How I let go of the emotional weight bringing me down. Full details with an exercise at the end.
If you feel angry, upset, hurt, disappointed, or shame when you think of someone, see them or hear of them, you are carrying emotional weight. Events where several people were involved could be the most difficult to process. While some incidents may be relatively minor, some incidents are severe enough that they may require lifelong medical intervention.
Because we all experience events that hurt us, scar us, and in some cases traumatize us for life, I'm sharing my journey of how i was able to process and successfully shed some of the emotional weight i carried for a long time. As i share this personal information, i hope to inspire those reading to consider giving forgiveness a chance to work miracles in your life as it has in mine.
Anyone familiar with my blog is aware of the horror-film type of life that i have been subjected to by the corruption in the courts in NM. Despite everything that has been done to my child and me, I have found a way to not only heal what is being done to me, but also found a way to live a happy and healthy life with joy, despite not having my child with me at this moment.
In this journey I made several choices. I simmered in the victim mentality of how wrong, how evil, how corrupt the system was. Secondly, i felt anger and resentment towards the individuals responsible for such abuse. Then I ignored everything being done to me and sweep it under the emotional rug and allowed it to fester in my subconscious. Fourth, i turned my life around by returning to my faith and allowed the teachings that i love and believe to fill my life again. The self destructive choice was also a phase I endured on and off throughout the phases.
In the beginning, everyday was a challenge. After 4+ years, (almost five years) of enduring this situation, i can attest to have gone thru all five of the above mentioned scenarios. In the beginning i was self destructive by not filing police reports against my abuser because i feared he would take my child away thru his influence at court (which ultimately he did anyway). I allowed fear to paralyze me into not reporting the abuse. Later, I entered the victim mentality of how could someone so abused (me) be treated like this by the courts, the DAs office and all involved. The victim mentality began to turn my emotions numb. I began the phase where everything was being swept under the emotional rug in an attempt to not face the reality of the broken court system. I then began to blame myself for not properly reporting to the police. After a short period of time, I then moved to the anger towards all involved phase. This anger spilled over to my God. I began blaming God for allowing this to happen. Finally, in 2015 i entered the phase where i am currently. This is the phase that i wish to write about.
No matter at which phase you are, or if you are reading this for a loved one, I would like to share that in my opinion it was healthy to "feel" all of the phases mentioned above. A severely traumatizing experience takes time to process and heal.
This last phase is what i think of as "My forgiveness and kindness phase". My current mantra:
"Forgiveness, kindness and a nonjudgmental nature have been wonderful life essentials. Forgiveness of my past choices is kindness towards myself. When i avoid repeating harmful choices that cause me and those who love me pain and suffering, that is kindness toward myself and others. Kindness towards others when i am busy or have plans can be difficult, but when i make time to help someone in need, blessings always seem to follow. Forgiveness of those around me, allows me to remember that each of us has a different path. Each of us are on a unique learning Journey. A nonjudgmental attitude towards myself and towards others gives way for a life of tolerance and understanding. Choose to forgive everyone who I feel has hurt my feelings. Forgiveness is for my peace of mind. Be kind to myself and nonjudgmental by letting go of the reasons why I hadn't forgiven them before. These actions demonstrate kindness to myself. I believe in the power of redemption and restoration."
If you ask yourself, "Why should I forgive, unforgivable acts done against me?"
There is bondage when we don't forgive. We bind ourselves spiritually and emotionally to the person, people, places, events towards which we pridefully withhold our forgiveness. This refusal to let go, and forgive, keeps us bound, keeps us attached to the situation, the people, the events, the pain, the suffering, and everything associated with the trauma itself.
By NOT forgiving, we CREATE a bond with the situation and accept it into our life as BELONGING to us. We attach ourselves to that hurt, that pain, that suffering. This is why we feel reactions of anger, of resentment, of shame, of guilt, that may be so severe that some people begin to cry just at the thought of the event or the people. For example, my eyes water up immediately when retelling certain parts of my situation. I know there are certain areas of my life that still need work. This physical manifestation of pain is because i have not fully forgiven the people involved and i have not fully let go of the bondage which keeps me attached to that pain and suffering.
No one wishes to believe that we hurt ourselves by not forgiving.
I will share that one area where i still cry. When retelling the stories of how the father of my child almost killed my child and me on several occasions, yet the DAs office has refused to properly prosecuted him, and the civil courts believe his lying attorney, i still feel pain. My pain and suffering is attached to the image of the father of my child laughing at me that he would never go to jail. To this day, the police investigations have not made it to a criminal trial.
The above mentioned area of my life still needs work, but I would like to share how forgiveness has worked in other areas of my life.
December 2017 I had communication with the attorney representing the father of my child and it was civil. This woman is solely responsible for the chaos in my custody case. After I was awarded sole legal and physical custody by the courts in 2014, per Child Protective Services orders, this attorney, this woman, has lied to the court at every single hearing, stating it is her job to do what her client tells her to do. For the first time since 2014, we exchanged words in a civil manner. I was able to do this because i felt forgiveness towards her and her actions. I no longer feel bound to her past actions and can see her in present terms and not in terms of what she has done in the past. I can see her as a human being who has made mistakes.
A second example of forgiveness working miracles in my life is when the judge on the case, Gerard Lavelle had a meltdown on the stand, on the record, insulting me for a full 22 minutes, non-stop, at my last hearing on September 2017 (public record). The judge did not allow me to utter a single word during this endless tirade of abusive insults against me. During his entire mental breakdown, I stood motionless in amazement wondering why this human being hated me so much. I then realized, at that point, during his tireless berating of my character and what a poor excuse of a human being i am, i realized just how sorry i felt for him. I felt sorry for a man who had put his entire career, his judgeship, his livelihood, his reputation in the community, his entire life on the line, just to bully me further, in a final attempt to break me because everything he has tried has failed to break me. It was at that point that i felt the release of the resentment that i felt for him. It was at that point that i felt true forgiveness for what he has done to my child and me.
The reason that i shared these 3 examples is to demonstrate that when i shared the first example, i still felt a bit of "heaviness" in my chest area when recalling the image of the father of my child laughing at me, taunting me that he would never go to jail. When compared to the other two stories, i feel PEACE within myself as i share both of those stories. I feel peace and a light hearted sense of being because i have truly forgiven them and there is no longer an emotional bondage weighing me down to those people or to their actions.
We can CHOOSE to forgive, as i consciously choose to do so in the first story that i shared, and still be held in spiritual, emotional bondage.
Forgiveness is much deeper than thinking or saying "I choose to forgive." True forgiveness comes from the heart. (Proverbs 4:23) Only when we truly forgive can the boundaries of our life be expanded to include joy and happiness. Unwillingness to forgive just narrows our life experience to the pain and suffering of that event or that memory.
Who reading this wants to be spiritually and emotionally bonded to the very person who caused so much harm?
The answer is no one. Yet we do this constantly. Why do we do this constantly? Because we are not aware of the lack of self love we demonstrate by holding on to grudges. When people read my posts, some comment how in the world do i function with such optimism after everything being done to me?
The mantra in the beginning of this post is what i share with them. I explain that growing up i did not learn much about self love or how to properly love myself. I learned values, proper conduct, to obey the law, to study for school, to go to church, to love my God, to respect others, learned about morals, ethics and how to respect my woman's body.
However, how to love myself, for who i am and how important this is for a healthy life, this is a skill that i've had to learn as a grown up.
Self love, to me, means that for my own sake, for my own peace of mind, for my own well-being, i forgive and forgive in full those who have hurt me. Forgiveness of others' trespasses against me is self love. This has been a difficult lesson and one that i am still learning. The deeper the hurt, the more important that forgiveness is. Only thru forgiveness have i been able to process the hurt and pain. Only thru forgiveness have i been able to let go of what has been done to me, and have released the spiritual and emotional bonds that kept me in pain and suffering. Only after true forgiveness is felt in the heart have i been able to let go completely.
In a way, I can say that when i have forgiven, i have released the other person from continuing to cause me further harm. However, when i choose not to forgive, i continue to give that person the power to continue hurting me daily.
Unwillingness to forgive is a self flagellation of pain and suffering that we impose on ourselves.
As a Christian woman, i believe in restoration and redemption. I believe that it is my father God's "job" to correct the wrongs done to my child and me. When i attempted to take over God's "job" of correcting the wrongs done to me, I ended up in a very unhealthy emotional state. It is not "my job" to fight the entire corrupt court systems in New Mexico. It is my God's "job" to provide me with a life full of joy, happiness, grace and mercy. If i am a believer, i will allow God to do his "job". All i can do is forgive and share my story with the hopes that change happens.
When i truly forgive, i am able to release all of the pain from my mind.
I no longer think in terms of what has been done to me. I now feel insignificance when mentioning those names or events. Once all of the pain is released, I then feel the power to express the wrongs without feeling attachment to what has been done to me. There is a great difference. When others mention the situation or those involved, i can continue with a happy state of mind, with joy without falling into anger as i did before.
Out of all of the forgiveness methods I've tried, the following exercise has helped me the most.
On a sheet of paper write down your most traumatizing events that you wish to forgive and release. You can write down a code name for them, but write them all down. Number each event according to the most hurtful. Then, re-write the code name starting with number 1 and write down everything that happened.
How you felt, why you felt this way, why you still feel hurt by this event and these people, and write down that you are doing this with the intent to forgive them all and to forgive yourself.
Then, write down the environment. Where did this happen? What was the time of day, were there cars, was there snow? List everything from the weather, to everything that you can remember.
Then list all of the people involved in each event. After each person write down their participation in the event. Be VERY specific. How did each person hurt you in that event. What did they do, say, didn't do, didn't say? At the end, rewrite that you are recalling all of this with the intent to forgive them all because you realize that not forgiving them is hurtful to you. You love yourself enough to forgive them. You want to let this go. You want God (Goddess, higher power, Buddha, Allah, etc) to please provide you with redemption and restoration. You wish to have your higher power to restore your heart back to joy and happiness.
Then, write down every person's name again.
Write down everything that you know about each person. Write down what they do for a living, how old they are, if they have a pet, where they live, what kind of car they drive, what they like to eat, what they like to do for fun, who they are friends with and then tie in this life "story" to how they came about to being in your event. If you don't know anything about them, just write that.
When you write down everything that you know about the person, i hope that you begin to see them as more than an abuser, more than someone who hurt you. I hope that you see what i saw.
I saw people not very different than me.
They live in a dwelling, just like me. They need transportation, just like I do. They have a job, just like I do. They have family and friends, just like I do. They eat food and drink, just like I do. They do activities, just like I do. They have a life, just like I do. They deal with problems, just like I do. They are human beings, just like we are. They are deserving of forgiveness because they screwed up, in the same way that we too make unhealthy choices sometimes too. Just like we are deserving of forgiveness, they too are deserving of forgiveness.
NO matter how evil you may think the person is, remember that you are only forgiving for the sake of self love. Your forgiveness is a way to show yourself kindness.
Ultimately, the goal is to forgive all of the people who you feel have hurt you. Do this exercise for each event. Do this exercise for each person who has hurt you. Repeat if you still feel sadness or still feel anger. The purpose is to create a clean slate for your life. To create a space for joy and happiness to exist in abundance in your everyday life.
Once I was done with my exercise, i burned all of the pages.
I prayed over the pages and imagined that all of that pain was now outside of me and had been transplanted onto those pages.
My pain was no longer my pain.
THAT pain had been translated into words on pieces of paper. THAT pain was no longer inside me. Once it was on those pieces of paper, i burned the pages in my backyard and saw the ashes be carried away by the wind. I felt relief to have THAT pain removed from my body and to know that it was now part of the wind flying to God.
Can you imagine a life where you forgive every single individual who has hurt you? Both huge events and small, minor events? Can you imagine doing this every night? I do this every night right before going to bed. I not only forgive the daily incidents, but i also ask for those whom i offended to also forgive me as well, especially if i don't realize that i hurt them. When we truly forgive, we demonstrate the ultimate type of self love. When we ask for others' forgiveness we demonstrate empathy for others, while wishing for a healthier society.
I realize this is a journey.
We are all on a path of some sort. If you are reading this for yourself or for a loved one, the first step is to give them a hug and remind them how much you love them. If you are reading this for yourself, say that you forgive yourself for the past choices that may have caused you harm.
As a mother, some of the most important lessons that i wish to teach my child are self love and empathy for others.
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