another blog. If you so please I would encourage you to try Iyanla’s method first. As for random apologies, that really did happened. The more I forgive the more it happens. Just the other day I received a random text from my ex (the abusive one) and knowing the type of guy he is I was shocked he still had my number (he didn’t. Long story), especially given how things ended back in 2009. It was NOT pretty! Thank goodness for Whatsapp because I wouldn’t have known it was him had it not been for his picture. When I saw the text I was frozen! I text a few people and their responses as to what to do was not, ahem, nice. They know what I went through. However, I took a deep breath and responded. No malice or anything. The conversation was short. Then he hit me up again either late last month or earlier this month and I cut to the chase and asked point blank why is he texting me. In short he told me: since me he has never met anyone like me; He hasn’t experienced love the way that I gave it; He hasn’t been able to keep a girlfriend because they aren’t like me; most importantly, he’s truly sorry for all the mistreatments. This is a man that was physically abusive. This was also a man that I forgave. I responded from love and this is what I said: ‘ U hurt me a lot Kenny [not his real name]. A LOT! Not only physically but mentally, and emotionally. However, I’ve forgiven u. Otherwise I would’ve told u to kiss my brown ass and go ur way. Lol! But I’ve forgiven u. When u love, u have to love 100%. We all deserve love. So what I would like for you to do is to forgive yourself. I had to forgive myself for the role I played in the relationship. Once I forgave myself I worked on forgiving u. So forgive yourself hun. Be at peace. I don’t want you missing out on love hun. You’ll miss it if you keep this wall up. I hope the issues you had you worked on. Like anger management. If you haven’t worked on ur issues then you’ll drive someone away. I worked on myself through therapy and lately forgiveness. So that tightness in ur chest release it! Hehehe. I loved you dearly and did everything I could for u because I loved u. And that would come again. But you have to work on u first. Ok hun?’ Sweethearts, there was no way I would’ve been able to write that to him without the power of forgiveness. It’s difficult to do but in the end it’s a form of healing.
Like I mentioned, I woke up in February with the thought to forgive Alex. Yes he was on my list for the seven day ritual and makes it from time to time on my full moon rituals but it’s been difficult. But it’s a tad easier. I’m getting there. It wasn’t one event. This was something that lasted for four years. But I’m so bloody proud of myself for where I’ve come from internally when it comes to him. Forgiving has made me such a better person. I don’t wait until the full moon to release. If I’m so angry at someone and the full moon is far away I sit down at home and do the ritual anyway. If the ritual is too long for my liking because I’m that upset then I take a pen to paper and begin writing a letter to that person (which is later discarded) and it’s such a powerful release. Anger is toxic and we shouldn’t have it fester and set up root within us. Like that mucus commercial. Nah, we don’t want that.
I now understand what it means to forgive and forget. Forgetting does not mean having lost your memory. Nope. It means that wonderful feeling of releasing and that letting go part. That letting go part is the forgetting part. I don’t know if I explained that part well but when you do it and feel it you will understand. I hope you try it. The world needs healing and it starts with you. This is under the “Health and Wellness” tab because forgiveness is about the mind, body (yes body) and spirit. Healthy mind, healthy spirit, healthy body.
Well my loves. I was guided to write this months ago but something always came up. Sometimes I straight up ignored the guidance and I know its Archangel Gabriel doing the nudging. For some reason he was more persistent than ever and I could not sleep. Worse I purchased a laptop (Mr. Visa is now maxed out) just because of this blog and for my book. I’ve written a million blogs and I’m halfway finished with my book but only mentally. I have a negative nueroassociation (remember that term form Tony Robbins?) with my computer and work. When I think of writing my juices gets flowing and the second I look at my desktop I get turned off. I’m in front of a computer for 8hrs and so don’t want to be on it again when I get home. Huge turn off. So at times I’m in bed all comfy and wish I had a laptop or I’ll be out in nature and words and thoughts would flow and I’m typing away in my head. It may sound stupid to max out my credit card to buy it but I’m the type of person that when I’m passionate about something I go after it. “Archangel Gabriel functions as a modern-day literary agent for human messengers, who motivates writers to complete their books and articles and make their deadlines. I’ve heard stories of Gabriel urging writers to stay awake late at night in order to finish their manuscripts. For this reason, I’ve often referred to Gabriel respectfully as a “nudging angel.” I’ve even “warned” would-be writers that if they call upon Gabriel for help, they won’t be getting much sleep until their manuscript is complete!" Doreen Virtue. I certainly didn’t get much sleep when he’s nudging. He’s been nudging for a while for me to write this. I guess someone out there needs this and so I’m happy to be of whatever help. Plus I enjoy writing as it is also healing for me.
Gotta go! I have to get to work!
Love ya and Stay Blessed!
The forgiveness Princess
4 Comments (From previous server)
7/31/2013 01:49:33 am
After reading this my blood started pumping and my mind was racing....I don't know what it is when I read your blog but I feel so big and ready for any and everything. I know forgiving can sometimes be hard but I really wanna try to broaden my horizons and I feel that because I haven't completely forgiven the ppl in my life I'm upset with that I'm not at that place I really wanna be, that I'm really not at peace in my life as yet. I just want better for myself so I'm willing to truly give this a shot
8/8/2013 05:02:41 pm
I hope you really do. Holding on to anger causes blockage. However, be gentle with yourself during this time. It's not easy and no one is saying you must get it the first time around. Just keep at it until your mind is at peace.
8/2/2013 04:36:36 pm
Forgiveness is hard. But I learned not forgiving, holding on to anger makes me toxic, unloveable. I sometimes wonder if people view my ability to forgive and move on as passive...but now I believe they fail to recognize the strength and power it gives me. To me, they can only hurt me for as long as I let them. But lets be clear , I may be a forgiving bitch, but I am not a forgetful one.
8/8/2013 05:04:44 pm
Yikes! Totally with you about the strength and power